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In German, the word Schutzhund literally means "protection dog". It is a dog sport currently known as IGP. It tests a dog's tracking, obedience and protection skills. It evaluates whether a dog has the appropriate traits and characteristics of a good working dog.


Schutzhund was developed in Germany in the early 1900s as a breed suitability test for German Shepherds. Only German Shepherds who passed a Schutzhund test or herding test were allowed to be bred and have their progeny registered as German Shepherd Dogs. This is still true in Germany today. The ideal qualities that Schutzhund dogs must possess is a strong desire to work, courage, trainability, strong bond to their handler, perseverance, protective instinct and a good sense of smell. 


The tracking phase tests a dog's scenting ability as well as its mental soundness and physical endurance. 


During the obedience phase the dog and handler are judged on accuracy and attitude during each exercise. 


The dog's courage to protect to itself and its handler and its ability to be controlled while doing so is judged during the protection phase. 

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