The training of rescue dogs enfolds many facets. It is IRO’s goal to have a sufficient number of mission-ready teams available at each member organisation. It is well understood, that those dogs and their dog handlers continuously undergo national and international testing serving as stress handling and give proof of the performance standard of the dogs.
Tomorrow’s rescue dogs initially attend quasi school. By testing suitability, dexterity, strong mind and other qualifications are being looked after. Training already starts at the age of 8 weeks. Passing testing level A matches elementary school, testing at level B prepares for school-leaving examination – the Mission Readiness Test. After that the dog wears the IRO seal of quality and is ready for international deployment.
To compete in level B testing, a dog must at least be 20 months old and not older than 8 years at the first attendance at the Mission Readiness Test. Practically spoken, the average duration of training up to a mission ready rescue dog lasts two to three years. The international testing-standards are commonly elaborated by the IRO and the FCI, the world umbrella organisation of dog breeders.