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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. 


The concept of IGP evolved over 100 years ago in Germany and the first trial was held in 1901. The intent of IGP trials was to emphasise  and evaluate the correct working temperament and workability. Today the exercises have changed slightly and depending on the IGP degree, with IGP1 being the first title and IGP3 the most advanced title.


Before a dog can compete for an IGP1, it must pass a temperament test called BH (Begleithundprüfung, which translates to "traffic-sure companion dog test". The BH test consists of two Parts:

- Part A is an obedience routine including heeling both on and off leash, sit, drop in motion and drop under distraction.

- Part B is a temperament test where the dog's behavior is tested in normal life situation: walk on line with other dogs, walk between strangers, be approachable by a stranger and be indifferent to passing cars, runners and bike riders.

IGP  involves three phases: tracking, obedience and protection. A dog must pass all three phases in one trial to be awarded an IGP title. Each phase is judged on a 100-point scale. The minimum passing score is 70 for each phase. There are three IGP titles: IGP1, IGP2 and IIGP3. At any time the judge may dismiss a dog for showing poor temperament, including fear or aggression.

Tracking: 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. 

Obedience: The obedience is conducted on a large field, with the dogs working in pairs. One dog is placed in a down position on the side of the field and its handler leaves it while the other dog works in the field. The dogs then switch places. 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. 

Protection and Obedience: 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

The IGP trained 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. An example of the protection part being a sport is available here.


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. For more information on the sport of IGP - click here


The joy of the dogs in working with their handlers is evident to anyone who attends an IGP trial.

You can find more background information on IGP here

Working titles

  • BH/VT - First time handler, includes written test

  • BH - basic obedience and temperament test

  • APr 1-3 - obedience and protection only (not permitted at WGSDCA)

  • IGP-V - preliminary IPO level

  • IGP1 - first level

  • IGP2 - second level

  • IGP3 - top level

  • OB / UPr 1,2,3 - separate obedience titles

  • TR / FPr 1,2,3 - separate tracking titles

  • FH 1,2, IPO FH - advanced tracking titles

  • IGP-ZTP - International breed test

  • AD - endurance title (part of the Koerung requirements for breed survey)

WGSDCA Trial Entry

Prerequisites for entering WGSDCA sanctioned trials:

  • Individual member of WGSDCA

  • Member of a WGSDCA Member Club

  • You have a WGSDCA Scorebook

  • Your dog has a WGSDCA sportpass

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