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Can Dobermans Do Schutzhund Training?

Well-known as guard dogs, Dobermans are great and versatile companions. Intelligent, athletic, and obedient, they seem to have all that’s needed to do Schutzhund training. However, many handlers and trainers will say this breed is not well-suited for this dog sport.

So it’s not very clear whether the Doberman Pinscher can participate and be good in Schutzhund. I found many videos where Dobes were killing it on the training field. But I came across this thread “Dobermans no good for Schutzhund” on DobermanTalk.

Doberman Schutzhund

Can You Do Schutzhund Training With A Doberman?

Dobermans can be suitable for Schutzhund training. They are intelligent, fearless, highly trainable, and energetic. So this breed should be able to develop and improve obedience, tracking, and protection skills. As long as your Doberman has the proper traits and temperament, he can participate in Schutzhund.

Here’s a video that proves it!

The breed doesn’t matter as much as the individual dog. Some breeds are generally more appropriate for this type of training, but practically any dog can do it. Besides that, the average Doberman Pinscher is relatively well-suited for Schutzhund.

So the breed shouldn’t restrict you from participating in this dog sport. You just have to find a Doberman that can do tracking, obedience, and protection. Since it’s not a very popular choice, you might wonder if this breed makes good Schutzhund training partners.

Are Dobermans Good Schutzhund Dogs?

Dobermans can be good dogs for Schutzhund training. However, it’s generally not the best breed for this dog sport. Don’t get me wrong. There are some Dobes that can make excellent Schutzhund partners. But German Shepherds and Malinois are often more appropriate for this type of work.

As long as you have a Doberman Pinscher suitable for Schutzhund, you can develop his tracking, obedience, and protection skills. You simply have to train your dog correctly and put in the work. With some practice and perseverance, he should become good at it. On the other hand, Dobermans can only improve to a certain point.

There’s a reason why this breed isn’t popular and common in top-level competitions. Most Dobes can be good companions and Schutzhund partners, but they generally don’t have what it takes to dominate in this dog sport.

What Makes Dobermans Suitable For Schutzhund Training?

You might wonder why the Doberman Pinscher can be a good but maybe not the best choice for Schutzhund. Well, it all comes down to the traits and temperament of this breed. So here’s what makes Dobermans well-suited for this dog sport.

Intelligence & Trainability

The Doberman Pinscher is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Quick learner, this breed will pick up new skills and commands much faster than the average dog. Dobermans are also highly trainable and obedient. So that makes them good candidates to learn and work in Schutzhund.

Confidence & Protectiveness

Dobermans are fearless and would do practically anything to protect their owner. The sport of Schutzhund tests the dog’s courage and involves protection work. So, a confident and protective temperament like the one of most Dobes is ideal for this type of training.

Working Abilities

The Doberman Pinscher is a versatile working breed. It can make a good guard, police, military, rescue, or therapy dog. So Dobermans are generally well-suited for Schutzhund since it’s a sport that evaluates the dog’s working skills.

Physical Conditions

Besides their temperament and mental traits, this breed also has what it takes physically to do Schutzhund training. Tracking, obedience, and protection exercises require strength and endurance. Robust, muscular, and active, it shouldn’t be a problem for the average Doberman.

Pros And Cons Of The Doberman Pinscher In Schutzhund

Overall, most Dobermans are well-suited for Schutzhund training. But it might not be the right option for you. As for any other breed, there are some pros and cons to working with and owning a Dobe. So here’s a list of them.


  • Intelligent.
  • Trainable.
  • Fearless.
  • Protective.
  • Affectionate.
  • Energetic.
  • Athletic.


  • Might Be Difficult To Train.
  • Can Be Too Sensitive or Sharp.
  • Not Well-Suited For Cold Environments.

Should You Choose A Doberman For Schutzhund?

Dobermans are great Schutzhund partners for handlers that love this breed and want to enjoy the sport for fun. There’s no need to be the best to have a good time on the training field. And you shouldn’t choose a dog that will do well in Schutzhund, but not in your life.

So make sure the Doberman Pinscher is the breed you need and want before owning one. Then, you can improve his working skills and even win titles. But if your goal is to compete in high-level Schutzhund competitions, a Dobe might not be the right option for you.

Learn more about other breeds well-suited for Schutzhund training!

How To Train A Doberman For Schutzhund?

Since every breed is different, the training methods used for each shouldn’t be the same. Most Dobermans won’t do well in Schutzhund because handlers don’t adapt the process to their conditions. They will learn and progress much faster if you train them properly.

To understand the difference, I highly recommend you to read this article from John Soares. It explains why the Doberman is different and how to apply this knowledge in Schutzhund training. 

Now you should visit local clubs and ask questions to their members. Many handlers own and train Dobermans for K9 sports. So you can use their experience to your advantage by talking to them.

Last Thoughts About Schutzhund Training & Dobermans!

Finally, Dobermans can be good partners for Schutzhund. They might not be the best to compete in IGP (formerly IPO), but you can train most of them for this dog sport and win titles. Just make sure the Doberman you have has the right traits and temperament.

Let’s Show Other Handlers What Dobermans Are Capable Of!