The innate talents and abilities of German Shepherd Dogs are brought out in impressive form through Schutzhund training. "Schutzhund" is a German word meaning "protection dog." Schutzhund-trained dogs are not attack dogs; they are trained to ward off dangerous situations, not provoke them. The most important quality of a Schutzhund dog is complete obedience under distraction.

Schutzhund training has three parts: Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. The Tracking portion tests a dog'strainability, ability to follow a scent, and mental and physical endurance. In the Obedience portion, dogs perform a variety of exercises such as heeling, sitting, retrieving, and remaining steady during distractions. The Protection portion tests the dog's courage, strength, and obedience by requiring the dog to find a hidden person and defend its owner against a decoy aggressor.

Schutzhund training and trials take place around the world. Schutzhund dogs are excellent candidates for canine law enforcement and search and rescue work. Although Schutzhund training is for all breeds, German Shepherd Dogs particularly excel due to their intelligence, their bravery, and their desire to please their masters.