The Purpose of Schutzhund


Schutzhund tests dogs of all breeds for the traits necessary for police-type work. Dogs that pass Schutzhund tests should be suitable for a wide variety of tasks: police work, specific odor detection, search and rescue, and many others. The purpose of Schutzhund is to identify dogs that have or do not have the character traits required for these demanding jobs. Some of those traits are:

  • Strong desire to work

  • Courage

  • Intelligence

  • Trainability

  • Strong bond to the handler

  • Perseverance

  • Protective instinct

  • Sense of smell

Schutzhund tests for these traits. It also tests for physical traits such as strength, endurance, agility, and scenting ability. The goal of Schutzhund is to illuminate the character and ability of a dog through training. Breeders can use this insight to determine how and whether to use the dog in producing the next generation of working dogs.

Rene Gesomino (pictured here with USCA Judge, Andrea Duggan Jantzen)

 and her dog Enka vom Spitzenhund after earning their AD title. February 2017

What Breeds of Dogs Can Participate in Schutzhund

Dogs of any breed, even mixes, can compete in Schutzhund today, but the most common breeds are German ShepherdsBelgian MalinoisBoxersRottweilersDobermans,

 Cane CorsoGiant SchnauzersBouvier des FlandresDutch Shepherd DogsBeauceronsAmerican BulldogsBlack Russian TerriersAiredale TerriersAustralian Cattle Dogs, and the like.

When Can My Puppy Start Training?

Puppies can start training at 8 weeks. However, we do NOT recommend training in bite work until after they have gotten their adult canine teeth (they usually get these at 6 months) and the closure of their growth plates (closure usually occurs at about one year of age). During this time though it is really important to get them socialized and used to being handled and they can definitely begin training in tracking and obedience.

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