FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

(Click on question to get answer.)

A. Membership questions

  1. What's the difference between USA and LV/DVG America?
  2. I moved after the first of the year. How do I transfer my DVG membership to my new club?
  3. What should I do if I'm not getting my DVG America magazine?
  4. Why do we have to renew for the next year's membership so early in the year?

B. Scorebooks

  1. As a DVG member, how do I obtain an initial DVG scorebook?
  2. Do I need a DVG scorebook to enter a DVG trial?
  3. Which scorebooks are acceptable in a DVG trial?
  4. How do I get a DVG scorebook for a dog which already has titles and another scorebook?
  5. How do I join DVG and get a scorebook at the same time?
  6. I just joined DVG and want to get a scorebook, but I don't have my DVG membership number. What do I do?
  7. If I quit DVG, is my scorebook still good?
  8. May I enter a USA trial with my DVG scorebook?
  9. How do I replace a filled-in scorebook?
  10. How can I replace a lost scorebook and/or obtain a scorebook quickly?
  11. Does my dog need either a tattoo number or a microchip number before the DVG office will issue a scorebook?

C. Trialing/Earning Titles

  1. What are the German commands used in Schutzhund and how are they pronounced?
  2. Do I have to use German commands in Schutzhund?
  3. Can a mixed breed or non-registered dog get a Schutzhund title?
  4. Can a mixed breed or non-registered dog compete in championships?
  5. Are my titles earned through DVG recognized for attendance at Koerung?
  6. I would like to enter my dog in the LV/DVG America championship. What are the requirements?
  7. What are the suitable breeds to compete in Schutzhund?
  8. I earned my Schutzhund I in a DVG club trial and went on to my Schutzhund II in a USA trial. I'm now ready for my SchH III and will be trialing in a DVG trial. My SchH II score was entered in my DVG scorebook, so the judge will know that my dog and I successfully earned the title. Is there anything else I need to do before I enter for my SchH III?
  9. What are the dog's minimum age requirements for Schutzhund (and related) titles?
  10. Can you get a BH and a Sch I in the same trial?
  11. What is the dress code for the LV America Championship trial?
  12. What are the specifications for the scaling wall?
  13. What does VPG stand for? Why did the name of Schutzhund change?

D. Judging/Helper Work

  1. Do I have to be a certified helper to work a DVG trial?
  2. How can I be chosen as a helper for a National Championship?
  3. How does one become a DVG judge?

 

Click here to Submit a New Question

 

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

A. Membership questions

A1. What's the difference between USA and LV/DVG America?

This is a complicated one. Essentially, and with a bare minimum explanation, USA (the United Schutzhund Clubs of America) is a German Shepherd Breed Club and Registry that has ties to, but is not a member of, the SV (Schaeferhund Verein, the German Shepherd Breed Club of Germany). Membership in USA clubs is not limited to those owning German Shepherds, and the organization follows closely, but not exactly, the trial rules of the VDH (The German Kennel Club). They have their own certified judges and hold both Schutzhund trials and German style conformation shows, where dogs receive a suitability for breeding rating. USA also has a breed registry, registering members' German Shepherds and litters bred by those members and issues pink papers recognized by the SV, once the pedigrees have been approved.

LV/DVG America, on the other hand, is a full voting member of a German organization, Deutscher Verband der Gebrauchshundsportvereine (DVG), or the German Association of Working Dog Sport Clubs. (See ABC's of DVG.) LV America encompasses all of North America. The goal of DVG, both in the North America and in Germany, is the training and titling of dogs, any and all breeds of dogs, including mixed and non-registered dogs. In LV America, this consists primarily of Schutzhund and obedience and tracking degrees, while in Germany, it includes agility, fly-ball, tournament sports with dogs and so on. As a German organization, we are bound by the rules and regulations of DVG, our umbrella organization, the dhv (Deutscher Hundesportverband) and the VDH, and all trials are conducted according to these rules. All LV America judges are certified under VDH rules and their licenses are recognized by the VDH and FCI (See ABC's of DVG), as are all titles earned under LV America judges. Our national championship, held annually in late May to sometime in June, selects the dog and handler team that will represent us in the dhv championship, the Deutsche Meisterschaft, held the last week in September every year. DVG is a non-breed specific organization and does not hold conformation shows, nor give breed suitability tests. Our working titles, however, are recognized by all working and breed organizations.

