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German Shepherd Line of Work: Learn More!

german shepherd line of work

Not sure whether to choose between a working line German Shepherd or another type of German Shepherd? In reality, it will all depend on your reasons for having a German Shepherd. But there are characteristics to keep in mind that could make a difference in your daily life. Curious?

Are you planning to get a faithful four-legged companion and can’t resist the German Shepherds? Good choice, neither do we! But there are certain aspects to consider.

Have you thought about having an always alert dog or, on the other hand, the afternoons on the sofa in the company of your big foot?

Looking for a working dog? If so, read on to learn more about the German Shepherd line of work .

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German Shepherd line of work

 The German Shepherd is a unique breed, controlled by a single registration body, governed by a zootechnical morphological and behavioral standard unique in the world, issued by the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde – SV (German Shepherd Club, Germany).

Within this breed, over the years, as a result of different emphasis on selection processes, two basic lineages emerged: that of specific genetics for police work, military activities, utility, and related sports , which It is a continuous line to the most primitive German shepherds and, that of the dogs focused on the samples of beauty, which became more and more present mainly after the Second World War.

In the German Shepherd line of work the only criterion for choosing the reproducers is the performance at work, which is a natural and obligatory consequence of their physical and mental health, intelligence, willingness to work and serve, subordination, toughness, courage, aggressiveness and balance.

It is only possible to evaluate the full magnitude of this behavior and physical performance when a dog is trained and put to work for many years. It is not as if it tests the fitness for work of a population without placing the test directly on each individual, in training and, in work tests, generation after generation.

The German Shepherds line of work are robust, rustic, athletic dogs, of balanced and reliable temperament. His skills range from high performance police activities, police and military sports, personal protection, surveillance, or even for those who just want to have a partner for walks, races, jogging, swimming, mountain climbing, etc.

The currently called «German Shepherd of the Work» is nothing new, it is only the original and primitive German Shepherd, the « Rin-Tin-Tin «, which was little by little forgotten and overshadowed by the greater projection of the world of dogs of exposition.

As incredible as it may sound, despite being much more assertive and reliable in aggression when necessary, working dogs are very balanced and docile in everyday life and with children.

As the criteria for choosing the dogs to be used in reproduction are not aesthetic, it is a very heterogeneous lineage in this matter, that is, it presents dogs of a great variety of colors and physical types, but always athletic and with a balanced and efficient temperament for what they propose.

That is why it is also important to point out that, although many believe it, it is not the color gray that refers to fitness, but the individual quality of the dogs, based on their performance in work tests, regardless of color; there are good dogs of all colors.

IGP – Regulations for International Working Dog Shows

The Internationale Gebrauchshunde Prüfungsordnung (IGP) (International Regulation for the homologation of working dogs), called until 2018 IPO (International Prüfung Ordnung), is the homologation Regulation of the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) , which replaced the SchH (Schutzhund) in 2012.

It was born as a test of German origin conceived at the beginning of the 20th century by Captain Max von Stephanitz , who established it as a test of selection of dogs and their working skills for the German Shepherd breed . Due to its success, it was gradually adopted for various other breeds as a means of selection.

In the 3 sections of the IGP, the ability of each dog to work in the activities of tracking, obedience and subordination, and defense and protection, is tested in depth.

Attributes such as physical build, joint health, training ability, instincts, stamina, readiness for work, cooperation, olfactory ability, emotional balance, nerve strength, and many others are measured in a complex test, which has played an indispensable role in more than a century of genetic selection of dogs for police and military work and in the development of training techniques.

It is a triathlon for working dogs, originating in police and military activities, composed of 3 different sections necessary for its conclusion and approval: Section «A» (Lighthouse), Section «B» (Obedience) and Section «C» ( Protection). It is the most important canine sport that exists, practiced in practically all the countries of the world where there are police or military dogs.

In the IGP it is not enough for the dog to exercise, it must do them with motivation, joy, precision and speed. It is not enough for the dog to defend its driver, it must protect him by working as a team with him, obeying in situations of high stimulation and, enduring physical and psychological pressure, demonstrating self-confidence, power and dominance.

Any breed can participate in the IGP, being a modality especially frequented by the German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Boxers, Dutch Shepherds, Airedale Terriers, Giant Schnauzers, Bouvier des Flanders, Hovawart and even Border Collies. These breeds use the PGI as a selective breeding point for their breeders in Germany, which makes this test responsible for maintaining the working capacities of these breeds throughout the generations.

The firmness of the nerves

The races are divided into levels of difficulty, ranging from the most basic – IGP1 – to the most difficult – IGP3 – which is the category of international competitions. Regardless of the degree of difficulty (IPO 1, 2 or 3), they are all composed of 3 sections: A – Lighthouse, B – Obedience and C – Protection, and therefore they are known as the Canine Triathlon of working dogs.

Section A: Lighthouse

Dogs must recognize and follow in a disciplined way a trail marked by a person on a certain terrain, in which some objects are lost, which must be correctly located and indicated by the dog. The size of the track, the waiting time for the dog to enter the tour and the number of objects depends on the category.

Section B: Obedience

Dogs must execute various exercises of subordination and utilities, in a quick, cheerful, motivated, precise and concentrated manner, without showing shyness or indications of training under pressure.

Pressure or forcing during training is highly undesirable. In the tests you can clearly perceive the dogs that work motivated and, those that work under pressure, that do not have a good evaluation in the exhibitions.

Section C: Protection

The dogs must perform several exercises to protect the driver, from searching and locating hiding places distributed in a field, without free aggression, to immobilization situations of the extra (person who opens the protective equipment), where the energy and the complete control of the dog.

In addition to this triathlon, for those who want to specialize even more, there are difficult races made up only of the lighthouse section, called FH, which also has levels 1 and 2, and has the aforementioned IPO races as a mandatory prerequisite.

As the so-called “Working Dogs” are not selected by an aesthetic-morphological criterion or pattern, they are presented in the most varied colors and types. Their selection criteria is solely performance in the canine triathlon: IGP, where their physical abilities, temperament and joint health are praised as true athletes.

German Shepherd Line of work vs line of beauty

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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