How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy

how to train a german shepherd puppy

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and they can be trained easily. They enjoy learning and can easily adapt themselves to a new environment. Training a German Shepherd requires patience, guidance and time. This content is long and descriptive and we tried to cover almost all training tips related to your German Shepherd. We are quite sure that after reading this article you will gain enough knowledge about how to train a German Shepherd puppy properly.

When To Start


Starting time of training matters a lot. A German Shepherd puppy can be easily molded into the desired personality. Adult German Shepherds are strongly dominant and they can become reluctant to training by showing aggressive behavior. Start training your German Shepherd puppy when it is seven to eight weeks old. Before this time do your homework. Make a descriptive plan for training your puppy. Gather some information and training tips from your friends who own German Shepherd or a trainer. Remember that your puppy is like a baby.

It doesn’t understand your language or commands. It also doesn’t know which behavior is acceptable and which isn’t. The puppy brain may take time to comprehend the meaning of your commands. So at the start, be patient and consistent.

Basic Commands Training

This is the first step of training your German Shepherd and is a prerequisite to other training practices. In this practice, your German Shepherd is introduced to the training process and learns its first basic commands. The first thing which your German Shepherd needs to learn is to recognize its name. It can learn so when you call it by its name while looking at it. Do this several times till it completely understands its name. Other basic commands which your German Shepherd needs to learn are come, sit, stay and heal, etc.

Associate these commands with different actions or hand gestures so that they become easy for your German Shepherd to learn. Consult a trainer or your German Shepherd owner friends to know how to teach your German Shepherd these commands. Unfortunately, these commands cannot be covered in this content since they require a lot of practical demonstrations. Keep your commands short and simple. Always use the same words. Do short training sessions and give a break between them. Do several repetitions of every command. 95% of German Shepherd learn new commands in five repetitions. Positive reinforcement will help you a lot in getting a result. Build a healthy relationship with your puppy.

Potty Training

how to train a german shepherd puppy

The first rule which your German Shepherd puppy needs to learn after you’ve brought it home is to urinate in a specific place and not everywhere. Take advantage of the new environment and start potty training to your puppy the day you bring it home. If a puppy remains with its mom for the first few weeks, it already will have an idea not to urinate in its living area.

A. Pre-Requisite

Crate training can help you a lot in potty training near the German Shepherd puppy. It makes them understand that their living area shouldn’t be made dirty. Designate a specific area that your puppy should use for potty. It could be a potty pad or a specific area in your yard. Once established in its mind your German Shepherd puppy will go to that specific area by itself whenever it needs to potty.

B.Potty Schedule

Having a schedule means your German Shepherd puppy will go for potty at specific times which will make your life much easier.

Some recommended times for taking out your puppy are:

  • In the morning
  • Before the puppy goes to bed
  • Almost 20 minutes after eating some food
  • After playing for some time
  • After taking a nap.
C. Signal For Potty

If you notice any one of the following signals, most probably it means your German Shepherd puppy needs to potty.

So take him outside. The signals  are:

  • If the puppy cries or whimpers
  • If the puppy stands in front of the door and looks at you
  • If it scratches the door leading outside
  • If it walks oddly or keeps circling
  • Sniffs
D. Some Advice

Potty training doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Giving rewards in the form of treats or praise will be more helpful. Associate going to potty with a specific command to make your life easier. So when you give that command your puppy will go for potty.

Crate Training

Keeping your German Shepherd in a crate may look cruel at first. But it is an effective way to control and train your German Shepherd. 

Crate training can help you in a number of ways:

  • Controls dog’s aggressive behavior
  • Helps a lot to potty train your puppy
  • Dog feels safe and comfortable
  • Helpful in dog separation anxiety
  • A safe place for your dog when you are away
A.Crate Design

Being the owner of a beautiful German Shepherd it is your responsibility to know about the crate specifications. Some of the available crate types in the market are:

  • Wire-mesh type
  • Plastic type
  • Wooden box type
  • It is totally up to you what kind of crate you want for your German Shepherd.

However, there are some requirements for a crate.

  • Enough space for German Shepherd Dog to stand, turn around and sleep comfortably
  • Bottom of crates should be soft and comfortable
  • Put a blanket or towel there
  • Put some dog toys and crates so that he can play with when become bored
  • Freshwater and food should be available close to the crate
  • Put the crate in a place where your German Shepherd spends most of the time. The recommended place is the bedroom.
B.How Long it Takes

Each German Shepherd dog is different. There is no exact time period for crate training. It could take days or weeks till your German Shepherd is comfortable with the crate.

