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All 32 German Shepherd Working Titles Explained

All 32 German Shepherd Working Titles Explained

Working titles of a German Shepherd can tell future GSD owners a lot about their new dog. They can tell if a dog has been properly trained, socialized, and how well can you shape the dog into what you need.

Not all dogs do well in stressful situations, with a lot of other dogs, with children, etc. So, getting a German Shepherd puppy from a breeder who has dogs with working titles means a lot. Even if you don’t plan on showing your dog, a dog coming from working GSDs with approved titles will give the best in almost any environment.

After all… that’s what Max von Stephanitz (the maker of the modern GSD) wanted to do. He wanted to make the perfect working dog, and he did. German Shepherds are one of the most used dogs all around the world in all kinds of jobs.

So, let’s see all of the working titles, and what they mean so that you can decide which one is the most important for your GSD.

German Shepherd Working Titles

Before we go, it is important to know that these titles are different from AKC’s conformation titles. The conformation titles are for the whole body composure, looks, and the way a dog walks, stands, and runs. 

German Shepherd working titles are focused not only on physical looks, but on a dog’s mental capacity and willingness to work or do as told. This is a simple explanation. Through these 32 German Shepherd working titles, you will understand how versatile this amazing dog breed is.

1. AKC-Recognized Working Titles

German Shepherd Dog running

The American Kennel Club has 10 GSD working titles that are recognized in the States. The other 22 are recognized in Europe. The 10 titles recognized by the AKC are included in European titles, too, however, the 22 we will mention later have no influence or power in the USA.

1. BH Begleithunde

This is a combination of two tests. One is obedience, and the other one is temperament. A German Shepherd has to pass this test in order to compete in the Schutzhund tests. The BH is a prerequisite for the Schutzhund.

2. SchH1

This is basic or novice Schutzhund qualification testing in three things:

  • tracking
  • obedience
  • protection 

A dog has to be at least 18 months old in order to compete. The Schutzhund training is the most important in checking the GSD’s strength of character and temperament.

3. SchH2

The next step is intermediate Schutzhund qualification. A competing German Shepherd has to be at least 19 months old. The tests are the same, with a focus on the dog’s character, but more intense.

4. SchH3

This is the final Schutzhund test, and it is considered to be the master level. A GSD with an SchH3 is a master of obedience, tracking, and protection. This is one of the highest OTP tests in the world for a working dog.

5. IPO1

This is called a Novice International Schutzhund competition. A dog has to be at least 18 months old to compete. As you can tell, it’s the first step, and it is recognized worldwide. 

6. IPO2

The second step a GSD needs to go through to become an internationally-titled working dog is the Intermediate International Schutzhund competition. The requirements are:

  • Passed IPO1
  • At least 19 months old

7. IPO3

This is the final, master level of the Schutzhund competition. This is another one of the highest tests in the world, and it is recognized in countries all over the world. A German Shepherd has to be at least 20 months old to compete, and it has to have the other two IPOs completed.

This is the hardest test, with four turns and three objects a dog has to find. 

8. SchHA

This is limited Schutzhund qualification testing. It has obedience and protection tests, but no tracking. 

A dog has to be at least 18 months old to compete in this competition as well.

9. FH1

This is focused on the tracking ability of a dog, and it is a bit harder than tracking in the intermediate Schutzhund qualification. A dog that has passed the intermediate Schutzhund qualification can compete in FH1 and FH2.

10. FH2

This is an advanced or superior tracking qualification. It can be compared with the master Schutzhund qualification or SchH3. Generally, it is a bit harder than the mentioned SchH.

2. European Working Titles

dog german shepherd running in a snowy park in winter

Besides these 10 working titles, there are 22 more European titles that are recognized by dog breeders all around the world. They might not mean much if you want to compete in the AKC qualifications, but they mean a lot if you plan on breeding your dog anywhere in the world.

1. AD

The full name in German is: Aus Dauerprufing, and it means endurance test. To pass this test, a GSD has to run quite fast (6 to 10 miles per hour) for 12 miles. This is how they test if the dog has enough endurance, and if its structure is correct. 

