What Are the Basic Schutzhund Training Commands (German)?

If you choose Schutzhund training for your dog, good chance he’ll learn German commands. Schutzhund, or protection dog in German, originated in Germany. In fact, if your dog learns German commands, you’ll need to learn them, too.

So, what are the basic Schutzhund training commands? 

Learning the Schutzhund basic commands will be helpful for you to control your dog. Three basic commands you should learn immediately are

  • Heel-Fuss! Your dog will walk beside you
  • Pass Auf- Attention! Your dog should look at you and wait for the next command.
  • Achtung!- Pay attention. This word gets your dog to stop what he’s doing.

After you learn these commands, there are at least twenty more commands you will need to brush up on since your dog will know these commands in German.

Schutzhund Training Commands in German 

German commands are taught in Schutzhund training because the training originated in Germany. German Shepherds were the first breed to be taught Schutzhund.

Today, these Schutzhund training commands are still taught to dogs today all over the world.

Commands in GermanTranslation in English
AchtungWatch! / Attention!
AusDrop it! / Let go!
FassAttack! / Take hold!
Gib LautBark
HoopUp! Jump!
Pass AufPay attention! / Watch!
PfuiShame! / Stop that!
VoranGo on! (blind search)
VorausGo forward! / Run out!
ZwingerKennel or cage
Lass esLeaven it
Braver HundGood dog!
NimmTake it!

How are these commands trained? 

Although Schutzhund training uses German commands, your dog can learn commands in any language. The important thing is to be consistent with the commands so your dog will associate the verbal sounds with an action that you want him to do. 

Hand signals

The commands are taught verbally, but the trainer will also use body positions along with the commands for reinforcement. This is also helpful if the dog can see you, but you aren’t able to say the commands aloud because of an intruder in your home or while you’re jogging. A hand signal such as raising his hand, or showing the dog his palm can be easily obeyed by a dog. 


Trainers use rewards to motivate and hold the dog’s interest during Schutzhund training. Dogs stay focused if they know they’ll be rewarded for their hard work.

A trainer will give a dog a reward such as a treat when he first learns a command and then every time he does the command when told.

This will help him understand what you want. Usually, they will phase out the treats at some point in the Schutzhund training.

Praise will be the new treat or reward for obedience. “Braver hund” is German for good boy. So, the dog will love hearing this phrase and be motivated to keep up the good work. 

Why German?

Schutzhund started in Germany in 1901 using German Shepherd for their training system because of their good temperament and ability to work. Schutzhund eventually became a unique discipline recognized worldwide for its high-quality tests of dog’s temperament. The dogs who were certified as Schutzhund had to be mentally strong, obedient, and protective. 

Today, in the United States protection dogs are still trained using German commands. Some say that German is clear and more defined so it will stand out when a dog hears the command. It’s suggested that you use a formal and informal way of communicating commands to your dog. 

Many owners choose to use English as the informal language for giving commands and German for formal communication. This allows other family members who haven’t learned German or don’t want to learn it, to give the dog commands.

German is still the primary language for police dog K9 training. This is primarily because the dogs used in the program come from European countries where they are trained for Schutzhund in German. 

Today, the best working dogs come from Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. 

It’s possible to train your dog in any language as long as you are consistent with the commands in that language. 

How Do I Teach My Dog German

Teach your puppy German commands. Puppies learn quickly so it’s a good time to start their language training. Use the German language commands just like you would use English commands. 

If your dog is older and only knows English, you’ll need to begin using the German commands along with the English ones. Work with one command at a time, then eventually drop the English commands after your dog has completely learned the German command and responds to it right away.

Reward your dog for obeying the German command. Keep adding a new German command until he has learned them all. 

Schutzhund started in Germany in the early 1900s. Today, Schutzhund is popular all over the world. Here in the United States, trainers still use the German language for the dog training commands. There is a long list of German commands your dog will learn if he goes through this training.

You will need to know these German commands and use them consistently for your dog to learn them.  Many people use two languages with their dogs, including English so their family members can give commands without learning German. If you’re training an older dog German commands, you’ll need to help him relearn his commands in this new language.

Of course, training your puppy German commands is simple. You must learn the German commands and be sure you’re pronouncing them correctly before you being training.