What Is Schutzhund Dog Training? (And Why Your Dog Will Love It!)

Schutzhund Obedience, Tracking, Protection

Schutzhund helper catching a dog

The Sport of Schutzhund

Schutzhund training is a sport that is dedicated to the protection of people and property. It is a dog sport that was developed in Germany in the early 1900’s as a breed test for the German Shepherd dog.

There are many types of dog sports that you and your working dog can participate in together. Dog agility is a sport where your dog navigates through a obstacle course as quickly as possible. Dog disc is a sport where you and your dog toss a flying disc back and forth. Dog obedience is a sport where you and your dog complete a set of commands given by the judge. There are many more types of dog sports, and you can find one that best suits you and your furry friend.

The goal of Schutzhund training is to develop dogs that are capable of protecting their owners, as well as patrolling and guarding property. Breeders, owners and trainers of working dogs use Schutzhund training to evaluate the qualities of dogs that they are considering for breeding or work purposes.

Although it is often referred to as “Schutzhund” (which roughly translates into “protection dog”), Schutzhund training provides excellent preparation for other personal protection sports such as KNPV, IPO and Ring Sport.

Schutzhund / IPO Titles

The first requirement is a BH designation, which is basically a behavior test to evaluate whether or not a dog is prepared physically and socially to participate in the sport.

Each Schutzhund degree must be done by a specific age. Schutzhund degree I can only begin after the dog is 18 months old, Schutzhund degree II must be started at 2 years old and the Schutzhund degree III needs to start before your dog is 3 years old .

There are three different levels in Schutzhund training:

  • IGP 1 (novice)
  • IGP 2 (intermediate)
  • IGP 3 (advanced)

Schutzhund field

Each degree has 3 phases that include tracking, obedience and protection. Many people think that Schutzhund training is only for guard dogs but it is truly a sport to the dog and owner alike. It takes more than an aggressive dog to make it through all three degrees of Schutzhund training…it requires physical prowess, intelligence and ability.

Schutzhund Tracking

When it comes to tracking, Schutzhund dogs are some of the best in the world. This is a skill that is required in order to pass the Schutzhund degree program and is something that is tested on during the trial process.

One of the most important things when it comes to tracking is having a dog that has a strong sense of smell. In order to be successful in Schutzhund tracking, your dog needs to be able to follow a scent trail that is laid down by another person.

Schutzhund tracking involves having a dog follow a track laid by another person in a specific pattern. Tracking articles – usually pieces of leather, wood or fabric – are laid along the track. The dog typically indicates an article by pointing it out, for instance, by laying down right at the article.

Schutzhund Obedience Training

Obedience training in Schutzhund is extremely important because without proper

training, there really is no Schutzhund training. Obedience is done in a relaxed atmosphere and there are no corrections for mistakes that might occur during this phase of the Schutzhund degree program.

The obedience phase of the Schutzhund degree training lets you get to know your dog and what they do and don’t respond well to.

Schutzhund Protection Training.

When it comes to Schutzhund protection training, one of the most important skills that your dog needs to be proficient in is bite work. This is a skill that is required in order to pass the protection phase of the Schutzhund degree program.

In order for your dog to be successful in this type of training, it’s important that you start working on it at a young age. This will allow them to develop the proper muscle memory and reflexes that are needed in order to make a successful bite.

When you are working with your dog on this type of training it’s important that he understands that the decoy is out there for the good of the session. decoy is a person who is going to act as the aggressor during the training session.  They will be wearing protective equipment in order to ensure that your dog is not injured while working with them. So when they approach him, let him go after them at his own pace and reward him when he’s successful.

It’s also important to remember that any punishment your dog receives during these training periods should be done in a positive manner to ensure that it doesn’t negatively impact the training session

Dog Breeds For Schutzhund

There are many different breeds of dogs that can be used for the sport of Schutzhund. Some of the best breeds for this type of training include the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher and Belgian Malinois. Each breed has their own strengths and weaknesses but all are able to complete the three degrees of Schutzhund training.

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular working dog breeds in the world and for good reason. They are a versatile breed that is able to do many different things, including Schutzhund training. They are a large breed of dog and are known for their strength, intelligence and obedience.

The Rottweiler is another popular working dog breed that is able to do a great job at Schutzhund training. They are known as being one of the most obedient working dog breeds, which is what you need for Schutzhund degree training. They come from a long line of guarding and herding dogs that have been highly regarded throughout history.

The Doberman Pinscher is a very popular breed for police and military work. They are known to be one of the most intelligent and obedient breeds in existence which makes them great for Schutzhund training purposes.

The Belgian Malinois is another great working dog that has been used for police and military purposes. They are considered to be a medium sized breed of dog that actually has a lot of the characteristics that you’re looking for in Schutzhund training.

The Schutzhund Training Sport Community

Schutzhund is a sport where dogs are able to show off their natural abilities and talents. These breeds have been used to create a very well-rounded breed of dog that can actually do it all, which is perfect for this type of training.

The United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA) is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of Schutzhund training. This organization was formed in 1978 and has been responsible for promoting Schutzhund training across the United States. The USCA also offers their members a variety of resources, which includes a quarterly magazine, trial schedules and results, and much more. They also publish a yearly training manual, which can be used to improve your Schutzhund training experience.

The United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USCA) is responsible for holding, sanctioning and conducting Schutzhund degree matches across the United States. They are the governing authority that oversees the sport of Schutzhund, which is why they are the best group to get information from regarding Schutzhund training.

They are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the sport, by implementing rules that govern the training, testing and breeding programs of each club member. They also ensure that each trial conducted during these degree matches follow their specific rules and regulations.

If you’re interested in finding out more information about this type of training then visit the United Schutzhund Clubs of America’s website,