rescue dogs
Photo: Photographer: Boštjan Gartnar

Hungarian rescue dogs finished second and fourth at the 24th IRO World Championship this year, reports. The event was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia between 18-23 September. Owners are very proud of all of the dogs who took part in the competition; namely Karma, Ispán, Zizi, Pedró, Symba, Atlas, and Zoé.

About the IRO

The International Rescue Dog Organisation (IRO) is the worldwide representation for 123 national rescue dog organisations from 43 countries. According to their website:

The organisation’s role is to use international standards when training rescue dog teams, to certify mission teams, provide coordination during disasters and to finance humanitarian aid.

The IRO World Championship is organised every year, where the best rescue dogs from all over the compete.

During the competition, mission scenarios are reconstructed, and the rescue teams have to face conditions similar to those found in a real emergency.

Up to 150 teams face the challenges of Tracking, Area and Rubble search, fighting for the top ranks.

World’s best search and rescue dog from Hungary

Hungarian participants

Four Hungarian organisation participated in the championship this year:

  • Two teams from Fővárosi Katasztrófavédelmi Igazgatóság: Sarolta Leczki and Karma, Judit Erdélyi and Ispán
  • Two teams from Kutyákkal az Életért Alapítvány [With Dogs for Life Foundation]: Mária Gazdagné Novák and Zizi, László Dobák and Pedró
  • One team from Pest Megyei Kutató-mentő Szolgálat: László Balázs and Symba
  • Two teams from Mancs a Kézben Mentőkutyás Egyesületet [Paw in the Hand Association]: Zsuzsanna Vida and Atlas, Gabriella Csóka and Zoé.

Six Hungarian teams competed in the Rubble search category and one in the Area Search category. The Hungarian participants competed with other 59 teams from 25 different countries. This year, altogether 134 candidates registered to compete.

Among other challenges, the rescue dogs had to stay still on top of a moving barrel, or go through moving barrels, and they also had to crawl. The challenges tested the dogs’ capability to stay still, even if what they were standing on was moving, and the dogs’ ability to coordinate their own bodies was also tested.

rescue dog
Photo: Photographer: Boštjan Gartnar

In this year’s Rubble Search category, the emergency situation was a 7.2 earthquake, and several buildings collapsed, and a car, a bus and a truck were all trapped, and the dogs had 30 minutes to find three people among the rubbles.

Karma and Sarolta finished in the second place with 283 points, while Zoé and Gabriella missed the third place by only one point, and they finished fourth with 278 points.


Our dogs were very successful last year as well:

Hungarian success at the world championship for rescue dogs

Featured image: /Boštjan Gartnar


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