What is IPO?
Dog has been man’s companion for thousands of years. It all started with domestication. In the course of history the dog has been the human companion, protector, and many other ways as part of the human life.
In today’s world, most of those services are use in many other ways, basically making the dog a major part of the human society. The services extent from Search and Rescue, Police K-9, cancer detectors, etc., Because of the versatility of the dog, being a companion has evolved into a variety of things humans enjoy with the dog, like Dock Diving, Nose Work, Ring Sport, Mondio, IPO, Obedience, Agility, etc.
In IPO (International Prüfungs Ordnung) there are 3 phases the team consisting of a handler and dog must complete to earn titles. The phases are Tracking, Obedience and Man Work. Each of those phases are valued at 100 points. IPO has three levels which include the beginners lever IPO 1, the intermediate level IPO 2 ,and the master level IPO 3.
Tracking: Is mostly in open areas that might include, but not limited to grass fields or plowed dirt fields.
How this works is a track is laid by either the handler (IPO 1) or a person, not the handler (IPO 2 and 3). A set of articles are set on the track for the dog to find. The length of time the track is left to age is determined by the level the team is entered. 20 minutes for IPO 1, 30 minutes for IPO 2 and one hour for IPO 3.
The dog must follow the track, which is basically to follow the scent the track layer left as he/she laid the track. The dog must find the articles left by the track layer without deviating from the track itself.
The second phase of IPO is Obedience. Again the level of Obedience and tasks that need to be performed become more difficult as the team works from IPO 1 to IPO 3.
There are a set of exercises the team must complete to earn sufficient points to pass. Some of them are heeling off leash, walk through a group of people, sit in motion, down in motion, stand, retrieve a dumbbell, go away and long down with distractions.
The third phase of IPO is the man work or defense. This phase was originally developed as a breed suitability test. As time passed, it has now morphed into a worldwide sport.
As in Obedience and Tracking, defense work becomes increasingly harder as the team moves from IPO 1 to IPO 3.
This phase basically tests the dogs, pack, defense, aggression and prey drives. The judges are looking at the dogs ability to switch drives as the routine progresses, mainly focusing on control.