The Rules

The rules for the Schutzhund Trainers Challenge are closely based on the Schutzhund III rules from the 1990s:

TRACKING
100 POINTS

The track will be laid by a stranger. It will be approximately 800 to 1000 paces long and at least 50 minutes old using 3 articles. The track includes at least 4 right angles and the starting point should be marked. After the track layer has stood at the starting point for a short time, he will proceed to walk the course as indicated by the judge without breaking his stride. There is no set pattern for the track as long as it contains the correct number of turns and correct distance. The track layer will drop the first article at about 100 paces, the second article halfway into the second or third leg, and the third article will be dropped at the end of the track. After dropping the last article, he will proceed for a few more paces and then walk away from the track. The dog may track either freely or on a 30ft leash. Both ways will be judged identically.

Explanation
Before laying the track, the track layer has to show the article to the judge. Only articles with the scent of the track layer can be used. They should be a neutral color and not larger than a wallet. The article should be well scented and be in the track layer’s possession for about 30 minutes prior to laying of the track.

During the laying of the track, the handler and his dog will be out of sight. The odor of the track should not be changed by the track layer by standing still or scraping his feet across the ground. The article should be laid directly on the track and not beside it. The handler will now get his dog ready for tracking. When called upon, the handler will present himself and his dog to the judge stating at this time whether his dog will pick up the articles or point them out.

It is faulty to both pick up and point out. When directed by the judge, the handler will take his dog slowly and calmly to the start of the track. No force should be used at any time while tracking. The handler should give his dog sufficient time to pick up the scent.

The dog should pick up the scent calmly with a deep nose. As soon as the dog starts tracking, the handler will let the 30ft least pass through his hands and follow the dog at the end of the leash. When the dog reaches the first article he should, without command, either pick up or point out as indicated to the judge beforehand. After picking up the article, the dog may either standby, sit-stay, or he may return to the handler. Any continuing on the track after picking up the article is a fault. The pointing out may be done by standing, sitting, or downing. The handler will drop the leash and walk up to his dog immediately.

By holding the article over his head, the handler should show the judge that the dog has found the article. Following this, the handler and his dog will continue on the track. When the track is completed the handler will report to the judge and show him the 3 articles.

Scoring
A faulty start, lack of control, circling on the track, constant encouragement or chewing or dropping of the articles will result in deductions of up to 4 points. Repeat starting, lack of interest, tracking with a high nose, impetuous tracking, and urinating or defecating or not are deductions of up to 8 points. For a wrongly picked up or pointed out article not belonging to the track layer, 4 points will be deducted. For missing an article, 7 points will be deducted.

OBEDIENCE
100 POINTS

  1. Heeling off leash – 10 points
    The handler should report to the judge with his dog off-leash. The handler will carry the leash keeping it out of sight of the dog. The dog should heel willingly and happily with his shoulder beside the left knee of the handler, and he should not forge ahead, follow behind, or stay off to the side. On his own initiative, the handler must perform the heeling pattern at normal, fast, and slow pace. The normal pace should include a left, right, and about turn. The about turns will be made by turning into the dog. Right about turns are not used. Only at the start and when changing the pace is the handler allowed to give the dog the command “heel.” When the handler comes to a stop, the dog should sit automatically without an additional command. The handler may not change his position to favor his dog. When directed by the judge, the handler will heel his dog through a group of at least four moving people. The handler has to come to a halt at least once while heeling through the group. At the start of the exercise, the handler and his dog should proceed for at least 50 paces in a straight line without any turns or halts. While the handler and his dog are going through the heeling exercises (but not while moving through the group) two shots will be fired. The dog should behave impartially to the gunshots. If the dog is gun-shy, he will be excused from the examination. Should the dog show aggressiveness but remain under control of the handler, it will only be considered a fault. Full points can only be given to the dog that is impartial to gunshots.

