Schutzhund / IPO
- Schutzhund is a dog sport that was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a breed suitability test for the German Shepherd Dog. The test - of tracking, obedience, and protection - determined if a dog displayed the appropriate traits and characteristics of a proper working German Shepherd Dog. These days schutzhund has evolved into a sport and is now known as IPO - which is the abbreviation of Internationale Prüfungsordnung. This essentially translates from German into "international trial rules".
Attributes of a successful IPO dog
- To succeed in IPO a dog needs to have a sound and balanced temperament and athletic ability. Breeds that compete successfully around the world typically include German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers. Modern dog training is largely based around rewarding the behaviours we want with food or toys - such as a ball or a tug. Dogs that especially like food and toys are more easily motivated and are often described as being "high drive". These dogs are easier to train and are generally more successful.
Starting puppies in IPO training
- We start training our puppies as soon as we get them - usually at 8 weeks of age - through play and with food and toy rewards. They must be willing participants and learn that training is fun. We want our puppies to grow into dogs that come on to the training field with drive and enthusiasm, and not just because it is fun, but because dogs that do not perform at trial in that manner will lose points.
Attributes of a successful IPO trainer
- We expect all members to understand that IPO is first and foremost a sport. Members should be self motivated and enthusiastically train in all three phases - tracking, obedience, and protection - with a view to ultimately competing with their dog at trial. The club trains as a co-operative group rather than as a training class. We welcome new members and we will assess your dog’s temperament and fitness for the sport. We aim to help and motivate each other and share skills and knowledge.
New Zealand United Schutzhund Club Inc. has training groups on the North Shore of Auckland and in Hawkes Bay and is affiliated with Schutzhund Australia. Training updates and upcoming events can be found on our Facebook pages.