A2. I moved after the first of the year. How do I transfer my DVG membership to my new club?

You don't. Transfer of membership, as such, does not exist in the organization. You have a couple of choices. You can either wait until the end of the year and then renew your membership through your new club, at which time your previous club will send through a cancellation of membership form at the same time your new club sends in a membership application for your membership in your new club, or you can pay a separate set of dues and join the club in the area where you moved to, thus holding dual membership in two clubs for at least the remainder of the year. But you may not transfer your membership in the true sense of the word. It is sometimes advisable to pay the extra dues to join your new local club, simply because if you will be trialing for your very first title (i.e., BH) at your new local club, you will need the signature of your member club training director on your trial entry form. If your member club training director is across the country from you, this can get a little difficult.

A3. What should I do if I'm not getting my DVG America magazine?

If you haven't moved and all vital address information is the same as it always has been, check with your post office. This is assuming that you were receiving it and then suddenly weren't. If you've moved, be sure that you've sent in an address change form through your regional membership officer, who then sends it through channels. If you've done everything you should or if nothing has changed and the post office tells you they haven't received it either, call Carole Patterson at 303-674-4655 or e-mail her at caroledvg@mindspring.com. She keeps the data base for the magazine and should be able to help you.

A4. Why do we have to renew for the next year's membership so early in the year?

Mostly, this is the fault of those clubs in the past which decided to disband and neglected to notify anyone of that fact. Germany must be notified of all club cancellations by the end of September, or they will automatically renew those clubs and the LV and KG's end up paying dues for those ex-members who have gone merrily on their way. In order to prevent this, most of the KG's require that clubs show proof of renewal by having all renewals and new memberships for the coming year turned in by mid-September. You must understand, also, that there is a lot of processing time needed by the regional membership officers as well as our LV Treasurer. Germany doesn't have to have the information (except for canceled clubs) until much later in the year, but it takes a great deal of time for the LV Treasurer to process a 1,000 odd memberships, cancellations, etc., and make sure they're all correct before sending them on to Germany.

B. Scorebooks

B0. As a DVG member, how do I obtain an initial DVG scorebook?

You must download the DVG Scorebook Application (ANTRAG) Form located on the Forms link on the DVG America website at http://www.dvgamerica.com/dvgforms.html.
Complete the form, providing all the required information and then have your club president sign and date the form. You must then send the completed form and a check made payable to LV/DVG America for $18.00 (to cover DVG Germanyís charge for scorebooks) to the LV Treasurer. You may not submit your own application directly to Germany, since the LV is periodically billed for all scorebooks issued to DVG America. Once your scorebook application is received with the proper payment, your scorebook application will be faxed to Germany. Your scorebook will be mailed to the clubís president for distribution to the member. For more information see Presidents Page.

B1. Do I need a DVG scorebook to enter a DVG trial?

Yes, you do, if you are entering a DVG trial using your DVG membership number. You can obtain a DVG scorebook application from the Web page, or someone within your member club should have scorebook application copies, and you should order your scorebook a minimum of 8 weeks prior to a DVG trial you wish to enter.

However, as a second alternative you may enter a DVG trial using another organization's membership, such as a breed club, and use that organization's scorebook, as long as you can prove that your membership is current with that other organization.

B2. Which scorebooks are acceptable in a DVG trial?