Leash Training

One of the main obedience trainings your German Shepherd needs to learn is leash training. It is required to keep your German Shepherd safe and under control whenever you take it outside.

A. When to Start

The best time to start leash training is when your German Shepherd is a puppy. At this age, it will learn those leash manners quickly.

B. Choosing a Leash

Finding the right collar and leash for your German Shepherd is very important. A soft collar and a strong short leash would be a perfect choice for your dog. To keep it in your control and prevent it from going away use a short leash.

C. Leash Pulling

Leash pulling is the main problem you will face while leash training your German Shepherd. It is a natural behavior of any dog. So don’t be worried and don’t yell at your German Shepherd.

Pause Method: Use the pause method to overcome leash pulling. When your German Shepherd tries to pull the leash and drag you towards a direction or object, just stop and don’t move with your dog. Your German Shepherd will look back at you and will understand you don’t want to go there. This way it will come to know what he is supposed to do. Repeat this every time whenever your German puppy tries to wander away. It will teach your German Shepherd that it should follow you whenever you both are outside and the leash should be loose.

D. Some Advice

Like any other dog training process using rewards and treats will help you a lot in leash training your German Shepherd. At first, use a treat to lure it into the leash. Make sure the associate treats and praise with walking nicely on the leash. Using force may create a negative association between your German Shepherd and the leash. Don’t make a tight noose or pull hard if training a German Shepherd puppy.

Stop Biting

Why They Do It? There are many reasons why German Shepherds start using their mouths. Their teeth start to develop. So they practice chewing toys and hands. They didn’t get proper training about biting inhibition when they are a puppy. They use their mouths to explore play within taste different objects. It is also about pact dominance. More dominant German Shepherd use biting to show their dominance over other German Shepherd. This is something important that you need to know. Biting is a totally normal thing. Every dog starts biting when they are a pup. They may do it when they are adults if not trained early. It is not specific about your German Shepherd.

So take this act easily. To let your German Shepherd know that biting is an unacceptable behavior, discourage it. You can do it in several ways:

  • Through hand or body gestures when it bites you.
  • Saying ouch or ‘no’ after it bites you.
  • Showing grief on your face.
  • Stop playing and moving away.

There’s another practice in which your German Shepherd puppy comes to know that biting is not good and is a wrong behavior. What happens in this practice is: You start playing with your German Shepherd and your puppy bites you accidentally or intentionally. You make a Yelp to show that you are hurt. Also, your hand goes limp and you ignore the puppy for some time. Your German Shepherd witnesses this whole thing and understands it has done something wrong. This way it might associate biting with a prohibited behavior and may not repeat it in the future. Repeat this practice several times till you get the desired results.

Use a soft rubber or fluffy toy. Your German Shepherd will soon learn that it should use its biting skills on toys and not on humans.

Be an Alpha Leader

To make a pact and become a leader of the pack is an important step for training your German Shepherd puppy. You don’t need other German Shepherds for pack formation. You can make a pack of yourself and your German Shepherd puppy. This pack instinct and a leadership demand are in the genes of dogs and it is because of these they adjust themselves easily into our families. Make sure you assume the charge as the Alpha leaders so that the rest of the training process goes easily. If you fail to establish yourself as alpha, the German Shepherd will take the charge by itself and will be reluctant to follow your commands and will show a rude behavior. Becoming an alpha leader doesn’t mean that you should create fear in your puppy or yell at it. Instead, you need to make a love bond with your puppy and also teach it that you are the one in charge.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the key to your German Shepherd training. This helps you make an association with your German Shepherd and to enforce your commands more efficiently. Using food treats and toys are very effective. Also, praise your German Shepherd whenever it follows your commands. Punishing or using force during training will ruin your relationship with your pet.

how to train a german shepherd puppy
Consistency Requirement

Be consistent in training and don’t give up. You will not train him well if you want results so fast. Having a well-trained German Shepherd as a life companion worth all the time being spent on its training.

Know Dog Psychology

Each dog is unique and behaves differently. So is the case with every German Shepherd. Gather some knowledge about dog psychology and common behaviors. Talk to your friends who have German shepherds. Consult dog trainer and watch a few classes about German Shepherd training. Don’t lose patience. Your dog can sense your anger and frustration from your body gestures and voice tone. If not working today, take a break and start a new session later when you both are fresh.

Thanks for reading this article. We have tried our level best to share with you some workable and applicable tips. Now, we hope that you have got some idea about how to train a German Shepherd Puppy and you can apply this to your puppy. If you have any suggestions, write them in the comments section. If you enjoyed please like and share this article.

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