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‘We train our dogs because we enjoy it and cherish the companionship our sport brings’

Sylvia Bailey

Yare Sports Dogs Club (YSD)

Norwich Schutzhund Club

Norwich IPO Club

Norwich IGP Club

The first Schutzhund club that we started up was around 2007, under the name of ‘Black Shuck Sports Dogs’, this was dissolved and out of the embers a new club evolved with the help of a good friend and German Shepherd Dog enthusiast Sylvia Bailey.

The new club was renamed and took its name from the nearby river ‘Yare’ and has grown into what it is today.

Over the years our club has kept out of the politics that can so often plague clubs, and has developed and remained a place where working dog enthusiasts can enjoy working their dogs and having fun.

In any sport, there will always be individuals who become totally obsessed at the detriment of everything else. At YSD we aim to keep some perspective, ‘we train our dogs because we enjoy it and cherish the companionship our sport brings’.

Yare Sports Dogs is not part of NDTS, but it is supported by NDTS

A Little Bit About Schutzhund

For people who are not aware, ‘Schutzhund’ is a dog sport that was originally developed for the German Shepherd Dog to prove that dogs successful in the Sport, carried the correct traits required of a true working dog to prove that they were suitable for breeding, thereby passing their working genes down to the next generation. 

As Max Von Stephanitz the God father of the German Shepherd is reported to have said ‘German Shepherd Dog Breeding should be working dog breeding’.

As with everything overtime, things change and so has the sport of Schutzhund. Over the years the requirements for the competition has changed, and so has the Sports name from Schutzhund (Sch) to Internationale Prufungs-Ordung (IPO) and more recently Internationale Gebrauchshund Prufung (IGP).

A Demanding Sport...

One of my great and former Schutzhund trainers George Garbutt (Malvern and Worcester Sports Dogs) used to say ‘It’s a hard old game’ – this isn’t a sport that should be undertaken lightly. It is hard work and you need a dog that has both the mental and physical attributes for the sport – and that’s before you even consider the demands, and responsibilities placed on the handler. In essence it should only be undertaken by persons dedicated to the ideal of the ‘Total Dog’.

'A challenging sport for those dedicated to the ideal of the ‘Total Dog’’'

A Sport That's Adapting

Latterly one of the big changes the sport has undergone with the ambition to attract more people to the sport – is that it’s no longer necessary to have a dog that is good in all three phases of the sport (obedience, tracking and protection).

Teams can now specialise, once they have passed the coveted BH or Begleithund qualification.


Within the sport, qualification gets more challenging as the team works through the stakes.

You could say that a good correlation is that provided by Academia, where the ‘human equivalent’ gains a First Degree (BA or BSc) followed by a Masters and finally a Phd.

In the sport, teams work through the qualifications (Sch I, Sch III, Sch III; IPO l, IPO ll, IPO lll; IGP l, IGP ll, IGP lll). Only dogs with the very top qualification can compete against other similarly qualified teams to represent the UK in World Class competition overseas.

A Mix Of Breeds

Over the years our club membership has comprised of owners with different working breeds and working mixes with different aspirations and canine backgrounds coming to the sport from the fields of : Obedience, Working Trials, Security dog handlers, Military dog handlers, Agility, Gun dogs, Canicross, Beauty Shows and Companion dogs.

My personal role is that of Head Trainer and Secretary – the club’s ethos is that our members work together to help and support one another ‘it’s what a club is all about’.

We’ve had successful trials in 2017, 2018, 2022, 2023 and we are now in the early planning process for another trial.


Membership at the club is strictly limited – we ask that potential members have experience with working dogs  and that they own and train a working breed.

If this interests you, then please give us a call or complete the enquiry form on this site.  

IGP Tracking Norwich Dog Training School