Any scorebook from a recognized organization accompanied by valid proof of current membership in that organization. In LV America, that includes scorebooks from USA, any AWDF member organization, ATTIBOX member clubs, and the GSDCA-WDA. If you import a dog and it comes with, for example, an ADRK scorebook, unless you are a member of ADRK, that scorebook is invalid with which to enter a trial. You must send a copy of the scorebook with the scorebook application and the check for $18.00 to the LV Treasurer, who will fax the application and the scorebook copy to the DVG office. The scorebook you will receive from DVG will state that whatever titles the dog holds are on record in the office. As a DVG member, you are required to have a DVG scorebook to enter a DVG hosted trial regardless of your membership in any other recognized organization.

B3. How do I get a DVG scorebook for a dog which already has titles and another scorebook?

See the answer to #B2.

B4. How do I join DVG and get a scorebook at the same time?

It's easy. Have your club secretary/treasurer, or whoever takes care of membership in your club, fill out an Anmeldung form (membership application form). You fill out a scorebook application at the same time and provide a check for $18, made out to LV/DVG America. The club sends the membership application form, a check for the membership dues and a separate check for $18 for the scorebook and the scorebook application form all together to the regional membership officer, who then sends them on to the LV Assistant Treasurer, who sends it all to Germany. The scorebook application rides along with the membership application and will be processed at roughly the same time as the membership application when they reach Germany. It is not necessary to enter the name of a club hosting a trial or the name and address of a trial chairman in order to get a scorebook. REMEMBER! If your dog already has earned titles in another organization, whether with you as the handler or someone else, you must send a copy of the scorebook in which those titles are entered, including the cover page showing the dog's name and the pages in which the titles are entered, along with the DVG scorebook application. This allows previous titles earned to be entered in the records in Germany and will appear on your new scorebook as "previous title of BH (or SchH/VPG I, II or III) on record in office".

B5. I just joined DVG and want to get a scorebook, but I don't have my DVG membership number. What do I do?

With the new process for applying for scorebooks, you will simply have to wait until you receive your membership card. Membership cards are sent out by the DVG office at specific 2 week intervals beginning the first week in April and ending the last week in November. Once you have your membership number, you can follow the above procedures outlined on this website, sending a filled out scorebook application and a check made out to LV/DVG America in the amount of $18 to LV Treasurer.

B6. If I quit DVG, is my scorebook still good?

No. Validity of a scorebook rests with a valid current membership in the organization, and you are required at a trial to show proof of membership in the form of a copy of your annual membership card. At the end of the year, if you have not renewed your membership for the following year, your scorebook becomes invalid and may not be used to enter a DVG trial.

B7. May I enter a USA trial with my DVG scorebook?

You may, but you must first obtain a USA number on your scorebook. You can do this by sending your original scorebook and a copy of the dogís registration papers to the USA office. The charge for this is $10.00 for USA members and $40.00 for non-USA members

B8. How do I replace a filled-in scorebook?

Ideally, even before your scorebook is completely filled up (maybe 2 spaces left), you should photocopy your scorebook (both sides) and send the copy and a check for $18, made out to LV/DVG America, to the LV Treasurer. While scorebooks used to be free, thatís no longer the case, either for the original or a second book. The LV Treasurer will fax the scorebook copy to the DVG office with a form letter requesting a second book be issued to you. The second book will be mailed directly to you.

While itís possible to enter a trial with a completely filled in scorebook, itís kind of a pain to deal with. By requesting a second book when you have only a couple of spaces left in your present one, you save yourself the hassle of entering a trial with the filled in book. Because then you have to wait for the new book to arrive, send it to the trial judge with a prepaid self-addressed, stamped envelope included so the judge can enter the scores in the second book and mail it back to you. Either way, whether your book is already filled or still has a couple of spaces left in it, follow the procedure above and you should receive your fairly quickly. Remember to always send a photocopy of your scorebook, never the original.

B9. How can I replace a lost scorebook and/or obtain a scorebook quickly?

