Schutzhund(Sch) training originated from Germany in the early 1990’s,often referred to as IPO training (the equivalent to SchH for countries outside Germany).
Sch/IPO training tests were developed as a method for breeders to evaluate the temperament, character, trainability,willingness, mental and physical soundness of German Shepards, thus enabling breeders to select the highest quality dogs for breeding programs. However Schutzhundt raining was soon adapted for other working breeds.
Various breeds of dogs are permitted to compete Schutzhund training some of which include German Shepherd’s, Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Malinois, Bouviers, Airedales and Belgian Shepherd dogs. All dogs, regardless of their size, breed or proof of pedigree are allowed to participate, under Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) rules.
There are three Schutzhund titles: (Schutzhund/IPO 1, 2, 3)SchH3 is the most advanced. Additionally, before a dog can compete for a first test- SchH1, it must pass a temperament test called a BH (Begleithundprüfung)which translates as “traffic-sure companion dog test”).
To obtain any of the above listed titles, the dog and handler must pass three distinct phases at a trial:
Schutzhund tracking is very focused on the footsteps, and is scored largely on the precision of the dog’s performance. Tracks vary in length, shape and age. Tracking is usually done on various grounds. A perfect score is 100 points, with a minimum of 70 needed to pass.
Phase B: Obedience
The obedience phase showcases the dog’s inherent joy in the work balanced with precision, focus and control. A perfect score being 100 points, with 70 needed to pass.
Phase C: Protection
The dog is rated on self-confidence, ability to work under pressure, toughness and resilience, steadfast nerves, well-balanced drives and willingness to take directions and be responsive to the handler. A perfect score being 100 points, with 80 needed to pass.
People often worry that Schutzhund(Sch) training will make a dog aggressive however a dogs basic character, socialization and training will determine if they are aggressive towards people. This type of training will test and determine if a doghas has the protective instincts and courage to protect his family. Schutzhund training will not change this basic nature but will give the owner some idea of how their dog might react, enabling the dog to remain under control.