Schutzhund Training: A Great Way To Spend Your Day
We unfortunately live in a time when everyone seems to be pressed for time. We rarely have the time to spend time with those we care about and when we do it is often not facing to face but rather through a phone or the computer.
Sometimes it is nice to be able to spend some enjoying the company around us. If you love dogs and the people who like dogs then Schutzhund training may be the answer you seek.
Schutzhund competitions started in Germany as a way for breeders to determine which dogs were best suited for breeding purposes. It has evolved into a structured sport with standardized rules and regulations.
Although it is most often associated with German Shepherds, it is open to any breed of dog that has the correct temperament for its somewhat rigorous standards.
Started in Germany as a way to determine the best breeding stock, Schutzhund competitions have grown into a real sport with standardized rules around the world. It has become increasingly popular in Canada and the United States and is now the fastest-growing dog sport on the continent.
Although the competitions can be fun, the real joy may be in the training. This training is divided into three distinct phases, just like the competitions themselves.
Tracking is the first of these and for many dogs, it is the easiest to master. It simply requires that the dogs use their superior sense of smell to find a person’s trail and a few items left along the way.
This comes naturally to most dogs and the training really only involves teaching the dog what to do when he finds the trail of the items along with it.
The obedience training presents more of a challenge for many dogs. Not only are the dogs required to do a series of actions, such as retrieve, heel, and stay, but they must do it while surrounded by a group of people.
In addition, there is a gunfire test that determines the amount of trust a dog has in its handler and that they have the ability to ignore even extreme distractions.
The final phase is the one that may seem a bit intimidating to newcomers to the sport. In the protection part of the training, the dogs will be taught how to attack on command and defend themselves from an oncoming attack.
It must be stressed that at no time during the training or competition may the dog appear to be out of the handler’s control.
All attacks must happen only when ordered and must stop instantly when the order to do so is given. When not actually being asked to be aggressive, the dog must remain calm and of pleasant temperament.
Schutzhund training is not about turning your beloved best friend into a vicious guard dog. It is about you and your dog learning to communicate with and trust one another.
Take the time to visit a club near you and you will find it is made up of people just like you who are spending the day getting to know their dogs better while in the company of friends.
Schutzhund training in today’s world has shot up in popularity. So many individuals want to train their puppy in this way.
The Schutzhund Training Program Designed To Produce Effective Guard Dogs
Schutzhund training is one way to solve the quizzical love/hate relationship dogs have with humans. You either love them or hate them. This dichotomy is often the result of mistaken understandings and notions by us humans.
These misunderstandings are triggered by people who fail to understand that little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Those situations can lead to confusion and misplaced fears.
A clear example of this mindset is the guard dog concept. The public perception of guard dogs is that of a snarling, lunging devil intent to maim or kill.
This is borne out of the irresponsible behavior of owners who are not willing to learn the basic training required for guard training.
Schutzhund (German for security dog), as the training method is widely known, is all about training well a dog for guarding and protection purposes and done properly, he will work hard and love immensely the housemates and their possessions.
However, Schutzhund also demands a whole lot of extra responsibility on the part of the owner. A fair comparison is a 0.454 Casull Fire, which demands careful attention on the part of the proper functioning of the transfer safety bar.
Or, think of the sport as a means to turn the quintessential junkyard dog, without any sort of training and human interaction into a logical creature who knows when to wag its tail and when to snap.
In simpler words, it is sophisticating an untamed beast and making it gain control over its impulses, either by itself or through the commands. It is more than making a dog a mere alert barker.
The Schutzhund training program relies on the notion that a dog is a pack animal. It teaches a dog to direct energy towards protecting itself and its pack leader, the owner.
Some breeds have better guard dog potential than others, herding breeds having the greatest potential. Their inherent protective nature is malleable and can be directed and shaped by the Schutzhund training program.
Herding breeds rule the roost in this regard. Their inherent protective nature comes to great use. Additionally, some breeds such as the Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherds can be effective alert barkers and wary of strangers while focusing on protecting the pack.
Dogs from the Molosser family also qualify well on this point. But best of all is the German Shepherds, well known for their intelligence, stable temperament, assertive yet sociable personality.
These qualities blend together and make the German Shepherds highly trainable by an experienced dog handler.
Nevertheless, like us humans, dogs, are individuals. Some may be headstrong, requiring highly experienced handlers. Unless correctly educated, dogs can become dysfunctional.
Contrary to popular perception, Schutzhund schooling does not merely train a dog how to snarl and bite. Rather, the objective is to allow a dog to harness its powers and allow them to identify dangerous situations and how to behave in those situations.
The program allows a dog to exert control over its natural instincts. The program educates the dog beyond acting as a mere barking alarm.
That implies that socialization with humans is a vital part of the Schutzhund program. It teaches a dog to recognize its surroundings and overall situation. The program is best initiated when the dog is between 8 and 12 weeks of age.
After Schutzhund’s discipline, obedience training must also be completed. This is vital because a dog must understand when to release, bite or step back from an attack. Obedience training is best thought of as an invisible leash designed to control animal instincts.
The Schutzhund training program is multi-level. It demands time, effort, and dedication from the owner, as much as the dog. Moreover, the owner may have to reexamine some of his or her attitudes and behaviors during the program if it is to be successful.
The program covers protection or guard work and also some obedience and tracking training. The behavior of a dog very much reflects how it is respected by the owner. The Schutzhund training program can often be a mirror for the owner.
Schutzhund Training Methodical & Systematic
Schutzhund training is a systematic canine training program designed by dog experts.
It was designed in Germany in the early years of the twentieth century to aid the development of the German Shepherd breed.
Today it has broader application to all dog breeds.
Some individuals enter the program as a rigorous, systematic means to train themselves and their dogs for canine competitions.
Other individuals see it simply as a good way to train their dog as a pet to better value it as an obedient companion.
Either way, the program has shown great success for both purposes.
There are three basic grading levels for dogs in the program. All evaluation tests are conducted by a certified assessor that is independent of, and unrelated to, the handler.
For Phase I, the candidate must be at least 16 months old and pass a temperament test.
Second, the dog must pass a significant range of obedience tests including to heel off the leash; demonstrate the walking-sit, the walking-down positions; demonstrate the down and stay positions; demonstrate three forms of retrieving (on flat, over the hurdle, over scaling wall); demonstrate the send-out.
Third, the dog must demonstrate a tracking ability, usually assessed as an ability to follow a track with two turns laid by its handler at least 20 minutes earlier, and successfully find two objects. Finally, several character tests are also evaluated.
For Stage II, the dog must be greater than 18 months of age and have passed Stage I. The dog must pass Stage II again with all the individual test elements made more demanding in terms of agility, endurance, and control.
Additionally, the dog must show a walking stance. For tracking, the dog must follow a track laid by a stranger more than 30 minutes earlier with two turns. Along the track, the dog must find two objects.
For Stage III, the dog must be greater than 20 months of age and have passed Stage II. The dog must pass Stage III again with all the individual test elements made more demanding. Additionally, the dog must show a running stand.
For tracking, the dog must follow a track laid by a stranger more than 60 minutes earlier with four turns. Along the track, the dog must find three objects.
The aim of the protection phase is not to heighten aggression. Striking the right balance involves dedicated focus and inevitably requires much time.
Schutzhund training, particularly its protection phase, is used widely by police and military organizations, coast guards, private security organizations, and, of course, private individuals.
Schutzhund Training Equipment Items Should Not Be Expensive
Schutzhund training is a specialist program offered internationally as an evaluation test focused on the German Shepherd dog breed to test the aptitude of individual dogs for protection training.
The testing program has existed since the early 1900s and is used widely by police and military forces. The program involves a wide range of equipment.
In Germany, a dog cannot be registered as a German Shepherd unless it is titled. This requirement aims to maintain the purity of the breed. However, merely passing the test is not enough.
The learned capabilities learned through training erodes if dogs are not assigned duties on a regular basis. See these Schutzhund dog training tips for insight on earning titles.
Perhaps the first equipment to procure is a fur saver collar. This simple chain collar is designed so that links are dropped through an end ring to produce a loop sized to allow the head of the dog to pass through. A leash is attached to the end ring. The design minimizes the collar choking the dog.
Dedicated items are used at each phase.
Dumbbells are used for the retrieve. The program sets specific dumbbell requirements for each stage of the program based on weight. Tracking requires a dumbbell weighing 650 grams, obedience 1000 grams, and protection 2000 grams. In all cases, a 650-gram dumbbell is employed for the jumping exercises.
Voraus or go-out training can be pursued using food or a familiar toy and does not necessarily require dedicated equipment. One common technique is to use a food bowl placed at a short distance on the ground.
Place the dog in a sit position then use a command to allow the dog to approach the bowl. This distance is gradually increased until the bowl is not visible.
Schutzhund is based on the idea that a dog is a pack animal. It teaches the dog to protect itself and the pack leader, the handler. In addition to the items mentioned above, other equipment items include blinds, ramps and stands, whips, sticks, jute rolls, coveralls, leather aprons, and sleeves.
Handlers planning on engaging their dogs in the program can usefully allocate time to become familiar with all the equipment used in the program and how to best employ them.
Schutzhund Training: It is Not One Thing To Do With Fighting Individuals
To me, Schutzhund is obedience, obedience, obedience. The dog is taught to be able to keep track of a smell in the ground.
Your dog will need to track as soon as he or she is told to and also where he is told to. This is 100 % obedience. The obedience routine is only that, tons of obedience.
The canine will have to heel off-leash right on the handler’s left leg. He has to sit in a crowd of individuals and always be obedient – not bark at the people, or look at them, but remain completely under the control of the handler.
He or she must get dumbbells, scale over wall surfaces and hurdles. And each exercise necessitates that the dog sit correctly at the beginning of each and every phase, heel properly at your side, complete the exercise appropriately, then finish at your side with a great sitting position. This calls for total compliance.
Then comes the protection part of the program. This is exactly what plenty of people frequently believe Schutzhund means. Protection is just not attack training. The protection routine begins with the k-9 once more heeling properly on your left calf.
You walk right down to the tip of the arena and with the order “Revere”, your dog runs for the blind to find the helper, the individual wearing the suit and also sleeve. The dog has to search 5 such blinds until eventually, he reaches the sixth blind.
They know that if I send them to one particular blind that the helper ought to often be in the very last blind. Therefore it is a huge lure for them to merely run to the final blind and locate the helper. Properly, the search may only be performed at the order from the handler.
And then, should the dog finds the helper he cannot simply leap up and attack them. He must remain before the helper and sound off…nothing more. Plus bites while in the blind usually are penalized seriously.
The handler then calls the dog to his side and places the dog on the down posture and calls the helper out from the blind. The helper places their arms way up and the trainer goes over to him and checks to get firearms. Your canine should maintain the down position.
The trainer after that goes back toward the blind, beyond the sight of the dog and the helper will try to escape. Now your canine comes into action. He will have to bite onto the sleeve fully and prevent the helper from sprinting away.
A courage test at the opposite test of the arena is now executed in a very similar style to the first part of the test with the dog a minimum of fifty yards away from the trainer which means his or her guts and obedience are tested at a distance from the handler. Again, significant amounts of obedience become necessary.
Details Of Schutzhund Training Equipment And How It Is Used For Training Dogs
When looking at Schutzhund’s training equipment and how it is used for training, you might want to first understand the meaning behind the word. Schutzhund means “protection dog”.
If it sounds like it’s German, that’s because it is. It started out as a test for German Shepherds used as war dogs in Germany, and the test is still pretty much the same today.
There are three titles that your dog can earn. To earn a title in each, the dog being tested must pass three phases of training, which are tracking, obedience and protection. Schutzhund 1, is the first level where tracking, obedience, and protection are taught.
When the dog has passed level one, they earn their title and can compete in Schutzhund 2, where things start to become a bit more demanding. The last title that can be earned is that of Schutzhund 3.
There is also an advanced tracking test called FH. The dog must first pass all three levels in order to be able to try for this degree.
The competition these days is open to a wide variety of breeds and is growing to be one the most popular dog sports found in North America.
It’s a very difficult test and most dogs are not able to pass it, but with the right training earning a title can become a little easier.
Training for this sport requires the use of various tools and equipment. Short and long leashes, dumbbells, ramps, protective suits, sleeves, blinds, whips and guns, and special collars are all implemented in training.
Dumbbells are used in the obedience part of training. Each level has specific weight requirements for the dumbbells used in that level. The dogs are required to retrieve them on flat ground and are also required to jump over a variety of different ramps and frames while holding the designated amount of weight in their mouths.
The many tools used in training, serve specific purposes. There are certain tools in each area that must be used in order to train the dog to do the work required in each field. Some of those tools are the humans themselves. The trainers often act as decoys for the animals to track and find.
In tracking, a dog must be able to use its nose to sniff out a variety of different scents, be they human or non-human. These dogs must also heel on command, on and off the leash.
Being used to gunfire is another thing these dogs must learn. They also have to be smart enough to carry out a number of different tasks from memory.
Schutzhund training equipment and how it is used for training is a matter of debate among some people. The methods used for Schutzhund training are considered by outsiders to be pretty harsh.
In actuality, the best trainers use both reward and compulsion forms of training to achieve the goal. The training is strict and difficult, but there is still a lot of love that goes into creating a dog worthy of a Schutzhund title.
Many individuals around the globe have a passion for Schutzhund training.