If you were to literally translate it from German to English it would mean “protection” or “guardian” dog, but that can be misleading on translation alone. To be more precise, it is a term used to describe a three level, three phase dog sport. Schutzhund comes from Germany and is a suitability test used for the German Shepherd breed. This type of a test was also later adopted for use by other breeds, like Malinois and Rottweiler. It is a tool in a breeders’ toolbox that allows evaluating through an exact method of Schutzhund, breed’s range of temperament, trainability, character, mental and physical reliability and willingness; it presents a breeder with an opportunity to select and use only the premier quality dogs for breeding programs. Schutzhund is part of a mandatory requirement for all breeders in Germany and German Shepherds cannot be bred without Schutzhund titles, a breed survey, hip x-rays, certificate of endurance and conformation rating.
Besides being a valuable breeding tool, Schutzhund is also an engaging and entertaining sport and a training challenge. Schutzhund also, is often the foundational training that police K-9 dogs receive, before proceeding to more specialized training for the street work.
Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Chicago explains further about the actual requirements for Schutzhund Titles: You can attain 3 levels of titles, and each title has 3 phases. A competing dog must attain a passing score in all three phases of a title’s level, at one trial, in order to become certified and gain a title, before advancing to the next level of training.
Titles are listed as follows:
SchH 1 – novice
SchH 2 – intermediate
SchH 3 – advanced.
It is also possible to attain 2 advanced tracking degrees: FH and FH2.
Further, to obtain a title, handler and his dog will need to pass three distinct phases at a trial:
- Protection and