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Schutzhund Training and Great Danes

Schutzhund training is intense! Learn why this type of training may not be the best choice for your Great Dane, or Great Danes as a breed in general.

Schutzhund dog training exercise.

Let's Take a Bite our of Schutzhund Training

Schutzhund, meaning "protection dog" in German, is a style of dog training and also considered a canine sport which is run at events known as schutzhund trials. This intense training method focuses and keys in on instinctual traits of certain aggressive breeds, honing skills to develop a useful, happy, effective canine companion and working dog.

Broken into three fields, with tracking and obedience being the the first and second. These first two primary categories of schutzhund are quite similar to the rules and requirements of the AKC. The third aspect of schutzhund is where it gets intense focusing on protection. Many military, police, and personal defense dogs are schutzhund trained. The most elite, skilled, personal protection dogs are often sold by exclusive training facilities for a whopping 10 to 20-thousand dollars per dog, even up to $100,000. dollars!

The two breeds known to excel at schutzhund and most commonly used for schutzhund work are the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois. However, many other breeds are suitable with the common behavioral trait being a high aggression level.

Schutzhund trials focus on and display the mental stability of a dog, as well as, its desire and capability to work, its dependability, courage, physical structure, scenting skills and overall trainability.

Schutzhund trails attract a wide variety of canine enthusiasts of various professions, all with a common interest of displaying the finely developed skills of their working companions.

When choosing a schutzhund puppy, one should watch for key behavior within the litter. Intense instinct is one of the desired traits and may be displayed by that certain pup who tends to stalk, or act as the litters alpha/ bully. Watch for a pup that shows independence, spends time away from its litter mates and frequently ventures off on its own. look for a puppy that is not fearful or timid, one with a bold attitude. As many breeds carry the proper traits to excel in schutzhund training, only the top few percent of dogs within the specific breed will excel as schutzhund candidates.

We can see why Great Danes are not the best breed for schutzhund work. Being more passive, timid and tolerant, schutzhund training can do more harm to a Great Dane than good. Further, the hard correction and obedience techniques used to condition and trigger an aggressive state of mind can be too much for a Great Dane to handle, they just don't seem to relish the work. Finally, bite work and take downs are often too dangerous for trainers.

I doubt wearing 3 bite suits would protect you from the forceful impact of a charging 160 pound Dane. Anyone up for a broken bone or two?

Certainly, choosing a more aggressive breed of a medium size with territorial behavior and aggressive tendencies is a much wiser choice;)