German Shepherd Training – Tips for Handling the German Shepherd Dog

A German Shepherd should be lovingly but consistently raised . It is important to always remain calm and to repeat the various exercises over and over again.

The dog will quickly learn that its owner is in charge and will grow up to be a good-natured, playful and loyal companion.

You start with the upbringing when you are a puppy or as soon as the German Shepherd moves into your own home.

In addition to the pure upbringing, a German Shepherd dog needs sufficient exercise as well as mental and physical activity.

Why training your German Shepherd is so important!

You certainly want to live harmoniously with your four-legged friend. This also includes a regulated hierarchy, a species-appropriate home, employment and training. The great basic character of your four-legged friend can only develop if you instruct and train your dog.

Benefits of a good upbringing:

  • Achieving training successes and celebrating together is fun.
  • Is beneficial for a good bondbetween dog and human.
  • The order of precedenceis regulated and clarified.
  • The German Shepherd will learn to trustyour skills and your judgment .
  • Simplifies communicationbetween four and two-legged friends.
  • Ensures a regular coexistence. The dog knows the rules in his family home.
  • It is not a problem to take the dog with you everywhere. No matter whether on walks, whether there are dog encounters, whether he should go to the beer garden or to friends.
  • A well-behaved dog can enjoy more freedombecause it obeys commands and knows how to behave. For example, a dog that can be reliably retrieved may walk without a leash.
  • Dog walks are relaxedand you don’t have to worry that other dogs will be molested, cyclists barked or cars chased.
  • Your dog can stay at home alone without a Bell concertand is not a nuisance for neighbors.
  • Visitors can be received without any problems.
  • Your German Shepherd does not destroy anythingin the house.

Tips for raising your German Shepherd

Every beginning is difficult. It will take many repetitions until the German Shepherd understands you and your commands. Here are a few tips so that the training goes right from the start and there are no obstacles in your way:

Little distraction

You also cannot concentrate when there is a lot of hustle and bustle and it is loud or hectic. Your dog feels the same way. It will be difficult for him to concentrate on you and to work with you. For a puppy who wants to discover everything anyway and finds everything exciting, it is even more a challenge.

Therefore, always train in a low-irritant environment at the beginning , such as the living room, the garden or a quiet dirt road. Slowly increase the level of distraction. Of course, your dog should follow your commands later, even if the distraction is great.

Pay attention to your timing

It is very important to praise or blame the dog at the precise moment when it shows desired or undesirable behavior. It’s actually of little use if you scold him, even though his action may have been a few minutes ago. Because dogs live in the moment and after a few moments no longer remember the wrongdoing or the correct execution of a command.

Keep calm

Dog training can be frustrating . A command that has already been practiced a thousand times still does not work or your German Shepherd reliably switches to pull-through when requested. Setbacks can occur, especially during puberty , and perfectly mastered commands seem to be forgotten again. Stay relaxed. Training will always pay off in the long run. Under no circumstances should you hit the German shepherd or keep talking and scolding him!

Remain reliable and consistent

If you always react the same or at least similarly in similar situations , this strengthens your dog’s trust in you. He will learn that you take the lead in a situation, that he can trust you and that your behavior is predictable. If your dog learns, for example, that he has nothing to do with the sofa, he will not try to do so with the neighbors when he is visiting.

Likewise, all bipeds should think in advance what the dog is allowed to do and what is not. Everyone without exception has to adhere to this.

So clarifies questions such as …

  • Can the dog sleep on the bed or sofa?
  • Can he jump in to greet us?
  • Licking hands is okay?
  • Do we allow him to make in the garden or in the yard?
  • Should he make a sound with visitors or do we generally prevent barking?

Get to know your own name

The training of the German Shepherd must begin as early as possible. You have to start with the right upbringing on the day you move into the new house.

One of the first things a German Shepherd puppy should learn is their own name.

In order for the dog to understand that it is meant, the name must be practiced over and over

For example, if the dog runs towards its owner, the name of the four-legged friend is called. Then there is praise .

This creates a positive link from name to praise . After a few exercises, the German Shepherd usually understood very quickly that he was meant.

However, you should never associate his name with something unwanted, so that the four-legged friend does not associate it with a punishment.

For example, if the dog has done his business in the apartment, you should%2n’t giv� his name , but rather give a clear command, such as ” No “.

Important: Set Limits

The German Shepherd has to get to know his limits from an early age, so that later no unpleasant behavior has to be laboriously trained again.

In addition to the consequence, setting boundaries is one of the pillars of a proper German Shepherd education.

Here it is always important to be calm but determined. For example, if the new family member is constantly begging at the table, they should not give in.

Again, a clear command, such as “No”, is much better here and you can point to your place with your arm / hand for support.

If the puppy does not comply with this request, you lead him to his place and let him sit down. Then it is praised and you go back to lunch.

The puppy will probably try his luck again and again and beg at the table. Consistency is required here. The scenario is repeated until the dog has learned that he cannot get anything from the table and that he should not beg.

This method can be used in many different situations, such as when the dog is not allowed in the bed or on the sofa.

How do I get my German Shepherd house trained?

In order to get the German Shepherd house trained , patience is also required. It is recommended that for the time immediately after the puppy purchase to take leave so that the project “housebreaking” can be better performed.

If a puppy comes loose in the apartment, it is because he is not yet able to control his bladder: he must be physically mature enough and able to control it. Besides, he doesn’t know that heaps are not allowed in the apartment. He has to learn this and be trained first.

  • First of all, it is important to observe the animal closely and pay attention to any signs. If the German Shepherd becomes very restless, squeaks and / or even looks at the door, then this is a clear sign that things have to be done quickly now. Here you usually don’t have any more time to move, for example, because if the puppy “has to”, then it has to.
  • After the new roommate has done their business outside of the apartment, they receive extensive praise. So he combines going out and solving with something positive . In addition, the four-legged friend learns here that it is correct to report when he has to do his business.
  • If you weren’t fast enough or if you didn’t notice that the animal wanted to get out, then the German Shepherd should never be punished for it afterwards. Because the puppy cannot link the previous act with a later scolding.
  • Since puppies usually have to loosen up after sleeping, drinking, eatingand playing, you should go out with them immediately afterwards.
  • You should also go out with the puppy in the morning after waking up and in the evening before going to bed. Here is a clear advantage who has your garden or yard. So the puppy can be let out quickly in between times.
  • Some prefer a puppy toilet that is set up in a permanent location for the early days or for the night. However, it can later be difficult to train the dog to loosen up in the house or he will still go to this place, even if the puppy toilet is no longer there.

The commands “sit” and “sit down”

The important basic terms that the German Shepherd should learn are ” seat ” and ” place “. It is best to choose a quiet environment for the exercise lessons in which the dog is not distracted. Then proceed as follows for the “Sit” exercise:

  • Stand directly in front of the puppy with a treat in hand. Now stretch out your index finger and raise your arm so that the animal has to look up to see the treat. The animal will now sit down while looking up, if only because of the treat.
  • As soon as the puppy sits down, “Sit” is called.
  • Then you praise the German shepherd and give him his well-deserved treat.
  • If the puppy tries to jump up during the exercise, they clearly shout “No”, step back and start again.

Once the four-legged masters the command “sit”, “may place ” to be practiced. To do this, first let the animal “ sit ”. Then you take a treat again and walk on the floor with your flat outstretched hand.

The German Shepherd will make “room” by itself to get to the treat under the hand that is now on the floor. As soon as the animal “makes room”, praise is given again and the treat is given. However, if the dog gets up from the “seat”, start all over again.

In time it will no longer be necessary to bring your hand to the ground. Then the command and possibly the flat hand, which is only brought down a short distance, is sufficient.

“Stay”: stay seated, even if it’s difficult

Especially with such a large breed of dog as the German Shepherd, it is important that the dog can master the basic commands.

If the German Shepherd is supposed to wait at one point, it is practiced as follows:

  • First of all, the puppy is given the command ” sit“.
  • Then ” stay” is called and slowly a few steps away.
  • If the German shepherd stays seated, you go back, praise him and he gets the obligatory treat.
  • If he follows, he will be led back to his starting point and the exercise started again.
  • If the puppy remains seated but barks, wait until he is calm again and only then go back to him.
  • Now the distance is gradually increased according to the same scheme.

“Here”: Come on command

If the German Shepherd has mastered the command “Stay”, “Here” is practiced. The puppy should come directly to the owner from his seat.

  • First, the command ” stay” is given and as usual you move away from your dog.
  • Now there is a loud, drawn-out shout “ Here” and the command is combined with an outstretched arm and forefinger pointing to the ground in front of you.
  • If the dog comes running up, he is immediately praisedand allowed to eat a treat.
  • As soon as this step works, the dog can also be given the command ” sit” when it has reached the owner . And here too there is praise and treats distributed. That way, he doesn’t run away straight away, but stays on site.
  • However, if the puppy strays along the way, the exercise is repeated.

“Off”: the restoration of the “booty”

Again and again it happens when dogs go for a walk that dogs take something in their mouths that is not suitable for eating, but which they are reluctant to give back or not at all.

The ” Off ” command provides a remedy here . To do this, the dog is first played with, for example with a stick or ball. Now you take a treat in your hand and let your four-legged friend sniff it.

Since the urge to eat is usually far more tempting than the ball or stick, the German Shepherd will drop the toy.

And it is precisely at this moment that you have to shout “Off” and give the treat. Again, patience and repetition lead to the goal.

