Selection and Training a Dog for Schutzhund

Selection and Training a Dog for Schutzhund

The choice of a dog is the most important decision you must make to achieve the highest results in Schutzhund training. 
Most people understand that it is impossible just to buy the first available horse and expect that it will run the Kentucky Derby. Similarly, you can not just take any dog ??and believe that it will reach the highest level in Schutzhund competitions. The dog you have chosen must have an appropriate motivation, good health and balanced nervous system - these are only a few of the necessary qualities. This choice is crucial for your success. An experienced trainer will tell you that you can apply the same methods of training for 10 different dogs and get 10 different results. It happens because dogs, like people, have their own personality and will react differently to such things as punishment, encouragement, stress, pain and excitement.

Which breeds are suitable for competitions? 
Each country has its own rules about what breeds can take part in Schutzhund competitions. E.g. there are several Schutzhund organizations in the USA. Among them, the largest is the American Association of Schutzhund Clubs. It is the organization of the German Shepherd dog breed, which allows other breeds to participate in their competitions. There are also other breed clubs that organize competitions in the USA.
LV/DVG America (Deutscher Veband der Geerbrauchshundsportverine) is the international all-breed Schutzhund Club without special breed requirements. Halfbreeds are also allowed to participate in competition. It is rather a sport organization than breed club. DVG Members are divided into 13 regions, 12 in Germany, and thirteenth - in the United States. The victory at the American national competitions gives right of access to the DVG championship in Germany. Such clubs as the US Rottweiler Club (USRC), United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association (UBSDA) and others hold their own national and world championships. These breed clubs belong to the American Working Dog Federation (AWDF). Currently AWDF is working to become a member of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) which holds the world's all-breed championships on IPO - international rules of Schutzhund. The list of breeds that are allowed by FCI changes every year. 

Here is the list of the most popular breeds in alphabetical order.

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Anatolian Karabash
  • Australian Kelpies (at least 40-45 cm in height)
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Beauceron
  • Belgian Shepherd (Groenendael)
  • Belgian Laekenois
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Border Collie
  • Briard
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Boxer
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Pyrenean Mountain Dog
  • Hovawart
  • Picardy Shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Schnauzer (Giant and Standard)