Training is something EVERY dog should get when they are a puppy. Whether command, leash, crate or toilet training, it is an important step to ensuring you have a happy, balanced dog.

But there is an extra step, not for every breed, or every dog. This is where it gets serious for the seriously brainy canine.

For the German Shepherd and other similar breeds there is something very special...

Any serious dog lover is at home with the term “Schutzhund”. But those dog lovers who are proud owners or fans of the German Shepherd Dog can vouch for the fact that Schutzhund is an imperative part of dog training and socialization.

What is Schutzhund?

Schutzhund, which is a German term meaning: "protection dog", tests a dog’s desire to work, his courage, his intelligence, his trainability, his bond to the handler, his perseverance and his protective instincts.

There are several tests and trials that must be accomplished to pass Schutzhund. In fact it is taken so seriously in Germany that a German Shepherd cannot even be bred unless is passes Schutzhund.

What is the importance of Schutzhund?

Dogs that pass Schutzhund tests should be suitable for the following:

  • Police work
  • Specific odor detection
  • Search and rescue

The purpose of Schutzhund is undeniable when used with German Shepherd Dogs, since it also identifies those representatives of the breed that have the perfect character traits required for these demanding jobs.

It is not surprising that police worldwide use Schutzhund with German Shepherd Dogs, to see if the dogs they have chosen can excel at these very demanding tasks.

Interestingly enough, most police departments do not allow their working dogs to breed. This is also true of many other organizations that use working dogs.

The breeding stock for these working dogs is Schutzhund dogs.

Without Schutzhund, the working ability of German Shepherd Dogs and other working breeds would quickly deteriorate and it would be difficult to find suitable dogs for police work, bomb detection, or search and rescue.

German Shepherd Dog

Is Schutzhund only for German Shepherds?

The answer is no!

Although Schutzhund started with the German Shepherd Dog, many breeds can compete in Schutzhund today.

Though obviously not every breed is suitable for Schutzhund, ie a Pug, there are others than can really succeed and prosper with this skill.

Most common breeds today to participate in Schutzhund include:

  • German Shepherd Dogs
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Giant Schnauzers
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Dutch Shepherd Dogs
  • American Bulldogs

There are many conscientious dog lovers who also do Schutzhund for fun, but they also know that they are giving back to society by developing the next generation of working dogs.

This is commendable, since it is not an easy task. Some may be professional dog trainers; while some make it a vocation and a hobby to better themselves and their German Shepherd Dogs.

By learning about Schutzhund; owners can educate and train their German Shepherd Dogs to develop a keen interest in their environment while helping them become better working dogs as well.

One can learn from books, from the internet, from fellow German Shepherd fans and from practice once you get your perfect German Shepherd Puppy.

To quote Martin, who is also a loving owner and trainer of two German Shepherd Dogs: "There’s a huge difference between the way you raise a pet vs. a working dog!".

Although some of these techniques may differ from conventional obedience lessons, if you are an owner of a German Shepherd or any other hot-blooded working dog, there is no way you can go wrong with Schutzhund!