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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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American Schutzhund

What do folks think about the American Schutzhund concept as proposed by Debbie Zappa and Jerry Bradshaw?
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:56 AM
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Dunno what you're referring to, is there another thread that may cast light? I found Jerry, if he is in NC, but still know nada.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 09:08 AM
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I'm interested in seeing how it turns out based on what I've heard. I need to go watch the video. I'm already doing a newer sport at the moment so I'm in no hurry to jump into another one. A lot of people I know are interested but wanting to let it mature first before fully committing to the sport.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:06 PM
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Their Mission Statement (copied from their Facebook page, to make it a bit easier to discuss here) -

February 15 ∑
American Schutzhund
Mission Statement:

To restore and maintain Schutzhund as a relevant breed suitability test for working dogs in America. American Schutzhund will test the ability of the dog to withstand stress and continue to function in difficult situations. We will continue to evolve, always cognizant of the fact, that the balance among the three phases of the test is what makes it so difficult, yet so important. The entire premise of the test is to determine the best dogs suitable for law enforcement, the military and for serving the needs of humanity. With the information gained through the rigorous trials of scent work, obedience and protection work: police officers, individuals and organizations in disaster work, as well as our armed forces, will be able to choose canines suitable to execute the work of serving. Down the Road: Registration and Stud Books will be developed for individual breeds.


Thank you for joining us on our official Facebook page. This page was created to organize and disseminate all relevant information pertaining to American Schutzhund. It also provides a centralized location for questions and answers.

There will be a zero tolerance policy for treating anyone with disrespect. If you ask a question, myself or Theresa Currier will do our absolute best to answer you. We will not get into long debates or arguments. We will, however, do our very best to give you accurate information.

American Schutzhund is a small organization, just getting started. As with any new endeavor, growing pains will be felt. Although we appreciate input, understand that we need to get the organization functional. We remain focused and are concentrated on that goal. Our mission is to provide a platform for like minded individuals to protect the heritage of our working breeds in America.


A few like minded individuals approached Debbie Zappia with concerns regarding the the negative direction IPO now known as IGP was heading. She was asked if she would spearhead a new organization that would essentially bring Schutzhund back to a state of relevance. Debbie, sharing the same concerns, agreed to help. As a result, American Schutzhund was created.

Please note; The American Schutzhund organization is being developed and implemented by a handful of driven individuals who are volunteering their time and services. No one is being paid or reimbursed for this endeavor.

Understanding The Organization

This organization is not about making anyone famous. Itís not about politics, executive boards, or world teams. This organization is not about being recognized by the SV nor will this organization yield to their politics and rules.

American Schutzhund is only interested in being recognized by North America. In the future, if the opportunity to form coalitions present itself, we will address the possibility at that time.

American Schutzhund is not for everyone. This organization provides you with a venue to test the hardness, fighting instinct and courage of your working dog. This organization will test every dogs ability to withstand stress and continue to function in relevant yet difficult situations. The entire premise of the test is to determine the best breeding stock, dogs suitable for law enforcement, the military, disaster organizations, individuals, and for serving the needs of humanity.


American Schutzhund is an all breed working dog organization. It was not created to divide and or replace any current working dog organizations.

This organization will accept memberships from already established clubs as well as new clubs. Also, all individual persons not affiliated with any clubs are also welcomed to join. In other words, all are welcomed to join and still belong to any other working dog organization. Thereís absolutely no reason to give up any affiliations you and or your club already have. We encourage you to work your dog to the best of itís ability in any sport you deem important.


The Protection Sports Association (PSA) has offered the American Schutzhund organization the opportunity to utilize their already established and successful infrastructure. Although the American Schutzhund organization is itís own entity regarding all things Schutzhund, it will be housed under the PSA umbrella.

By utilizing an already existing infrastructure, this will allow the American Schutzhund organization to immediately start accepting memberships, registering clubs, issuing scorebooks, and hosting trials. The business component of our organization is already in place thanks to PSA offering us access to their infrastructure.

Future Communications

Thereís still a lot of things being worked on. Hopefully, all will be in place and we will be good to go right after our first informational seminar in South Carolina. Weíll be sure to post that information again.

Theresa Currier will be posting the rules in the very near future. While some rules are still being scrutinized and finalized by Deb, Protection is completed and will be posted shortly. Please stay tuned for further information regarding membership, judges, helpers, scorebooks, along with everything you will need to successfully navigate the new American Schutzhund organization.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:09 PM
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 04:38 PM
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The concept of making it back to an actual temperament/suitability/actual ability test? I think it is a great idea but have not seen what it means in practice by them. Different exercises? More pressure? More environmental stuff?

I mean you have a situation where a trial originally was set to determine workabilty has evolved into a sport where the majority of actual LEO/working/military would not be found participating. I know there are exceptions, but in general. I have heard more than one knowledgeable person say there are actual 3 Euro lines...Show, Sport, and Work.

I have not been around long enough to have a real opinion, but I can see the reasoning for the desire to get back to roots with my own two eyes.

Anyone follow Isaac Schroeder on FB? He is not very experienced but has a ton of followers. He has been doing this "Dog of The Day" thing for months and months now. He posts a stud and people who know him or have progeny weigh in by the droves. Good stuff. Wish he would do dams, although he does always ask who the dam was when someone gives good or bad input.

Anyway, was surprising to read about a few off the field experiences regarding some National level dogs. Terrified of street signs? WUSV champ? Stuff of that ilk. Plenty of input on whether or not well known dogs were or produced environmental soundness and social soundness. It was interesting to hear who was handler hard or soft, who goes up the lead etc. You have people saying "looks great in prey drive but deflates under real pressure"..and it was over some rather well known dogs (either the dog themselves or their progeny).

