Schutzhund, dog sport

SCHUTZHUND - Schutzhund Training


2004 Trial Handling Rules Intro

Side Transport in Schutzhund

Why are some people good handlers? This question is asked all the time. Some people are more coordinated than others, some do many tasks at once, some people can see mistakes or problems and correct them at any given notice or through training, and some people retain more knowledge. All of these things and more make any one person a good handler. Here are some hints on successful trialing.

When showing always smile at the judge and be extremely interested in everything he/she has to say. Many judges have handler's meetings where competitors can ask questions. Use this opportunity to clear up any concerns you might have. Pay attention to his instructions, and pay a lot of attention to his critiques of other dogs. The B is a good place to start because sometimes the judge goes into novice-like detail to the handlers at this level letting you know what is correct.

At a trial you have to go with the flow. Don't get overly upset about mistakes, it will just interrupt your other performances. Don't dwell on perceived inequities of scoring or conditions. What you lose one place you will probably get back in another, maybe at another trial a year later. Every competitor knows that you have good days and bad days.

A good competitor knows the rules when he is trialing. Rules change from year to year. In the last few years they have changed the rules substantially, and each handler must know the rule changes. It is important to know what costs more points, and if you have to lose points, where to lose them. Example:

  1. If your dog misses some blinds do not be too worried, it is only a 5 point exercise in the SchH 1 and 2 and 10 points in the SchH 3. If a couple of extra commands makes him finish that is great, but don't stress your dog. It could cost you more in the long run.
  2. If your dog goes after the dumbbell but doesn't find it give another "bring" command but do not move from your spot.
  3. If your dog is coming around the jump, maybe a second "hup" command will make the dog jump so you lose less points.

When there is an odd number of competitors in obedience, occasionally the judge will do a “round-robin”. This is difficult for some handlers to understand. A round-robin is when you have three competitors report for obedience instead of just two. One competitor (1) will be doing obedience and one competitor (2) will be doing the long down and the third competitor (3) will be off the field. When the first competitor (1) is done with the heeling portion and is ready for the down, the team (2) on the long down will the leave the field. The team (3) that was off the field will then come on to do obedience and then go to the long down when finished. Example:

  • Competitor A will do the obedience, long down and then be off the field.
  • Competitor B will do the long down, be off the field, then come back for obedience.
  • Competitor C will be off the field, then do obedience and then end with the long down.
  • If the judge designs a round-robin correctly, every team will have a break after their long down. This means no competitor would go from a long down to obedience, which in most cases is less desirable.

A judge might ask for a dummy dog instead of a round-robin. That just means a team that won't be pointed will go out and do a mock pattern so that the dog being tested can be fairly scored.

The impartiality test is performed before the beginning of all Schutzhund titles. The judge usually likes to see all competing teams walk through a group of people one at a time on an obedience leash. Teams are usually asked to walk among a group of people casually and not in a heeling position. At this time, you must show the judge a tattoo if your dog has one. All competitors should practice showing the tattoo to the judge or other club members in training. If the dog has a tattoo on the leg, you can lay your dog down and roll him over for the judge or you can lift your dog up on his hind legs. Do what is best for your dog.

This is a picture of a good way to show the judge your dog's ear tattoo.

In the rest of this document helper, decoy, or agitator are used interchangeably.

You are allowed to disarm the helper in any way during protection. It is important to practice disarming with your dog to find the safest and least costly way to disarm the helper. 1. The helper can pass the stick behind his back at your command. 2. You can ask the helper to step back and then down your dog and go to the helper and retrieve the stick and then fuss your dog to the helper for side-transport. 3. You can fuss the dog to the side of the helper and stop and then take stick and proceed with the side-transport. This exercise is left up to the handler. Please take into consideration the helper's safety during disarming.

When running the blinds, you can do it silently or you can say “voran, hier” or you can say “voran, “dog’s name”, hier”. It is important that you only use the commands native to the different countries and not make up words.

On the recalls you can only say “hier, come or the dog’s name” but not a combination. Do not use words judge’s are not familiar with or you could lose points.

Typical handling mistakes in tracking:

  • Not knowing the rules, especially new rule changes.
  • Handlers holding their dog by the collar all the way up to the scent pad at the beginning of the track.
  • Talking excessively to the dog.
  • Not staying at the end of the leash.
  • SchH 1 handlers take too long with laying the scent pad and dropping the articles on the track. Only light stepping at the scent pad and no stopping when laying articles on the track.

Typical handling mistakes in obedience (the BH guide has more common mistakes):

  • Not knowing the rules, especially new rule changes.
  • Handlers do not wait the full 3 seconds at basic sit position before asking the dog to perform another task. Example: Out the dumbbell, finish the dog…
  • Handlers praise their dogs incorrectly. Praise is allowed after every completed exercise, but only in basic position. During heeling routine praise is allowed after the group at basic position. Please read rule book under “praising”.
  • Handlers lose control of dog between exercises.
  • Not waiting to look at the judge before beginning each exercise or recalling the dog without judge’s signal.
  • Handlers do not walk the appropriate number of paces during each exercise.
  • Forgetting the left turn before the group in the obedience exercise.
  • Handler help when asking dog to down or sit. Nodding of the head or shoulders is considered handler help.
  • Handlers have to use the dumbbells supplied by the hosting club at all levels.
  • Handlers lose ALL points in dumbbell because they move out of basic before completion of dumbbell exercise. If the handler backs up or moves forward to get the dog to come to them or leave them the result is 0 points.
  • Handlers not noticing how close they approach other dogs. Just because your dog is completely dog friendly does NOT mean the other team’s dog is friendly.
  • Handler can only demonstrate the about turn by turning to the left. There is no about turn allowed to the right. And you must demonstrate the same about turn all through the routine.

Typical handling mistakes in protection:

  • Not knowing the rules, especially new rule changes.
  • If you start with the command "voran" or "revier" stick with the same command throughout the blind search.
  • If our dog does not recall out of the blind after three commands you are excused.
  • Do not ask the helper to raise his arms during search of the helper or disarming the helper.
  • Not listening to Judge’s direction.

In addition to the normal Obedience mistakes, there are additional mistakes that are common in the BH routine. Typical handling mistakes in the BH:

  • Handlers forget that they have to do the off-lead heeling routine after the on-lead. In other words, many handlers forget the off-lead heeling routine and go straight to the sit out of motion.
  • Handlers use two commands on the recalls. You can only say "Hier", "come" or the dog's name, BUT not a combination. Do not use words judges are not familiar with or you could lose points.
  • Handlers say "Fido, fuss!" or "Fido, Heel!" or "Fido, Down!" or "Fido, Come". This is a double command and will be pointed.
  • Light praise is permitted without breaking heeling.
  • Handler must wait for the judge's signal to begin, to recall or to return to your dog.
  • Handlers to the AKC about turn. You must demonstrate the about turn by turning to the left. You are allowed the German style about turn or the military about turn, but no longer the 'AKC' about turn. You must demonstrate the same about turn all through the routine.
  • Handler takes the leash off and on incorrectly, which can lose the team points. Here is the proper way to take the leash off to avoid losing points.

for the Sport of it!

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