How to Train a German Shepherd?

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( — June 28, 2019) — The German Shepherd is one of the noblest and most handsome of dog breeds. And is famed for its brains too. In fact the german shepherd protection dogs for sale were created especially to be a working dog, so training a German Shepherd should be simple.

Well while it may not quite be simple, it can be easier than with other breeds. And because they are strong, powerfully built dogs it is important too, as an untrained German Shepherd could cause damage and trouble. 

But with these simple steps you can easily train your German Shepherd to be a perfect member of your home. 

Before you start your Training 

We have 3 Tips to make Training a Success…

  1. Your German Shepherd puppy is waiting for your guidance. They want to learn, so it doesn’t need to be a fight. You just need to show them you are the one that is going to teach them.

  1. Positive reinforcement. Training is a positive experience, not a negative one. Shower your dog with praise when they learn well, and then they will love to learn.

  1. Consistency – dogs see everything around them in black and white terms. Be consistent in the training and your responses, so your dog understands well, and doesn’t get confused by what is happening.

Day 1 with your German Shepherd Puppy

The work stays on day 1. But don’t worry it’s a nice easy start. But also crucial so your German Shepherd sees their new home as a safe and happy place. 

Your aim is to calmly and nicely Introduce the New Home and the New Pack to your puppy. Let your German Shepherd explore their new home at their own pace. They may take some time and be cautious at first, or they may bound right in. Neither is abnormal, and you should go with the flow. 

At the same time let your German Shepherd meet other members of your household, if any, one by one, and not in a burst of excitement, as that could overwhelm them.

Socializing your German Shepherd Puppy

The first step to training, is to socialize! Essentially getting your puppy used to people, other animals, and different places. If you chose your puppy from a great breeder, they will already have begun some socializing. 

What you have to do, is gently and gradually introduce new people to your dog in those first weeks, both in the home and out and about. Meet nice, friendly dogs, and give them careful introduction. And finally try going for walks in different places, both quieter and busier. 

Your German Shepherd and the Alpha

Training should begin early, and be a natural evolution with your German Shepherd. The first step is to focus on who is the alpha leader. Choose someone in your family, or yourself, to be the alpha leader and establish yourself as such immediately. This is highly important because if your German Shepherd pup does not see an alpha leader they will think they are it, and will try to rule the roost!

The way to become the alpha leader with your German Shepherd be calm, confident and bold in your instructions and guidance with the dog

This doesn’t mean shout at your pup; it means that you are the one in charge. You don’t want to become a control freak, but you need to make the rules clear and for your pup to understand them.

Crate Training and Potty Training your German Shepherd

All dogs, including German Shepherds are den animals. This means they prefer to have a small safe environment that is all their personal space, where they are comfortable. 

Having a comfy crate with toys and a blanket will be great for your German Shepherd but also useful for the training. 

A crate is not for punishment! But there will be times when you will be away and the crate can be used as a safe space to make sure your German Shepherd isn’t up to mischief. 

Don’t leave them alone, locked in the crate right away though, let them get used to spending time in the crate with you nearby, then with you next door. But only in short bursts of 10-15 minutes at first. If your German Shepherd is okay in the crate and relaxes or sleeps, you can gradually increase the time spent in the crate. 

Top Tip – Puppy’s need people, and they need to pee. So don’t leave a young German Shepherd pup in their crate for more than a few hours. 

Potty training goes hand in hand with crate training. Always take a puppy out shortly after eating. But also as soon as you let your pup out of their crate, you should take them straight out for toilet. A pup should never want to do toilet in their den, so taking them straight outside when leaving the crate should make them learn that outside is the right place for poops and pees. 

Obedience Training your German Shepherd

Just like any breed you need the three P’s to train your German Shepherd – Persistence, Positivity and Praise

Once your German Shepherd has learnt that you are the alpha and settled into their new home, you can begin to teach them commands, and help manage good behaviour.

With lots of training daily, with 2 or 3 ten minute sessions, you should soon see your brainy German Shepherd learn to understand yes and no, good and bad, as well as to sit, stay, come, lie down, and many more.

Make it a fun and friendly experience when training, and your German Shepherd puppy will be encouraged to love to learn.

Training your German Shepherd for Guarding or Working

Not every German Shepherd can or should be trained for guarding or protection. While most have an innate loyalty to you, many German Shepherds are very friendly and like to meet all people. 

But the key for guarding is to teach your German Shepherd to bark when a stranger enters or tries to enter your home. And therefore to teach them to not bark excessively or at anything that moves. 

Then it is necessary to train your dog to be alert. 

It is strongly recommended to seek specialist trainers when you want to do this as this is a very advanced skill to train your German Shepherd to do. There are special clubs that do ‘Schutzhund training’ which you can seek out.

We have said many times that German Shepherds are a smart breed, and many make fine working dogs, such as police dogs, or search and rescue dogs. Of course if you wish to train your German Shepherd for work, then a specialist at a Schutzhund training will be needed too.

So training your German Shepherd isn’t very different from training other breeds. But you gotta remember, they are big, smart and lively dogs. So the better, earlier and more seriously you  train your German Shepherd puppy, the happier both you and your dog will be.