A replacement scorebook (Ersatz scorebook) from Germany will cost you more than your original, since maintaining possession of a scorebook is your responsibility, and DVG charges additional for replacement of a lost scorebook.

If you do not need your scorebook in a hurry, the regular procedure is as follows:

To obtain a replacement scorebook, first contact LV Treasurer, Anne Conroy. Her phone number and e-mail address are available on the DVG America website where it lists the LV America officers. DVG/Germany charges 20 Euros (20 Ä) for a replacement scorebook. However, unless you have a 20 Ä bill lying around, it can get way more expensive than that. Even sending a bank draft in Euros from an American or Canadian bank still requires payment of German bank charges. Sending the payment with a check in American or Canadian dollars can hike the cost up to as high as 50 Euros because of bank conversion charges. We have worked it out a deal with the DVG office. In order to get a replacement scorebook, Treasurer Anne Conroy will compute the dollar/Euro exchange average for the last quarter. You will have to prepay that amount in US dollars directly to LV/DVG America. Once Anne has received the payment, she will notify the DVG office that the replacement cost has been paid. At that point, you are to fax the information on the scorebook that needs replacing directly to the DVG office to the attention of Maria Zšske. She will issue the Ersatz scorebook and mail the replacement directly to you. DVG America will then be billed for that cost at the end of the fiscal year. You should always keep a copy of your scorebook somewhere in your files. That way youíll always have the information available if you need it.

If you need the replacement scorebook quickly, there are two methods available to get it sent to you quickly.

After paying DVG America for the replacement scorebook, you have two methods by which you can receive the book back quickly:

These are the only methods which can be used for expedited return shipping

To prevent the last minute panic situation when members suddenly realize they need scorebooks, the following procedure can be followed to make life a lot less stressful.

DVG America member clubs and their members have the responsibility to be sure that all members have obtained scorebooks well before any upcoming trials. At the beginning of each membership calendar year, a club officer should contact each and every club member and confirm that all members have valid scorebooks and know where those scorebooks are. Any new members with dogs that may be trialing at some point during the year should be given a scorebook application (form is available on the LV/DVG America website -click here)to fill out and instructed to mail the application to the Treasurer of LV/DVG America, along with a check payable to LV/DVG America. Or a club officer can take on the responsibility for the scorebook applications and sending them all at one time to LV Treasurer, along with a cover letter, listing the membersí names on the applications, so no one will be overlooked. The cover letter and applications must be accompanied either by a club check made out to LV/DVG America for the total number of new scorebooks requested @ $18 per application form or checks from the individual members made out to the LV for $18. By taking care of this at the beginning of the year, there should be no need for last minute scorebook applications. The LV/DVG America board officers are not, nor should they be, responsible for last minute panicked attempts to get a scorebook.

Because of the new policy requiring payment for all scorebooks issued by the DVG office, which requires that all new scorebook applications must be sent through the LV Treasurer, there is no way to expedite obtaining a new scorebook by use of FedEx. Members must simply be responsible for applying for scorebooks in a timely manner.

One thing applicants for new scorebooks need to know is that normally, scorebooks are not sent to the individual applying for the scorebook, unless itís a replacement (Ersatz) or a second scorebook (first book is filled up). Newly applied for scorebooks are normally sent to the club president or whoever is listed by the club to receive correspondence from the DVG office, just as membership cards arenít sent to individuals, but rather to a specific club officer. So when a club member applies for a scorebook, that club officer should be alerted to this fact and should keep an eye out for the book to come in the mail. This is why having absolutely correct addresses for ALL members, and especially club officers, is so very important. Sending an address change form through channels is the ONLY way DVG/Germany is notified of new addresses and the change will be made in the data base at the DVG/Germany office.

