A sport adopted by working-dog breed organisations for the well-being of such dogs owned by civilians
The Origin of the Sport
The sport of IGP (International Prüfung Ordning) has it roots in Germany where it in the early 1900s was introduced ("Schutzhund") as a tool to test/show dogs working abilities, intelligence and endurance. The world union of GSD (Weltunion der Schäferhunde (WUSV) was formed in 1968 on the initiative of SV and included 11 countries who aimed to promote international co-operation and conserved the uniformity of the breed. Today, more than 80 countries are affiliated with WUSV. The first WUSV World Championship was held in 1998 and represents one of the largest highlights in the international working German Shepherd. In 2004 SV adapted the FCI Rules that govern IGP titles (prior to that SV had Schutzhund titles). (click for link to the FCI IGP Rules & Regulations).
IGP is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and of varied professions who join together in camaraderie born of their common interest in working with their dogs. Often it is a family sport. While dog of other breeds also actively participate in the sport of IGP, the test was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog. The test was develop to identify dogs that have or do not have the character traits such as: a strong desire to work, courage, intelligence, trainability, strong bond to the handler, protective instinct and sense of smell. It also tests for physical traits such as strength, endurance and agility. The aim of IPO is highlight the dog's characteristics and identify its suitability to use for producing the next generation of working dogs.
Download a free copy of the WGSDCA BH Booklet: here.
The IGP Dog
A completely healthy, capable and sound dog is a requirement for IGP training. Character traits such as self-confidence, drive predisposition (not to be confused with aggression) and pleasure in working must be a distinctive feature in the dog. The IGP trained dog is not only more robust and healthier than inactive dogs, but also generally more balanced in their character as it is the nature of the breed to want to be challenged and stimulated. Neither the training as a working dog nor the sport itself present a danger to others. IGP is a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating working traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. The joy of the dogs in working with their handlers is evident to anyone who attends an IGP trial. Character traits such as self-confidence, drive predisposition (not to be confused with aggression) and pleasure in working must be a distinctive feature in the dog. The IGP trained dog is not only more robust and healthier than inactive dogs, but also generally more balanced in their character as it is the nature of the breed to want to be challenged and stimulated. Neither the training as a working dog nor the sport itself present a danger to others.
The Sleeve Work
A misunderstood Discipline
Biting is integral to a dog's natural social behaviour. Aggressiveness is not tolerated nor trained.
IGP Dogsport teaches Rules & Context.
The Sleeve Work demonstrates sound character, train-ability and a dog that obeys command under high stimuli.
This is important as it reveals a trustworthy and mentally sound dog.
We want that because such dogs are confident dogs. Such dogs are safer dogs.
A well-trained dog is a happy dog.
There are 3 Disciplines
Tracking, Obedience and Sleeve Work
A dog must pass all 3 disciplines to be awarded an IGP title. Each discipline is judged on a 100-point scale. The minimum passing score is 70 for each disciplines.
The dog must retrace the path of a person (300-800 paces with 2-4 turns) after 20-60 minutes have elapsed and be able to find 2-3 lost articles.
In the field, there are several exercises including heeling, gun shots, heeling through a group of people. There are sit, drop and stand exercises, one or two recalls, three retrieves (flat, jump, A-frame), and a send out, in which the dog is directed to run away from the handler straight and fast and then lie down on command. The dog must not be intimidated by distraction, including the sound of a gun or a group of strangers milling about. The phase is judged on the dog's accuracy and attitude. The dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that is uninterested or unhappy scores poorly.
The judge has an assistant, called a 'helper' in this phase. The helper wears a heavily padded sleeve on one arm. There are several blinds on the field. The dog is directed to search the blinds for the helper. When the dog finds the helper it indicates this by barking. This is followed by several 'assault' simulated situation, where the dog must respond properly. The dog must out when commanded to do so or it is dismissed. The dog must display courage and it all time it must show a temperament to obey the handler. A dog that shows fear, lack of control or inappropriate aggression is dismissed