Doberman Protection Training
The Schutzhund Method for Doberman Protection Training
When you are ready for advanced Doberman protection training, the Schutzhund method seems to be the most popular choice. Since Dobermans were bred originally as not only personal protectors but also for soldier and police work, it takes a special kind of in-depth training to prepare the dogs for difficult and stressful tasks.
Germany invented the Schutzhund method in the early 1900s to instill working and controllable traits in naturally protective breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher. Many European countries require Dobermans to successfully complete Schutzhund training before they can be a confirmed champion or before offspring is allowed to be registered.
Using the Schutzhund method, Doberman protection training can be completed at three levels with each one being more challenging than the last. Before entering training, the Doberman is required to pass a temperament test to evaluate basic obedience around people, dogs, noises and smells. This test is important to make sure that the dog will not suffer from stress during this intense level of Doberman protection training.
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Obedience training is the first level explored in the Schutzhund method. It is performed in a field with two dogs per handler. One dog is commanded in the down position while the other dog leaves the handler to work in the field. The dog in the field is required to “heel” around people and then the dogs are instructed to switch positions.
A few times throughout this Doberman protection training, gunshots are fired to test the dog’s confidence. Retrieves and other basic commands are completed throughout as well. Judgment for this level is based on both attitude and accuracy.
During the tracking phase of the Schutzhund method, the track layer walks through a field and places small objects along the way. When the dog is commanded to do so, he follows the track and signals that each object is found by placing it between his paws from a lying down position. The tracking score is based on how precisely the dog follows the trails and correctly signals the finding of each object. Complexity and length of the track increases with every level of this Doberman protection training method.
The protection phase of the Schutzhund program is the most intense. This level of Doberman protection training tests the dog’s control when he is in a stressful situation along with his ability to protect both himself as well as his handler. The “helper” wears very heavily padded gloves and hides in one of the many blinds on the field. The Doberman is commanded to approach each blind with caution and search them. When he finds a hiding helper, he is to bark as an indication and keep him there until his handler arrives. Once the handler arrives, he imitates a police search and transportation of the individual to a designated area. At certain points to the designated area, the helper stimulates an escape and an attack on the dog and the handler. The Doberman is commanded to bite firmly on the sleeve of the helper and pull him down on the ground. When the handler gives the “Out!” command, the dog must release immediately.
Doberman protection training using the Schutzhund method was been popular throughout every part of Europe since it was created. In 1963, it was introduced to the United States first in California and has maintained a core group of trainers, handlers and dogs across the country. If there is not a program in your area, this method can be practiced at home with the help of tutorials. Although a home-trained Doberman does not receive Schutzhund award recognition, it does result in a highly obedient, personal protector.