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Many people are familiar with the sport of Schutzhund, but most are misinformed. Schutzhund is a great sport where a team competes against a standard. You, your Doberman and your helper make up the team. Contrary to what most people think, Schutzhund is about obedience first, followed by tracking and finally by protection. It is not about "guard dogs" "mean dogs" or aggression at all. It is a sport where you and your Doberman will be very bonded and learn how to read each other very well. A sport you will fall in love with if you ever begin up that path. If you choose Schutzhund, there are many great clubs around to help and support you. to win at this sport takes not only dedication, lot's of practice and training, but a very special Doberman. We have spent our life's savings importing the very best European Doberman Pinschers to have just such dogs. Our Doberman puppies have what it takes. The number one competitors on the world stage seek these lines for their dogs.

Other sports include Rally, Obedience, and agility. These sports also require a Doberman with exceptional athletic ability, solid nerves and focused minds. The Doberman needs to know when to "turn it on or off." They still have to be well behaved, quiet and gentle in the house, but on the competition field they have to light up with energy and enthusiasm. If you are looking to get into these sports, pick your Doberman puppy from Family Dobes, get a good mentor and trainer, and take your place on the podium!

We believe we have the best Doberman Pinschers available for sport.


So what is a SCH-I or an IPO-I title?

What is Schutzhund?

Schutzhund is a German word meaning "protection dog". It refers to a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating those traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners.

Schutzhund is a dog training and breeding regimen developed originally in the 20's by the Deutsches Shaeferhund Verein (German Shepherd Dog Club), or SV, in order to maintain the working ability of the breed. While the term Schutzhund means literally "protection dog", the training involves work equally in tracking, obedience and protection. In order to get a Schutzhund degree a dog must pass all three phases of the work. Also, a working title (at least a SchH I) is required for breed survey purposes, and in order to register an approved litter.

The first Schutzhund trial was held in Germany in 1901 to emphasize the correct working temperament and ability in the German Shepherd breed. SV, the parent club of the breed, developed the Schutzhund test as a way of maintaining reliable dogs with traits suitable for breeding.

Many countries and working dog organizations have also adopted Schutzhund as a sport and test of working performance. International rules have been established by the Verein fuer Deutsche Hundesport (VDH). The first SchH trial in the U.S. was held in California in 1970. In 1987 the U.S.A. alone sanctioned nearly 300 trials with a total entry of 1,800 dog/handler teams.

Many breeds now participate in addition to GSDs. While there may be individual dogs of a particular breed that may be suitable for the work, the following are most consistently able to perform: GSDs, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinscher, Bouvier des Flandres, Rottweiler, Tervuren, Boxer, Giant Schnauzer, etc. Generally, these are larger working breeds with strong prey and defense drives, and temperaments suitable for the tasks of the training.

There are three major degrees awarded - SchH I, SchH II, and SchH III -- in order of increasing difficulty. SchH I (IPO I) is the apprentice test. A SchH III dog must demonstrate a high level of performance, ability and courage.

The traits that make for a good Schutzhund candidate mostly are innate characteristics that must be bred for. Even among dogs bred out of Schutzhund bitches and dogs, a minority have the ability to reach even SchH I, and a small percentage will have the necessary drive, intelligence and hardness to achieve a Sch III title. In addition to breeding, early development is important. The young pup should not be subjected to strong corrections or experience being dominated by another dog, and all training and play should end on a positive note, with the pup "winning."

The IPO (International Pruefungsordnung) rules, under the auspices of the FCI (Federation Internationale Cynologique), are similar to the Schutzhund rules and the trials are run in the same manner, with the exception that no evaluation of the fighting instincts, courage or hardness of an IPO entrant is performed during the protection phase of the trial.

(The following information on degrees and requirements is from the United Schutzhund Clubs of America)

Degree                                            Min Age

BH        Begleithunde                              15 months
         (Companion Dog)

FH       Faehrtenhundpruefung                      16 months
         (Advanced Tracking Dog Test)

AD       Ausdauerpruefung                          16 months
         (Endurance Test)

SchH A   Schutzhund Examination A                  18 months
SchH I   Schutzhund Examination I                  18 months
SchH II  Schutzhund Examination II                 19 months
SchH III Schutzhund Examination III                20 months

The maximum score in each of the three phases shall be 100 points. Therefore, the highest possible score in a trial is 300 points. A degree shall be awarded only if a dog achieves at least 70 points in Tracking and Obedience, and at least 80 points in Protection.