Another thing everyone should be aware of is that the office staff doesnít necessarily just jump on ďyourĒ scorebook application or request for a replacement scorebook the minute the LV Treasurer faxes it to the DVG office. There is a staff of five employees in the DVG office. This staff is responsible for dealing with over 36,000 members, not just in our VPG/IPO/Schutzhund sport, but also Agility, Tournament Dog Sports, Obedience, Flyball and about every other sport you can think of to do with dogs, plus applications for dog insurance through the DVG group policy. The office complex in Hemer is also the central office for the dhv (Deutscher Hundesportverband), our umbrella organization, of which DVG is one of 7 organizations.

Accordingly, the staff has set up a method so that they are sure all requests, applications, questions, etc. that come into the officer are dealt with in an orderly way. Scorebook applications are processed according to when they are received in the office. Itís possible that an application can arrive on Friday and may not be processed for at least 10 days, depending on how many applications were received prior to this individual application. Add in the weekend days and it could be the end of the following week before it gets processed. And to that you have to add the mailing time from the office to your club officer.

The most important thing is that the application is completely and correctly filled out and that both owner and handler (should those be two different people) are in the DVG data base as DVG members. Any mistakes or questions on or about the application will just make the processing take longer.

So all members and member clubs and their officers must take responsibility for being sure club members have scorebooks. And just because youíre in a panic for a scorebook, donít assume youíre entitled. Remember, that staff of five people in the office has at least 35,999 other members they have to worry about, too.

B10. Does my dog need either a tattoo number or a microchip number before the DVG office will issue a scorebook?

Yes!  In order for a scorebook to be issued for a dog, the dog must have either a tattoo or a microchip and this information must go on the scorebook application form. It makes no difference if the dog is registered or a mixed breed. There must be some form of identification shown on the application before the DVG office will issue a scorebook for the dog.

Even if the dog already has a scorebook (obtained before this mandatory ID requirement went into effect) and it gets filled up, and the owner wants a second scorebook, the second scorebook won't be issued until the office has a microchip number or a tattoo to put on the second book.

 

C. Trialing/Earning Titles

C1. What are the German commands used in Schutzhund and how are they pronounced?

English

German

Pronunciation

Heel

Fuss

foos

Sit

Sitz

sitz

Down

Platz

plutz

Stand

Steh

shtae

Go

Voran

forun'

Go

Voraus

foraus'

Search

Revier

ravier'

Free

Spiel

shpeel

Track/Find

Such

zooch (kind of a soft, back of the throat ch at the end)

Over

Hopp

hop (the "o" is kind of short)

Bring

Bring (s)

bring (s)

Out

Aus

ous

Good dog

So ist brav

zo ist brahf

C2. Do I have to use German commands in Schutzhund?

No, you can use either German or English, or, if you happen to be Spanish, Italian, Dutch, etc., you can also use your native language, if you prefer.

C3. Can a mixed breed or non-registered dog get a Schutzhund title?

If it can do the work, it can get the title.

C4. Can a mixed breed or non-registered dog compete in championships?

If it can do the work and get the title, it can compete in the championship.

C5. Are my titles earned through DVG recognized for attendance at Koerung?

No, your titles are certainly recognized as working titles and you can earn a SchH I in a DVG trial, go to a USA trial and earn a SchH II with no problem (so long as you've obtained a USA number on your scorebook). However, in order to have your dog Koerklassed, you must have at least one title earned under a "breed club" trial judge. So, if your dog is multiple SchH III, and you want to attend a Koerung, you must repeat that title under a "breed club" trial judge (i.e., a USA or SV judge, for example). Additionally, you must have an AD, which will only be recognized in a USA conformation show if it is earned under a breed club trial judge. Some AWDF clubs recognize AD's earned under DVG judges, but you would need to check with your specific club to be sure. I believe, also, to enter a Koerung at a USA club, the dog must be registered through the USA breed registry. A call to the USA office or the proper person in the AWDF breed organization where you plan on entering for Koerklassing should be able to give you the specific requirements for each organization.

