Schutzhund Dog Training
In Germany during the early part of the 20th Century, Schutzlund dog training was introduced as a sport to find out if the German Shepherd breeds could be used as police dogs. Rather than taking the looks of the dog as a measure to determine the dog would be effective, Schutzhund allowed trainers to find the best suited animals for the job. The training is very rigorous and while many dog breeds are allowed to participate in Schutzhund training, very few candidates ever pass.
The Basics of Schutzhund Dog Training
Schutzhund training has slowly evolved for many years and thus it has created a highly structured, very rigid process. It has since toned down the abusiveness toward dog than when it was originally started, however there still are strict requirements that are needed to evaluate each dog. During the early period, Schutzhund training for the most part was taught from very few manuals and organized course, today there are DVD’s and videos that help dog owners start the training process.
The standard training will test a dog in a multitude of different behaviors that are suitable for the demands of police work, together with tracking, sniffing, protection, and retrieving. Virtually all Schutzhund dog training begins when the dog is only a few weeks old and the training will last for a few weeks or even months which ensures the dog will be right for the job.
The Secret of Schutzhund
Schutzhund has many sides to the training. Depending on the type of course or obedience you favor will be the deciding program you will choose. However, many of the Schutzhund course will be focused on:
- Clicker Training – This training is used almost universally because the German Shepherd dog responds extremely well to clicker training as well as other Schutzhund suitable breeds.. The usual time frame for a dog to use this method starts as early as 10 weeks.
- Obedience – Basic obedience training is the first true test in Schutzhund dog training. On average there are about ten to eleven basic obedience commands which are used. Included in these are “focus and attention”, “sit, down and stand”, front, pointing out of an object, targeting, heel positioning, heeling, retrieving, jumping, motion exercises, and “go out”. Full completion requires mastery of all 11 training points.
- Tracking – Dogs that are trained to track such objects such as drugs, bombs and cadavers, will be trained exclusively in tracking methods. Once the dog starts using targeting and pointing out of an object obedience cues, the Schutzhund training teaches dogs to identify a certain scent and they will pursue their target until it hears the command to be called off .
- Protection – Dogs may also be trained to protect, as is the case with police dogs, attack dogs, and guard dogs. They are trained to respond to certain commands that include identifying a threat and to attack the threat. In addition, these dogs will be trained to protect a person or a specific object even without commands.
The essence of Schutzhund is to provide a dog with a very highly specific set of skills they can use to complete a given task quickly and efficiently. In official training programs, dogs might complete training at the rate of twenty percent or lower. Nevertheless, a Schutzhund trained dog can be very effectively as an obedience trained dog for homeowners.
In conclusion, if you decide to use Schutzhund dog training for your dog, research the more reputable training courses based on the success rates and more importantly the philosophies in which they are to be used.