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Early in the breed's development in Germany, it was determined that before any dog
could be bred, it had to pass a working test to determine its trainability and courage, as
well as its adherence to the breed standard. The Schutzhund degree (protection dog) is
still the most common working degree earned by dogs in Germany and other countries
requiring a working degree before certifying a dog as breed-able. (The AKC does not
require this).


1. Tracking
2. Obedience
3. Protection


Watchdog Test

More Schutzhund Info.
Internationally recognized Titles
Schutzhund trials are becoming more and more popular in this country, and even the AKC is developing a program that corresponds to the WUSV/VDH title programs. The protection work in Schutzhund is only allowed when the handler or trainer has full obedience on his dog. The club's helper, who is an individual that has thorough knowledge of the work that is demanded of him, directs the grip work and his word is the rule, and he will direct the workouts along with the club's training director. (It is very wise to fully investigate any club that one wishes to join).

In 2004, the SV, WUSV and VDH revised the requirements for working titles, stressing control and obedience to an even higher degree. The rules took effect in Germany in the Spring of 2004, and will take effect in this country in mid-Summer 2004, when they have been translated and revised to fit the activities in this country.

Included in the changes is the requirement of a written examination as part of the entry-level BH degree, proving the handler's knowledge of dogs, behavior, management practices and laws. This has been included to insure that handlers are truly able to provide the best training and care for the dogs, and to make them aware of their responsibilities as dog owners.

When the rules become official, we will update all of the rules. Until then, the basic changes are outlined here. The new rules are based on the IPO rules.

Schutzhund competition requires a dog to pass 3 separate tests: Tracking, Obedience, Protection.

Properly done with a dog of proper temperament, Schutzhund is extremely enjoyable for the dog and its owner, as it allows the dog to chase, bite and defeat a foe. This is done under very strict and controlled guidelines. It can enhance a dog's self-confidence and bring energy and enthusiasms to its work. Done improperly it can destroy a young dog's confidence, or as a worst-case scenario, create an unmanageable and dangerous animal. The trainers and helpers of any Schutzhund organization should be carefully selected. As this sport becomes more popular in this country, the training techniques improve, as do the handler's skills.

This is a sport for owners who are willing to be truly dedicated to their training. For those who understand the training and their dogs, it can produce a fine working team. For breeders, this is a program that allows for the ability to fully test the instincts, nerves and trainability, so necessary in a true working breed.

Schutzhund clubs frequently offer not only the Schutzhund (SchH) training, but more and more are offering other internationally recognized degree that requires no bite work. Some also offer breed surveys and conformation shows with judges from Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhund (SV), which is the German breed club.

German titles and ratings on pedigrees

Dog must have at least a SchH1/IPO1 to be Breed Surveyed.
Angekoert Breed Surveyed (recommended for breeding)
Koerklasse 1 (Kkl 1) Especially recommended for breeding
Koerklasse 2 (Kkl 2) Suitable for breeding. Dog may have a structural or protection work fault which could be compensated for by bloodlines or working qualities. May be resurveyed and reclassified at a later date.
(*) This symbol before a dog's name means it has been surveyed and approved for breeding.
"a" Dog's hips have been x-rayed and certified acceptable. Required for Breed Survey.
LG Landesgruppen (Regional) Show. There are approximately 1500 German Shepherd Dog clubs in Germany and these are under the jurisdiction of the 15 Landesgruppen clubs. The LG Shows are larger than the local shows and the judging and rating requirements are stricter.
Landesgruppen Sieger and Siegerin titles are awarded.

VA (Vorzüglich Auslese) Excellent Select title that is only awarded at the Annual Sieger Show Select Class.
V (Vorzüglich) Excellent
SG (Sehr Gut) Very Good
G (Gut) Good
A (Ausreichend) Sufficient
M (Mangelhaft) Faulty
O (Zero) Failed
U Unsatisfactory

AD (Ausdauerpruefung) The dogs passed an endurance test by gaiting approximately six miles per hour for about nine miles with a 10 minute rest halfway, and a simple Obedience Test at the end. The dog is given a simple physical examination after the test. A requirement for the Breed-Survey.
HGH (Herdengebrauchshund) Herding Dog
PH (Polizei Hund) Police Dog
FH (Fährten Hund) Tracking Dog