Schutzhund is German for ‘protection dog’. This sport was designed in the early 1900’s to test all breeds of dogs for work ability.
Any dog that passes Schutzhund testing can be used for police work, search and rescue, bomb detection and many other jobs that require a dog with strength and endurance, although pet dogs and companion animals can also be trained in the sport.
Schutzhund tests dogs in three different areas: tracking, obedience and protection. All three areas of testing are equally important, however when you think of Schutzhund, you mostly think of bite work which is the most difficult part of training a dog in Schutzhund.
In tracking, the dogs must follow a trail made by their handlers, or another dog’s handler, through a bunch of obstacles that smell of other human scent. Obedience is a little easier; the dogs only have to show basic obedience, being able to heel through a multitude of people, sit, stay and come when called.
For the protection aspect of Schutzhund, the dog must track and hold a ‘decoy’ or suspect and protect their human when the decoy pretends to attack them with a weapon, usually a very large stick. The dog is also tested on resistance to gun noise. When the decoy shoots a round upwards into the sky, the dog is still to seize and cling to the decoy without being distracted by the blast of the gun.
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