Protection Dog Sports

Protection sports are demanding, with rigorous competitions requiring high levels of training, discipline, and natural ability. If you pursue protection sports, choose your club and trainer wisely. At Sporty Dog, we aim to answer your questions and provide valuable information to support your journey.

There are four types of protection sports, each offering unique challenges:

IGP/Shutzhund (formerly IPO) is a three-part sport comprising Tracking, Obedience, and Protection phases. Trials for all levels are held regionally, nationally, and internationally each year. The prestigious IGP World Championship is held each year under FCI rules.

French Ring involves various obedience and protection exercises. It starts with a temperament test to ensure the dog is fit for the sport. Dogs can then advance through three levels. There are two competition categories:

  • Standard: For purebred, registered dogs from authorized breeders.
  • Blue Dog: For mixed breeds, unregistered dogs, or neutered males, accepted only in Canada and the US. Blue Dogs can compete but can’t earn the “Champion” title or compete internationally.

PSA (Protection Sports Association) focuses on real-life scenarios and practical protection work, testing dogs’ abilities in complex tasks. Dogs over 14 months must pass a PDC test before competing in PSA1 through PSA3 levels, which increase in complexity and pressure. The PSA Nationals and World Championship are key events.

Mondioring, authorized by the FCI, combines elements of different protection sports. It features unpredictable and progressively challenging situations, varying from show to show.

Regardless of the path you choose, your dog must possess high instinctual drives, solid nerves, and a strong desire to work to succeed. With proper training and consistency, your canine buddy can achieve titles and prizes reflecting his hard work—and of course, you’ll have a happy, well-rounded, and disciplined pet!

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