Schutzhund dog training is not for everyone, but it certainly has its benefits. Schutzhund dog training started in Germany in the 1900s as a test for the working dog qualities of the German Shepherd dog breed. Training your dog using the Schutzhund method gives the dog the ability to protect its master, but show enough restraint to still obey its master despite highly stressful circumstances. For example, the dog should not be afraid to bite the arm of an assailant, but still have the presence of mind to let go if the master bids the dog to do so. Today, this type of dog training is a popular sport that tests the dog characters in three stages: obedience, tracking, and protection.
This Schutzhund dog training stage is conducted in a large field and involves two dogs. One dog is left on a corner of the field while the handler works on the other dog. Then, after the first dog completes the course, the dogs switch places. The dog is taken through a series of exercises, such as heeling among a group of people, recalls, and retrieves. There is also a time in Shutzhund dog training that gunshots are fired and the dog is expected to remain in heeling position. This tests the dog’s reactions to stressful situations. If the dog is too aggressive or shows fear, the dog doesn’t pass this part of training.
In this part of the training, the dog is asked to track a series of articles that are previously laid in a field. The dog then finds the articles and shows that he or she has found the article. Usually, the dog indicates this by lying down with the article between his or her front paws.
Training your dog using the Schutzhund method is not complete without the third stage, which is protection. The dog is tested on how he or she can protect his or her master and still have the presence of mind to obey its master through this. A decoy, who wears a heavily padded sleeve, then pretends to attack the master. The dog is expected to stop the attack by biting the padded sleeve. As part of the schutzhund dog training, the dog must also let go of the padded sleeve when given a command. Failure to do so will result to the dog not passing the test. As part of the schutzhund dog training protection phase, the dog is also asked to find a hiding decoy and to bark and keep the decoy until the handler dismisses him or her.
Competitions that feature the best of Schutzhund dog training abounds. There are several training levels in which your dog can compete.