Trial Components

Obedience

Obedience is the first component of the Schutzund test and is the most important. Without obedience, or even good obedience, a dog would never be able to do the last two components (tracking and protection). Here the dog must be able to heel on and off leash diretly beside the handler while always looking at his face, be able to retrieve a dumbell and bring it back even if it involves going over a jump, laying across the field from his handler and not get distracted by another dog who is doing the obediene routine and much more. To be a success at obedience, it is very important that the dog and handler have an incredible relationship and respect for one another and that both sides truly love what they are doing.

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Tracking

A dog is "tracking" when he is following the scent trail or disturbed vegetation scent, left by a person (or other animal) that has traveled along a certain route. Following a track is one of the many useful things dogs can do to help people. Hounds track game, rescue dogs track lost children, police dogs track suspects, well trained pets can find lost items. 

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Tracking, trailing and other forms of scent work are activities that bring you to the very essence of what a dog is.  Scent work is a partnership in which you are asking the dog to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.  When you work with a dog in scent work you quickly learn that the dog knows a different world.  

Just about any dog can learn to track.  The teaching of tracking is itself very instructive.  At the novice levels the dog is started at the beginning of the track, and the dog is encouraged to sniff around to identify the scent to be followed.  Because the direction is established the dog should be able to (with training) pick out the correct trail to follow.

Protection

Protection is the 3rd component to a Schutzund test. Here the dogs are required to search for the helper, bite his sleeve when he tries to attack and walk him to the judge. This may seem like a fairly easy thing to do, but it is not! Throughout this whole phase the dogs are dying to chase the helper and bite his sleeve (it is a very fun game for them), so it is crucial that these dogs not only have impeccable obedience but that they truly respect their handlers.

The work done in this phase is similar to those for dogs in police work. 

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