[For the purposes of illustration, I have included the rules for SchH I trials]


The Schutzhund A Examination is composed of phases B and C of the SchH I Examination. The conduct of the examination is the same except that the tracking phase is omitted, and the maximum possible score is 200 points. This training degree is not accepted under the rules for conformation shows, breeding requirements or breed surveys.


Phase A - Tracking

Tracking a 350-400 pace long trail at least 20 minutes old with two articles on a 10 meter tracking lead, or tracking without a lead. The track has two 90 degree turns. The handler lays the track as indicated by the judge, placing the first article in the middle of the first or second leg without interrupting the pace or changing the stride. The second article is deposited at the end of the track.

The handler reports to the judge with the dog, and indicates whether the articles will be picked up or pointed out. The dog and handler proceed to the scent pad at the beginning of the track. Prior to tracking, and during the entire tracking phase, all force or pressure is to be avoided. At the start, the dog must be given sufficient time to absorb the scent.

The dog must begin quietly and pick up the scent with a deep nose. As soon as the dog begins to track, the handler must stop and let the length of the 10 meter leash slip through his/her hands. The handler now follows at the distance of 10 meters, whether tracking with a lead or without.

Immediately upon finding an article, the dog must convincingly stop, stand, sit, or pick up the article, or return it to the handler. If pointing out, the dog must lie, sit or stay. By lifting the article high in the air, the handler indicates to the judge that it has been found. The tracking leash is loosely held as the dog and handler continue on the track. The articles are presented to the presiding judge after completion of the track.

A faulty start, excessive circling on corners, continued praise, faulty picking up or pointing of the articles, dropping articles, pronounced quartering, high nose, urinating or defecating on the track, or hunting mice, etc. will be penalized.

Phase B - Obedience

Heeling on Leash and Impartiality - 15 Points

Starting from the basic heeling position, the dog and handler proceed for 40 paces without stopping. A turnabout is performed, and after 10-15 paces a running heel followed by a slow heel, each of about 10 paces, are demonstrated. During a normal pace at least one left turn, one right turn, and one left turnabout must be performed. A halt must be performed after the turns and while the handler is moving straight. A voice command is permitted only when starting the exercise, or when changing pace. The judge will direct the handler through a group of at least 4 people, amd the handler is required to stop at least once in the group. The group is expected to mingle about.

Heeling off Leash - 20 Points

When requested by the judge, the leash will be removed while in the basic position. The handler moves through the group with the dog freely heeling. After demonstrating ar least one halt, the handler and dog leave the group and perform the heeling exercises that were performed on leash. While the dog and handler are performing the off-leash exercises, at least 2 gun shots (6 - 9 mm) are to be fired (not while moving in the group) and the dog must remain indifferent to the noise. Special emphasis is placed on indifference to the gun. If the judge deems the dog to be insecure or should the dog run from the shot, the judge may excuse the dog from further participation.

Sit Exercise - 10 Points

From the basic heeling position the handler and free heeling dog proceed in a straight line. After at least ten paces, the handler issues the voice command to sit - the dog should quickly come to a sit position. The handler shall continue for at least 30 paces without interrupting pace or direction, then stop and turn around to face the dog. At the direction of the judge, the handler returns to the right side of the dog.

Down with Recall - 10 Points

From the basic heeling position the handler and free heeling dog proceed in a straight line. After at least ten paces, the handler issues the voice command to down - the dog should quickly come to a down position. The handler shall continue for at least 30 paces without interrupting pace or direction, then stop and turn around to face the dog. At the direction of the judge, the handler shall recall the dog. The dog should come to the handler with a spirited and swift motion and sit close in front. Upon a "heel" command, the dog should quickly come to a sit position next to the handler.

Retrieving an Article belonging to the Handler on Level Ground - 10 Points

The dog sitting freely next to the handler should, when given the voice command, quickly move toward the article tossed approximately 10 paces away. The dog must immediately and quickly bring the article back to the handler, and sit close in front. The dog must hold the article until, after a brief pause, the handler issues the command to let go. After the command to heel, the dog should come quickly to the heel position. In place of an article belonging to the handler, a dumbbell can be used -- however, balls, toys, etc. are not considered personal articles.

