- THE WORLD UNION of German Shepherd Dogs (W.U.S.V.)

What is Schutzhund/IPO ?

Schutzhund began more than 100 years ago in Germany as a way to test the working ability of the German Shepherd Dog.  It's initial purpose was to determine which dogs should be used for breeding and which dogs should be bred together to maintain the German Shepherd Dog as an all-round working breed.

Today, Schutzhund/IPO continues to be used as a breeding standard for the more serious top breeders.  In fact, still in Germany today, German Shepherd Dogs cannot be bred unless they have attained a minimum level of Schutzhund/IPO.

Schutzhund has also evolved into a sport enjoyed by dog lovers around the world.  In Canada, there are more than 50 clubs and a thousand  members scattered from coast to coast in different clubs that are under the WUSV, DVG and FCI organizations.

The sport is comprised of 3 phases- TRACKING, OBEDIENCE, and PROTECTION - and is often referred to as the triathalon of dog sports.

The Total Dog

The WUSV clubs promote the total German Shepherd Dog through Schutzhund/IPO, Sieger Shows and Breed Surveys.  The best of the breed combines the working ability of the sport dog with the grace and beauty of the show dog.The other working organizations are DVG and FCI., they are open to ALL BREEDS.

The Sieger Show

The conformation judge will compare each dog to his picture of an ideal German Shepherd Dog, both in structure and temperament as described in the internationally accepted WUSV breed standard.  Dogs are judged on their physical conformation and movement in the show ring.  Dogs are given a rating based on how well they conform to the standard.

The Breed Survey

This is the final test that a dog has to pass in order to be eligible for breeding under the German System.  A dog must have already passed a 20-km endurance test, passed the hip and elbow certification, passed the temperament and sociability test, earned a working title, and been awarded a minimum conformation rating of "good".

The Triathlon of Dog Sports

The dog must follow in the path of a human's footsteps and find dropped articles along the way.  The number of turns and age of the track, along with the level of difficulty and different terrains increases with higher titles.

The dog must follow the handler's commands during a number of precision exercises, retrieves and obstacle work.  Dogs must demonstrate a high degree of control but also show spirit and enthusiasm.  They should also show sociability and control around many people and other animals.



All dogs already know how to bite.  This is something they are born with.  Schutzhund/IPO teaches the dog when biting is appropriate and when it is not. The dog learns to distinguish between a harmless bystander and a potentially dangerous person.  This phase also tests the natural instincts, drives, nerves, threshold, guide-ability, train-ability and courage of the dog/handler.  The dog is only permitted to bite the protective sleeve worn on the arm of the helper - and only when the dog or handlers is threatened.  No other bites are allowed in the sport or teams will be disqualified.


In Schutzhund/IPO, temperament is everything.  The certified dog must be friendly and approachable.  It does not regard a person as a threat until the person displays signs of hostility or aggression towards him or his handler.  These dogs are not a danger to society and should never be put into the same category as an attack dog.

Because of the strict temperament test involved in the sport, not every dog can successfully achieve the certification of "Schutzhund/IPO titles".
Before a dog can enter into the sport, it must pass a BH (Companion Dog Test). This test was developed as a preliminary, but thorough temperament test.  It is designed to keep aggressive, sharp, or nervous dogs from participating in the sport and ultimately, from being bred.

Alternate Breeds
While Schutzhund/IPO was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog, the sport is open to all breeds.  Usually the larger working breeds have the most success- Belgian Malinois, Dobermann Pinschers, Rottweilers, Bouviers, Boxers and Giant Schnauzers have been the most common.

Goals of a good respectful club:

*To improve the structure and temperament of the German Shepherd Dog.
*To uphold the standards of the German Shepherd Dog as approved by the W.U.S.V.
*To conduct Conformation shows and Breed Surveys according to the WUSV standards for the G.S.D.
*To provide guidelines for breeding to those who own and breed GSD's.
*To educate the public in regard to the importance of strong, steady temperament as a prerequisite in breeding programs.
*To promote Schutzhund/IPO among our youth.
*To conduct Schutzhund/IPO trials according to VDH (German Dog Rules) rules.
*To promote responsible, sportsmanlike behaviour by our membership.
*To upgrade the knowledge and expertise of it's members in the areas of structure, temperament and training of working dogs.
*To provide advice, assistance and encouragement to groups and individuals interested in becoming GSSCC members.
*To conduct an annual Canadian German Shepherd Dog Championship and Sieger Show.
*To develop and maintain the Canadian Judges Training Program in performance and conformation.

The SV in Germany

The WORLD UNION of German Shepherd Dogs

Schutzhund USA

DVG North America

FCI- all breed National sports club