How To Train A German Shepherd Puppy

Not all dog breeds can be trained with the same strategies and training methods, as some will not respond in a good way.

German Shepherds are perfect examples of a dog breed that does not respond appropriately to some of the more traditional dog training methods that are used.

This, however, does not mean that German Shepherd puppy you are planning to adopt will be untrainable.

With some patience and skills, and the right techniques, of course, you can train your puppy, teach him tricks, and gain a new best friend.

A cute puppyRead on to learn how I was able to train my German Shepherd and some of the tips that helped me create the perfectly trained puppy.

Hi there. Danial here and ready to share another journey with you – in particular, my story of training a new German Shepherd puppy.

Now, the first thing I want you to note is that if you have trained another dog before, then forget about most of the training techniques that you have used.

The thing about German Shepherds is that they are extremely sensitive dogs, which means a lot of the methods that are often considered “traditional” does not work with these dogs.

Training a German Shepherd really takes a lot of patience, but also raises the opportunity for you to closely bond with your dog.

It is important that you start to train your German Shepherd since the time that they are a puppy.

Make adequate preparations to ensure you can start crate training them and initiate other training methods from the very first day that you adopt the puppy.

This will make things much easier later on and will also ensure that you can train the dog more successfully.

Interesting Facts About German Shepherds

Let’s start by looking at some interesting facts about German Shepherd dog breeds.

You may not realize this, but in the United States, this is actually one of the most popular breeds that people tend to adopt.

Large dogAnother interesting fact that a lot of people fail to realize is that German Shepherd dogs are more sensitive than many other dog breeds.

They can quickly start to fear you if you are too hard on them, which can be unpleasant and also interfere with your ability to train them adequately.

German Shepherds are not exceptionally good options for apartment living, and they are also not the perfect choice of breed for those individuals who are planning to adopt their very first dog.

Furthermore, these dogs do not like to be left alone. They can, however, tolerate both cold and warm weather really well.

The good thing about German Shepherd dogs would be that they are incredibly family and child-friendly.

They are also relatively friendly when they see strangers. At the same time, however, it is important to realize that these dogs are not perfect for those who already own another dog – believe me, I know.

My German Shepherd didn’t always get along well with my Saint Bernard – I have, however, been able to get them to be more pleasant around each other.

Training A German Shepherd Puppy

German Shepherd dogs need to be trained since they are young, as they are sensitive, as already mentioned.

And they do not have the same impulse control as some of the other dog breeds out there.

This means that, if you do not train your dog from the time that they are a puppy, you will find it much harder to get them to control their urges to bite.

such as in cases where they are quickly touched, which might give the dog a fright.

Introducing Your Dog To Socialization

One of the most overlooked parts of a German Shepherd puppy’s training would be socialization.

The sensitivity of these dogs means they should be introduced to social situations at an early age, but, at the same time, in a controlled manner.

Try to take your puppy to the park now-and-then, but avoid taking him off the leash and letting him run around the kids and other dogs.

Rather slowly introduce him to other dogs, as well as the children at the park.

You can spend a little more time at the park every time you take him there.

Make Crate Training A Priority

Another important step toward training a German Shepherd puppy from an early age is to ensure he is crate trained.

Crate training is very important for every dog, regardless of the breed.

When it comes to crate training a German Shepherd, however, things can be tough – especially for the first few nights.

This is why quite a lot of people tend to give up after trying crate training for just a couple of nights.

When you ensure your puppy is crate trained, it will make a lot of trips much easier and convenient for you.

For example, your puppy will most likely have to spend some time in a crate at the vet at some point in his life.

Think about traveling – you would obviously need to place your dog in a crate while traveling. Many other events require a dog to be placed in a crate.

When you crate train your dog from an early age, they will be much more comfortable spending time in a crate and they will not constantly bark and cry.

You should ideally let your puppy sleep in his crate from the very first night.

Be sure to take him outside to “do his business” before you put him in his crate for the night.

Give him a chew toy to chew on while he falls asleep and be sure to keep the crate nearby – such as next to your bed, or at least in the same room as you are sleeping.

Not only will your puppy feel less lonely, but you will also be able to hear when he wakes up to pee or poop, or when he needs something else.

