IPO (Schutzhund) is a challenging sport consisting of three phases: obedience, tracking, and protection. It was originally developed as a breed test for the German Shepherd but has grown into a popular sport for all working breeds. IPO is still used as a breed test for working breeds, including the Rottweiler, Doberman, and German Shepherd. Trials are held in various countries at the club, regional, national, and international levels. In Germany, the Bundessiegerprüfung is held each year, and there is also a world championship, WUSV, held each year under FCI international rules.
Some people believe that the protection aspect of IPO will make their dog aggressive to people, but this is largely untrue. IPO does not change the dog’s inherent character: dogs that are not aggressive to people do not suddenly become aggressive after IPO training; a dog’s socialization, training, and genetics determine whether the dog is aggressive.
IPO is not a gentle hobby and requires a great amount of dedication, time, and consistency; it also requires a dog that has the proper genetics and athleticism to work at such a high level. The team should be directed by an experienced trainer who has trialed multiple dogs to different levels. The decoy used in protection should have the experience to help the dog by creating a challenge without causing the dog to shut down or develop bad habits.
BH – basic obedience and temperament test
SchA – obedience and protection only
SchI – first level
SchII – second level
SchIII – top level
OB I,II,III – separate obedience titles
TR I,II,III – separate tracking titles
IPO 1,2,3 – international IPO degree (International Prüfungsordnung)
FH I,II – advanced tracking titles
WH – watch dog title
AD – endurance title (for breed-worthiness)
Various Breed tests also have portions of IPO work such as the ZTP, BST, and WAC tests
If you are interested in this exciting sport, please schedule an evaluation with Joseph Secreti. If you do not already own a dog that is capable of competing, Joe can assist you in finding a puppy, green dog, or titled adult. Maximum K9 has dogs available with the right temperament and drive to work from the US and Europe.
Private Introduction to IPO
10- 55 minute sessions
Location Maximum K9 facility & outdoor field
Prerequisite: Basic obedience & a dog that has the required work drive
Introduction to IPO will introduce you and your dog to each phase of the competition: tracking, obedience, and protection. If you are new to IPO or are looking to gain experience prior to joining a club, this program is for you! You will learn how to build drive, play with your dog in obedience, position your dog correctly, begin bite work, and lay and run tracks. This program is held in the facility and at local fields so that your dog learns to work in different environments. After this program, you will have a clear understanding of what you need to work on to continue on to trials.
Private Beginner IPO
10- 55 minute sessions
Location:Maximum K9 facility & outdoor fields
Prerequisite: Completion of Introduction to IPO
The goal of Beginner IPO is to increase your dog’s drive for all three phases of the sport and help you further your education. At the completion of this program you will be familiar with the BH routine and laying tracks; your dog will have a basic understanding of running tracks and a good foundation in grip and sleeve work. Following this program, you are welcome to attend our IPO group classes or private training as needed.
IPO Group training
Location Maximum K9 Facility and outdoor fields
Cost $65 per lesson
Prerequisite: Completion of Introduction to IPO and Beginner IPO or a dog of same skill level with trainer approval.
The Maximum K9 IPO group class meets 1-2 time per week to work on protection and obedience. The location of the class is determined by the weather and what spaces are available on that day.
If you would like get a jump-start to IPO training, we offer custom board and train options to give your dog the proper foundation.