Retrieving an Article belonging to the Handler over a 1 Meter High and 1.5 Meter Wide Brush Hurdle - 15 Points

The handler assumes a position at an acceptable distance in front of the hurdle while the dog sits freely next to the handler. The article is tossed over the hurdle. Upon voice command, the dog shall clear the hurdle without touching it, pick up the article, return over the jump and sit closely in front of the handler. The article must be held by the dog until the handler removes it with the command to let go.

Go Ahead and Down - 10 Points

When requested by the judge, the handler and freely heeling dog proceed a few paces in the designated direction. The command to "go out" should be executed by simultaneously stopping and lifting the arm to indicate direction. The dog must move at a fast pace at least 25 paces. The dog must lay down quickly upon voice command. At the request of the judge, the handler proceeds to pick up the dog by moving to the right side of the dog, commanding the dog to sit, and then putting on the leash.

Long Down Under Distraction

Prior to the start of the obedience exercises of another dog, the handler commands the dog into a down position at a spot designated by the judge. The handler moves approximately 40 paces away within sight of the dog. The handler remains quiet with his back to the dog. The dog must remain in the down position without additional influences from the handler until the other dog concludes the first 6 exercises. The finish will be like the Go Ahead and Down, above.

Phase C - Protection

Search for the Helper - 5 Points

The helper is hidden in a position 40 paces away so that the dog must make searching passes to the right and left, or vice versa. The handler and dog must be out of sight when the helper moves into the hiding place. At the request of the judge, the handler releases the dog and gives the command to search towards the empty hiding place, then towards the helper. The command "here" and the dog's name may be used.

Hold and Bark - 10 Points

When the dog reaches the helper it should immediately and continuously bark. The dog should not bother the helper by gripping or bumping. The handler is to remain at a distance of approximately 25 paces. When the judge indicates, the handler will pick up the dog and hold it securely so that the helper can leave the hiding place.

Attack - 35 Points

A helper is directed to proceed to another hiding place at least 50 paces away. Upon directions from the judge, the handler will proceed with a free heeling dog towards the hiding place. The handler is now attacked from the front by the helper, who suddenly comes out of the hiding place. No contact is permitted between the handler and helper. The dog must immediately attack and demonstrate a firm grip. The dog will be struck with a flexible, padded stick -- two blows will be given on the flanks, thighs, or withers. Encouragement may be given via vocal command. When requested by the judge, the helper stops the aggression. The dog must independently release, or release his grip upon receiving the command to "out". After receiving the command from the judge, the handler will hold the dog by the collar.

Pursuit and Hold - 50 Points

The helper makes threatening gestures and runs away. After he has gone about 50 paces, the handler sends the dog toward the helper and remains standing still. The judge will instruct the helper to turn around and run toward the dog when the dog is about 30 paces away. Using aggressive and threatening motions, the helper will run toward the dog. When the dog has taken a firm grip, the helper will press the dog briefly without applying the stick, then cease resistance. The dog must release, either independently, or after receiving the command to "out". After the dog has let go, the handler will remain standing without influencing the dog. Upon a signal from the judge, the handler will approach the dog and helper at a normal pace. The handler will order the helper to step back from the dog, and order the dog to lay down. The helper will be searched and disarmed before transport to the judge. The dog will be on leash during transport. The handler will leave the area with the dog on leash.

The fighting drive, including courage and hardness, is to be scrutinized during the entire protection phase. This will be rated as pronounced, sufficient, or insufficient.

Only energetic fighting and a firm grip will allow a full score. A dog that does not release after one command to let go, or who is not under control of the handler, or who fails any exercise of the protection phase cannot pass the test. If a dog fails a single exercise, it will be excused from the remainder of the phase. No deductions are made for a dog that alertly circles the helper.


Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods by Susan Barwig and Stewart Hilliard. 1991 Howell Books ISBN 0-87605-731-8

Training the Competitive Working Dog by Tom Rose and Gary Patterson 1985 Giblaut Publishing Company 3333 S. Bannock, Suite 950, Englewood,CO 80110

The Rose book is getting obsolete, particularly the obedience section (Tom now uses much more motivational techniques) but here is still a lot of good theory and practical exercises.


