SOURCE: BJ Spanos, Ink

January 09, 2008 11:58 ET

New Book Sensation -- "The Sport of Schutzhund: A Photographic Essay"

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - When BJ and Peter Spanos purchased their first German Shepherd Dog four years ago, they gave no thought to participating the sport of Schutzhund. Today, they not only are active in this popular international sport for working dogs, but they have published the first and only photographic book (coffee table format) that comprehensively depicts all phases of this sport, including training, competitions, dogs at play and with their families, dog portraits and puppies.

"We are thrilled with how well 'The Sport of Schutzhund: A Photographic Essay' has been received. At the United States Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA) German Shepherd Dog National Championship, held in November 2007 in Carrollton, Georgia, everyone who saw the book had to have a copy of their very own," said BJ Spanos, owner of BJ Spanos, Ink, the publisher of the book.

"Our goal in creating this book is to introduce the sport to those who are unfamiliar with it and to promote the sport among dog enthusiasts. Our hope is to expand interest in our book beyond the Schutzhund world to include all those who love dogs," said BJ Spanos. The soft cover, perfect bound, 204-page book features 370 photographs taken by 26 professional and amateur photographers from 12 different US states, plus a few pictures from Europe. The book also features high quality production values, including glossy, aqueous coated cover and paper; four-color throughout; and full-page bleeds, which show the pictures to their best advantage.

Near the beginning of the 20th century, Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, initiated a breeding program aimed at creating the ultimate working dog to serve mankind. To ensure that the breeding program would continue to produce healthy, strong and talented working dogs, von Stephanitz also created the original version of Schutzhund. Over time, Schutzhund has evolved into an international dog sport in its own right, in which many working breeds participate, including German Shepherd Dogs, Boxers, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers and Belgian Malinois.

Schutzhund is in essence a triathlon for working dogs, including tracking, obedience and protection work. Schutzhund tracking is an exercise in obedience and precision in the use of the dog's natural scenting ability. To the casual observer, the smooth flow of a top-level Schutzhund obedience routine looks simple, but is filled with complex challenges for the dog and involves a carefully constructed "dance" or interplay between the dog and the handler.

For many, the protection work is the most dramatic and exciting phase. Behind the drama lies systematic training to bring out the dog's natural courage and enthusiasm, while instilling strong obedience and the ability to switch from engagement to release, and from courage to obedience, all in an instant, back and forth. It should be emphasized that Schutzhund has nothing to do with dog-to-dog fighting and differs greatly from the training used to prepare personal or property protection dogs and police or drug detection dogs.

"As this book was a labor of love, we are donating the proceeds after recovering production expenses to benefit the sport of Schutzhund," BJ Spanos said. Copies may be purchased for $25 (US) plus $10 shipping from BJ Spanos, Ink (

BJ Spanos, Ink is a full-service consulting firm, offering a wide array of professional services related to internal, corporate and marketing communications. To learn more about BJ Spanos and the services offered, please visit the BJ Spanos, Ink website at BJ and Peter Spanos are members of the Greater Atlanta Schutzhund Association (, an affiliate club of the USCA (

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    BJ Spanos
    Phone: 770-631-1395
    Fax: 770-631-2768
    E-mail: Email Contact