    Explanation
    Note: correct procedure must be followed when testing the dog for gun sureness.
    The shots should be fired at a distance of 15 paces at an interval of ten seconds. If a dog runs away after a gunshot, he will be excused from the examination. If the judge feels that a dog is gun-shy, he may choose to further test the dog. The testing for gun shyness will only be done under the exercises heeling off leash and long down under distraction.
  2. Sitting exercise (while moving) – 5 points
    Out of the heeling position, the handler and his dog will heel off leash straight ahead. After a minimum of 10 paces, he will give his dog the command “sit.” The dog should sit immediately, without the handler changing his pace. After another 30 paces, the handler should turn around facing the dog. When directed by the judge, the handler should return to his dog. If the dog, instead of sitting, lays down or stands, he will lose up to 3 points.
  3. Down in connection with recall – 10 points
    Out of the basic position the handler will heel his dog in a straight line for at least 10 paces. At this point the handler will begin to run. After another 10 paces he downs his dog without interrupting his pace and continues to run for another 40 paces. He will then stop and face the dog. After a pause of about 15 seconds, when directed by the judge, the handler will call the dog.
    The dog should come immediately and at a fast pace and sit directly in front of the handler. On the command “heel” the dog should assume the heeling position.
    Scoring
    If the dog sits or stands he will lose up to 5 points.
  4. Standing exercise (while moving) – 5 points
    From a heeling position the handler will heel his dog off-leash in a straight line. After about 10 paces, when told to “stand,” the dog should stand-stay immediately. Without turning around or changing his pace, the handler should walk another 30 paces, turn around, and face his dog. When directed by the judge, he will return to his dog. The exercise is completed after the handler and his dog assume the basic heeling position.
  5. Standing exercise (while running) – 10 points
    At the completion of the previous exercise (4. stand-stay) from the basic position the handler will immediately heel his dog while running for at least 10 paces. He will then tell his dog to “stand” and without interrupting his pace continue for another 30 paces. He will then turn around to face his dog and when directed by the judge he will call his dog. The dog should come immediately at a fast pace and sit directly in front of his handler. When given the command “heel” the dog should assume the heeling position.
    Scoring
    If the dog sits or lays down after being given the command “stand,” he will lose up to 5 points. Any movement of the dog after the command to “stay” is considered faulty.
  6. Retrieving of a 4 lb. dumbbell on flat ground – 10 points
    The Handler will stand with his dog at heel and throw the dumbbell approximately 10 paces. After the command “fetch” the dog should immediately run to pick up the dumbbell and bring it back to the handler. The dog should sit directly in front of the handler with a dumbbell in his mouth. After a brief pause, the handler should give the command “out” and take the dumbbell. When given the command “heel” the dog should go to the left side of the handler and assume a heeling position.
    Scoring
    If the dog drop the dumbbell, plays with, or chews on it, he may lose up to 4 points. If the dog handler changes his position during the exercise, he may lose up to 3 points. If the dog does not retrieve, he cannot receive any points for this exercise.
  7. Retrieval of a 1.5 lb. dumbbell over a 39″ high jump – 15 points
    The Handler stands with his dog at a reasonable distance from the jump. He then throws the dumbbell over the jump. When given the command, the dog should go over the jump without touching it, pick up the dumbbell and return over the jump to sit in front of his handler. When given the command “out,” the dog should release his hold and the handler takes a dumbbell.
    Explanation
