This is going to be a very LONG post but we are very proud of Aiden and what he has been able to accomplish……
Yesterday Aiden earned his IPO 1 Title at the Southern New Hampshire Working Dog Club Trial in Milford, NH. Our goal was to try for IPO1 in early June but our trainer entered his dog in the SNHWDC Trial and encouraged us to do the same. He said Aiden was ready. We also felt Aiden was ready but I was not sure about me!!
All week long we were getting stressed watching the weather reports as the forecast for Saturday was for heavy rain. We drove up to NH on Thursday after work. Friday was a beautiful day. The morning was cool and sunny and we headed out to do a practice track at a nearby field. We then went to the trial field where we had been given permission to practice. Aiden did well in obedience and protection practice. Mario’s wife and two children were with him. The kids loved Dylan and Aiden.
Several people from the Inner City Working Dog Club (where we train sometimes) drove up on Friday and we all went out to dinner.
When we got up at 4:45am on Saturday it was cool and overcast. All the competitors met with the judge at 6:30am and we convoyed to the tracking fields which were on private property at the top of a very large hill with beautiful views. As we were on our way it started to rain.
Aiden having his microchip and tattoo confirmed by the judge
They held the draw for the order of tracks and as luck would have it I, unfortunately, drew number 1. This being my first IPO trial I was nervous to go first as I did not know exactly what was expected. The judge took the six of the IPO 1 handlers down to the field and explained the way he wanted the tracks put out, how he expected us to walk and where to drop the articles. After the required wait time, Aiden and I checked in with the judge and began our track. It was now raining quite heavily. Aiden started the track beautifully and the first leg and turn were good. He found the article and downed to indicate it. He restarted well on command and continued down the track. At the second turn Aiden got confused and started to circle around a little. Eventually he found the track and continued in the right direction. He was still distracted and looked up and then decided to eat a piece of grass but again continued on. He found the second article and indicated it. We checked out with the judge and received a score of 82. Phase A done.
The tracking video is here in its entirety, however, as Aiden and I are on the first leg and we disappear from view down a dip in the field and Jack just followed the judges head until we reappear on the third leg.
After tracking was over we all met back at the club field. The BH dogs were first at 10:30am. After the obedience portion of the BH Aiden and I were in the first pair for IPO 1 Obedience. We were sent for our long down first. During our obedience routine it was still raining! Aiden scored at 87. Phase B done. Two down one to go!
The last phase – IPO1 Protection. This is Aiden’s favorite phase, as with most dogs! The rain had finally eased up but by this time it did not matter as everything was soaked. On the long bite, which is normally Aiden strongest part, he slipped off the sleeve. Something that has never happened before. As I approached to pick him up Aiden lost his mind and ran behind the helper and back into the guard position! Once I got him settled and back into heel position we did the transport to the judge and checked out. Aiden scored a 79 Pronounced. Phase C done……IPO1 earned!
More pictures from Alissa.
U-Ch., SG Alta-Tollhaus Aiden IPO 1, BN, RA, NAP, NJP, NFP, HT, TC, TDI, CGC (at 2 years, 6 days old)
We are very pleased with Aiden who tried so hard to do everything asked of him from a very inexperienced handler. He is my first IPO dog and we have both learned a lot. In private conversations with the judge, the helper and other experienced handlers, the general opinion was that Aiden is a good dog with great potential.
Two very relieved and happy people at the judge’s dinner. Ofcourse the boys got to share their own steak!