Many people have a misconception of what a well trained Schutzhund dog should be. This came out in the 2008 international Judge meeting of what a great dog looks like on the field:

2008 WUSV Judge's Meeting

September 24, 2008

USA Director of Judges, Mark Przybylski, attended the 2008 WUSV Judge's Meeting in Darmstadt, Germany. There were 59 Judges there from 30 different countries. The emphasis on the meeting was strongly geared to rules applications, evaluation of exercises, and point assessment based on quality of work, training, and behaviors. This meeting emphasized proper judging in accordance with the current rules.

The dog's temperament must be tested throughout. It starts at the beginning. It is strongly recommended that we use many of the adjective descriptors available to us to note what the animal demonstrates from the onset. This will help place the dog in the appropriate category and rating. In order for the dog to receive an excellent rating he must demonstrate the following;

Must be happy
Must be free
Must be correct in all parts of an exercise
Must be well trained
Must show harmony between dog and handler
Must show drive (temperament and character)
Must show balance in drives

This eliminates the type of dog we saw of yesteryear where they were correction and compulsion trained and are working to beat the correction.

Schutzhund FAQ
Cindy Moore,



Internationally Recognized Working Titles (SV/FCI)


SchHA Novice Schutzhund obedience and protection
Bh Basic companion dog - traffic sureness
WH Watch Dog
AD Endurance
SchH1 Novice Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection
SchH2 Intermediate Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection
SchH3 Masters level of Schutzhund tracking, obedience, and protection.
FH1 Advanced tracking
FH2 Superior tracking qualification.
IPO1 International Novice Schutzhund trial qualification.
IPO2 International Intermediate Schutzhund
IPO3 International Masters level Schutzhund
BpDH1 2 Railroad Police Dog
BIH Blind Leader Dog
DH Service Dog
DPH Service Police Dog
HGH Herding Dog
LwH Avalanche Dog
PFP1 PFP2 Police Tracking Dog
PH Police Dog (obtained through the Danish Politihundeforeningen, a police dog association open to civilians)
PSP1, 2 3 Police Guard Dog
RtH Rescue Dog
ZFH Customs Tracking Dog
ZH1, 2 3 Customs Dog
Africa IWT 1, 2,
Austria SchH1, 2 3 and FHA 1, 2, 3
Belgium Cereco1, IWR1, 2 3 equivalent to IPO1, 2 3
Czech Republic ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Denmark BHP1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3 and SPH equivalent to FH
England PD (Police Dog)
Finland SK1 equivalent to IPO1
Holland VH1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3 and SPH equivalent to FH
Hungary SZL1, 2 3 also ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Italy Brevetto 1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Poland ZVV1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3
Switzerland SchH, SchHB, SchHC; CHD1 equivalent to SchH1
Yugoslavia CAB1, 2 3 equivalent to SchH1, 2 3

