THE TRIATHALON FOR DOGS
Schutzhund is an intensive 3-pronged German sport. Translated "protection dog," Schutzhund involves precision in the areas of tracking, obedience and protection from the dog/handler teams. It requires dedication of the handler, soundness of the dog and an understanding between the two. The teamwork of the dog and handler is judged and scored with a 100pts. possible in each phase. Schutzhund competitions are called trials and there are 4 levels: a Bh, IPO 1, IPO 2, and IPO 3. It is a sport of serious competitors as well as people who enjoy doing something fun with their dogs. Dabblers are welcome!
Extreme sport for extreme dog/handler teams looking to go beyond the ordinary
In the tracking phase, using a keen sense of smell the dog must concentrate on footsteps laid by a track layer. There are various lengths and turns for each level with different terrains depending on the topagraphy. Dogs indicate articles that have been placed intermittently on the track by lying down. They are judged by their work ethic and problem-solving abilities. Tracks are allowed to age anywhere from 20min.-3hrs. prior to tracking.
In the obedience phase the dog must be attentive to the handler at all times, while they perform various exercises including heeling, sitting, laying down both on and off-leash. Two teams are on the field at the same time. Teams are evaluated on their correct position and speed as well as their overall relationship together. Dogs are judged on their desire to work, agility, and precision.
In the protection phase the dog's courage, fight drive, and control are evaluated through its willingness to protect itself and the handler from a decoy or helper. The dog's bite is evaluated on depth and fullness of the grip. A stable, secure dog, not a vicious dog is required for the work.