Most of it is public and if nothing else a good relatively drama free read.

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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Cliff, what do you think about it?
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Wellll, lol, having a 25 year history of feeling Sch/IPO evolving into a sport being detrimental to the breed, I think it is a step in the right direction, but clearly think they have an uphill battle. Why?
1) too much money drives breeding, competition, and show decisions.
2) Elitism comes from the titles, ratings, thus giving status to “ reputable” breeders, who although are well meaning, are blinded and hamstrung by the parameters that the sport or show world puts on them. ( In plain English these two worlds become the be all and end all for these top dogs in these worlds so that their deficiencies outside these worlds are not exposed to the breeders, or they refuse to acknowledge them
3) the argument that anything ( title, sport, show rating), is better than nothing is no longer valid when any of these things take the breed into an extreme direction in which the dog is no longer fit for its original intentions
4) the versatility has slowly left the breed supplanted by beauty, high performance, and exaggerated body parts.
5) the parameters of sport and show have created an artificial standard of functionality and work ability that is widening every year

In closing, I’m not thinking this is the perfect solution to the breed, but I do think it’s a step in the right direction. But there are many many people vested in their respective specialization of the breed, and I fear( I know) they will defend these fiefdoms in spite of the validity of what Debbie& Jerry are trying to do. And it’s not just Jerry and Debbie...PSA and SDA we’re both originally form from groups of people who saw where the breed was going because of the tools that assessed the breed were inadequate, antiquated, and watered down.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:31 AM
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^That is exactly what I was thinking but not qualified to articulate yet lol

Yeah, its visible even to a novice though. I've spent time at a handful of fields at this point, and in my shopping for a next dog have learned quite a bit. *A lot* of these are not the German Shepherds I use to know in my younger days and it's not just time glossing over my memory of what a brave dog is suppose to be like.

When I was asking various breeders/stud owners/progeny owners about their dogs they all wanted to send me video of their bite work, their OB..on the field. Yeah that's great, and important ...but I really wanted to see footage of them, a Parade. Not losing it. If they are "leaking drive" at a community function or in a crowded park, or if they duck like someone just walked on their grave because a person wanted to touch them (it's not right that people do that but it's a part of life off the field and out of the crate in the house) ...then I don't want that dog and I don't consider them a good representation of a German Shepherd. Fight me.

Add to that that we all know not all IPOs titles are created or earned equally...and add to that you hear stories of WUSV champs dislocating an owner's shoulder because a stop sign spooked him...or you hear from people who spend a lot on progeny of 2 world champs who can actually put the ego aside and honestly review their dog, and admit they deflate under any pressure outside of sleeve/field work..c'mon now.

And I can add that after watching a ton of footage of the AADPA last year where something like 70% failed (now THAT is a trial..true sense of the word "trial") ...I was dissapointed to see a lot of great IPO dogs really shyed away from non predictable confrontation. Whether you consider a GSD a herder, a flock guardian, a protection breed...everything they are SUPPOSED to be bred to handle is steeped in unpredictable confrontation and situations.

Sport ruins everything. The parallels with competitive shooting are jaw dropping. It use to be populated with law enforcement seeking proving grounds, then it became fun on top of it all, then someone let the regular people in. With the regular people came the evolution of rules and the addition of flash to try and set themselves apart. And of course the everyone deserves a trophy just because they worked hard mentality. In the last decade the LEOs have largely dropped out of that sport (IDPA) because they can't bring themselves to do flashy stuff and play by dumbed down rules ...they walk away saying "that will get you killed, I'm not doing that". So there you go.

I wish them (Debbie) luck and would be willing to attend events and test my dog.
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Last edited by CometDog; 04-04-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:39 AM
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I wouldn't say sport ruins everything. I think different protection sports can have more of a positive or negative impact on what is considered a successful dog at a sport, then, what type of dog is bred for and lastly the type of training for a protection sport. IMO, the majority of clubs training have poor quality training and don't know how to correctly build a dog and teach him how to work through the stress of bite work. Also, many sport trainers "beg" the dog to bite which sets up a foundation for failure in terms of correct bite work. In IPO, the stress of bite work has all been removed. Being a sleeve sport is a factor. Dogs always know when there is equipment, such as with hidden sleeves and bite suits, but in suit sports, with the right decoy wearing the right suit, a dog learns the suit is an extension of the decoy more so than being a piece of equipment. Then the exercises in IPO are exactly the same every time, so there is no challenge after a while, for a good dog. It becomes more of a gymnastics show than a test of a dog's aggression and confidence. Also, a bicep bite is more stressful to a dog than a forearm bite on a sleeve. I know there is a discussion on another forum criticizing the bicep bite in terms of police apprehension or PP, but if you are not training a police dog or PP, it is a useful way to challenge a dog. A lot also depends on the balance of a dog's prey and defense. IPO really only needs and tests for prey IMO. A dog that is more on the defensive side is more challenging to train and often doesn't match up well for the sport of IPO, so you end up losing dogs being bred for some defensive aggression. Defensive aggression involves fear and stress and the dog has to be taught what he needs to do to work through those feelings and IPO doesn't provide for that and there is a woeful lack of decoys who know how to teach a dog how to work through the stress of a dog that tends to be more defensive. Correctly done and with the right kind of defensive aggression, you can end up with a very serious dog who is truly a man stopper. I don't think IPO, comes close to providing that opportunity or really wants that kind of dog in the sport. I don't know the changes proposed for American schutzhund, but my sense is that they will be lacking still.
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