IPO titles

For a German Shepherd Dog to get a schutzhund title (now called IPO) takes time and effort. IPO trials test a dog’s temperament, character and working ability. That is what they are designed for. There are three IPO levels – IPO 1, the starting level, IPO 2, an intermediate level, and IPO 3 which is the advanced level. In order to be able to take part in a breed survey in Germany the dog must have acquired at least an IPO 1 title. Because of the age requirements and the length of time the training takes a dog will not obtain the title before 18 months of age and typically does so at some age over 21 months.

IPO is divided into three distinct parts – (1) Obedience, (2) Tracking and (3) Protection or man work. Each part is scored separately and in order to pass the dog must obtain a minimum score of 70 out of 100 in obedience and tracking. The dog must obtain a minimum score of 80 out of 100 in the protection phase. The dog’s temperament is separately assessed in each phase and the dog may be eliminated in any phase if the judge decides that his temperament is unsatisfactory. The protection phase is designed and intended to be a serious test of the dog’s character.  In that phase the dog is also assessed for fighting spirit. Only a dog which has a pronounced fighting spirit will be eligible in a breed survey for the Class 1 pass which means ‘recommended for breeding’. A dog which only has a satisfactory fighting spirit is not eligible in Germany for a Class 1 pass in a breed survey. Such a dog is only eligible for a Class 2 pass which is ‘suitable for breeding’. The weight the dog’s fighting spirit is given in a breed survey indicates just how important the protection phase of IPO is for assessing a dog’s character.

There now follows a very brief summary of the requirements of each phase of the IPO trial for the three different levels.

1. Obedience

IPO 1

1. Heel on lead (15 points)
2. Heel off lead (20 points)
3. Sit in motion (10 points)
4. Down with recall (10 points)
5. Retrieve on the flat (10 points)
6. Retrieve over the metre jump (15 points)
7. Send away and down (10 points)
8. Long down under distraction (10 points)

IPO 2

1. Heel on lead (10 points)
2. Heel off lead (15 points)
3. Sit in motion (5 points)
4. Down with recall (10 points)
5. Retrieve a 1 Kg dumbbell on the flat (10 points)
6. Retrieve a 650 gm dumbbell over the metre jump (15 points)
7. Retrieve a 650 gm dumbbell over the climbing wall (15 points)
8. Send away and down (10 points)
9. Long down under distraction (10 points)

IPO 3

1. Heel off lead (10 points)
2. Sit in motion (5 points)
3. Down with recall (10 points)
4. Stand while walking (5 points)
5. Stand from a run (10 points)
6. Retrieve a 2 Kg dumbbell on the flat (10 points)
7. Retrieve a 650 gm dumbbell over the metre jump (15 points)
8. Retrieve a 650 gm dumbbell over the climbing wall (15 points)
8. Send away and down (10 points)
9. Long down under distraction (10 points)

2. Tracking

IPO 1

Dog follows track laid by handler while dog is out of sight. Track is between 300 and 400 metres in length and has two right angled bends. There are two articles on the track. Not less than 20 minutes after the track has been laid the dog must follow the track, locate the two articles and indicate that he has done so

IPO 2

The track is 400 to 500 metres in length, it is laid by a stranger, it has two right angled turns and it must be aged at 30 minutes before the dog is put on the track.

IPO 3

The track is between 800 and 1,000 metres in length, it is laid by a stranger, has four right angled turns, there are three articles on th track and the track must be aged at least 50 minutes before the dog is put on the track.

3. Protection

IPO 1

1. Hold and bark (5 points)
2. Attack on handler by a stranger (35 points)
3. Pursuit and Courage test (60 points)

IPO 2

1. Search for the helper (5 points)
2. Hold and bark (10 points)
3. Escape (10 points) and Defence (40 points)
4. Transport (5 points)
5. Attack (10 points) and Courage test (25 points)

IPO 3

1. Search for the helper (5 points)
2. Hold and bark (10 points)
3. Escape (10 points) and Defence (25 points)
4. Transport (5 points)
5. Attack (10 points), Pursuit (10 points) and Courage test (25 points)

In order to enable you to refer the requirements we are discussing on the left we summarise them here. These are what you should be looking for in both parents of any German Shepherd puppy you are thinking about buying or that you see for sale. We are, of course, assuming that they are both KC registered.

1. They must be tattooed and/or microchipped
2. They must be DNA tested
3. They must have satisfactory scores for hips and elbows
4. They must have passed an AD test
5. They must have a schutzhund title (now called IPO).
6. They must have a show result of at least ‘good’
7. They must have a breed survey which recommends them as being suitable for breeding.

If you have any questions, want any advice about buying a GSD or want to know about a litter please contact us.

© Araxes GSD