AD - Agility Dog
AD - Endurance Test
AAD - Advanced Agility Dog
AX - Agility Excellence - A Title conferred on dogs for qualifying the requisite number of times in the Agility Excellent class at AKC agility trials.
Angekort - Awarded to a dog which has passed a Korung conformation test.
B or BH - This is a requirement for Schutzhund or Tracking. The dogs perform several obedience exercises and show that they have good temperament around other dogs, people, under distraction etc.
BFL - Bred for Longevity
BISS CH - At a Specialty Show, the only dog left undefeated at the end of all judging on that day.
BIS CH - At an all-breed show, the only dog left undefeated at the end of all judging on that day.
BdSg Bundessieger - A very prestigious title awarded in Europe, to the winner of an important statewide conformation competition.
CAC - Certificato di Attitudine al Campionato
CACIB - Certificato di Attitudine al Campionato Internazionale di Bellezza Certificate of achievement of International Championship in conformation. Several are required to obtain the CH title.
CH - Champion
CD - Companion Dog
CDX - Companion Dog Excellence
CGC - Canine Good Citizen
CT - Champion Tracker
DVSG - Dobermann Verein Sieger - German Dobermann Club Winner, a dog which has defeated all other entries at a Dobermann-only conformation show in Germany.
Euro-CH - European Champion
EURO-SG - Europa Sieger - A dog which has won over all other entries at a large Europe-wide conformation show.
FH - Fahrtenhund - The title awarded at a Schutzhund trial to a dog successfully performing advanced tracking exercises.
DUT-CH - Dutch Champion
GER-CH - German Champion
IDC-SGR - International Dobermann Club Sieger A dog which has beat each of the other entries at an International Dobermann Club conformation show.
IPOI IPOII IPOIII - Internationale Prufungsordnung Much the same as the Schutzhund, awarded to dogs successfully competing in the Tracking, Obedience and Protection phases of the event. Three levels of difficulty are offered, with III being the highest.
Int'l CH - International Champion - Championship awarded to dogs having competed and earned championship certificates under several European judges at International conformation shows.
KKL I AND II - Korklasse I and II - Highest level and the most prestigious conformation title awarded in Europe to dogs which meet strict conformation and temperament tests along with other requirements.
Korung - Korung testing is used in Germany is to set standards for Dobermans. They test character, performance, anatomical characteristics for maintaining and improving the breed. Dogs must be at least 2 years of age, have SchH1 or IPO1. Proof of AD test (endurance), have a-stamp or OFA of hips and have a show rating of at least good(SG). Your dog can be tested at two years of age or older for the first time with the above qualifications, then after first breed survey they have two year to get deferred or get there second breed survey done for life or they must start over, this rules are set by the SV in Germany. KKL1 or KKl2, KKL1 is the very best Korung rating.
LC - Longevity Certificate
NOR-CH - Norwegian Champion
MAD - Master Agility Dog
MX - Master Agility Excellent
OFA - Orthopedic Foundation For Animals
OTCH - Obedience Trial Champion - AKC title, dogs which have attained the highest title in obedience competition, as well as having continued to compete until accumulating 100 points by placing first or second at obedience trials.
SAR - Search and Rescue
Sch I SchII SchIII - Schutzhund - Awarded to dogs who successfully competing in all 3 phases of a Schutzhund. Tracking, Obedience and Protection.
SWED-CH - Swedish Champion
TD - Tracking Dog
TDX - Tracking Dog Excellent
ThD - Therapy Dog Test
TT - Temperament Test
UD - Utility Dog
UDX - Utility Dog Excellence
UDTD (UDT) - Utility Dog Tracking Dog
UDTDX - Utility Dog Tracking Dog Excellent
UDXTDX - Utility Dog Excellent Tracking Dog Excellent
UDVST - Utility Dog Variable Surface Tracking
UDXVST - Utility Dog Excellent Variable Surface Tracking
V-Rated - Vorzuglich Rated Highest rating awarded to dogs in the conformation evaluation at European or International shows.
V-1 - Vorzuglich Dog receiving the highest conformation rating and placing first in his class.
V-B - Verkehrssicherer Begleithund Similar to BH with more demanding Traffic sureness requirements.
VDH-CH - Verein des Deutschen Hundewesens Champion The Championship awarded by the German All Breed Kennel Club.
VDH-SGR - Verein des Deutschen Hundewesens Sieger The Dog placing above all other entries at a German Kennel Club All Breed conformation show.
WELT-SGR - Welt Sieger Winner of highest honors, beating all other entries at a World-wide all-breed conformation show.
WAC - Working Aptitude Certificate A US title, issued by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. The test consists of several testing situations, including reaction to a peculiar and threatening stranger, changes in footing, crowds of people, etc. Similiar to the CKC CGC test.
WAE - Working Aptitude Evaluation
ZTP - Fit for Breeding testing
AKC - American Kennel Club - American All-Breed Purebred dog registry.
CKC - Canadian Kennel Club - The Canadian Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada.
FCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale - Based in Belgium, FCI licenses international shows in its 72 member countries, including the well-known annual World Show. FCI maintains breed standards for all its 341 recognized breeds. It does not operate a registry but accepts pedigrees for show purposes from the registries of its member countries. FCI has a reciprocal agreement with the AKC, the Canadian Kennel Club, and The Kennel Club (England), which are not members.
NADSR - North American Dog Sports and Registry was founded with the idea of promoting obedience, workability, health, and the owner/canine relationship. NADSR offers an alternative to other registries because we supply the owners and their dogs with the opportunities and tools to build a strong respectful relationship.
UKC - The United Kennel Club, the second oldest purebred dog registry in the US. UKC was founded in 1898 by Chauncey Bennett, a dog fancier who wanted a registry that concentrated on the working ability of dogs as well as their adherence to a physical standard.

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