Being an IPO Newbie – Part Seven – The Great Scorebook Mystery – UPDATED

Welcome back, Newbies!

In part seven of our series, I am going to be covering the very confusing world of IPO scorebooks and trial venues.

To be honest, all of the acronyms and different organizations still kind of make my head spin, but I’m going to do my best here. If I’ve left an organization out, please let me know in the comments and I’ll get it added in.

**I have updated this post after receiving some clarifications from a couple of organizations. Please let me know if there is anything else that is unclear!**


We’ll start with, “What the heck is a ‘scorebook’ and why the heck do I need one?”

Scorebooks are literally what they sound like – a book in which your scores and titles are recorded. You must present your scorebook at all IPO trials, regardless of organization, so that your dog may be identified by matching either their microchip number or tattoo information as listed in your scorebook. No scorebook, no trials.

Now, this is really the only non-confusing part of this whole mess, so I hope you’ve had your coffee…


To fully understand the ins and outs of the different memberships and scorebooks, you’ll first need to get a handle on the organizational structure of the sport (lol – yeah, right – good luck!).

We’ll start at the top.

FCI – Federation Cynologique Internationale – the international governing body for dog sport. If you come from horses, as I do, this is the equivalent of the FEI. The FCI governs all (well, except for what it doesn’t, but I’ll get there).

Additionally, there are other governing bodies acting within the sport:

WUSV – World Union of German Shepherd Associations – International governing body for German Shepherds. Does not issue scorebooks, so far as I know. Hosts its own World Championships, separate from the FCI Championships.

AWDF – America Working Dog Federation – Governing body for IPO in the USA…sort of. Not a full member-organization under the FCI, but operates as a “guest member”. Does not issue scorebooks, but recognizes organizations that do.

AWDF provides the same score books to ALL AWDF member clubs (which includes USCA and DVG) to issue to their members. All AWDF member clubs will accept the AWDF score book no matter what club issued it. DVG has their own score book (from Germany) but can issue the standard AWDF score book if you ask. Most (ALL ?) AWDF member clubs will also accept foreign Score Books from FCI member Countries.” – clarification courtesy of Thomas Barriano.

 Each of the above hosts their own Championships, as do a few other venues that we’ll get to in a minute. They do not, however, issue scorebooks, instead leaving this up to their member organizations.

Does your brain hurt yet? No? Give it a minute…

I’m going to give you a rundown of scorebook-issuing organizations, and list out what other scorebooks they accept at their trials. (Again, if I get anything wrong here – PLEASE let me know so that I can correct it!). At the moment, most venues are accepting most scorebooks, but this seems to be a bit of a moving target, so when in doubt – check with your trial venue to confirm.

Additionally, many of the following organizations offer their own trial and championship venues, at which you may or may not need to present their specific scorebook.

Told you it would only take a minute for that headache to kick in…

USCA – United Schutzhund Clubs of America – one of the main trial venues for the United States. Issues scorebooks for all breeds and mixes, but is also the primary venue for German Shepherds. As if January 1, 2019, is no longer a member of AWDF and no longer recognizing titles earned under DVG judges. Until this situation is resolved, consider USCA its own IGP island.

DVG America – All breed governing body for IPO in the USA – another of the main trial venues for the United States. Issues scorebooks for all breeds and mixes. DVG accepts any FCI scorebooks as long as the handler shows a membership card in that organization.  In other words, if your dog has a scorebook from Israel, the handler also must be a member of that organization.  As of June 1, 2019, no longer accepting USCA scorebooks or any titles earned under USCA judges after January 1, 2019. You must have a DVG scorebook to compete at DVG Regionals or Nationals. You may present multiple scorebooks.

United States Boxer Association – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Boxers.

Working Reisenschnauzer Federation – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Giant Schnauzers.

America Working Malinois Association – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Malinois.

Federation American Bulldog – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for American Bulldogs.

United Doberman Club – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Dobermans.

United States Rottweiler Club – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Rottweilers.

North American Working Bouvier Association – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Bouviers.

Working Dutch Shepherd Association of America – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Dutch Shepherds.

Working Pitbull Terrier Club of America – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Pitbull Terriers.

Cane Corso Association of America – Issues AWDF recognized scorebooks for Cane Corsos.


Confused yet? Me too.

So, which scorebook do you need?

It depends on what trial venues you plan to participate in.

If your club is a USCA-member club, than you will need a USCA scorebook. DVG-member club? You need a DVG scorebook. Easy! Sort of…not really.

For me, personally, I have a AWDF scorebook by way of the AWMA. This is accepted at all AWDF trials, and also permits me to enter the AWMA Nationals some day, should we ever get to that level (hey – a girl can dream!). I’ve heard it called “Mationals” (Malinois Nationals) and this is enough for me to want to go and at least get a t-shirt. I am also a member of DVG and have a DVG scorebook, as I occasionally trial above the club level.

The world of scorebooks and memberships is a very confusing one and this confusion is why I’m not a huge fan of the organizational system here in the US for IPO (soon to be IGP?).

It’s, quite frankly, a confusing mess.

So, fellow Newbies, if you find yourself scratching your head over scorebooks and organizations, just know you are not alone. I just hope I’ve helped to untangle it a teeny, tiny bit…

2 thoughts on “Being an IPO Newbie – Part Seven – The Great Scorebook Mystery – UPDATED

  1. Pingback: Being an IPO Newbie – Part Nine – The BH! | My Malinois Life

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