During his first few weeks with you, you should also implement crate training techniques during the day.

This will ultimately help your puppy be more obedient and only use the outside of your house as a toilet.

Leash Training

Once your puppy reaches the age where it is appropriate to take them for walks, it is important not just to slap a leash around their neck and expect everything to go perfectly.

People often do not realize that leash training should really start in their house – place the leash around the puppy’s neck and help them get more comfortable with the feeling.

Dog with tongue outTry to walk with them around the house with the leash attached.

A little longer every day, and they will soon realize what the leash is for and understand that they need to keep in your reach when the leash is attached.

The reason why it is important first to train a German Shepherd is they often tend to pull on the leash when they see anything exciting in the street.

This could cause you to fall down or make the leash pull out of your own hand, making you run after your dog.


While exercise isn’t always a definite part of a training routine, with German Shepherds, you should realize that they need to go outside in order to be physically active during the day.

If you fail to allow your puppy to be active, then there is a really good chance that he will be keeping you up at night.

This will complicate crate training and just make your life harder.

Exercise helps to keep your German Shepherd healthy and ensures that they can exert their energy, leading to a calmer puppy at night when they have to go into their crate.

At the same time, you should realize that German Shepherd dogs are known to be at relatively high risk of joint diseases, as well as hip dysplasia.

For this reason, you should only allow them moderate amounts of exercise and never push them too hard or overdo things.

This could cause them to hurt themselves and lead to them being predisposed to conditions such a degenerative joint disease.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Happy dogA major problem with the German Shepherd dog breed is that their sensitivity causes them to become fearful of you if you try some traditional training methods.

For this reason, you need to take a more positive approach when it comes to training your puppy.

When you scold them frequently because they are doing things wrong, they will not respond positively – in fact, a lot of German Shepherds may react by trying to bite you.

Instead, rather rely on positive reinforcement training.

This type of training involves rewarding your German Shepherd when they comply with your commands, when they are obedient, and when they do something right.

For example, when you are trying to get your puppy to recognize and respond to the command “sit,” do not start to become frustrated and yell at them when they do not sit down after you give the command. Instead, be patient.

Whenever they do sit down after you give them the command, award them with a special treat that they like.

This training method can be used in many different areas of your dog’s life. For example, when you crate train your dog, be sure to reward him for going into the crate.

When your dog pees or poop outside, reward him.

In addition to providing your dog with a treat everything you are pleased with an action, you should also praise them.

German Shepherd dogs tend to bond quickly with their owner, and there is nothing they appreciate more than being praised by their owner.

Thus, being praised by you might mean even more to them than the treat that follows!

The “Stop JumpingTechnique

One thing that people often notice about a German Shepherd is that they tend to jump up toward their owner when they greet them at the door after coming home from a long day at work.

While you are just as excited to see your dog as he is to see you, it is important that you train him to stop jumping.

This is an inconvenient habit that these dogs often tend to exhibit and ensuring they learn it off early on will be more beneficial for you, and it will help with their obedience.

Be patient with this step, and make some time. Walk into the door and see if they jump on you when you greet them.

If he jumps, then ignore him and continue walking with your back turned to him.

Once he stops jumping and stands with all four of his paws on the ground, then you may greet him.

Since German Shepherds respond well to positive reinforcement training, this might be a good opportunity to reward him with a treat and to praise him.

Continue this training technique until he realizes that he should not jump onto your when you come home from the shops or work and that he can rather greet you while he stands firmly on the ground.

There might be times when he suddenly starts to jump up again, especially if you have been gone for a more significant period of time.

Do not give in to the temptation – remember to ignore him when he jumps until he goes down on all fours.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds are very special dogs, but they are also one of the most sensitive breeds.

These dogs also do not have the same level of impulse control as other dogs.

This means that they can be a little harder to train and that many of the traditional methods that dog trainers tend to recommend won’t work well on a German Shepherd.

Still, training your dog is possible, but should start as early as possible.

When you start training him as a puppy, you will find that it is easier to crate train your dog, potty train him, and to teach him to be more obedient toward your commands.

If you know someone with a German Shepherd, share this page to help them out.

Feel free to comment below if you have any more tips to help us better train our German Shepherds.

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