To more accurately reflect the full range of German Shepherd traits the United Schutzhund Clubs of America has discontinued the use of the term “Schutzhund”, replacing it with the term “IPO” and adopting a new set of guidelines that can be downloaded: New-IPO-Guidelines-6-05-12.
IPO is an abbreviation for “Internationale Prüfungs Ordnung” which translates from German as “International Trial Rules”. IPO is the international standard established by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), an international federal of kennel club founded in 1911 and based in Thuin, Belgium.
The term Schutzhund translates from German as “protection dog”. While the German Shepherd remains the prototypical protection dog, many felt that the implied emphasis on protection did not do justice to the dog’s other exemplary traits such as temperament, courage, intelligence, stamina, endurance, desire to work, ability to handle stress, and loyalty to its handler.
The sport of Schutzhund (IPO) evolved from working tests developed in the early 20th century. As the industrial revolution swept Europe and replaced much of the agricultural foundation, it was feared that the value of working dogs would be lost as modernization replaced many traditional farming methods.
The conformation show served to establish uniform physical structure and type, but did little to identify those dogs with strong drives, working ability, and the accompanying character and temperament. The working tests which evolved into the current day IPO evolved to serve this purpose, as they continue to do.
As before IPO will be a three level dog sport with three progressively difficult levels of performance and competition for the titles IPO1, IPO2, and IPO3. Each level will continue to be comprised of three separate and distinct phases;
Tracking: which is the development of the animal’s natural scenting ability and its desire and willingness to work for its handler.
Obedience: which evaluates the dog’s responsiveness to commands given in a number of situations.
Protection: which is perhaps the most iconic and showcases the dog’s confidence courage, drive, and stability under the control of a handler. It is the protection phase that includes the bite work.
Because the dog must demonstrate superior scores across all three phases, the path to an IPO 3 title is long and arduous, involves extended training and great expense, so relatively few dogs will achieve this level of performance excellence. To earn the title multiple times is as you can imagine even rarer, and is attained only by the breed’s finest working specimens.
We are proud that Vom Banach K9’s own SG Tyras vom Schindergraben has earned his IPO3 title an incredible five times and recently earned a Top 10 finish at the 2013 USCA National IPO3 Championships, November 1-3, in Merced, California. Puppies available to approved homes. Tyras’ pedigree.
See photos of Tyras working below: