Schutzhund training is much more than teaching a dog to attack on command, and does not make a dog vicious. In order to earn the titles, dogs have
to receive passing scores in obedience, bite work (including letting go on command!), and tracking. Agility obstacles and jumps (much higher than
what you see in AKC) are included in the obedience portion. The training is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically, and a dog has to
have an exemplary temperament, and be both very fit and 100% sound to compete. A properly trained Schutzhund dog is a joy to work with! It is interesting
to note that very few German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois (the two most popular Schutzhund breeds) from AKC conformation lines can cut the mustard,
and that most Schutzhund, military working dogs, and police dogs are imported from Germany and Japan.
Schutzhund competitions is being limited to those breeds (i.e., German and Belgian Shepherds, Rotties, Dobies, etc.) that have traditionally participated
in it. Apparently there was some controversy over certain people competing with Pit Bulls, and it was easier to ban all “non-Schutzhund” breeds
rather than just the few problem breeds.
Most Schutzhund clubs still welcome all breeds to participate in training. Some people have trained a Standard Poodle and a St. Bernard successfully.
One person in Southern California has done some schutzhund work with her Kerry bitch but was not encouraged to go on. She was a bit small for the bite
work and too small to go over the wall.
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