2. DH

This is a qualification test for a service dog. These dogs have to prove they are:

  • Not easily distracted
  • Not aggressive
  • Calm in any situation
  • Can help with tasks that their owners cannot do (open the door, turn on/off the light, etc.)

There is no breed restriction. Any dog can become a service dog; however, German Shepherds are one of the best service dogs around the world.

3. Gebrauchshundklasse

This is a test for dogs that are older than two years. This test is the only test available for these dogs in Germany. It basically gives a dog a working-class dog certificate. The tests and requirements are different for each dog breed.

4. HGH

This is a qualification test for herding dogs. The full name in German is Herdengebrauchshund. As the name suggests, it is meant to test a dog’s ability to herd a flock, large and small. Of course, other dog breeds can get this certification… it is not just for GSDs.

5. FH

The full name is Fahrtenhund… in German, obviously, and it stands for tracking dog qualification. A dog has to go through an array of tests in which it can prove it can find whatever it’s needed of him.

6. ZH and GrH – Grenzen Hund

Happy german shepherd running and jumping

This is a Zollhund or a Grenzen Hund. These German Shepherds do their jobs with Customs Police. They have to be excellent at tracking, sniffing, and protection at the same time. 

7. BpDH1 2

These are dogs specifically trained to work with Railroad Police. They, too, have to have excellent strength of character and agility, as well as tracking abilities.

8. BIH

Not all breeds are suitable to have a BIH certification or a Blind Leader Dog certification. The earliest age a dog can begin this training is two years. A dog has to be calm and non-reactive, but at the same time, ready to defend its owner.

9. LwH

The full name is Lawinenhund (or avalanche search dog). We might be used to St. Bernard dogs as search and rescue dogs in snowy mountains, but German Shepherds are equally good at finding and saving people covered in snow.

10. DH

This is a working title for a service dog. These dogs are trained to help people with disabilities. They have to have the same set of qualities as BIH dogs.

11. DPH and PH (Polizehund)

These two are for police service dogs (or just police dogs). They are used in bomb detection, drug detection, as well as searching for people.

12. PFP I, II – Polizeifaehrtenhund I, II

Smart police dog sitting outdoors

This is a special certification for dogs that work as police tracking dogs. They have to go through a special set of training, and through two levels PFP 1 and PFP 2.

13. PSP I, II – Polizeischutzhundprufung I, II

Just like PFP is a special certification for tracking dogs, this is a special certification for police protection dogs. It also has two levels – PSP 1 and PSP 2.

14. Bundeslestunggssieger

This is an International Championship of German Shepherds held once a year in Germany. It combines competition the same as in IPO and agility.

15. Huntesieger

This is a champion title for a German Shepherd that won a herding dog competition. It is held in Germany. Other dogs can compete as well.

16. HT and HC

These are similar to Huntesieger, and they refer to the herding tested (HT), and the herding champion (HC). As you can see, the HT title means a dog has competed without any medals.

17. M.H. and Kr.H. 

These stand for Militar Hund (military dog), and Kriegshund (War dog). Both titles refer to a dog that is eligible to serve in the army and help soldiers on the field. They have good protection, tracking, and obedience skills.

18. S.H. 

The abbreviation is for Sanitas Hund (or Red Cross dog). These dogs are equipped with first-aid kit bags that an injured or wounded soldier can use to help himself until help arrives.

The Conclusion

Besides these 32 German Shepherd working titles, there are conformation titles. These titles are different in the States and Germany. The AKC has its own rules and regulations, and, of course, Germany and some other countries have their own.

The ten working titles accepted by the AKC are the ones you need to have if you plan on going to dog shows in the States.

Of course, there are 22 other working titles, mainly in Germany, that your dog can obtain. But, you need to go to those countries in order to do so.

It doesn’t matter if your dog has titles or not if you plan on just having a family companion. However, when you are buying a GSD puppy, these titles can come in handy when deciding from which breeder to get one.

Titles mean that dogs are in excellent health and are of excellent behavior.

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