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Obedience Competition     What is Schutzhund?    Protection Training

Partially reprinted from the book, "Schutzhund Theory & Training Methods", By S. Barwig & S. Hilliard, Howell.

The word "Schutzhund" exactly translated from German to English means "Protection Dog."  This literal translation is somewhat misleading, as there is much more to Schutzhund than just protection.

Today, in the United States, Schutzhund is a fast-growing, competitive sport. In Europe, SchH (the abbreviation for Schutzhund) has been a popular sport since the early 1900's. Schutzhund was originally a test to determine which German Shepherds were quality dogs for breeding purposes in Germany. Several other working dog breed organizations such as the Boxer Club, Doberman Club, Rottweiler Club etc. adopted to these tests or a form thereof  in order to evaluate and maintain the working standard in their breeds. Today, SchH is that and much, much more. It still gives us the ability to test our dogs to determine if the temperament is correct and to also view their working ability. It is also a highly competitive sport which is maintained by the efforts of teamwork between the handler and his/her dog. Schutzhund is designed for the dogs with working ability. However, it is not restricted to any particular group or breed of dog. The United Schutzhund Clubs of America , primarily a German Shepherd organization, does recognize all breeds capable of doing SchH work.

Schutzhund training and showing involves three phases: Tracking, Obedience and Protection. There are three SchH levels one can achieve with his/her dog: SchH I (considered the novice level), SchH II (the intermediate), and SchH Ill (the advanced level). Each handler and his dog start out in each phase with 100 points. From there, points are to be deducted by the presiding judge according to the point system, providing the dog/handler team errors. A total perfect score is 300. In order for a person and his dog to achieve any one of the SchH degrees, the team together must achieve at least 70 points or better in tracking and obedience and at least 80 points or better in protection. If these minimum scores are not received, a SchH degree cannot be awarded to the participating dog/handler team. The requirements that a dog/handler team must fulfill become progressively more difficult from the SchH I level to the SchH III level.

Tracking is a development of a dog's natural abilities and instincts. It helps to build confidence within the dog. The dog must use his nose in locating a track laid either by his handler or a stranger and also have the ability to discover various articles dropped along the track. The track length, the age of the track, the number of articles and the size of the articles depend on the level of the SchH degree.
Obedience makes a dog a more enjoyable companion and also makes him more reliable in everyday situations. SchH obedience judges a handler and his dog as a team. The team is required to do various exercises, depending on the SchH degree one is attempting to earn.

Protection, as trained for Schutzhund requires that the dog has a reliable temperament and show courage without viciousness. It is an advanced and complex training wherein the dog must make his own decision and use his judgment. The "bad guy," known as the agitator or helper in the sport, is required to wear protective pants and a special sleeve covered with burlap for the dog to bite. The dog must bite correctly or he will lose points. The dog must be trained to release his bite. A dog can fail if he consistently does not release his bite when commanded.
Super Protection Videos :
Video 1  2004 AWDF Protection
             Video  2  2004 USRC Protection
            Video  2004 North American 

Most Videos  were professionally filmed by Family Treasures, to see more of their quality work or order them
  Click Here

If you are interested in Schutzhund, ask around you! Every handler and owner is proud of every title his dog has achieved and can tell you what a feeling of accomplishment it is to earn a Schutzhund title with his/her dog.

If you are a mature, responsible, disciplined and dedicated person, living in  the lower Hudson Valley Region and interested in training your dog in the exciting Sport of Schutzhund please give us a call at  (845-695-2059 between 8-10 PM EST) or send us an E-mail and join us for a training session. Hey,  you never know .....

Great training articles by Angeli Modjeski, (one of the most successful Rottweiler handlers in the world) worthwile reading for every Rottweiler enthusiast interested in the Sport of Schutzhund:

Introduction Teaching the Recall Teaching the Finish
Socialization Teaching the Front Learning Concepts
Drive Motivation Teaching the Stand Tracking Introduction
Teaching the Sit Teaching the Left About Turn Start Tracking
Teaching the Down Teaching the Send Out Tracking the Straight Line

For further interesting articles to read about Schutzhund and other dog sports or dog training related topics click on this >>>> link. 


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