Dog Sports you may want to train in....

What is Schutzhund

The Germans call it "hundesport", dog sport. For generations, people from Europe and North America have been drawn into this unique idea of participating in an active sport with a dog. Schutzhund offers this in a way that no other sport can. It is outdoors. It is physical. It is mental. The demands are great, but the sport also offers competition and new friendships. In short, it is what all recreational sports should first be: good exercise, fun and full of rewards.
Schutzhund started at the beginning of this century as a test for working dogs. Its initial purpose was to determine which dogs could be used for breeding and which had true working ability. The growing demand for working dogs made more sophisticated tests and training necessary. These dogs were needed for police training, border patrol, customs, military and herding. As these tests evolved, more people participated just for the sheer enjoyment of seeing if their personal dogs could be trained as effectively as these "professional dogs". Now, over sixty years after the first formal Schutzhund rules were introduced, tens of thousands of people participate in the sport each year.

Schutzhund tests three specific areas of a dog's training and behavior. The first, tracking, requires the dog to track footsteps over mixed terrain, change direction and show absolute accuracy and commitment to finding the track. It must also find dropped articles and indicate their locations to the handler. Often this is done under less than ideal circumstances with difficult cover, bad weather conditions and an aged track. Many find tracking to be the most satisfying experience in training, when only the handler and dog are working together. It is certainly the most peaceful part of Schutzhund.

The second phase is obedience. Those who are familiar with AKC obedience will feel more comfortable in this area, as many of the exercises are similar to those in Open and Utility. There is heeling, both on and off lead. The sit, down and stand are also done, except when the dog is moving. But Schutzhund applies its own style to this work. Instead of a forty foot ring, the handler and dog work on a soccer sized trial field. Some exercises require the dog to work under the noise of a firing gun. In addition to the normal dumbbell retrieval, the dog must retrieve over a one meter jump and a six foot wall. Down stays and a long send away conclude the test.

The final test is the most misunderstood by the general public. This is protection. The most important point to understand when watching a protection routine, is the relationship between dog and handler. The dog must never bite the trial helper, unless either the dog or the handler is attacked. Then it must attack fully and without hesitation. But here the real difference becomes apparent. The dog must stop biting on the command of the handler and guard the trial helper without further aggression. Often people confuse Schutzhund protection training with police dog or personal protection work. The Schutzhund dog is capable of the feats of never being aggressive except under those specific situations it is trained to face, and even then it must always be under the absolute control of the handler.

The above tests are difficult enough, but to make it even more demanding, they all happen in one day during competitions that are held all over the country. These trials are held by local clubs or in regional and national championships. Each dog is judged by a complex point system that then determines the winner of the trial.

When a dog successfully completes the first trial, it is awarded a title of Schutzhund I. It can then progress to Schutzhund II and, the ultimate, Schutzhund III. Each level makes ever greater demands on the dog and training in all three areas. Any Schutzhunder will tell you that a high scoring Schutzhund III dog is the ultimate working dog: one in a thousand of all working dogs.

In addition to the Schutzhund I, II and III titles, other titles in advanced tracking, temperament tests, police training and agility work are awarded.

Today, Schutzhund is more than the small group that started in Germany so long ago. Its organizations have several hundred thousand members, scattered across Europe, North America and several other continents.

*Schutzhund has been changed to VPG (in German- Vielseitigkeitspruefung für Gebrauchshunde) which roughly translates into 'versatility test for working dogs.'

To learn more about Schutzhund visit WDA click here

What is French Ring

French Ring is a protection dog sport most similar to Campagne, Mondio Ring and Belgian Ring, but also sharing common elements with Schutzhund and KNPV. There are 4 titles that can be earned: Brevet, Ring I, Ring II and Ring III, each level introduces progressively more difficult situations and makes greater demands on the dog. French Ring Sport includes: agility, obedience and protection exercise.

When competing in Ring, the dog has no collar or leash on at any time except during the heel on leash. No food rewards or physical corrections are allowed at any time while competing. Also, excessive praise/petting will result in a loss of general outlook points. Points for an exercise will be lost for multiple commands, incorrect commands, or failure of the dog or handler to perform the exercise correctly. Control is emphasized from the moment the dog/handler team walks onto the field, until they leave at the end.

To learn more visit the official North American  Ring Association Click Here

What is KNPV

By: Rik Wolterbeek

K.N.P.V. Stands for: "Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging:, in English: Royal Dutch Police Dog Association.

KNPV I, is the same as PH I (Police Dog I)

K.N.P.V. was founded in 1907 and has about 10,000 members in the Netherlands. The Board of the K.N.P.V. is seated in Amersfoort in the province of Utrecht. The Netherlands (Holland) is divided in eleven provinces, K.N.P.V. is also divided in the same eleven provinces. Each province has its own board and the boards of all the provinces represent all the members of the K.N.P.V. in the meetings of the Head Board of K.N.P.V.

As of April 1994 there were 509 K.N.P.V. Clubs in Holland, 140 Certified decoys and 64 Certified Judges.

In 1993, 695 Dogs got their P.H. I Title, 82 dogs their P.H. II Title, 117 dogs their Objectbewakingshond Tittle, 21 dogs their Reddingshond Title, and 4 Dogs their Speurhond Title.

Every year in the months of May, July and October K.N.P.V. organizes a Certification Test. The Board of the K.N.P.V and the board of each province organizes these certifications. If there are enough dogs each province can have their own Certification in each of these months. It is normal that you do your Certification in your own Province. The decoys and the Judges are chosen by the Board of the K.N.P.V. They never come to work in the Province they live in for a Certification.

Every year in the month of June, the 10 highest titled dogs in Objectbewakingshond, from the last 3 months of which the Certification Tests were held will be invited to the "Objectbewakingshond", National Trial.

Every year in the first weekend of September, the 10 highest titled dogs in P.H. I, from the previous May & July Certification Tests are invited to the P.H. I, National Trial.

Every year on the first weekend in the month of September the P.H. II National Trial is held. Each province selects their representative to go to this Trial. The National Champion P.H. II from the year before is also invited, so a maximum of 12 dogs compete for the P.H. II Championship. These Trials are always held in Den Bosch.

For the programs "Speurhond" and "Reddingshond" the highest Certificate of the year automatically becomes National Champion.

KNPV Point Break down Click Here