Early in the breed's development in Germany, it was determined that before any dog could be bred, it had to pass a working test to determine its trainability and courage, as well as its adherence to the breed standard.  The Schutzhund degree (protection dog) is still the most common working degree earned by dogs in Germany and other countries requiring a working degree before certifying a dog as breed able.

Schutzhund competition requires a dog to pass 3 separate tests.

1. Tracking

2. Obedience

3. Protection

Properly done with a dog of proper temperament, Schutzhund is extremely enjoyable for the dog and its owner, as it allows the dog to chase, bite and defeat a foe.  This is done under very strict and controlled guidelines.  It can enhance a dog's self-confidence and bring energy and enthusiasms to its work.  Done improperly it can destroy a young dog's confidence, or as a worst-case scenario, create an unmanageable and dangerous animal.  The trainers and helpers of any Schutzhund organization should be carefully selected.  As this sport becomes more popular in this country, the training techniques improve, as do the handler's skills.

This is a sport for owners who are willing to be truly dedicated to their training.  For those who understand the training and their dogs, it can produce a fine working team. For breeders, this is a program that allows for the ability to fully test the instincts, nerves and trainability, so necessary in a true working breed.