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Rocky Mountain Working Dogs

SCHUTZHUND 101

Schutzhund, German for "protection dog", currently known competitively as IGP, previously as IPO, and originally as Schutzhund is a dog sport that tests a dog's trackingobedience, and protection skills, and evaluates if a dog has the appropriate traits and characteristics of a good, utilitarian, working dog

 

It was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a breed suitability test for German Shepherds, but soon became the model for training and evaluating numerous protection breeds, which included Belgian Malinois, BoxerDobermannGiant Schnauzer, and Rottweiler. Though any breed of dog can participate, today the sport is dominated by German Shepherds and the Belgian Malinois. Dog owners and handlers participate in Schutzhund clubs as a group activity for training the dogs, and clubs sponsor trials to test the dogs and award titles. The best dogs can qualify to participate in national and international level championships.

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TRACKING

This tests the dog's scenting ability, but its mental soundness, and physical endurance. A "track layer" walks across a field dropping several small articles along the way. After a period of time, the dog is directed to follow the track while being followed by its handler on a 10 meter (33 ft) leash. When the dog finds each article, he/she indicates it, usually by lying down with the article between his/her front paws. The dog is scored on how intently and carefully it follows the track and indicates the articles. The length, complexity, number of articles, and age of the track varies for each title

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OBEDIENCE

 This takes place in a large field, with two dogs on the field at a time. One dog is placed in a down position on the side of the field and its handler leaves it while the other dog works in the field. Then the dogs switch places. In the field, there are several heeling exercises, including heeling through a group of people, heeling next to the handler at a fast and slow pace. There are two or three gunshots during the heeling to test the dog's reaction to loud noises. There are one or two recalls, three retrieves (flat, jump and A-frame) with varying weights of a dumb bell, and a "send out", in which the dog is directed to run away from the handler straight and fast and then lie down on command during its run. Obedience is judged on the dog's accuracy and attitude. The dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that is uninterested or cowering scores poorly.

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PROTECTION

The judge has an assistant, called the "helper", who helps test the dog's courage to protect itself and its handler, and its ability to be controlled while doing so. The helper wears a heavily padded sleeve on one arm. There are several "blinds" on the field, and the helper hides in a random blind. The dog is directed to search all the blinds for the helper. When it finds the helper, it indicates by gaurding and barking. The dog must guard the helper to prevent them from moving until recalled by the handler. There follows a series of exercises similar to police work where the handler searches the helper and transports them to the judge. At specified points, the helper either attacks the dog or the handler, or attempts to escape. The dog must stop the attack or the escape by biting the padded sleeve. When the attack or escape stops, the dog is commanded to "out", or release the sleeve. The dog must out or it is dismissed. At all times the dog must show courage to engage the helper and the temperament to obey the handler while in this high state of drive. The dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that shows fear, lack of control, or inappropriate aggression is dismissed

Schutzhund Titles

Begleithund (BH) VT

IGP V

IGP- 1, 2, 3

AD

FH-V/ FH-1/ FH-2/ IGP- FH

TR/ FPR- 1, 2, 3

OB/ UPR- 1, 2, 3

STP- 1, 2, 3

USP- 1, 2, 3

RH- 1, 2

GPR- 1, 2, 3

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