    Two commands (“over” and “fetch”) may be given in this exercise. The command to fetch must be given before the dog lands on the other side of the jump.
    If the dumbbell lands beside the jump, the handler may, after asking the judge, pick up the dumbbell and throw it again. No automatic point deduction should be made. If the dog drops the dumbbell, the judge may repeat the exercise to determine if the dog is just confused or unwilling to work. The handler should remain his original position until the exercise is completed.
    Scoring
    Jump and retrieve correct – 15 points
    First jump correct, return jump refused, retrieve correct – 8 points
    First jump refused, return jump and retrieve correct – 8 points
    Both jumps correct, refuse to retrieve – 8 points
    Both jumps and retrieve refused – 0 points
    First jump correct, return jump and retrieve refused – 0 points
    For lightly touching the jump 2 points may be deducted. For lightly stepping on the jump up to 3 points may be deducted. For hard hitting of the jump, dropping the dumbbell, or playing or chewing, up to 4 points may be deducted.
  8. Retrieval of a 1.5 lb. dumbbell over a 6 ft. inclined wall – 15 points
    The handler and his dog should stand at a reasonable distance from the wall. When given the command, the dog should scale the wall, pick up the dumbbell, return over the wall and sit directly in front of the handler. He should hold the dumbbell until the handler gives the command “out.” After releasing the dumbbell, the dog will be given the command “heel.” The command to fetch must be given before the dog lands on the other side of the wall.
    If the dumbbell lands beside the wall, the handler may, after asking the judge, retrieve the dumbbell and throw it again. No automatic deductions should be made. If the dog drops the dumbbell, the judge may repeat the exercise to determine if the dog is just confused or unwilling to work. The handler should remain in his original position until completion of the exercise. Any motion of the handler from his original position is considered faulty.
    Scoring
    Jump and retrieve correct – 15 points
    First jump correct, return jump refused, retrieve correct – 8 points
    First jump refused, return jump and retrieve correct – 8 points
    Both jumps correct, refuse to retrieve – 8 points
    Both jumps and retrieve refused – 0 points
    First jump correct, return jump and retrieve refused – 0 points
    For dropping the dumbbell, playing or chewing, up to 4 points can be deducted.
  9. Go ahead and down – 10 points
    Off-leash, in a direction indicated by the judge, the handler will walk with his dog in a heeling position. After a few paces the handler should raise his arm and give his dog the command “go.” As the handler comes to a halt, the dog should proceed at a fast pace for at least another 40 paces in the direction indicated. When given the command “down,” he should go down immediately. The handler may keep his arm raised, pointing out the direction to his dog, until the down command is given. When directed by the judge, the handler will then pick up his dog.
    Explanation
    Repeated arm and vocal commands are considered faulty. The dog should go in a straight line, but a slight drifting is not faulty. Changing direction, not going out far enough, laying down too soon or standing up before the handler picks up his dog a result in point deductions.
  10. Down under distraction – 10 points
    At the beginning of the obedience exercises of the first dog, the handler of the second dog will down his dog and leave him. There should be no articles or leash left with the dog. The handler will then go to a designated hiding place at least 40 paces away.
    Explanation
    The handler must remain quietly out of sight until instructed by the judge to pick up his dog. The handler will then walk to the right side of the dog and assume the heel position. He will then command the dog to sit. No points will be given to a dog that moves more than 3 paces, regardless when, during the exercise. The dog cannot be given the full 10 points if he sits or stands during the exercise.

