The IPO-VO title is a scaled down version of an IPO1 title. The track is shorter, the obedience routine is shorter, and the protection routine is not only shorter but you can hold onto your dog throughout.
The trial started with the obedience phase first. Since I went on vacation in May we really didn't have a lot of time to practice for the trial. We only had two days to try to proof him to the gun shots. Unfortunately that was not enough time and he immediately broke his down when they fired the shots. That cost us 20pts. When we walked up to do our OB routine the judge asked me if I knew he was going to react that way. I told her that I did. She said if he reacted the way he did in the heeling portion she would have to excuse us. She told me talk to him during the routine. Well, I did go ahead and talk to him during the heeling and he actually responded really well. He hardly reacted to the shots. He blew his down out of motion [he sat]. However the recall was really fast and although he was crooked he finished left quickly and I didn't have to give handler help. His retrieve was perfect. His jump was crooked but he at least went over and came back. We scored a 70 which was barely passing, but he did pass.
After obedience we did protection. Seppel was ON! He barked, he outed when I asked him to. We ended up getting a score of 92. This is the first time we have ever competed in bite work and I was really happy with his score.
The next day we did tracking. Usually they do it all in one day but there was some scheduling conflict. Unfortunately Seppel would not track for me. In tracking you have to follow 30ft behind your dog. We have not practiced that and as soon as I was at the end of the line Seppel stopped and came back to me. He would not restart. We ended up with only 30pts. 10 for the scent pad [beginning of track] and about 20 paces in where he stopped. [We got points for that distance haha]. It sucked to not get the title, but it was really not his fault. We did not have a lot of time to prepare and I feel like he did really well considering he missed out on a lot of training.
There is another trial on October. We will go to that one and try for the VO again. I am not usually obsessed with scores, but this time the goal will be to get a higher score in OB. I don't think we will try for an IPO1 until next year. He's just not ready, we have a few things he still needs to learn. Overall we had a really great time and I am SOOOOOO proud of his protection score!
ALSO - On June 19th it will be his 2yr anniversary since he had FHO surgery on his right hip. A lot of people find my blog because they are researching FHO surgery. I've put together a quick video showing some of his rehab as well as some pictures and his VO protection routine. Surgery was the best option for us. It has rendered my dog pain free and he can do all of the things he could do before.