We here at Orlando Dog Training occasionally receive calls regarding Schutzhund Training from different areas around Central Florida. We don’t offer this type of training anymore, but we do know excellent Professional Trainers that we can refer you to. This blog will touch on the basics of Schutzhund training to help answer any questions you may have.
We will start off with the definition of Schutzhund as found on: Schutzhund - Wikipedia
Schutzhund is a dog sport that was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a breed suitability test for the German Shepherd breed. The test would determine if the dog displayed the appropriate traits and characteristics of a proper working German Shepherd. Today, it is used as a sport where many breeds other than German Shepherd Dogs can compete, but it is such a demanding test that few dogs can pass.
We will now move on to the types of tests that have to be passed as found on: dvgamerica.com
Schutzhund tests three specific areas of a dog's training and behavior. The first, tracking, requires the dog to track footsteps over mixed terrain, change direction and show absolute accuracy and commitment to finding the track. It must also find dropped articles and indicate their locations to the handler. Often this is done under less than ideal circumstances with difficult cover, bad weather conditions and an aged track. Many find tracking to be the most satisfying experience in training, when only the handler and dog are working together. It is certainly the most peaceful part of Schutzhund. (Typical track patterns)
The second phase is obedience. Those who are familiar with AKC obedience will feel more comfortable in this area, as many of the exercises are similar to those in Open and Utility. There is heeling, both on and off lead. The sit, down and stand are also done, except when the dog is moving. But Schutzhund applies its own style to this work. Instead of a forty-foot ring, the handler and dog work on a soccer sized trial field. Some exercises require the dog to work under the noise of a firing gun. In addition to the normal dumbbell retrieval, the dog must retrieve over a one-meter jump and a six-foot wall. Down stays and a long send away conclude the test.
The final test is the most misunderstood by the general public. This is protection. The most important point to understand when watching a protection routine, is the relationship between dog and handler. The dog must never bite the trial helper, unless either the dog or the handler is attacked. Then it must attack fully and without hesitation. But here the real difference becomes apparent. The dog must stop biting on the command of the handler and guard the trial helper without further aggression. Often people confuse Schutzhund protection training with police dog or personal protection work. The Schutzhund dog is capable of the feats of never being aggressive except under those specific situations it is trained to face, and even then, it must always be under the absolute control of the handler.
Next, we will move on to what judges look for during competition as found on: leerburg.com
At all three stages - Schutzhund I, II, and III - each of the three phases: obedience, tracking, and protection, is worth 100 points, for a total of 300 points. If a dog does not receive a minimum of 70% of the points in tracking and obedience and 80% of the points in protection - or if the dog fails the pretrial temperament test - it is not awarded a degree that day and must repeat the entire test, passing all phases of the test at a later trial. In every event, the judge is looking for an eager, concentrating, accurate working dog. High ratings and scores are given to the animal that displays a strong willingness and ability to work for its human handler.
Find yourself interested in Schutzhund after reading the basics on the sport? Give Bob Gailey, The K9 Counselor, at Orlando Dog Training a call. No matter where you’re calling from in Central Florida for K9 training, we will do our best to point you in the right direction!