Common Schutzhund Terms Used in Training German Shepherd Dogs

Common Schutzhund Terms Used in Training German Shepherd Dogs

Schutzhund, which translates to “protection dog” in German, is a dog sport that focuses on developing and evaluating the physical and mental traits necessary for police-type work. Originating in Germany, Schutzhund training is particularly associated with the German Shepherd breed. This rigorous sport encompasses tracking, obedience, and protection phases. Understanding the terminology used in Schutzhund is crucial for trainers, handlers, and enthusiasts. Here is an overview of common Schutzhund terms used in training German Shepherd Dogs.

Schutzhund Training Phases

1. Tracking (Fährtenarbeit)

Fährte (Track): The scent trail that a dog follows. In Schutzhund, the track is laid by either the handler or a track layer.

Anschneiden (Start the Track): The command given to the dog to begin following the scent trail.

Verweisen (Indicate): When the dog finds an article on the track, they must indicate it, usually by lying down with the article between their front paws.

2. Obedience (Unterordnung)

Fuß (Heel): The command for the dog to walk closely on the handler’s left side, maintaining shoulder alignment with the handler’s knee.

Sitz (Sit): The command for the dog to sit. This is a fundamental obedience command used in various exercises.

Platz (Down): The command for the dog to lie down. This is used in both obedience and protection phases.

Hier (Come): The recall command, instructing the dog to return to the handler’s side.

Voraus (Go Out): The command for the dog to run away from the handler in a straight line and lie down on command.

Bleib (Stay): The command to remain in the current position until released by the handler.

3. Protection (Schutzdienst)

Revieren (Search the Blind): The command for the dog to search and locate a hidden decoy (helper) in one of the blinds or hiding places.

Verbellen (Bark and Hold): The command for the dog to bark continuously at the decoy without making physical contact. This shows the dog’s ability to control their aggression.

Fass (Bite): The command instructing the dog to bite and hold the decoy on the padded sleeve.

Aus (Release): The command for the dog to release the bite and let go of the decoy.

Stellen und Verbellen (Locate and Bark): This exercise tests the dog’s ability to find the decoy and bark to alert the handler without biting.

Training Equipment and Tools

1. Collars and Leashes

Halsband (Collar): Used to control and guide the dog during training.

Leine (Leash): A leash used for various training exercises, typically made of leather or nylon for durability.

Hetzhalsband (Protection Collar): A specialized collar used during protection training.

2. Protective Gear

Schutzarm (Protection Sleeve): A padded sleeve worn by the decoy to protect against bites during training.

Schutzanzug (Protection Suit): A full-body suit worn by the decoy during advanced protection training exercises.

3. Other Equipment

Beißkissen (Bite Pillow): A training tool used to develop bite strength and accuracy.

Kong (Toy): A durable toy used as a reward or for training exercises.

Stöckchen (Stick): Often used as a distraction or to test the dog’s focus and control during protection exercises.

Schutzhund Titles and Levels

1. BH (Begleithund)

Begleithundprüfung (Companion Dog Test): The entry-level obedience test that a dog must pass before progressing to Schutzhund trials. It includes basic obedience and traffic safety exercises.

2. IGP Titles (Internationale Gebrauchshund Prüfungsordnung)

IGP1, IGP2, IGP3: The three levels of Schutzhund titles, each progressively more challenging. The numbers indicate the level of difficulty, with IGP3 being the highest.

IPO (Internationale Prüfungsordnung): The former name for the Schutzhund titles, now replaced by IGP. The structure remains the same.

3. Other Titles

FH (Fährtenhund): Advanced tracking titles with FH1 and FH2 levels, focusing solely on the dog’s tracking abilities.

SchH (Schutzhund): An older term still occasionally used, synonymous with IPO and IGP titles.

Commands and Cues

1. Basic Commands

Nein (No): The correction command used to stop unwanted behavior.

Pfui (Shame/No): Another correction command similar to “No.”

Bring (Fetch): The command for the dog to retrieve an object.

Hopp (Jump): The command instructing the dog to jump over an obstacle.