C6. I would like to enter my dog in the LV/DVG America championship. What are the requirements?

Anyone wishing to enter the LV America championship must have become a member through an LV member club no later than January 1st of the year of the championship. This means that the membership must have been processed by the club, region and LV prior to January 1 of the championship year. No backdated memberships made after the first of the year or applications not received by the LV Treasurer before January 1 are acceptable. If the dog is owned by one person and to be handled by someone else, both the handler and the owner must be DVG members through an LV member club and must have had their memberships processed prior to January 1 of the championship year. The handler must have personally titled the dog to be competed in the championship in a DVG sanctioned trial in the months following the previous year's national championship. Competing in the previous year's competition does not qualify for participation in the following year's championship. A participant may compete with the same dog only once at SchH 1 or 2 levels in the championship. There is no qualifying score required, but the dog must have earned an "a" in courage and hardness at a trial in which the dog passes at the level at which it will compete. The participant must have a valid dhv scorebook for the dog with space for entering the results. No filled up scorebooks will be accepted. A copy of the scorebook showing the qualifying trial entry must accompany the championship trial entry form. A photocopy of the participant's membership card should also be sent with the trial entry form. The participant must be a member of an LV member club. Sammelgruppe membership does not qualify for participation in the LV Championship.

C7. What are the suitable breeds to compete in Schutzhund?

The only requirement for a dog to compete in the sport of Schutzhund is that the dog can do the work. In other words, the dog will be able to track, do obedience and is large enough to successfully jump a 40 inch jump and climb a 6 foot wall, while retrieving a 650 gram dumbbell. The dog must be able to successfully bite and hold the man in the protection work. Typically, the most predominant breed in the sport is the Germany Shepherd, followed in recent years by the Belgian Malinois. Additionally, we see Dobermans, Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, and Bouviers. Other breeds that are less prevalent are Belgian Sheep Dogs, Turverens, Boxers, Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers, Airedale Terriers, Beaucerons, Dutch Shepherds, Australian Shepherds ("Aussies), an occasional Great Dane and Mastiff. Dogs do not have to be registered and a number of mixed breeds have successfully earned titles over the years and are fully accepted in the sport. So, there are many breeds besides the commonly accepted "working dog" breeds that participae in the sport of Schutzhund. The main thing is that the dog is a willing worker and is capable of doing the work required to achieve the titles.

C8. I earned my Schutzhund I in a DVG club trial and went on to my Schutzhund II in a USA trial. I'm now ready for my SchH III and will be trialing in a DVG trial. My SchH II score was entered in my DVG scorebook, so the judge will know that my dog and I successfully earned the title. Is there anything else I need to do before I enter for my SchH III?

Yes. The paperwork from a USA trial is sent only to the USA office, so at this time, the DVG office in Germany has no record of your dog earning a SchH II, only the SchH I that you earned in a DVG trial. Consequently, any paperwork sent to the office when you earn your SchH III title will be returned to the judge with a note that the office has no record of your dog having a SchH II. Anytime you earn a title in another organization's trial, you need to notify the DVG office in Germany of this, so that they can enter it in their records. This is specifically necessary if you earn a lower title in another organization's trial before going to the next higher title, such as your situation above. This is also true if you earn a SchH I in a USA or WDA trial and then go to a DVG trial for your SchH II. You can do this in either of two ways. You can simply photocopy your scorebook as soon as you've completed the title and immediately send it to Germany with a note asking that they enter the earned title into their records. The second alternative is to take a photocopy of your scorebook to the trial where you are attempting the higher title and give it to the judge to send in with the trial paperwork. Either method is satisfactory. The point is that the DVG office must have some record of your dog earning the lower title before the office will accept the next higher title. If you have not notified the DVG office in Germany of your title and go to a trial to earn your higher title, the judge will ask you to get a photocopy of your scorebook to be sent in with the paperwork. If you can't do it that weekend, the paperwork will be held up until you can do so and mail it to the judge. So the best thing is to go prepared or simply take care of it ahead of time.

