Schutzhund Takes Dog Training to the Next Level

Schutzhund trained dog performing

What is Schutzhund?.

This is a serious, very rigid training method that requires intense focus and skills.

The schutzhund training method was started in the early 1900s as a testing process for working dogs. The original purpose of schutzhund was to determine which dogs could be used for breeding and which dogs had true working ability. An increasing demand for working dogs necessitated more advanced and sophisticated training methods and tests. From the start of Schutzhund through today, these dogs are needed for police training, border patrol, customs, military and herding.

The first formal Schutzhund rules were introduced over 60 years ago. As this training method evolved, more and more "regular" people started Getting involved as a leisure sport and to see if their personal dogs could be trained as effectively as these "professional dogs". The number of official participants in Schutzhund grows every year, reaching into the tens of thousands and the number of casual participants is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Schutzhund brings out the best in dogs.

Exploring the 3 phases of Schutzhund

Schutzhund training is broken down into three main areas in which the dogs are tested. When the dog is ready, they can enter a competition to get certified. All three tests happen in the same day, so it is critical to be in the best form and shape.


Dogs are expected to be able to track footsteps over any type of terrain, change direction as required and perform with complete accuracy and commitment. Additionally, they are expected to be able to find articles that have been dropped and indicate the location of the articles to their handlers (often in less than ideal conditions}.


This section covers multiple skills. The dog must heel (on and off leash). Sit, down and stand commands are also given while the dog is moving. The work is done on a football-sized field. The dog must be able to retreive (usually a dumbbell) normally, over a one-meter jump and over a six-foot wall. This section also tests for down "stays" and long send aways.


Often misunderstood, this test requires the dog to attack without hesitation at full power but only when the dog or its owner/handler are attacked. The dog must be able to stop on command and assume a guardian position with no additional attacking. This training insures the dog only is aggressive in situations it is trained for and remains under complete control at all other times.

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