Home German Shepherd How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy

How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy


The essence of training your puppy cannot be overemphasized. It’s like raising a child; you’d want it to know all the dos and don’ts, what’s right and wrong and how you expect it to behave at all times.

Once you have a properly trained puppy, you are assured of a happy, healthy life with your shepherd friend.

Because German shepherds are working dogs, they have so much energy that needs to be channelled the right way, and that is why it is important to train them, so they don’t become wayward and dangerous adult dogs.

German shepherds are relatively easy to train because they are intelligent, although training puppies can be a daunting task.

In this post, we are going to educate you on how to train a German Shepherd puppy.

Let’s get into this.

When Should I Start Training My Puppy?

You can start to train your German Shepherd puppy as soon as you get them home from the breeders – the younger, the better. They are like sponges at this age and will take every single thing on board. Enjoy watching their super cute head tilts.

How Long Does It Take To Train A German Shepherd Puppy?

Basic obedience training should take between 8 and 12 weeks. It will take at most 20 weeks to fully train your puppy on obedience commands, crating and full house experience.

However, these are dependent on what methods you use and how fast your puppy can learn. It could take less or even more time. If you bring an adult puppy home, you may have to undo all improper training it has received and trains it again per your standards and how you’d want it to behave.

Training should be between 10 and 15 minutes for your puppy, as too many training sessions will put a strain on your shepherd friend’s muscles and joints, which are not fully developed at that stage. Training should be fun and include the most important obedience training.

Some Principles You Need To Note About Training Your German Shepherd

The purpose of training your German Shepherd puppy is to instil in it all the right attitudes to ensure a well-behaved puppy and mature adult dog. Training, whether a human or a puppy, is based on certain principles, without which the session may not be as fruitful as you want it. Here are a few principles:

Teach Your Puppy to be Comfortable Touching It

As much as dogs love to hug and whatnot, they get very uncomfortable during grooming. Because you must touch it when grooming it, you must, at its early age, teach it to be comfortable with you touching it.

You can begin by gently handling its ears, paws and coat. Do this consistently and maintain the gentility, so it eventually gets used to it.

Call Your Puppy by Its Name

Everyone feels respected being called by their name instead of some commands thrown at them. The same goes for your German shepherd puppy. When training it, it would be difficult for your puppy to act on your commands if you just issue them outright without calling its name first.

For instance, you can say “Tommy, sit” instead of just “sit.” Calling your dog by its name makes it feel like a part of the family.

Assert Your Dominance

Right from the start, let your dog know you are in charge. It should not do anything without the go-ahead from you. Let it know you are the point of reference. That way, it would be easy for you to train it, as it would wait on a command from you before engaging.

Curb Any Bad Behavior Right From The Start

Generally, dogs are meant to be aggressive and have prey instincts. This is why in training your dog, you would have to stub out any negative behaviour as soon as possible before your dog starts to think it is okay to do that.

For instance, if your puppy loves to bite your hands or chew on furniture more often, you would have to devise measures to stop that behaviour immediately. If your dog likes to bark at the sight of food, you should hold on till it stops before placing the bowl down.

Whatever actions you are taking to curb bad behaviour, you should be consistent with it as that is the surest way of attaining the desired results.

Reward Good Behavior

Giving your dog treats for behaving the way you expect it to will reinforce that positive behaviour in your dog, as it will associate treats with that behaviour.

You can use phrases such as “good boy” in addition to treats to reinforce good behaviour. Two to three times and your dog will always behave because it wants treats.

Steps In Training A German Shepherd Puppy

We are going to divide this into weeks and goals.

Between Weeks 8 and 16

Socialization: It is critical to take your puppy through socialization training before week 12. This is because, without socialization, your dog knows nothing about boundaries and how to behave among other dogs and people.

German shepherds are generally guardian dogs and as such, without proper training on socialization, they can become very dangerous adult dogs.

Expose your dog to people and other dogs in safe environments such as parks. Note that your dog will be looking at you and picking clues on how you interact with others, so you have to be extra friendly.

This way, your dog knows that people are not dangerous nor are other dogs, so it won’t perceive them as it naturally would.

The foundation for most training is confidence. The German Shepherd puppy must be well socialized from an early age onward. Safely exposing the puppy to new sights, sounds, and smells is critical for development. Good socialization translates to confidence.

Crate Training: Between 8 and 6 weeks is also the ideal time to train your puppy to use the crate. During training sessions, take crate breaks for your dog to use his crate.

Over time and with consistency, your dog will feel safe to use the crate when you are not around or when it wants to have some time to itself. You can also feed your dog in his crate for about 10 minutes a day, so it gets accustomed to it.

Between 3 and 9 months

Obedience Training: German shepherds have been found to learn basic commands easily due to how intelligent they are. Their naturally workaholic behaviour means you can channel it positively by training it to obey simple commands like sit, come, stay etc. Proper obedience training further enhances good social behaviour in your dog.

Recall Training: Begin teaching your GSD to come when called as soon as possible. It takes a lot of time, practice, and patience to get a reliable recall, but this skill is well worth it, as it may save your dog’s life one day.

Impulse Control Training: Such aggressive behaviours as excessive barking, digging, biting, chewing on furniture and inappropriate chasing can be very worrying for you. Training your puppy on impulse control is a great way to curb these situations.

One way of doing this is to distract your puppy when you notice these behaviors; get it to focus on you instead. Some other impulse control measures include giving it toys to play with and enforcing the command training, so it listens to you once you tell it to stop.

Between 9 and 24 months

While one year of age is typically thought of as the end of puppyhood in general, a German Shepherd Dog may not attain an adult level of maturity before the age of two or three. Dogs of different breeds and sizes mature at different times.

Therefore, training in more specialized activities like tracking, scent work, protection, agility, and herding—all of which are capacities of this breed—must continue during this age and then be reinforced as your dog reaches adulthood. A good time to switch from puppy food to a large breed dog food is right now.

Remember that this breed enjoys having a task and thrives on steady, ongoing work and training. Both you and your GSD will benefit if you can provide them opportunities to use their intelligence and adaptability.

Is it easy to train German Shepherd puppies?

In fact, many GSD owners will find that this is one of the easiest breeds to housetrain, as long as constant supervision and consistency are provided.

When should I start training my German Shepherd puppy?

German Shepherd puppies are ready for simple training as young as 7 weeks old. Your puppy is capable and ready to learn at 6 to 7 weeks old many simple obedience commands.

But you shouldn’t pressure a puppy this young with perfect obedience. A 1-minute session is long enough for a young puppy.

Final Thoughts

Right from week 8, you can start training your German shepherd puppy as it is the right time to do so.

They are young and energetic and will very much want to learn anything. Train your puppy in critical areas such as socialization, crate training, potty training, leash training and how to stop biting.

Other sound training practices, such as not yelling at your puppy, being consistent with your orders, and rewarding adherence to commands, among others, are required if you want to properly teach your puppy in these areas. Just remember to wean your dog off prizes once they have mastered the commands.

Always remember that a puppy is just getting started. Be patient and introduce the simpler trick commands gradually by starting with them. Good luck to you and your new pal!

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