In June there is a club trial. It is important for all club members to participate - in support of the club. My trainer and one of the club members says we should definitely go for the IPO VO.
The VO is essentially a 'basic' version of an IPO1 and is a good title to go for for dogs who are not ready for the 1. It has all three phases but they are shorter and a little less complicated.
I feel pretty confident that we could do okay with the VO. My main concern is his tracking because we are still using food [we can go 20 paces apart], and he is not reliably downing on his articles. While I am away he will be boarding at the sister facility of the place we train. Our trainer is going to track him at least once - just to get an extra track in. The trial is June 13th so we will only have three training sessions, maybe 4 before the trial.
Oh, there is one other minor concern. Yesterday at training they took out a small pistol - during the obedience part of the VO two shots are fired. The dog must be impartial to the sound. Well, it took three sets of shots but I finally realized why when the gun fired Seppel was barking and lunging and staring at the field! The shots sounded just like a whip cracking! Seppel was looking for a helper on the field! On the one hand, I am relieved, I thought it would scare him. However, now we have to practice firing the shots because I am afraid he will leave me during the heeling routine to go find the bad guy! Never a dull moment with this dude.
Here is a video of Seppel practicing a scaled down version on the VO. My yard isn't big enough for the whole routine. Heeling should be at least 30 paces out. I really like how I was able to tell him 'no' over the jump and he corrected himself! We haven't been working on the jump for very long, we have only practiced it a few times. I am really excited that he might actually complete that exercise properly. I don't really care about 'straightness' at this point. I am just glad he will come back over the jump!
Also here is a video of Seth. We were just messing around: