What is Schutzhund?

Reprinted from the book, “Schutzhund Theory & Training Methods”, By S. Barwig & S. Hilliard, Howell.

The word “Schutzhund” exactly translated from German to English means “Protection Dog.” This literal translation is somewhat misleading, as there is much more to Schutzhund than just protection.

Today, in the United States, Schutzhund is a fast-growing, competitive sport. In Europe, SchH (the abbreviation for Schutzhund) has been a popular sport since the early 1900’s. Schutzhund was originally a test to determine which German Shepherds were quality dogs for breeding purposes in Germany. Today, SchH is that and much, much more. It still gives us the ability to test our dogs to determine if the temperament is correct and to also view their working ability. It is also a highly competitive sport which is maintained by the efforts of teamwork between the handler and his/her dog. Schutzhund is designed for the dogs with working ability. However, it is not restricted to any particular group or breed of dog. The United Schutzhund Clubs of America, primarily a German Shepherd organization, does recognize all breeds capable of doing SchH work.

Schutzhund training and showing involves three phases: Tracking, Obedience and Protection. There are three SchH levels one can achieve with his/her dog: SchH I (considered the novice level), SchH II (the intermediate), and SchH Ill (the advanced level). Each handler and his dog start out in each phase with 100 points. From there, points are to be deducted by the presiding judge according to the point system, providing the dog/handler team errors. A total perfect score is 300. In order for a person and his dog to achieve any one of the SchH degrees, the team together must achieve at least 70 points or better in tracking and obedience and at least 80 points or better in protection. If these minimum scores are not received, a SchH degree cannot be awarded to the participating dog/handler team. The requirements that a dog/handler team must fulfill become progressively more difficult from the SchH I level to the SchH III level.

Tracking is a development of a dog’s natural abilities and instincts. It helps to build confidence within the dog. The dog must use his nose in locating a track laid either by his handler or a stranger and also have the ability to discover various articles dropped along the track. The track length, the age of the track, the number of articles and the size of the articles depend on the level of the SchH degree.

Obedience makes a dog a more enjoyable companion and also makes him more reliable in everyday situations. SchH obedience judges a handler and his dog as a team. The team is required to do various exercises, depending on the SchH degree one is attempting to earn.

Protection, as trained for Schutzhund requires that the dog have a reliable temperament and show courage without viciousness. It is an advanced and complex training wherein the dog must make his own decision and use his judgment. The “bad guy,” known as the agitator or helper in the sport, is required to wear protective pants and a special sleeve covered with burlap for the dog to bite. The dog must bite correctly or he will lose points. The dog must be trained to release his bite. A dog can fail if he consistently does not release his bite when commanded.

Many people have the misconception that a family dog will protect. Most family dogs have been imprinted not to show any signs of protection. Also many family dogs that bark at strangers do not have the courage to actually protect when they or their family is threatened.

A dog properly trained in Schutzhund is a very sociable companion. It doesn’t regard a person as an enemy until that person shows signs of aggression towards him, his family, or his handler. Schutzhund dogs are trained with compassion and understanding. He and his handler/owner work together as a team. A Schutzhund dog is not dangerous to society. They should never be put in the same category or considered an attack dog.

Due to formal protection training in Schutzhund, the dog becomes very reliable and predicable therefore he is an asset to his handler/owner. A reliable well trained dog is a wonderful family protector and companion. Children are often seen playing with their dogs before and after the dog leaves the Schutzhund field. Schutzhund is a family sport. To the general public this seems contradictory, but this is the product of good breeding and proper training. These dogs make wonderful assets in any family environment, and can serve as a full time security system for your home and family.

Internationally Recognized Working Titles (SV/FCI)

SchHA Novice Schutzhund obedience and protection
Bh Basic companion dog – traffic sureness
WH Watch Dog
AD Endurance
SchH1 Novice Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection
SchH2 Intermediate Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection
SchH3 Masters level of Schutzhund tracking, obedience, and protection.
FH1 Advanced tracking
FH2 Superior tracking qualification.
IPO1 International Novice Schutzhund trial qualification.
IPO2 International Intermediate Schutzhund
IPO3 International Masters level Schutzhund
BpDH1 2 Railroad Police Dog
BIH Blind Leader Dog
DH Service Dog
DPH Service Police Dog
HGH Herding Dog
LwH Avalanche Dog
PFP1 PFP2 Police Tracking Dog
PH Police Dog (obtained through the Danish Politihundeforeningen, a police dog association open to civilians)
PSP1, 2 3 Police Guard Dog
RtH Rescue Dog
ZFH Customs Tracking Dog
ZH1, 2 3 Customs Dog
Africa IWT 1, 2,
Austria SchH1, 2 3 and FHA 1, 2, 3
Belgium Cereco1, IWR1, 2 3 equivalent to IPO1, 2 3
Czech Republic ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Denmark BHP1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3 and SPH equivalent to FH
England PD (Police Dog)
Finland SK1 equivalent to IPO1
Holland VH1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3 and SPH equivalent to FH
Hungary SZL1, 2 3 also ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Italy Brevetto 1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Poland ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Switzerland SchH, SchHB, SchHC; CHD1 equivalent to SchH1
Yugoslavia CAB1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3

AD – Agility Dog
AD – Endurance Test
AAD – Advanced Agility Dog
AX – Agility Excellence – A Title conferred on dogs for qualifying the requisite number of times in the Agility Excellent class at AKC agility trials.
Angekort – Awarded to a dog which has passed a Korung conformation test.
B or BH – This is a requirement for Schutzhund or Tracking. The dogs perform several obedience exercises and show that they have good temperament around other dogs, people, under distraction etc.
BFL – Bred for Longevity
BISS CH – At a Specialty Show, the only dog left undefeated at the end of all judging on that day.
BIS CH – At an all-breed show, the only dog left undefeated at the end of all judging on that day.
BdSg Bundessieger – A very prestigious title awarded in Europe, to the winner of an important statewide conformation competition.
CAC – Certificato di Attitudine al Campionato
CACIB – Certificato di Attitudine al Campionato Internazionale di Bellezza Certificate of achievement of International Championship in conformation. Several are required to obtain the CH title.
CH – Champion
CD – Companion Dog
CDX – Companion Dog Excellence
CGC – Canine Good Citizen
CT – Champion Tracker
DVSG – Dobermann Verein Sieger – German Dobermann Club Winner, a dog which has defeated all other entries at a Dobermann-only conformation show in Germany.
Euro-CH – European Champion
EURO-SG – Europa Sieger – A dog which has won over all other entries at a large Europe-wide conformation show.
FH – Fahrtenhund – The title awarded at a Schutzhund trial to a dog successfully performing advanced tracking exercises.
DUT-CH – Dutch Champion
GER-CH – German Champion
IDC-SGR – International Dobermann Club Sieger A dog which has beat each of the other entries at an International Dobermann Club conformation show.
IPOI IPOII IPOIII – Internationale Prufungsordnung Much the same as the Schutzhund, awarded to dogs successfully competing in the Tracking, Obedience and Protection phases of the event. Three levels of difficulty are offered, with III being the highest.
Int’l CH – International Champion – Championship awarded to dogs having competed and earned championship certificates under several European judges at International conformation shows.
KKL I AND II – Korklasse I and II – Highest level and the most prestigious conformation title awarded in Europe to dogs which meet strict conformation and temperament tests along with other requirements.
Korung – Korung testing is used in Germany is to set standards for Dobermans. They test character, performance, anatomical characteristics for maintaining and improving the breed. Dogs must be at least 2 years of age, have SchH1 or IPO1. Proof of AD test (endurance), have a-stamp or OFA of hips and have a show rating of at least good(SG). Your dog can be tested at two years of age or older for the first time with the above qualifications, then after first breed survey they have two year to get deferred or get there second breed survey done for life or they must start over, this rules are set by the SV in Germany. KKL1 or KKl2, KKL1 is the very best Korung rating.
LC – Longevity Certificate
NOR-CH – Norwegian Champion
MAD – Master Agility Dog
MX – Master Agility Excellent
OFA – Orthopedic Foundation For Animals
OTCH – Obedience Trial Champion – AKC title, dogs which have attained the highest title in obedience competition, as well as having continued to compete until accumulating 100 points by placing first or second at obedience trials.
SAR – Search and Rescue
Sch I SchII SchIII – Schutzhund – Awarded to dogs who successfully competing in all 3 phases of a Schutzhund. Tracking, Obedience and Protection.
SWED-CH – Swedish Champion
TD – Tracking Dog
TDX – Tracking Dog Excellent
ThD – Therapy Dog Test
TT – Temperament Test
UD – Utility Dog
UDX – Utility Dog Excellence
UDTD (UDT) – Utility Dog Tracking Dog
UDTDX – Utility Dog Tracking Dog Excellent
UDXTDX – Utility Dog Excellent Tracking Dog Excellent
UDVST – Utility Dog Variable Surface Tracking
UDXVST – Utility Dog Excellent Variable Surface Tracking
V-Rated – Vorzuglich Rated Highest rating awarded to dogs in the conformation evaluation at European or International shows.
V-1 – Vorzuglich Dog receiving the highest conformation rating and placing first in his class.
V-B – Verkehrssicherer Begleithund Similar to BH with more demanding Traffic sureness requirements.
VDH-CH – Verein des Deutschen Hundewesens Champion The Championship awarded by the German All Breed Kennel Club.
VDH-SGR – Verein des Deutschen Hundewesens Sieger The Dog placing above all other entries at a German Kennel Club All Breed conformation show.
WELT-SGR – Welt Sieger Winner of highest honors, beating all other entries at a World-wide all-breed conformation show.
WAC – Working Aptitude Certificate A US title, issued by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. The test consists of several testing situations, including reaction to a peculiar and threatening stranger, changes in footing, crowds of people, etc. Similiar to the CKC CGC test.
WAE – Working Aptitude Evaluation
ZTP – Fit for Breeding testing
AKC – American Kennel Club – American All-Breed Purebred dog registry.
CKC – Canadian Kennel Club – The Canadian Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada.
FCI – Federation Cynologique Internationale – Based in Belgium, FCI licenses international shows in its 72 member countries, including the well-known annual World Show. FCI maintains breed standards for all its 341 recognized breeds. It does not operate a registry but accepts pedigrees for show purposes from the registries of its member countries. FCI has a reciprocal agreement with the AKC, the Canadian Kennel Club, and The Kennel Club (England), which are not members.
NADSR – North American Dog Sports and Registry was founded with the idea of promoting obedience, workability, health, and the owner/canine relationship. NADSR offers an alternative to other registries because we supply the owners and their dogs with the opportunities and tools to build a strong respectful relationship.
UKC – The United Kennel Club, the second oldest purebred dog registry in the US. UKC was founded in 1898 by Chauncey Bennett, a dog fancier who wanted a registry that concentrated on the working ability of dogs as well as their adherence to a physical standard.


German Commands

Achtung – Watch Komm – Come
Aus – Let Go Kriech – Crawl
Bei Fuss – Heel Nein – No
Bleib – Stay Nimm – Take it
Bleib sitzen – Stay sitting Pass auf – Watch out
Bringen – Fetch Platz – Down
Fass – Attack Setz – Sit
Geh weiter – Go on Such – Search
Gib Laut – Speak Voraus – Go out
Halten – Halt Zur Spur – Trail
Hopp – Jump Zur Wache – Guard

Svetdanhaus Canine Services is dedicated to providing top quality German Shepherd dogs and German Shepherd puppies for sale as well as Doberman Pinscher dogs and Doberman Pinscher puppies for sale. The German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher puppy is genetically designed through Schutzhund to be a sound working dog. As a reputable German Shepherd breeder and Doberman Pinscher breeder, this is our first priority.