Schutzhund & KNPV Training Peculiarities

Differences between Schutzhund & KNPV Training

Schutzhund training was started by Max von Stephanitz, the developer of the German Shepherd dog breed. He developed Schutzhund to use it as a breeder tool. Schutzhund was intended to give a breeder the method to measure working qualities of a dog to consider received information in breeding program. At first Schutzhund was developed as certification program, its significance preserves up to the present. But during last years it turned into sport, a competition that allows to see what handler can train his dogs better.


Schutzhund Blind for Advanced Dog Training

KNPV is known as Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport. You may think that the name means that this sport improves police dog skills. It is not true. The dogs trained in KNPV can’t and shouldn’t work in police forces. This standard was originally created to be used as a certification program of Dutch government for citizens aimed on training and qualification of the dogs that would be sent to the Dutch police.  Many exercises of KNPV are connected with skills a police dog needs. But a KNPV titled dog must have 5 or 6 weeks-long training to be allowed to practical work as a street police service dog. KNPV turned into a dog sport more than into a Dutch certification program.

Attack Dog
Training Sleeve

Arm Protection Sleeve for Bite Work

A dog can be trained to bite a man in any dog sport due to its prey drive. A dog must learn to work in his “defensive drive” and in “fight drive” to become police service work.

Dogs are also trained to track in Schutzhund. The aim of "competition foot step tracking” style in Schutzhund is not only to teach a dog to follow a track (which is a simple task), but also to test a trainer’s ability to teach his dog to follow the scent precisely and at definite speed. Determinative factor of estimation of this kind of work is not reaching the end of track, but the style a dog is working in (calm, methodological, not getting of the track on a foot or two and not moving by a corner by more than body length). It’s difficult to train a dog in a such way when the pressure needed to slow down dog’s speed according to the rules, doesn’t turn into the obedience work. If it is so, the dog seems to be depressed and to hate this work. Good tracking work is an art.

Dog Training Suit

Scratch Suit for KNPV and Schutzhund

It is important to understand that Schutzhund tracking work doesn’t related with police tracking work. The matter of fact is that even if a dog is a great sport sniffer dog, it won’t be effective in police service. There are different approaches to tracking work in police and sport. A service dog must be trained to track through drive, and its speed is an important part of the training.

In general, there is no tracking work test in  KNPV certification (such test are in the separated tracking program). One of the KNPV exercises is searching for an article or a helper in woods. It is not good for future service dogs, because a dog is trained to search an airborne scent, but it is not trained to search a scent that comes from the ground that is important for good tracking service dog.

Protection work in Schutzhund has little common with police service. There is a very strict order in Schutzhund training and a dog can be “programmed” for it. Of course, such work requires a certain kind of temperament and drive to perform these standard exercises. But the level of drive is so low that Schutzhund certification doesn’t show special value. To be honest, the properly trained dog can pass Schutzhund test, but it can’t be compared with less experienced dogs that passed a police test.

Dog Training

Bite Sleeve in Training Process

When a dog becomes Schutzhund titled, the judge gives a decision about dog’s “courage” shown during the competition. A “Pronounced” grade is the highest. But 90% Schutzhund don’t understand that there is aggression in dog’s behaviour. They don’t understand fight drive and don’t want to admit this. Dogs are given with “Pronounced” grade when they don’t deserve it. It is obvious because of a number of Schutzhund titled dogs that don’t have courage to be used in police service. The problem is in confusing “very active prey drive” with real aggression by judges.

Obedience in Schutzhund training is also rather precise, even more than a service dog needs. It is very difficult to teach a dog to perform commands precisely and maintain its respectable drive. In most cases, dogs with minor behavior problems lose their drive because of inappropriate training of novice handlers. But this problem reduced during last 15 years due to better video materials and books.

KNPV sport doesn’t require the same level of precision at the same time. It seems that Dutch handlers work very hard with dogs in obedience. It is probably because the majority of their dogs are Malinua Shepherds with very high level of drive to stand pressure and maintain their drive, so trainers had no need to develop new methods.


Professional Trainer and Bandog Breeder Sergei Beresowski Chooses Our Protection Cover

There are many strictly prey dogs in KNPV sport. This dog sport gains popularity in Holland, because many people understand the defects of Schutzhund and don’t want to accept them. These people suppose that KNPV is more difficult, where only the tough can survive. Unfortunately, that’s not true. You can call KNPV a great sport if you think it is “just a sport”.

There are many KNPV-dogs that bite like alligators, but that have problems with their nerves. It makes them a little dangerous for helpers. Such dogs cost less than quality dogs. And importers often want to earn some extra money on them.

The reason to train your dog in KNPV is that there is no tracking and exercises are exciting to train for (article and handler protection for example).

Schutzhund and KNPVare useful for service dogs handlers. Both of them have positive influence on service dogs breeding. But not all Schutzhund and KNPV dogs can become police service dogs. The best candidates to work in police forces are young dogs that have started training in Schutzhund or KNPV (bite development stage), but are not titled. Most of training time grown-up titled dogs, bought for service purposes, correct the problems they got during sport training and are reprogrammed to work on the street.

You will need professional dog training equipment for both Shutzhund and KPNV sport:

Super Strong Full Protection Bite SuitDog Dumbbell