“No”: a command with a “second command”

Another important command in dog training is ” No “. “No” is best practiced in conjunction with another command, such as “sit”. If the dog does not stay seated, “No” is called out.

If he sits again, the puppy is praised. The command does not have to be pronounced loudly but definitely. As soon as the German Shepherd understands that “No” means that he is not allowed to do something, he will obey the command in other situations as well.

With this command it is important that after the “No”, another command is called immediately and the puppy is rewarded. As an example: If the puppy is about to eat something incompatible, “No” is called out.

Now, as a rule, he raises his head and looks at his owner. At this moment a “here” should follow. The four-legged friend runs back and is praised.

In this way he connects the prohibition, the command “No”, with something positive. In this way, the relationship between the owner and the German Shepherd is further strengthened.

In addition, the puppy is much more likely to obey the “no” when it knows that something positive will come afterwards.

Getting used to the collar and leash

It is relatively easy to get the German Shepherd puppy used to a leash with a few tricks.

For puppies, only chest harnesses or soft and wide collars should initially be used.

The new roommate gets used to the collar very quickly if he has it tied on before he receives his food .

In this way, the collar quickly becomes something really “great”, because: collar means food . If he can easily tie the collar on, the same exercise is repeated with the leash.

The first time out on a leash

Once the German Shepherd has got used to the collar and leash, the first leashed excursion outside follows. If the puppy does not trust this new situation and does not move from the spot, you proceed as follows:

  • Often it is helpful to be persuaded.
  • If friendliness fails, then you lure with a treat or your favorite toy.
  • Under no circumstances should the dog be fooled, as the four-legged friend quickly notices that he is successful with his “not running”.

If, on the other hand, the little one pulls on the leash, a very simple measure helps: Stand still. If the dog moves on, you stay there until it turns around and the leash sags. Now is the time to praise and move on.

However, this exercise must be repeated immediately each time you pull. Otherwise, the animal will certainly pull relentlessly on the leash even in adulthood because it doesn’t know anything else.

Leash aggression in the German Shepherd Dog

A dog with leash aggression is often difficult to handle. Some representatives of the breed make a huge riot on a leash, but fortunately only mob, others would (if they could) even attack. But it doesn’t matter whether your dog is just defensive or would bite:

It is a risk for you and other owners and their four-legged friends. Keep in mind that a German Shepherd pulling on a leash can, in the worst case scenario, throw you off balance. You could get injured, or your dog could run into the street, cause an accident, or get into a bite. All very unpleasant scenarios.

But what are the actual triggers for line aggression:

Your four-legged friend may just be frustrated. The short leash prevents communication via body language with conspecifics. In addition, the German Shepherd may not be allowed to run to every other dog, but would like to. At some point, the frustration turns into pulling and tugging and the German Shepherd is excited and frustrated. Often, such linen rambos are quite peaceful and tolerable in free run .

But it could also be that little emphasis was placed on socializing the four-legged friend in the puppy and young dog age . Here the German Shepherd doesn’t know what to do with his counterpart or has never really been able to learn the “dog language”.

poor ranking in one’s own pack can also be a cause of aggression. Your German Shepherd may feel that they have to take the lead and regulate encounters with other dogs themselves.

Other triggers:

  • Territorial behavior
  • Protective instinct
  • Bad experiences with other four-legged friends (biting incidents, bullying, etc.)
  • Sexual partner (bitch in heat) / rivals
  • Nemesis (some dogs just can’t smell each other for whatever reason)
  • Pain can lead to a skipping act and the German Shepherd suddenly reacts aggressively. If there were no special incidents and your dog is suddenly aggressive on the leash, please visit a veterinarian to rule out diseases.

What can I do if my German Shepherd is aggressive on leashes?

Stay cool

Your behavior has a decisive influence on how the German Shepherd acts on a leash. A confident dog handler with a confident demeanor and strong personality is classified as reliable by four-legged friends . In other words, if you stay calm, your dog will likely too. Conversely, if you are nervous, tense, screaming, jerking the leash or panicking, your dog does not trust you to lead.

Remember : All four-legged friends have a keen sense of the mood of their owners and also notice hormone fluctuations. So try to be determined and prudent.

Rethink your equipment

Ask yourself whether your four-legged friend is being exercised and exercised sufficiently. Dogs that are physically and mentally stressed develop bad habits much less often. But the way you go for a walk with your German Shepherd is also important. Can he enjoy running freely, does he have contact with other dogs? If it is not available, make sure you work on it and temporarily use a tow line for more freedom of movement. If the German Shepherd is not on a leash and pulls often, work on this problem as well. By the way, it could also help here to switch from a collar to a harness, as this puts less pressure and pain on the neck.

