Schutzhund is an international sport also referred to as “IPO.” The terms IPO and Schutzhund are freely interchanged, along with the title abbreviation of SchH or IPO in a dog’s registered name. Schutzhund is intended to demonstrate the dog’s intelligence and utility. As a working trial, Schutzhund measures the dog’s mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage and trainability.
Schutzhund and similar breeding suitability tests are vital for our dog community. Most all police, military, and scent detection dogs come from Schutzhund breeders and Schutzhund lines. Why? Because Schutzhund is first and foremost a breeding suitability test. Dogs from these lines are more likely to have the correct temperament and physical structure to do the work.
Working dogs want to work. Schutzhund preserves their abilities and promotes their drives in a positive, structured manner. The rules are written and trials are judged to reward only eager, focused, accurate work. High ratings and scores are given to the dog which displays a strong willingness and ability to work for its handler. Schutzhund is an advanced partnership with the dog – true teamwork. It is a triathlon for dogs – Tracking, Obedience, Protection.