Hello there! My name is Nance, and I am the proud dog mom of one of these beautiful animals.
Today I am going to show you how to train your German Shepherd puppy.
First, off, congratulations! If you are reading this, chances are you are in the process of getting a GSD (German Shepherd Dog) or perhaps you already have one.
You are so very lucky to be a member of this great club.
German Shepherds are some of the most loyal and wonderful dogs you will ever know.
They are super intelligent, extremely obedient, and they are used in police and military work for good reason-their strength and stamina are second to none.
These working dogs are great for active, outgoing families.
The breed itself is a large one.
They originate from Germany, as you might have already guessed, and were meant for the guarding of cattle.
A male will weigh in at about 85 pounds, and the female will weigh about 65 pounds once fully grown.
A litter size will yield about five to ten pups, and they are expected to live around 10-12 years.
Owning a German Shepherd is simply amazing-I would know!
I’ve had my GSD, Fang, for about 5 years now.
I’ve known her since she was a pup and raised her from the get-go. It was not easy for me at first, but the right guidance and research has led me to where I am today.
I am now collecting all my information into this one article to make it easy for dog owners like you!
If this is the first time you are ever owning a dog, you may wish to steer clear and choose an easier breed.
German Shepherds require constant mental stimulation, meticulous training, and something to do at all times.
They need to be nurtured so that you get the most out of their intelligence, toughness and other talents. They are very special dogs that simply need special treatment.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you may also want to reconsider.
German Shepherds will need to be exercised a lot-by nature, they are active dogs. They also play rough and tough-so keep that in mind.
They are rough in their play, and very protective, too-be mindful of strangers who come up looking to pet your dog.
Owning a dog means that people will come up to you but be ready to tell them otherwise if your pup is protective.
All in all, my goal here is to show you how to train your German Shepherd puppy so that he or she can grow up to be happy, healthy, and safe for other people to come around.
You will both be glad to know it’s not as difficult as one might think, although it is not an easy job.
We are now going to go into the basics of how to train your German Shepherd puppy.
Being the Alpha
The very first step upon bringing home your new pup is to get him or her acclimated to their new family.
Imagine if you were recently separated from your family but taken to a loving home. You would want to be treated kindly and with respect.
Do the same for your puppy.
First, let your dog know that you (or another family member) is the Alpha.
The Alpha is the leader of the pack, and this lets your puppy know that YOU run the household, not him.
Becoming the Alpha means that with every command and demand you make to your dog, you do it calmly but firmly. You must establish that commands are to be followed 100% of the time.
Do not yell or induce fear in the dog. Be firm and calm in what you ask.
Reward the dog for commands followed.
Meeting Other Furry Family Members
Your dog will need to get along with other furry pets in your household. This means that you should do the following for an easier time:
- Be patient. Dogs may not like each other right away, but they may with time.
- Go get your new dog with no other dogs in the car. Wrap your puppy in a blanket on the way home. Let your dog sniff the blanket to learn the scent of the new puppy.
- Let them meet outdoors to sniff each other and get to know one another.
- Bring them indoors after meeting outdoors so they can explore around together.
- If dogs do not adjust to one another, seek assistance from a professional trainer.
Crates Are Great
Some dog owners do not understand crates.
They think crating a dog means confinement and so they see it as rather cruel.
This couldn’t be further from the truth and thank goodness!
You can create the dog for his or her comfort, and it helps them stay out of the way when cleaning and moving around the house.
GSD’s will often seek out little places they can call their own.
Find a crate that fits your dog and put a blanket and toy inside. Use the crate as a time to put your puppy into his or her own safe space-never as punishment.
Your GSD needs to be watched closely so that he or she doesn’t chew up your furniture, and for those moments you can’t watch him-just put him into his safe crate for rest and relaxation.
Crates are everywhere in the dog world-the vet’s or groomers, or boarding kennel during vacations. It is best to get your pooch used to this practice-and he or she will love having a space of their own.
Choose a crate that allows your dog to lie down and turn around comfortably. He should be able to stand up in the crate, too. Make sure his skin does not scratch the sides.
Your dog will not poop in the crate, so don’t worry about that.
Place your dog and a treat inside the crate. Leave for ten minutes and come back, with another treat. Leave for 20 minutes and come back, with another treat.
Keep working up to this until you reach an hour. You can then keep working up to four hours of time. Even if your dog cries at first, do not give in.
Your dog can overcome this fear and be happy in his crate. At first, you can reassure the dog, but be sure to stay tough and help your dog be independent.
Dogs do not want to poop or pee in their crate. Therefore, take their age and add one.
A 3-month-old puppy can stay in the crate for no more than four hours. Take him or her out to use the bathroom within this time.
Puppy Potty Training
After you let your pup out of the crate, immediately walk him or her to the designated pooping area. You can determine this area yourself.
You can put a pee pad in a spot in your home, or you can walk your dog to a corner of the yard where he can go.
After you feed your dog, take him or her to the bathroom about 10 minutes after food and water are given so that they can go and get used to going outside.
A note that you have successfully trained your GSD is that he or she will scratch at the door-they pick up on their schedule quickly and will not let you forget about potty time.
Learning to Sit
Here is how to train your pup to have a seat. This is great for excited dogs that love to jump about during feeding time.
- Get a handful of treats. Put one in your hand.
- Get to a place that is nice and quiet, free of distraction and calm.
- Stand in front of your dog so that you are face to face with him.
- Let the dog smell your hand with the treat.
- Show your dog the treat by putting it into your fingertips-hold it above his nose at a high level.
- Push your arm forward with a treat in hand and say the word sit. Get your dog to look at the treat so his body naturally sits down.
- If he completes it successfully, give him the treat and praise him.
Repeat until your dog is flawlessly executing the command. Be sure to use healthy, small treats for your dog’s well-being.
Check my recommended GSD puppy training tools from Amazon.com
Dogs jump on people because they want to reach your face!
Other dogs meet at face level, so that’s what dogs are after when they see you. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.
- Enter the door, let your dog greet you.
- If he jumps on you, just ignore him.
- If he continues to do this, just turn your back to the dog, and walk to the other rooms in your home.
- Upon him reaching a state where all four legs are on the ground, give him a treat and greet him with praise.
No Barking, No Biting
To prevent your pup from biting during play time, follow these steps:
- Upon your dog biting and nibbling on you, make a high-pitched noise. Then pull your hands, feet, clothing-whatever was bit-away.
- Count to ten in your mind.
- Go back to playing with the dog.
- Repeat if it happens again. You can also replace your fingers and toes with toys, so that he knows only toys can be chewed on and bitten.
Your German Shepherd will also be liable to bark a lot.
He is a guard dog after all, so it’s best to get that habit broken sooner than later.
- Look around and see if any household items are causing your dog to bark or be distressed. Remove or fix what is making him or her upset. For example, if squirrels cause your dog to go nuts, hang a curtain so the squirrels are blocked from view.
- Make the object benign by putting a treat near the stimulus. Calmly help your dog get the treat. Repeat until your dog only cares about the treat, not the stimulus.
These are some of the great tips and tricks I learned while taking on an Online Training Program for my Shepherd.
This course taught me a lot more about my dog and how I should be training him.
We are so happy you are a German Shepherd owner, or at least considering it.
They are truly the world’s most beautiful dogs.
What do you think?
Share this article and tell us what you recommend to train GSDs!