PROTECTION
100 POINTS

  1. Searching for the Helper- 5 points
    The helper is placed in hiding to allow the dog to search 6 blinds. While the helper goes into hiding, the dog and handler have to be out of sight. When the handler raises his arm and gives the dog the command, the dog should leave the handler and search the right and to the left. The handler is allowed to help his dog as often as necessary and may call his dog toward him. The dog should not come to the heel position but rather maintain the same speed to the next blind. Should the dog search occasionally to the rear it is not considered a fault. The handler should stay in the imaginary center line of the search area.
  2. Holding at Bay and Barking – 5 + 5 points = 10 points
    As soon as the dog finds the helper, the dog handler should stand still, and the dog should now bark continuously at the helper. When instructed by the judge, the Handler should walk within four paces of the hiding place and upon further instruction call his dog to heel. The handler will then ask the helper to leave the hiding place and the handler will down the dog within 3-4 paces away. Before the down command the handler will command the helper to place his hands in the air. The handler will then down his dog and then search the helper and then return to the hiding place for anything he may have left there.
    Scoring
    For continuous barking, the dog will receive 5 points. If the dog only barks lately, 2 points may be deducted. If he does not bark at all, 5 points will be deducted. If the non-barking dog stays with the helper without biting, he will receive 5 of the 10 available points. For lightly biting the helper he will lose 2 points. For hard biting he will lose up to 4 points.
  3. Escape and Defense – Escape 10 points – Defense 25 points
    The judge will instruct the helper to run away and try to escape. The dog should prevent this by biting hard. The helper should stop his attempt to escape by standing still. The dog should release upon command from the handler. When instructed by the judge, the helper should attack the dog, threatening the dog with a padded stick* without actually striking him. The dog should attack immediately and by biting hard, should stop the helper from fighting. After the dog obtains a firm hold, he should be hit twice with a padded stick* on the less sensitive parts of his body. When instructed by the judge, the handler should return to the dog and helper. The helper should hold the padded stick* in a manner so that it cannot easily be seen by the dog until exercise 5.
    Explanation
    The helper should wear protective clothing and sleeve as protection. As soon as the dog takes firm hold, it is absolutely necessary that he strike the dog twice with a padded stick*. At no time should the dog try to avoid the blows by letting go or repositioning the bite.
  4. Transport – 5 points
    Now follows the back transport of the helper for about 50 paces. The handler calls his dog to heel and then instructs the helper to walk ahead while he and his dog follow approximately 5 steps behind.
  5. Attack and Test of Courage 10 + 10 + 25 = 45 points
    1. During the transport, the helper will attack the handler. The dog should respond to this assault by taking a firm bite. After the attack, a search should be made and the helper disarmed. Now follows a side transport to the judge. After this is completed the handler will leave with his free healing dog and go into hiding.
    2. At a distance of about 100 paces, the judge will then direct the helper into a hiding place. The dog handler will be advised to take a position from which his dog must overcome and stop the escapee. When instructed by the judge, the helper will leave his hiding place and after being verbally challenged by the handler he will then run away. The handler will now send his dog out to stop the helper. The dog should use the shortest distance to catch the helper. When the dog gets to within about 40 paces, the helper will turn around and try to chase the dog away. Without being deterred, the dog should bite hard and hold the helper. The handler may approach up to a distance of 40 paces after sending his dog out. The helper will now stand still, after which the dog should release his hold.
    3. The helper will once again proceed to attack the dog at which point he uses the padded stick* to frighten him. After the dog has obtained a firm hold he should be hit twice with the padded stick* on the less sensitive parts of his body. Now the helper should stand still and the dog should release his hold. The handler will stand still for approximately 30 seconds without giving his dog any help whatsoever. When directed by the judge, he proceeds to make a search and disarm the helper. If the dog bites and does not release, the handler will go to his dog quickly and take him off. After this follows a side transport to the judge, who will be approximately 40-50 paces away. The handler will leave the examination area with his free healing dog.
The dog will be judged during the entire protection phase to determine the dogs fighting Instinct. In order to receive the “Pronounced Fighting Instinct” rating, the dog must show exceptional fighting instinct. This is evidenced by such actions as forcing the flight on the helper and biting hard. After the out and during the “Hold at Bay,” the dog should remain with the helper and watch him closely. If the dog leaves the helper or does not watch him closely, he cannot receive the Pronounced rating.
General Explanation for the Protection Phase
Whenever the dog releases his hold the helper does not have to stand completely motionless if it is necessary to move in order to see the dog. However, under no circumstances should he make threatening motions. He should always protect himself and only staying completely motionless if the dog stands waiting in front of him. Circling the helper is not considered faulty. Only the energetic attacking and hard biting dog, who releases immediately after one command, can receive full points. The dog who bites hard but releases only after several commands or goes back for rebites may lose up to a total of 15 points for all exercises. Dogs that are out of control of the handler, dogs that release their bite only one touch by the handler, dogs that do not bite, or dogs that can be chased away cannot pass the examination.
*changed from a “switch” in the original rules