Originally a German Word with the meaning of protection dog. The SV put this training program into use in 1901 as a test that only dogs (German Shepherd Dogs) that completed the certificate would be worthy of breeding. The Schutzhund Trial is a series of tests that check for standards in physical fitness, trainability, skill, anatomy, intelligence and character.
Schutzhund is performed as a team work sport. Some people have near met a Schutzhund titled dog, have not seen one at work or attended Schutzhund facilities and condemn the sport. Or have seen a bad instructor try to train a dog for Schutzhund. Schutzhund training begins with actually teaching a dog not to bite. Breeds suitable for Schutzhund training are dogs that will bite by instinct to protect loved ones. Schutzhund is modifying the dog's natural instinct to only bite when actually necessary and do perform this in the correct manner and release on command. Many people are bitten by dogs every year rarely are they bitten by a Schutzhund dog. Those bitten by a Schutzhund dog will receive much less damage and will be able to tell the tale of how they were stopped. By law in many countries even a thief being bitten by a dog can take the matter to court and will be compensated if the bite was an incorrect one. Dog's natural bite is different to the Schutzhund grip. A natural bite will cause much harm and will be compensated whereas the Schutzhund grip results in a clean bite without sawing thus all teeth marks cleanly seen and not ripped apart flesh. This is proof that the dog has been well trained thus bitten due to requirement and not performed wit hatred but with skill and solid nerves! Another thing to mention is that the protection phase is the shorter part of Schutzhund trials that actually start with obedience and then tracking. Obedience takes place after the judge controls the dog. A dog which looks shy, fearful or aggressive loses points and anything past the tolerance line will cause the dog to be disqualified before even starting! Note a disqualified German Shepherd Dog can NOT breed.
Schutzhund training is composed of three parts. Tracking, Obedience and Protection work. The Schutzhund Trial and competitions are carried out in these three stages.
In this section the trainee is firstly inspected by the judge. The judge will inspect nerves, character and physique. Anything spoiling the dog's utility will result in minus points. Tracking is continued with a standard pace walk made track of scent on solid or dirt. Trainee will have a starting point where he/she is to pick up the scent and lead handler on a 33 foot lead. Trainee must not loose track on turns and must find and notify handler proof objects that are hand made and left by track layer on the track itself.
This section is made up of 100 points and the minimum passing score is %70. The judge will judge the dogs working willingness, willingness to work with humans, physical structure, endurance, character, self-confidence, and tracking ability.
Those who succeed in the first round continue with the obedience trial. In this section commands such as heel and stay are performed. Long stays and dumbbell retrieve over an obstacle course is carried out. Heel through a crowed and reaction to gunfire is tested. The test ends with the trainee at down-stay position at the end of the field whilst the next trainee is tested.
The judge will give points according to the way the trainee treats strangers, command obeying, and the willingness to work. This section is calculated by 100 points with a minimum passing score of %70. SchHI consists of OB1, SchHII consists of OBII and SchH3 consists of settled in OB2 training programs.
In this last stage protection instinct, temperament, self-confidence, physical endurance, braveness, intelligence and obedience is put to test.
Trainee must find hidden decoy and hold in place. If decoy tries to escape trainee must chase and grip decoys arm. When handler is in search for the decoy trainee must be on guard at all times and prevent any escapes. At the end of the test trainee must escort from behind then from the right and Passover to the judge. When the decoy tries to attack handler trainee must prevent by gripping the decoy's arm.
In the last stage the decoy is hiding at the end of the field then in a threatening manner approaches with a stick. Without hesitation trainee must prevent the attack running to the attacker and gripping the attackers arm. When the attacker gives in or is commanded to do so the trainee must release grip and keep attacker I place.
The judge will award points by courage, self-confidence, protection instinct, correct grip, and temperament. This phase is also calculated with 100 points with a required minimum of %70.
Schutzhund certificates are issued as a team. Therefore the team must work in harmony.
Schutzhund certificates are awarded in three stages. Each stage is a step harder then the previous stage. Not all breeds and/or dogs are suitable for Schutzhund training. Preferred breeds are protection-breeds and many shepherd breeds. Not all dogs in required breeds will be able to complete the Schutzhund course successfully. However all dogs attending the Schutzhund program will be highly trainable and much easier to control after completing the program. Only professionals are advised to train Schutzhund. The ‘Attacker' MUST be a professional else the dog will get harmed physically but more psychologically.
For Schutzhund training the trainee must successfully complete Bh or equivalent training. In some countries (inc. us) give SchHA and SchH1- training. Where the SchHA is SchH1- but without tracking and SchH1- is the entry level.
Minimum certificate Participation is of 18 months of age.
Tracking consists of a track laid by the handler at least 20 minutes old consisting of 2 turns and 2 man made evidence drops. Heel is performed on and of leash. Training continues for 10 to 30 days.
Trainee must first have completed the SchHI program, participation of a minimum of 19 months of age. SchHII is a more complex version of SchHI.
The dumbbell retrieve consists of extras; a 6 foot ramp and a wall jump. Tracking is performed over a track laid out by a stranger at least 30 minutes old. Training continues for 10 to 30 days.
Again a more complex version of SchH2. SchHIII is the competition level of Schutzhund. Trainee must have completed SchHII and must be at least 20 months of age.
Obedience and protection work is performed of leash. Tracking consists of a track laid at least 60 minutes before by a stranger with four turns and 3 drops of man-made evidence instead of 2. Training continues for 10 to 30 days.
SchH AIn reality SchHA isn't part of Schutzhund their for it is not a must but is preferred by some who want to take a step at a time and be rewarded accordingly or by those who do not wish to compete and do not require their dog to do tracking work. It is the entrance point of Schutzhund. Training continues for 10 to 21 days.