BH Pattern

The BH is a temperament and obedience test encompassing both an obedience routine and "traffic" test to ensure dogs are of sound temperament before continuing on to earn IPO titles. For those that have never done a BH before there is also a written test as well over the rulebook.

Prior to the BH trial all participating dogs must undergo a temperament evaluation, whereby an identity control of the tattoo number and/or chip number is also to be done. Dogs that have no identification cannot participate in a trial. The evaluation of temperament is carried out for the duration of the trial. Dogs which have not passed the temperament test are excluded from further participation in the trial. If a dog that initially passed the temperament test displays a weakness during the trail, the judge may exclude him from further trailing and makes a notation in the scorebook – “Temperament test/Behaviour test not passed”. A gun test is not conducted for the BH/VT test.

There are 60 points available to be earned in the obedience portion of the BH and the dog and handler team must earn at least 42 of the points (70%) in order to continue on to the traffic portion of the test. The judge signals the start of each exercise. Everything else, such as about turns, halts, changes of pace, etc. , is done independently. However, it is permissible to ask the judge for instructions. Praising a dog is permitted after each exercise is completed. After that the handler may assume a new basic position. There needs to be a definitive break between praise and a new start (approx. 3 seconds). The dog is to be in heel position between exercises.

You will need a leash that can be clasped around your waist, across your should, or easily stuffed in a pocket. Your dog will need a fur-saver chain collar and you will attach the leash to the dead ring of the collar. For the BH it is permissible to only have a standard flat leather or nylon buckle collar. All IPO titles require a fur-saver.

1. Heeling on Leash (15 points)

Command “ Heel”

From the basic position, the dog, wearing a certified commercial collar meeting animal protection laws, is to follow the handler happily on lead. The collar may not be worn on the live ring. When the second handler, after taken his dog to the place for the exercise “down under distraction” , is in the basic position for this exercise, the first handler has to be also in the basic position and from this moment the examination starts for both dogs.

At the beginning of the exercise, the handler goes out straight to 50 paces with his dog without stopping, does an about turn and after 10 to 15 paces shows fast and slow pace always with the voice command ”Heel”. The transition from fast pace to slow pace is to be performed without any transitional steps. At a normal pace at least two right turns, one left and two about turns are to be executed according to the sketch. (As well as halting after the second about turn.

The dog is to remain at the left side of the handler with his shoulder at the handler’s knee height. The about turn is to be executed by the handler as a left about turn.

The halt is to be shown at least once at a normal pace according to the schematic after the second about turn. The handler is permitted to use the verbal command “Fuss/Heel” when beginning an exercise and when changing pace. When the handler tops the dog is to assume a quick sit without any help from the help from the handler. The handler may not alter the basic position and not move closer to the dog if the dog is positioned away from the handler. The leash is to be held in the left hand during the heeling and must be carried loose. At the end of the exercise and upon instructions from the judge, the handler is to proceed through a group of a minimum of 4 people.

Lagging, forging, heeling wide, slowly sitting near the handler are considered faulty.


Heeling through a group of moving people is to be shown both on- and off leash. The handler must go at least one time to the left and right (e.g. figure 8) around the people. Each time the handler goes through the group, he has to halt at least once near a person. It is up to the judge to request a repeat. On instruction of the judge, the handler and his dog leave the group and assume a basic position. Praising the dog is only permitted after leaving the group and in the final basic position.

About turn (180 degrees)

The about turn is to be demonstrated by the handler at a 180 degree turn in place to the left. There are two variables possible:

  • − The dog turns behind the handler to the right

  • − The dog shows a left about turn by turning 180 degrees in place. Within a given trial only one of the two variables is permitted.

IPO/Schutzhund BH Heeling Pattern for both on and off leash

2. Off-Leash (15 points) Verbal command “Heel”

Under the direction of the judge the dog is taken off-leash. The handler either hangs the leash over his shoulder or puts it in his pocket (in either case away from the side of the dog) and immediately goes back into the moving group of people in order to halt at least one time in the group. After leaving the group, the handler assumes the basic position once again and then begins the off-leash heeling exercise. The off-leash pattern is identical to the on-leash pattern with the exception that you will start in the group instead of finish in the group.

3. Sit exercise ( 10 points) Verbal command “Sit”

From the basic position the handler goes with his free-heeling dog in a straight direction. After a minimum of 10 to 15 paces the handler assumes basic position and commands the dog to “sit” and goes another 15 paces and turns facing the dog. Under the direction of the judge, the handler returns to his dog and places himself on the right side of the dog. If the dog does anything other than sit, for instance lies down or stands, then 5 points are deducted.

Sit in Motion and Down in Motion IPO Schutzhund Obedience Routine BH

4. Down in connection with recall (10 points)

Verbal command “Down – Heel”

From the basic position the handler goes out in a straight direction after giving his dog the heel command. After 10 to 15 paces the handler assumes the basic position and commands “Platz/Down”. He continues another 30 paces and turns facing the dog. Under the direction of the judge the handler recalls the dog to him. The dog is to return happy and quickly and sit close in front of the handler. At the “Fuss/Heel” command the dog is to finish by sitting close next to the handler in basic position.

If the dog stands or sits, but otherwise comes perfectly back to the handler, then 5 points will be deducted.

5. Down under distraction (10 points)

Verbal command “Heel “ Down” , “Sit”

Prior to the beginning of phase “B” of the other dog and as per the judge’s instructions of a designated area, the handler takes his off-leashed dog and commands “Platz/Down” in a straight lying position and without leaving a leash or other object next to the dog. The handler leaves the dog without looking back and after at least 30 paces remains in sight of the dog with his back turned to him. The dog has to lie quietly without any influence of the handler while the other dog performs exercises 1 through 4. Under the direction of the judge, the handler returns to his dog and stands at his right side. After 3 seconds and at the instruction of the judge, the dog is to assume the sit position quickly and straight at the verbal command to do so.

Restless behaviour of the handler as well as any hidden handler help, restless behaviour of the dog as well as standing/sitting up at the time of pick up results in point deduction. If the dog sits or stands, but does remain in place then only partial point deduction will result.

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