The high international standards and the IRO quality seal guarantee quality and competence in the training of search and rescue dog teams. The aim of the IRO is to have a sufficient number of mission ready teams in each member organisation.
The sport forms the basis of the training towards becoming a mission ready search and rescue dog. For many dog handlers, this is the entry into the world of lifesavers. In addition to general obedience and dexterity, specific basic prerequisites of a search and rescue dog are also learned at a sporting level. Many dog handlers already start training for their four-legged friends at eight weeks old. In the context of testing events and modules, the IRO introduces the teams, step-by-step, to real emergency situations. The masterpiece is then the IRO mission readiness test, which is, if passed, awarded with the "Mission Ready" Certificate alongside with the inclusion in the official list of mission ready IRO search and rescue dog teams.
It takes an average of two to three years to train as a mission ready search and rescue dog.
The IRO advocates the use of modern and animal-friendly training methods, and the respect for and protection of the dogs‘ health and wellbeing. The IRO strongly supports force-free training.