Schutzhund (now called IPO) is a dog sport developed in Germany. The English translation is “protection dog”. It is a test used to determine whether a dog has the right temperament and working ability to be used for patrolling borders, police work, military and other similar tasks.
Before a dog can be trialed in Schutzhund, they must first pass temperament evaluation called the BH.
There are three levels for Schutzhund: SchH1/IPO 1 (easiest), SchH 2/IPO 2 & SchH 3/IPO 3 (most difficult). Each phase is graded on a 100 point system and consists of three phases: Tracking, Obedience & Protection. Tracking & Obedience need a minimum of 70 points and Protection 80 points.
The tracking phase consists of a dog tracking foot prints that have been aged. The dog then has to find several articles that have been laid out and then indicate each one to the handler.
The second phase is Obedience. The dog is required to heel on and off lead through a group of people, a gunfire test to see the dog’s reaction to noise, perform motion commands (sit, down & stand). The dog must also do a recall, three retrieves along with a send away and a down to finish. .
The protection phase involves a helper that wears a padded sleeve. The dog must run the blinds and search for the helper. Once the helper is found, the dog must hold and bark to signal that the helper was found. Unless the dog or handler is attacked, the dog cannot bite the helper.