C9. What are the dog's minimum age requirements for Schutzhund (and related) titles?

SchH A & SchH I18 months
SchH II19 months
SchH III20 months
FH 116 months
FH 220 months
BH15 months
AD16 months
WH15 months

C10. Can you get a BH and a Sch I in the same trial?

Yes, you may earn your BH and SchH I in the same trial. However, it cannot be on the same day. For example, if a club requests a 2 day trial, which will have a single trial number for both days and one set of paperwork for the complete 2 day trial, you can earn your BH on Saturday and your SchH I on Sunday. You may not do both the BH and the SchH I on the same day. Many clubs ask for 2 one-day trials, in which case there are 2 sets of paperwork with 2 separate trial numbers. Again, you do the BH on Saturday and the SchH I on Sunday, except in this case both days are considered separate trial days, rather than one 2-day trial. Either way works and you can do it.

C11. What is the dress code for the LV America Championship trial?

(Note: This is applicable ONLY to the LV America Championship. The Kreisgruppen make their own rules regarding dress for their regional championships.)

All participants are required to wear tan or khaki slacks and a white, collared shirt in obedience and protection, weather allowing. The shirt may be either short or long sleeved. No club insignia, logos or additional apparel which might be construed as training aids, such as vests, are allowed. In case of rain or inclement weather, raingear, sweatshirts and/or jackets and gloves are allowed, but may not exhibit any club insignias or logos of any kind. "Grubbies" may be worn for tracking.

C12. What are the specifications for the scaling wall?

The following measurements are (still) those required for the scaling wall used in the SchH I, SchH II, and SchH III divisions of all trials:

Length of sides:

191 cm (75")

 

Width of wall:

150 cm (59")

 

Height at top when spread to trial height

180 cm (71")

 

Distance between uprights when spread to trial height

130 cm (51")

 

Size of cleats:

2.4 cm x 4.8 cm
(approx. 1" x 2")

 

Position of cleats on wall:

Top cleat:

25 cm from top of wall (approx. 10")

 

Middle cleat:

55 cm from top of wall (approx. 22")

 

Bottom cleat:

85 cm from top of wall (approx. 34")

Click here for diagram of scaling wall.


These are the measurements mandated in the VDH Trial Rules effective January 1, 1986, which have not been amended nor revised since the original printing. All club scaling walls used in trials are to be built to these specifications.

C13. What does VPG stand for? Why did the name of Schutzhund change?

About 3 years ago, the VDH Working Dog Council (AZG) in Germany began having discussions about renaming the dog sport called Schutzhund. There were several reasons for it but one of the main reasons was that the word "Schutzhund" never really described the sport itself. Translated from the German, it means literally "protection dog". As those of us in the sport know, the protection, or bitework, part of the title is exactly that -- a part. There are three parts, each equally as important as the other insofar as earning a title is concerned.

Protection may be the most exciting and it's certainly the part a lot of breeders consider the most important because of how it tests the dog's nerve, temperament, ability to withstand pressure and stress, etc. But it still is only one part. One of the other reasons was that Germany, like the US, has had an increase in dog bite problems and unfortunately the general public sees the protection training as "teaching the dog to bite", which is, of course, absurd. So the AZG solicited suggestions from its member clubs as to a new name for the sport that would better describe, or define, what the sport actual is and what is its purpose.

They came up with Vielseitigkeitspruefung fuer Gebrauchshunde. The translation is Versatility Test for Utility (or Working) Dogs. As a name, it probably leaves something to be desired, but nonetheless is more definitive than the old name. So, the titles that are put into the scorebooks and on the paperwork read VPG 1, 2 or 3. But to most of us who have been in the sport for so many years, it remains, and probably always will remain, Schutzhund.

D. Judging/Helper Work

D1. Do I have to be a certified helper to work a DVG trial?

