Monday, August 5, 2013

Iowa Hundesport

This weekend I made time to go check out Iowa Hundesport's Mid Central Schutzhund Trial. I wasn't able to get there at the very start so I missed the tracking and most of the obedience, but I did get to see the BH test and the protection phase. Which is, of course, the most exciting! :)

That's a funny word ... Schutzhund

Schutzhund is a German word meaning 'protection dog.' However, there is much more than just protection in the sport of Schutzhund. There are three phases - tracking, obedience, and pretection. The requirements for the tracking and obedience parts are similar to the AKC's sports, while the requirements for the protection part are similar to those for dogs in police work. All three phases are equally important, so no you can't just do protection work :).

There are three levels of Schutzhund titles - Schutzhund 1, 2, and 3. But before being allowed to enter for a Schutzhund 1 title, the dog must first have successfully completed the BH. The BH is a degree for traffic-safe companion dogs that tests the dog's temperament around people. It is a lot like the AKC's CGC - including a basic formal obedience (heeling on and off leash, sits, downs, and recalls) - however the exercises are higher in difficulty.

While dogs of other breeds are admitted to Schutzhund trials, this sport was originally developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog (GSD).  The first Schutzhund trial was held in Germany in 1901 to emphasize the correct working temperament and ability in the GSD breed. This weekend it was mostly GSDs, but I did get to watch a couple of Dobermans and a Belgian Malinois.

A doberman testing for Schutzhund 1 runs off the field with his 'prize' - the bite sleeve.

I took tons of pictures while I was there and it was hard to weed through them for the best ones. So sorry, but here are quite a few :) to enjoy:

A Belgian Malinois sitting, ready for the 'suspect' to try to run away.

He didn't run fast enough :)

Holding the 'suspect' for the handler.

A handler sending her dog out to check the blinds.

The GSD is ready for the 'suspect' to run.

And the chase is on :).


Sometimes these dogs pack quite the punch! I sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end!!

A GSD on the run checking blinds. That one was empty!

Found you!

The dog grips the helper while the owner and judge look on.

'I dare you to move.'

The dog heeling out with the owner for the long bite.
The dog performing a bark and hold with 'suspect' in the blind.

The take down :).

We heard this grip from the audience section. 
It was a great day and the dogs are ready to do it again!

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