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What are the levels and phases of IPO-R (RH)?

FCI calls the levels V, A, and B. This is unfortunate, since the two phases are called A (search) and B (Obedience/Dexterity). V is considered an entry level. For IGP events a BH is required first but for IPO-R in the FCI system there is no requirement for a BH.

What options are there for search?

There are 6 options:

  • Tracking

  • Area search

  • Rubble search

  • Mantrailing

  • Avalanche search

  • Water rescue


Tracking, area search, and to a lesser extent mantrailing are regularly offered in trials. Due to host requirements rubble search is offered less often, and it’s rare to find a trial with avalanche search or water rescue.


What are the abbreviations for the different search options? (These are based on the German words for these activities.)
  • Tracking – F

  • Area Search – FL

  • Rubble - T

  • Mantrailing – MT

  • Avalanche - L

  • Water rescue - W

How do I find out if there are other people in my area interested in RH?

Write to the new club coordinator at

How do I join ARSA?

Go to

I live outside the US. Can I join?

We would love to have individual members from any country. Due to our agreements with the FCI and AWDF clubs must be based in the US.

How many members do we need to start a club?

5 members to start, 3 to continue the second year.

I have a mixed breed/American Pit Bull Terrier/unrecognized breed/KNPV dog, can I get a scorebook through ARSA?


Can all breeds participate?

Any dog regardless of pedigree (or lack thereof) may enter an ARSA club trial or ARSA championship.

Where can I get help/have someone help get me started?

Contact us about others that may be in your area and consider hosting a seminar. We have great resources in the US who can help you. 

Can you explain the relationship among FCI, AWDF, and ARSA?

FCI is the top-level dog organization in the world. It is mainly a conformation organization (much like AKC) but it is involved in many sports. It partnered with IRO, the top search dog organization, to write a set of rules that members of both organizations follow. Those are the rules we follow in ARSA.

AWDF is a federation of working dog clubs in the US.  FCI has accepted AWDF as the organization that can participate on three of the “commissions” that cover various sports – the Utility Dog Commission (IGP), the Mondio Commission, and the Rescue Dog Commission. That also means that AWDF can send participants to the championships FCI puts on in those 3 areas.

ARSA is a member of AWDF. Since  AWDF accepts only one all-breed member club for each sport, that means that ARSA, through it’s annual championship, will pick the dog/handler teams that can go to the FCI rescue dog championship from the US. 

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