No. To work a club level only trial, certification is not required. Not required, but encouraged, and many clubs in LV America have a standing rule within the club that no trial will be worked by an uncertified helper. To work a KG or LV Championship, certification is required. Find a seminar, attend, then go for certification. For details, go to the Helper Certification Program link on this website.

D2. How can I be chosen as a helper for a National Championship?

At each trial you work, be sure that the judge fills our a helper evaluation form and sends it to the LV/OfS. You are also encouraged to attend a seminar where the LV/OfS is doing a certification and "show your stuff", so to speak. Ask him for suggestions on what changes he would like to see in your work that would increase your chances of being chosen. You can also send the LV/OfS videos of your work at trials so that he can see your style and technique. All of these things will help you come to the attention of the LV/OfS who is responsible for choosing the helpers for our Nationals.

D3. How does one become a DVG judge?

There are a number of qualifications necessary to apply to become a dhv judge. Since dhv (Deutscher Hundesportverband) is our parent umbrella organization, all DVG judges are actually dhv judges.

An applicant must be a minimum of 25 years old and may not have exceeded his or her 50th year. The applicant must have been a DVG (or in Germany, any of the dhv member organizations) member for a minimum of 5 years, and must have personally trained a minimum of 2 dogs SchH 1 through SchH 3 and successfully titled the dogs in a dhv or any other AZG recognized organization. The applicant must have also trained and successfully titled either of these 2 dogs or another dog to a BH and an FH and be able to show knowledge of the rules of the WH and IPO titles and probably now, also the FH2. The applicant should also have served as a training director for a minimum of one year and served as trial chairman in several trials. (Note: If an applicant has not served as a principal training director for a club, but can show a letter from the club training that he/she has helped with the club's training program, i.e., worked in obedience and tracking training with club members, etc., this is sufficient.)

The application must include a self-written resume by the applicant including information about his/her dog sport career within the dhv; a statement by the applicant that the cost of the training to become a judge will be borne by the applicant and that he/she will be unconditionally available for the required training and expenditure as a judge in dhv; a declaration that the applicant will assert no claims against the dhv or its member organizations or divisions or active agencies for bodily injury or loss of income that occurs as a result training to become a judge or in later performance of judging duties; a declaration that the applicant after admission to the apprentice judge program, will pursue his/her judging activity in dhv and not seek acceptance to the list of judges of a breed organization; designation of a dhv judge who can furnish information about the applicant's background and who is willing to look after and eventually provide additional schooling to him/her during the possible apprenticeship; confirmation from the dhv judge named in the above; four passport size photos.

These are the basics and there are additional rules regarding the timing of the application, how it is to be presented to the organization for comments from those wishing to do so, publication in the organization magazine (The HUNDESPORT, but we also publish the applicants' names in the DVG AMERICA magazine), and so on. Following acceptance to the apprentice program, an apprentice must complete a minimum of 8 apprenticeship trials (more, if asked) under a certified dhv judge within a maximum of 2 years. Apprenticing at trials requires written reports on the trials, explanations of points deducted or scores given, etc., and turning this all into the presiding trial judge, who will then write a report. This is all sent to the LV LRO who sends it to Germany. Following successfully completing the required apprentice trials, the applicant must pass a field test and a written test given by the dhv LRO. The test is given in English for LV America applicants. Any additional information can be supplied when, and if, someone requests it with a desire to become an apprentice judge, by contacting the LV LRO.

[Note: These questions and answers are not a substitute for but are simply supplemental to the contents of the LV Handbook. Each club should have a copy of the LV Handbook in its files. The Handbook should be consulted first for answers to questions involving such subjects as Membership Procedures, Clubs, Requesting Trials, Conducting Local Trials, KG and/or LV Championships, etc. The LV Handbook contains no sport rules. Unlike the Rulebook, the LV Handbooks may be copied. ]

Return to DVG AMERICA Homepage