IRO Testing Levels: E, A and B

All IPO-R tests require evaluation of the K9 and handler in obedience, dexterity (agility) and the field search work (rubble, tracking, or area).

RH Testing is divided into 3 levels of proficiency:

Level “E” is considered a “suitability test” and evaluates dogs and their handlers for their search work and basic obedience and dexterity. The later includes the following exercises:

  • On leash heeling
  • Walking through a group of people (includes 4 people and 2 dogs walking in a clock-wise direction)
  • Off leash heeling (will include 2 gunshots of 6-9 mm caliber)
  • Tunnel
  • Traversing unpleasant surfacesIMG_9647
  • Carrying and handing over of the dog
  • Lying down while distracted
  • Traversing an elevated rigid wooden board
  • Jumping over 3 different obstacles

Field work for the “E” levels are fairly basic and usually require finding a single victim in a small area. For more information see the IPO-R Testing Standards or the summaries presented on RubbleTracking, or Area Search.

“A” and “B” levels are tested in significantly larger areas, (or longer tracks), and require locating multiple victims. Clear, forceful alerts are required in all tests. Level E is not required before testing at Level “A”.

Level “A” is considered an intermediate test and is required before a K9 team may attempt a “B” level test. “B” level testing is considered the most advanced and the judging at this level is more stringent. Obtaining a “B” title is required prior to a K9 team undertaking a Mission Readiness Test (MRT).

Obedience/Dexterity for both “A” and “B” levels are identical for dogs testing in tracking, rubble, and area and include the following exercises in mixed order (drawn by cards prior to the start).

  • Off leash heeling (with gunfire)
  • Retrieval on flat ground (handler SAR type article such as a skein of rope, a carabiner, etc.)
  • Distance control (sit in motion; handler walks out 40 meters, recalls the dog; at approximately 20 meters, commands the dog to down; then to stand; then to complete the recall to “front”, and then to finish (heel position)
  • Directability at a distance
  • Carrying and handing over of the dog
  • Laying down under distractionIMG_0048
  • Unstable plank
  • Horizontal ladder
  • Tunnel