top of page


Online Resources
Text Resources
Training Programs/Courses



This website is a great starting point for learning about Schutzhund and how to start training for it. When I first started with Axel, this was one of the first sites I came across, and repeatedly proved to be one of the most useful and relevant. The site is run by Louise Jollyman, a veteran National-level competitor and breeder at Brimwylf German Shepherds.



This website has some excellent information for handlers of all levels. It is run by John Wolf, a National-level competitor. John has some very unique content on his site, especially his Podcast interviews with many of the top competitors and trainers across the country. I highly recommend exploring the different Podcast interviews on

IPO1 Schutzhund 101 Facebook Group

This is a great group for those new to Schutzhund and needing a safe place to ask questions. From the group's description: "This group was created to be a safe place to ask even the most basic question about the sport of Schutzhund/IPO.  Be truthful, but always be kind and respectful."


IPO Training Facebook Group

The IPO Training group is one of the larger Facebook groups, with approximately 7500 members. This group is an eclectic mix of people with all levels of experience. From the group description: "This group was created to share information and tips about IPO (Schutzhund) training, trialing and upcoming events. Feel free to post videos, photos and brags regarding training and trialing. All styles of training are acceptable to be discussed."


IPObservations Videos

Travis Foster of Vislor has put together five informational videos about IPO and its relation to the German Shepherd Dog. These videos provide a unique perspective on IPO as a sport and breedworthiness test. You can find these videos on his YouTube channel.

IPObservations Videos

Please reload


Schutzhund: Theory and Methods

Barwig, Susan, and Stewart Hilliard. Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods. New York: Howell Book House, 1991.


This is still one of the most popular books about Schutzhund. While the rules and training methods for Schutzhund have changed since the 1990s, this book provides a good overview of the sport, as well as describes the basic progression for each phase. It is worth having in the library in order to expand general knowledge of Schutzhund, and to have a foundation off which to build.

TOP Working Dogs: A Schutzhund Training Manual

Schellenberg, Dietmar. TOP Working Dogs: A Training Manual: Tracking, Obedience, Protection. Webster, NY: D.B.C., 2012.


This is a good book about Schutzhund, and is one of the most current books on the sport. TOP Working Dogs is an in-depth look at Schutzhund that is written as a training manual. It is information-intense, and worth having on the bookshelf.

Advanced Schutzhund

Balabanov, Ivan, and Karen Duet. Advanced Schutzhund. New York: Howell Book House, 1999.


In the sport of Schutzhund, Ivan Balabanov needs little introduction. His book is written for training and titling at the advanced Schutzhund 3/IPO3 level, but also contains insight for training at the lower levels. This book is unique in that it emphasizes problem-solving in each phase in order to prepare for the higher titles, and also includes a chapter on competing at National and World levels.

K9 Schutzhund Training: A Manual for IPO Training Through Positive Reinforcement

Gerritsen, Resi, and Ruud Haak. K9 Schutzhund Training: A Manual for IPO Training through Positive Reinforcement. 2014.


This is the most current IPO training book on the market and reflects training with more positive methods. There is valuable information in this book, including a discussion of what judges look for during the trial, although it occasionally glosses over the steps and progressions of exercises, and could be more thorough in offering problem-solving for when the dog doesn't perform like we assume it will. It is worth having in the library in order to expand general knowledge of current Schutzhund, as long as the reader can look past some of the erroneous and alienating statements about corrective devices such as pinch and e-collars.

Please reload


Tracking: From The Beginning

Patterson, Gary. Tracking: From the Beginning. Englewood, CO: Sirius Pub., 1992.

This is a detailed book that is still considered to be one of the best tracking books out there. Written by an icon of early Schutzhund sport, this book is a favorite among many handlers.

Tracking Dog: Theory and Methods

Johnson, Glen R. Tracking Dog: Theory & Methods. United States: Arner Publications, 2003.


This is considered an iconic book for tracking. The author describes scent theory in great detail. While Schutzhund tracking has evolved into a precision form of tracking, this book still provides a great overview of how scent and scenting dogs work.

How To Achieve Precision Tracking With Your Dog

Kotsopolous, Kris. How To Achieve Precision Tracking With Your Dog.


This is one of the only books out there specifically for Schutzhund-style tracking. It presents one primary method for training tracking dogs using articles rather than food, and then finishing with the remote collar on low levels. It also integrates quite a bit of information about tracking training and scent theory. 

Schutzhund Obedience: Training In Drive

Booth, Sheila, and Gottfried Dildei. Schutzhund Obedience: Training in Drive. Ridgefield, CT: Podium Publications, 1992.


This is one of my favorite Schutzhund-related books. While the rules and training methods have evolved since this book was written, Schutzhund Obedience still provides a balanced approach to training the obedience phase, combining motivation and teaching with mild correction later for proofing. Obedience in particular has improved in our ability to shape precise behaviors needed for top competition, but this book provides an excellent introduction to positively training this phase.

Der Schutzhund (The Protection Dog)

Raiser, Helmut. Der Schutzhund (the Protection Dog): The Training of Working Dogs in Protection Work. Duncan, B.C., Canada: Armin Winkler Pub., 1996.


This book is still considered the foremost authority on protection dogs and protection training.

Please reload


Dog Sports Skills Series

Fenzi, Denise, and Deborah Jones. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Publishing.

Book 1: Developing Engagement and Relationship. 2013.

Book 2: Motivation. 2014.

Book 3: Play!. 2015

Book 4: Focus and Engage!. 2016.

This series of four books covers the foundation needed for a successful working partner: engagement, relationship, focus, motivation, and play. All four books are full of "how to" information along with detailed case studies. The books are quite thorough in discussing many different types of dogs and how to connect with each them. Additionally, all of this foundational work is done positively and in a way that promotes a  great relationship between you and your dog.


I highly recommend this entire series to anyone who is new to training a working dog! These books thoroughly cover the foundation needed to learn how to motivate, play with, and engage your dog. They cover the basic knowledge needed to do all these great things with your dog, knowledge that is not always directly taught at the Schutzhund club but is assumed the handler will "pick up" as time goes on. The motivation and engagement books in particular are my favorite!

Purely Positive Training: Companion to Competition

Booth, Sheila. Purely Positive Training: Companion to Competition. Ridgefield, CT: Podium Publications, 1998.

This was one of my first books getting into the sport, and still one of my favorites. The author outlines a solid framework for raising a competition prospect from a puppy in a positive and engaging way. The basic foundation for each exercise of obedience is also discussed, and is built upon in greater detail in Sheila Booth's Schutzhund Obedience book mentioned earlier. This is a must-have in my personal library.

Building Blocks for Performance

Anderson, Bobbie. Building Blocks for Performance. Loveland, CO: Alpine Blue Ribbon, 2002.


While not specific for Schutzhund, this book is all about raising your puppy to excel in a variety of competitive sports. If you are completely new to having a puppy for a competition prospect rather than just a pet, this is a great book to read. Bobbie covers bonding with your puppy, developing focus and instilling a great attitude, plus teaching your pup to play appropriate games with you.

Please reload

bottom of page