2. Advanced Commands

Abrufen (Recall): The command for the dog to return to the handler.

Voran (Forward): Used in advanced obedience and protection work to send the dog forward.

Revier (Search): The command for the dog to search an area or specific location.

3. Release and Reward Commands

OK (Release): The command releasing the dog from a position or exercise.

Lob (Praise): Used to praise the dog verbally for correct behavior.

Training Concepts and Techniques

1. Drive and Motivation

Trieb (Drive): Refers to the dog’s natural instincts and energy, such as prey drive or defense drive, which are harnessed during training.

Motivation: The use of rewards such as treats, toys, or praise to encourage desired behaviors.

2. Training Methods

Positive Reinforcement: Rewarding the dog for correct behavior to encourage repetition.

Negative Reinforcement: Removing an unpleasant stimulus when the dog performs the desired behavior.

Negative Punishment: Removing a rewarding stimulus to decrease undesired behavior.

Positive Punishment: Adding an unpleasant stimulus to decrease undesired behavior.

3. Training Progression

Shaping: Gradually reinforcing behaviors that approximate the desired behavior.

Proofing: Practicing commands in various environments and with distractions to ensure reliability.

Back Chaining: Training the last part of an exercise first and working backwards to the beginning.

Common Training Scenarios

1. Tracking

Scent Pad: The starting point of a track where the dog initially picks up the scent.

Corner: A change in direction in the track that the dog must navigate.

2. Obedience

Group Heeling: Practicing heeling exercises in a group setting to increase focus and control.

Recall Under Distraction: Practicing the recall command with various distractions to ensure reliability.

3. Protection

Courage Test: An exercise where the dog must show bravery by confronting a running decoy.

Hold and Bark: The exercise where the dog finds and barks at the decoy without making contact.

Conclusion

Understanding common Schutzhund terms is essential for anyone involved in training German Shepherd Dogs for this demanding sport. These terms cover various aspects of training, from basic obedience to advanced protection work, and using them correctly can enhance communication and effectiveness during training sessions. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced handler, familiarizing yourself with these terms will help you better understand and participate in the world of Schutzhund training.

Schutzhund, which translates to “protection dog” in German, is a dog sport that focuses on developing and evaluating the physical and mental traits necessary for police-type work. Originating in Germany, Schutzhund training is particularly associated with the German Shepherd breed. This rigorous sport encompasses tracking, obedience, and protection phases. Understanding the terminology used in Schutzhund is crucial for trainers, handlers, and enthusiasts. Here is an overview of common Schutzhund terms used in training German Shepherd Dogs.

Schutzhund Training Phases

1. Tracking (Fährtenarbeit)

Fährte (Track): The scent trail that a dog follows. In Schutzhund, the track is laid by either the handler or a track layer.

Anschneiden (Start the Track): The command given to the dog to begin following the scent trail.

Verweisen (Indicate): When the dog finds an article on the track, they must indicate it, usually by lying down with the article between their front paws.

2. Obedience (Unterordnung)

Fuß (Heel): The command for the dog to walk closely on the handler’s left side, maintaining shoulder alignment with the handler’s knee.

Sitz (Sit): The command for the dog to sit. This is a fundamental obedience command used in various exercises.

Platz (Down): The command for the dog to lie down. This is used in both obedience and protection phases.

Hier (Come): The recall command, instructing the dog to return to the handler’s side.

Voraus (Go Out): The command for the dog to run away from the handler in a straight line and lie down on command.

Bleib (Stay): The command to remain in the current position until released by the handler.

3. Protection (Schutzdienst)

Revieren (Search the Blind): The command for the dog to search and locate a hidden decoy (helper) in one of the blinds or hiding places.

Verbellen (Bark and Hold): The command for the dog to bark continuously at the decoy without making physical contact. This shows the dog’s ability to control their aggression.

Fass (Bite): The command instructing the dog to bite and hold the decoy on the padded sleeve.

Aus (Release): The command for the dog to release the bite and let go of the decoy.

Stellen und Verbellen (Locate and Bark): This exercise tests the dog’s ability to find the decoy and bark to alert the handler without biting.