Try “Bribery”

From now on, combine dog encounters with something pleasant. As soon as you meet another four-legged friend, conjure up your dog’s absolute favorite  treats. Hold these under your German Shepherd’s nose to distract him. You are welcome to offer small mini-bites until the meeting is over and the other dog has walked by. A toy works just as well as treats for some candidates.

Avoid dog encounters

You can specifically avoid places where many dog ​​owners are around. Or you can postpone your walks to a time when there are few other dog-human teams outside. For example, very early in the morning.

It can also be useful to determine the individual distance of your German Shepherd. Many dogs only react aggressively when this is not reached. Some wait until the strange conspecific is in the immediate range, while others, when they can see a long distance, rump around and throw themselves on the leash. If you know your dog’s tolerance, you can always keep a certain minimum distance.

Prevent eye contact.

When you meet a dog, push yourself between you and the other four-legged friends. So you’re acting as a buffer. You can also let your German Shepherd go behind you or block the view with your legs.

Also possible: Dodge behind a hedge or wall or use a parked vehicle to avoid eye contact. You can also introduce the command “look” using a clicker. Here the dog should concentrate entirely on you and keep eye contact with you until you give the order to dissolve.

If another dog comes towards you, you can also let your four-legged friend “sit” or “take a seat” with your back to the supposed rival.

Go to the dog trainer

Fast, effective, with individually tailored training . If you want to get a grip on leash aggression in German shepherds as quickly as possible, a dog school or a dog trainer is the best choice. Here you get quick feedback and lots of tips. The trainer can observe you and your four-legged friend and quickly find out the cause of the aggression. You will probably first practice on the training ground before you get down to business together.

By the way : take responsibility if you have a dog with leash aggression. A muzzle not only provides security that nothing can happen in an emergency, but also takes a lot of stress out of the situation. And as already mentioned: If you are relaxed, the dog is usually too.

Leave the German Shepherd alone

You should start at an early stage to leave the puppy alone for a very short time. Daily walks to the mailbox, car or to the garbage cans are ideal for such an exercise.

When the German Shepherd is at some point very quietly in its place, you simply go out the front door without fuss and come back straight away.

Before the puppy knows it, you reward him with a treat. If these short alone phases are accepted without complaint, you can keep expanding the time. If the dog whines, however, you must never come back immediately.

The puppy will judge this as a result of its howling and so will get louder and louder. As soon as the animal is calm, you return to the house.

If the time of being alone is extended, you should take a long walk for a walk in advance, play with the four-legged friend extensively and give him time to loosen up. Tired and relieved, it is much easier to wait for the owner.

More tips:

  • Do n’t do a big goodbye or welcome scene. It should become normal for you to come and go.
  • Create taboo areas aroundthe house, like the bathroom or kitchen. You can also make rooms inaccessible with a door guard. So the four-legged friend can still see you.
  • Do not stay near the apartment / house when you go out. Your dog can smell and hear your presence. If you want to know what your German Shepherd is up to, use a webcamor a special pet camera . The latter will even alert you on your cell phone if your dog barks, because it registers sounds and noises. So you can see what’s going on at home.
  • Offer up a chewor treat as a distraction when you leave.
  • Of course, it is nice for your German shepherd when he has four-legged company and thus another pack member is present. This makes it a little easier when people are away from home. However, this is not a free pass to leave the dogs alone forever. Even two dogs have needs and need to relieve themselves, want to play and be occupied.
  • Create a nice retreatfor your dog. A comfortable dog bed or even a cozy transport box .

How long can I leave my German Shepherd alone?

Some dogs may be lucky, and there is almost always someone at home around the clock. But even in such a case there can be situations where the dog just can’t go along. To the supermarket, to the dentist, to the cinema or restaurant, for example. So you have to get your dog used to being alone every now and then.

Because of course a pack animal will not find it particularly pleasant to look after the house alone and wait for the return of its people. Puppies in particular can panic quickly , which is understandable, because in nature small puppies are at the mercy of predators if no conspecifics are present to defend themselves. Nevertheless, after the puppy has been able to settle in with you for some time, you should start getting him used to being alone at an early stage.

But how long can a dog be expected to be alone? Here the opinions differ significantly and there is passionate discussion. People who have a full-time job explain that 8 or 9 hours is fine if the dog is sufficiently busy and occupied the time before and after. Others, however, are of the opinion that this is too long and that the four-legged friend must be able to loosen up in between. Some therefore limit the time to 4-5 hours.

As always, a case-by-case approach is probably necessary to determine the correct number of hours. However, working people should actually keep in mind that it is not species-appropriate if their four-legged friend is alone all day. It should have a home care be given. So pet sitters, dog day care centers, etc. Another family member, friend or neighbor could visit the dog in between and keep him busy or go for a walk. Maybe you can go home for a short time during your lunch break?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here