I think some can do both, but a lot of IPO dogs see the exercises as a game. Protection is a different situation, and requires different training.
Some IPO dogs can easily do protection work, and I'm sure a lot of protection dogs could do IPO.
As DaniFani said, there are a lot of people out there claiming to have what they do not.
Please break this down for a newbie >.< I thought the whole training process was treated as a game just to build confidence in the dog?
Im new, obviously, and just learning (I don't even have a dog yet) but I sorta always thought IPO translated into real world skills. It sounds a bit like it's just a performance for titles and ribbons? At least the protection end of it. I should think that the obedience and tracking would be useful anywhere (should tracking be required at least)
Im not trying to insult IPO people, just trying to sort out the differences in the sports and what they actually mean as far as real world skills.