Zehfuss K-9 Training Center of Lawton, Oklahoma offers professional Schutzhund dog training classes. Schutzhund is a German word meaning “protection dog.” Schutzhund training is relatively new to the United States; however, the sport has gained recent popularity.
Schutzhund is a dog sport that was developed in Germany in the early 1900s to test whether German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) act and perform in the manner that the breed was intended, rather than simply evaluating a dog’s appearance. Today, many breeds other than GSDs can compete in Schutzhund, but it is a demanding test for a dog and few dogs can pass a schutzhund test.
There are three main reasons for increased popularity in Schutzhund training. First, many people feel that there has been a decline in the quality of guard type breeds. Schutzhund competition is a means of identifying property dogs for quality training. Second, people who become interested in Schutzhund training find it very rewarding. Schutzhund training requires the dog to display a variety of talents in a highly competitive framework. Lastly, there is an increased desire among dog owners to have an animal that fulfills the dual role of being both a protector and a family member. Note: Dogs that have a degree in Schutzhund do not typically make good street protectors.
In a Schutzhund examination, the dog is required to successfully display skills in three different areas: tracking, obedience and protection. The dog must pass in all three areas on the same day to get a Schutzhund degree. There are three levels of competence:
- Schutzhund I – Novice
- Schutzhund II – Intermediate
- Schutzhund III – Advanced
The requirements that a dog must fulfill become progressively more difficult as the dog progresses through his degrees.
- Tracking: Tracking tests the dog’s scenting ability, his determination and his concentration. The dog must follow the trail of a man and indicate any articles that the man has dropped along the way. He must be able to find turns on the track and be able to follow the scent regardless of the weather. The dog is judged according to the exactness with which he follows the trail and his attitude while tracking.
- Obedience: Obedience evaluates the dog’s willingness to obey its master. It must follow orders to heel, retrieve, jump, sit, down and stay. The dog must not be distracted by the sound of a gun or from the presence of people. The dog is judged according to his accuracy, speed and willingness to perform the commands. The two are also judged as a team throughout the entire exercises.
- Protection: Protection measures the dog’s courage, self-assurance and dependability. In this segment of the exam, the dog must find and warm the handler of the agitator, protect his master from attack and prevent his agitator from escape. The dog must perform these exercises at varying distances under the duress of vocal, visual and physical threats from the agitator. At the same time, the dog must not become over aggressive and out of control.
The breeds that are used most often for Schutzhund training are the following:
- German Shepherds
Each class is privately taught by Matthias Zehfuss, Certified Dog Behaviorist and Professional Dog Trainer. You and your dog will receive personal, one-on-one attention.
Eight 40-minute classes (one class per week)
The Zehfuss K-9 Training Center Schutzhund dog training class requires special approval and consultation. Please contact us for details.