How to Train a German Shepherd
Dog BreedDog Training

How to Train a German Shepherd

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and loyal dogs known to humans. However, due to their strong-willed nature and high energy, they can be a bit initially challenging to many people. And, for that reason, it is also important to provide them with effective training. Thankfully, in this article, we will uncover more about training your GSD, as well as socializing them and managing behavioral issues. 


One of the most important aspects of training your German Shepherd is socialization. By socializing your dog, you expose them to all kinds of things; from sounds to people and overall different environments. Doing this can be very positive for your dog; it makes them happier and way more confident when interacting with people. 

Generally, you should start socializing your puppy when they are around 3-14 weeks old. Gradual exposure to different sights, sounds, and environments is very beneficial to their growth as well as happiness. It is also important to give them a small treat after every positive exposure. This way, they will associate new experiences with positive outcomes. 

You can also invite friends with pets and arrange cute playdates so they can begin socializing in controlled environments. 

Crate Training

Another effective method to make sure your German Shepherd feels completely safe and comfortable is crate training. Crate training is also an effective way to prevent destructive behavior and help with house training. 

Ideally, you should choose a large crate for your puppy so they can comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around. And, as your puppy grows, you can use a divider to adjust the size of the crate. You can make the crate even comfier by adding some colorful pillows.

Potty Training 

In general, staying consistent is important when potty training your German Shepherd. By being consistent, you will prevent accidents from happening as well as establish and reinforce positive habits. 

It is important to begin with a good routine. You can start by taking your GSD outside more often. Ideally, you should take them outside after eating, making sure they learn the right time and place to relieve themselves. It is also important to praise them and give them a treat for going to the toilet outside, making sure they get a positive experience. 

Basic Commands

The cornerstone of a well-trained German Shepherd is teaching fundamental commands like "sit," "stay," "come," and "down." These instructions assist you in controlling your dog's behavior and ensuring their safety.

How to teach the key commands:

  • Sit: Place a reward near your dog's nose, then raise your hand so that their head follows the goodie and their buttocks dips. As soon as they sit, say "sit," offer them the reward, and show them some love.

  • Stay: Stay still and tell your dog to sit. Say "stay" while holding your hand out in front of you. Retrace a few steps. Give them praise and a treat if they stick around. Increase the duration and distance gradually.

  • Come: Pull them toward you softly while saying "Come." Give them praise and a treat when they arrive.

  • Down: Take a bite out of the goodie. Allow your dog to sniff it. Touch the ground with your hand. Say "down," reward them, and show them some love when they follow and lie down.

Advanced Training and Mental Stimulation

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dogs. Thus, it is important to keep them challenged with quizzes and puzzles to prevent boredom and train their mind. 

You can train them in several ways: 

Agility Training: You can begin by setting up an agility course. You can do this by using jumps, weave poles, and even tunnels, all of which provide good physical and mental exercise. 

Trick Training: You can teach your shepherd some tricks such as “spin” and “roll over” while simultaneously using positive reinforcement techniques. 

Puzzle Toys: You can use toys such as puzzle toys to exercise your dog’s brain.

Obedience Classes: Alternatively, you can enroll them in obedience classes

Addressing Behavioral Issues

It is very normal for any dog to begin to show some behavioral issues. However, it is up to you to intervene as early as possible to avoid these behaviors from progressing.

For example, if your dog struggles with separation anxiety, you can gradually teach your dog to be alone. You can do this by leaving them for a short time and then returning and providing them with comfort toys. With proper training, you can mitigate and eliminate most behavioral issues.

Tips for Training a German Shepherd

Here are some GSD training tips:

  1. Make sure to start training your baby German Shepherd as soon as you bring them home.

  2. Consistency is the key. Make sure to use the same commands consistently. 

  3. Make sure to build positive reinforcement. For example, you can use treats, pets, and play to encourage positive behaviors. 

  4. You have to be patient when training your dog. Each dog is unique so they have different learning paces. 

  5. If you keep struggling to train your dog, you can always hire a professional trainer. 


Training a German Shepherd can be a bit challenging at first because it requires a lot of dedication and consistency. However, once you successfully train them, it is an unmistakably rewarding experience. You can ensure that your German shepherd is well-behaved and happy by frequently incorporating teaching commands and socialization. 

Remember, with the right approach your German shepherd will be a loyal friend and a precious family member to your household. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is training a puppy German Shepherd hard?

Training a GSD dog puppy is perhaps the ideal stage to start with the training. By starting as early as possible, your dog German Shepherd will build a positive reinforcement for commands and socialization.

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