Working Dog Sport developed from the working dog sport of 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. Working Dog Sport (IPO) work concentrates on three parts. Many are familiar with the obedience work of the American Kennel Club's affiliates and will recognize the first two parts, tracking and obedience. The IPO standards for the third part, protection work, are similar to those for dogs in police work.
While dogs of other breeds are also actively involved in “Working Dog Sport” often follow similar criteria for breeding purposes, this breed evaluation test was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog. It is intended to demonstrate the dog's intelligence and utility. As a working trial, IPO measures the dog's mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage, and trainability.
This working dog sport offers an opportunity for dog owners to train their dog and compete with each other for recognition of both the handler's ability to train and the dog's ability to perform as required. It is a sport enjoyed by persons of varied professions, who join together in a camaraderie born of their common interest in working with their dogs. Persons of all ages and conditions of life even those with significant disabilities enjoy IPO as a sport. Often, it is a family sport.
The first Working Dog Trial (Schutzhund trial) was held in Germany in 1901 to emphasize the correct working temperament and ability in the German Shepherd breed. Originally, these dogs were herding dogs, but the industrialization of Germany encouraged breeders to promote the use of their dogs as police and military dogs. The Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV), the parent club, became concerned that this would lead to careless breeding and undesirable traits such as mental instability, so it developed the first trials / test. Since then, many other countries and working dog organizations have also adopted this as a sport and a test of working performance in dogs. International rules have been established, and they are administered by the Verein fur Deutsche Hundesport (VDH) and the FCI.
Director of Judges - United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA)
USCA - Working / Performance Dog Judge # 30,
USCA / SV - SV Licensed Trial Judge
"Schutzhund is intended to demonstrate intelligence and utility. As a working trial, Schutzhund measures the dog’s mental stability, endurance, structure efficiency, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage and trainability. Schutzhund is not meant to be personal protection training, although the skills are similar to those taught to police k9s, security, and protection dogs. Schutzhund is, first and foremost a sport. The sport develops and evaluates traits in a dog a more balance, happy and useful companion for its owners."
***From Ivan Balabanov-Advanced Schutzhund.
"Schutzhund is the sport where all of your good working service dogs such as police service, protection, search and rescue, tracking, and herding dogs are drawn from. The sport by its evaluations and testing procedures helps breeders maintain a correct genetic pool and is the starting grounds for good working service dogs. It is also a sport that is fun for the dog and handler and family, and promotes an incredible strong bond between the dog and handler."
**From Marnie & Aaron Rose
Where we take having fun seriously.
For those who are interested in having fun and learning how to title their dogs in Schutzhund we have a family oriented club available here in Columbus, Ohio. Please give us a call for our training days and location. The club is open to all breeds and handlers.