Training Equipment and Tools

1. Collars and Leashes

Halsband (Collar): Used to control and guide the dog during training.

Leine (Leash): A leash used for various training exercises, typically made of leather or nylon for durability.

Hetzhalsband (Protection Collar): A specialized collar used during protection training.

2. Protective Gear

Schutzarm (Protection Sleeve): A padded sleeve worn by the decoy to protect against bites during training.

Schutzanzug (Protection Suit): A full-body suit worn by the decoy during advanced protection training exercises.

3. Other Equipment

Beißkissen (Bite Pillow): A training tool used to develop bite strength and accuracy.

Kong (Toy): A durable toy used as a reward or for training exercises.

Stöckchen (Stick): Often used as a distraction or to test the dog’s focus and control during protection exercises.

Schutzhund Titles and Levels

1. BH (Begleithund)

Begleithundprüfung (Companion Dog Test): The entry-level obedience test that a dog must pass before progressing to Schutzhund trials. It includes basic obedience and traffic safety exercises.

2. IGP Titles (Internationale Gebrauchshund Prüfungsordnung)

IGP1, IGP2, IGP3: The three levels of Schutzhund titles, each progressively more challenging. The numbers indicate the level of difficulty, with IGP3 being the highest.

IPO (Internationale Prüfungsordnung): The former name for the Schutzhund titles, now replaced by IGP. The structure remains the same.

3. Other Titles

FH (Fährtenhund): Advanced tracking titles with FH1 and FH2 levels, focusing solely on the dog’s tracking abilities.

SchH (Schutzhund): An older term still occasionally used, synonymous with IPO and IGP titles.

Commands and Cues

1. Basic Commands

Nein (No): The correction command used to stop unwanted behavior.

Pfui (Shame/No): Another correction command similar to “No.”

Bring (Fetch): The command for the dog to retrieve an object.

Hopp (Jump): The command instructing the dog to jump over an obstacle.

2. Advanced Commands

Abrufen (Recall): The command for the dog to return to the handler.

Voran (Forward): Used in advanced obedience and protection work to send the dog forward.

Revier (Search): The command for the dog to search an area or specific location.

3. Release and Reward Commands

OK (Release): The command releasing the dog from a position or exercise.

Lob (Praise): Used to praise the dog verbally for correct behavior.

Training Concepts and Techniques

1. Drive and Motivation

Trieb (Drive): Refers to the dog’s natural instincts and energy, such as prey drive or defense drive, which are harnessed during training.

Motivation: The use of rewards such as treats, toys, or praise to encourage desired behaviors.

2. Training Methods

Positive Reinforcement: Rewarding the dog for correct behavior to encourage repetition.

Negative Reinforcement: Removing an unpleasant stimulus when the dog performs the desired behavior.

Negative Punishment: Removing a rewarding stimulus to decrease undesired behavior.

Positive Punishment: Adding an unpleasant stimulus to decrease undesired behavior.

3. Training Progression

Shaping: Gradually reinforcing behaviors that approximate the desired behavior.

Proofing: Practicing commands in various environments and with distractions to ensure reliability.

Back Chaining: Training the last part of an exercise first and working backwards to the beginning.

Common Training Scenarios

1. Tracking

Scent Pad: The starting point of a track where the dog initially picks up the scent.

Corner: A change in direction in the track that the dog must navigate.

2. Obedience

Group Heeling: Practicing heeling exercises in a group setting to increase focus and control.

Recall Under Distraction: Practicing the recall command with various distractions to ensure reliability.

3. Protection

Courage Test: An exercise where the dog must show bravery by confronting a running decoy.

Hold and Bark: The exercise where the dog finds and barks at the decoy without making contact.

Conclusion

Understanding common Schutzhund terms is essential for anyone involved in training German Shepherd Dogs for this demanding sport. These terms cover various aspects of training, from basic obedience to advanced protection work, and using them correctly can enhance communication and effectiveness during training sessions. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced handler, familiarizing yourself with these terms will help you better understand and participate in the world of Schutzhund training.

Leave a Reply