There are three schutzhund titles: Schutzhund 1 (SchH1), Schutzhund 2 (SchH2), and Schutzhund 3 (SchH3). SchH1 is the first
title and SchH3 is the most advanced. Additionally, before a dog can compete for a SchH1, he must pass a temperament test
called a B or BH (Begleithundprüfung which translates as "traffic-sure companion dog test"). The B tests basic obedience,
sureness around strange people, strange dogs, traffic, and loud noises. A dog that exhibits excessive fear or aggression cannot
pass the B and so cannot go on to schutzhund.
The Schutzhund test has changed over the years. Modern Schutzhund consists of three phases: tracking, obedience, and protection. A dog must pass all three phases in one trial to be awarded a schutzhund title. Each phase is judged on a 100-point scale.
The minimum passing score is 70. At any time the judge may dismiss a dog for showing poor temperament, including fear or aggression.
In the tracking phase, a track layer walks across a field, dropping several small articles along the way. After a period
of time, the dog is directed to follow the track. When the dog finds each article he indicates it, usually by lying down with
the article between his front paws. The dog is scored on how intently and carefully he follows the track and indicates the
articles. The length, complexity, and age of the track varies for each title.
The obedience phase is done in a large field, with the dogs working in pairs. One dog is placed in a down position on the
side of the field and his handler leaves him while the other dog works in the field. Then the dogs switch places. In the field,
there are several heeling exercises, including heeling through a group of people. There are two gunshots during the heeling
to test the dog's reaction to loud noises. There are one or two recalls, three retrieves, and a send out where the dog is
directed to run away from the handler straight and fast and then lie down on command. Obedience is judged on the dog's accuracy
and attitude. The dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that is uninterested or cowering scores poorly.
In the protection phase, the judge has an assistant, called the "helper", who helps him test the
dog's courage to protect himself and his handler and his ability to be controlled while doing so. The helper wears a heavily
padded sleeve on one arm. There are several blinds, placed where the helper can hide, on the field. The dog is directed to
search the blinds for the helper. When he finds the helper, he indicates this by barking. The dog must guard the helper to
prevent him from moving until recalled by his handler. There follows a series of exercises similar to police work where the
handler searches the helper and transports him to the judge. At specified points, the helper either attacks the dog or the
handler or attempts to escape. The dog must stop the attack or escape by biting the padded sleeve. When the attack or escape
stops, the dog is commanded to "out", or release the sleeve. The dog must out or he is dismissed. At all times the dog must
show the courage to engage the helper and the temperament to obey his handler while in this high state of drive. Again, the
dog must show enthusiasm. A dog that shows fear, lack of control, or inappropriate aggression is dismissed.