German Shepherd Schutzhund Training Benefits

Updated on December 16, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed's health and wellness.

German Shepherds are fantastic dogs. They are quite intelligent, beautiful, and fun to have around. They are very responsive to training and can do incredible things when they are taught how to.

If you’re raising a puppy, then you might have heard of Schutzhund training. It’s a certain type of training that’s much more intensive than regular obedience training. Today, we’re going to talk about why German Shepherd Schutzhund training can be considered important. We’ll help you decide if this practice is right for your dog.

Why Train These Dogs?

German Shepherds were bred to be strong, working dogs. This is why, even today, the majority of working dogs that you see are German Shepherds, although we should definitely also include the Belgian Malinois. There are a few reasons that these dogs are great for working:

  • They are intelligent and can learn commands relatively quickly. They can also be trained to perform complex tasks that other dogs might struggle with.
  • They are very strong and have been bred to be comfortable in all types of weather and to work on all types of terrain.
  • They are known for their great temperament. They are hard to anger and they are very loyal, which makes them great guard dogs that can still be good for the whole family.

In addition to that, German Shepherds are very beautiful and are known for their thick, sleek coats of fur. It’s no wonder that they have become one of the most popular dogs not just in Germany, but all throughout the world

Knowing that they are very strong and capable dogs has led to the development of Schutzhund training, which is a way that you can teach your dog to be highly skilled.

What Is German Shepherd Schutzhund Training?

Some people think that Schutzhund training is a dog sport, but this isn’t true. Instead, it’s one of the most intense and comprehensive forms of training and testing your dog in various areas. That said, in certain parts of the world, particularly the USA, this training has actually been adapted into a type of sport and show.

Schutzhund training originated in Germany in the early 1900s as a way to help test German Shepherds for their ability to protect people. The word schutzhund actually means "protection dog."

Real Schutzhund training helps to educate the dog in protection and if your dog is to graduate from the program, then they must actually complete a bunch of tests that evaluate how capable they are. When it first became a thing, dogs were required to pass the training if they wanted to reproduce and pass their genes onto the next generation.

The training was initially so intense that very few dogs passed the test, even those bred from dogs that had already passed. However, the dogs that did pass made quite an impression. As word spread of these highly intelligent, capable dogs, their popularity steadily increased. Nowadays, the demand for German Shepherds is high all around the world.

As a result, Schutzhund training actually changed. The restrictions and rules were loosened quite a bit, and eventually, the control over breeding was pretty much eliminated. This means that a dog that completes this training is likely not as well-trained as one that completed training in the past.

That said, Schutzhund training is still quite intense, and if your dog completes it then they will be quite successful as a guard dog. Furthermore, it’s not just German Shepherds that can partake in this practice these days—though they are one of the only breeds that are actually strong enough and smart enough to pass all the rigorous testing.

How Does It Work?

It is a very systematic training procedure. That means that there are very specific rules, regulations, and tests that your dog must go through to fulfill the training program.

Schutzhund tests not just the skills of a dog, but their character as well. They will be trained to have a good temperament and to only be aggressive in situations in which they are protecting their owner.

The training is incredibly demanding for the dog and can be somewhat stressful for the owner as well. Schutzhund training is sometimes used for police dogs, however, the majority of dogs that finish the testing have nothing to do with the police. They can just go back to their families and work as good guard dogs.

There are a few basic aspects of Schutzhund training that a dog will have to go through.

Protection Dog Training

German Shepherds were bred to be protectors, and they like having a person to guard and protect. For this reason, Schutzhund training puts a huge amount of focus on training your dog to be protective.

This was initially important because it helped to ensure that protective traits would remain in the gene pool of dogs that were breeding. Nowadays, however, many people just want to have a good guard dog.

This part of the training will deal with teaching certain commands to your dog that can be useful for guarding your property, protecting you and your family, and attacking anyone or anything that might be invading. In addition to this, your dog will be trained on how to make its own decisions if you are not around. This means that even if you’re not around, they will know what to do if someone is trying to hop the fence into your backyard.

Aspects of this training require that your dog be very strong, powerful, and have a great level of endurance if they want to pass the test.

Obedience Training

Any dog owner knows how important it is for your dog to remain obedient. This is the second most important part of Schutzhund, although I would claim obedience comes first when you value safety. These dogs are naturally loyal, so they can be quite happy to remain obedient to a loving owner.

Usually, the first part of this training involves the handler training the dog. After a while, the owner will have to come in and do their own training while they are being supervised by the handler. In the end, the dog will have to obey the owner, and only the owner—the handler will try to give commands, but the dog must learn to ignore them. This means that the dog will only be responsive to you.

The majority of Schutzhund courses have 16 basic commands that your dog must master to pass the test.


Dogs have incredibly powerful senses of smell, and to let this go to waste is a shame. They can be great for tracking people. This is why dogs are often used to find people who have gotten lost in the woods or on mountains.

During the tracking training, the handler will lay out a track. The dog will have to inform the handler about whatever they find. The dog will have to remain determined and focused on the task at hand if they’re going to score well on the test.

This part is important for helping your dog to develop its own independence and initiative because the handler won’t actually be directly telling the dog what to do.

Is Schutzhund Training Right for My Dog?

You might wonder whether or not the training is right for you and your dog. Since it's such an intensive training program, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of money on it, and many people find that they don’t need a dog so intensively trained.

Lots of families are happy with a dog that knows how to sit, heel, and stay, and knows how to bark at strangers. Getting your dog to this point certainly doesn’t require any formal training.

However, some people want to have a dog that’s incredibly capable and uses all of its potential. People who want to put their dogs in shows will probably want to go through Schutzhund training because it helps ensure that their dog will be able to compete properly with others.

Family dogs can benefit, but it is certainly not necessary. However, if you have young children and are thinking about getting a German Shepherd, you will probably want to get one that is already accustomed to children. Getting one that has gone through this training usually ensures this if you don't pressure your dog.

Why Would You Try Schutzhund Training?

See results

Finding a Club

If you have decided that German Shepherd Schutzhund training sounds right for you, then the next thing that you want to do is find a place that you can get the training done. There is probably a training center somewhere near you if you live in a large city. Many smaller cities and towns have outlets as well, and you can talk to a breeder if you need more information.

It’s a good idea to look around to find one that suits you and your dog, as well as your schedule. You can do some research and find out the reviews done on the club so you can be sure that you’re going to be getting quality training.

Remember, each Schutzhund club is different. Not only do they differ in the things that they teach, but they differ in the way that they go about it and the environment. Getting your dog trained isn’t the only important thing here. You want to make sure that they are comfortable and happy. A very small number of people are extreme and sometimes "violent" in their training methods, avoid these types.

Training takes quite a while, so if you’re going to join a club you should expect to be with them for a few years. If you have not already purchased your dog, then it’s also a good idea to get to know the people involved. This will help you gain a better understanding of what’s going to be involved.

Schutzhund means "protection dog," and is necessary training for anyone who wants to have a properly trained guard dog. It will teach your dog advanced techniques in guarding, being obedient, and being independent.

If you think that it’s right for you and your family, then you should seek a club near you.

© 2019 Sam Shepards


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Sean Dunagan 

      5 weeks ago

      What does SV stand for?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)