Schutzhund is a German word meaning “protection dog.” It refers to a sport that focuses on developing, polishing and evaluating those traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. Schutzhund work concentrates on three separate areas, consisting of tracking, obedience and protection. The Schutzhund standards for protection work are very similar to those for dogs in police work.
While dogs of other breeds are admitted to Schutzhund trials, this breed evaluation test was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog. Schutzhund is intended to demonstrate the dog’s intelligence and utility.
In a working trial, Schutzhund assesses the dog’s mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage and trainability.
The sport offers dog owners an opportunity to train their dogs and to compete with each other for recognition of both the handler’s ability to train and the dog’s ability to perform. It is a sport enjoyed by persons of varied professions who join together in camaraderie born of their common interest in working with their dogs. Persons of all ages and conditions of life – even those with significant disabilities – enjoy Schutzhund. Often, it is a family sport.
The staff of Camano Island Kennels has competed successfully at the international level with the kennel’s own Schutzhund service dogs. Some have ranked very high for training in national and international Schutzhund trials. This has included attaining the position of number-one dog in the United States and number-one dog in Canada in their respective classes.