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 IGP3.
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, showing calmness and concentration.
Obedience: 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 drop 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's, where the dog must respond quickly. The dog must out when commanded to do so or it is dismissed. The dog must display courage and at all times it must show a temperament to obey the handler. A dog that shows fear, lack of control or inappropriate aggression is dismissed.