PROTECTION

Schutzhund is a German word meaning 'protection dog'.  This phase of training tests the dog's courage, physical strength, control and agility and athletic ability.  It is important to note that Schutzhund is not personal protection work, and it is not a topic we will talk about here.

During this phase, the dog will:

  • Be under verbal command and control by the handler while on the trial field

  • Engage with the helper on command from the handler or on attack by the helper

  • Grip the sleeve of the helper, nothing else, and 'out' (release of the sleeve) on command

  • Maintain a non-threatening, neutral demeanor around everyone in attendance at a trial, including the judge, club members, volunteers, other participants, and spectators

This phase is not just a dog biting a person or possession such as the sleeve.  It is obedience under pressure and during a state of high excitement requiring a dog possess clarity, control and the ability to distinguish between neutrality and the threat of attack from an aggressor (the helper).  

Also worth dispelling is the notion that projection training makes a dog more aggressive or changes their basic genetic temperament.  Dogs should display happiness in the work and those wanting to train for this phase should not attempt training it on their own.  Seek out a trainer and club that can evaluate your dog using their confidence, temperament, stability and courage as a guide in determining their suitability for participation in protection work.