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German Shepherd Puppy Training

Updated on April 29, 2013

German Shepherd Puppy Training

German Shepherds are wonderful loyal dogs, but it is extremely important to take plenty of time to train them from the day you bring them into your home!

My husband has been a proud owner of German Shepherds for over 20 years. Baron (in the photo) is the first German Shepherd we got together. I love the breed and have learnt quite a few great German Shepherd Puppy Training tips from my husband. In this article, I am sharing my husband's tips for training a well-balanced and obedient German Shepherd as well as our German Shepherd dog food recommendations and best products for flea and tick control, bathing, grooming, and cleaning up after your new puppy.

German Shepherd Puppy Training

Puppy Care

I remember the first day we brought Baron home - big lazy puppy that looked like a little Bear. I was so tempted to cuddle him and put him on my lap. That's when my husband (an experienced dog trainer) made the first rule clear - No dogs on the couch or any furniture.

The next few months were a lot of work for my husband and a lot of learning for me. My husband took Baron out for long walks (to keep his energy level down - and that helps with the training) and potty trained him. The potty training involved taking Baron out as soon as he was showing any signs of "pre-potty pattern" and pointing out any accidents and then taking him outside. My husband always remained calm but made sure that our puppy realized that he didn't do what he was supposed to. If we didn't catch Baron "doing it", we didn't punish him.

Another important part of the German Shepherd Puppy Training was Socializing. When he was little, we took him out in public and let him play with other dogs. We wanted Baron to be a good guard dog, but it was also important that he was ok with the people (and dogs) we knew.

"Obedience School" is also a must for puppies. When we went out for walks, my husband made sure that he or one of us was the leader, and Baron was the follower, and not the other way around. You have to learn to control the dog when he or she is still a puppy - so that the dog is not dragging you on the leash when it's over 100 pounds (that's how much Baron weighs now at 4 years old!). Baron turned out to be a very energetic and daring puppy. He was curious about everything around us, but my hubby corrected his behavior when we needed him to walk in a certain direction or follow instructions.

The coolest part of the training... My husband trained Baron to understand German commands. Like "Bleib" is "stay" or "Voraus" is "outside" - my husband and Baron learned German together. The reason for training in German? Strangers couldn't give any commands to Baron (well, unless they happen to be German...) and well, just to be different...

There are so many things you need to know when bringing home a new puppy! It is such a great responsibility to care for a German Shepherd, and you certainly have to do a lot to turn your puppy into a well-balanced, friendly, and safe Dog. Even with years of experience in dog training, my husband never stops learning. Cesar Millan is who my husband looks up to. In my opinion, there's no other person in the world that knows dogs better than Cesar Millan. I highly recommend that you read his books and watch his videos when training a new German Shepherd puppy or working on correcting your dog's behavior. You may also know Cesar as the "Dog Whisperer".

German Shepherd Puppy Training - Book and DVD Recommendations

I have watched most of Cesar Millan's "Dog Whisperer" episodes. Cesar loves German Shepherds and points out that people unfairly call German Shepherds an "agressive breed". German Shepherds are very intelligent, loyal, reliable, energetic and strong dogs. German Shepherds are more trainable and controllable then many other breeds. That's why German Shepherds are used in K-9 units (police department). Agressive behavior in a German Shepherd is a result of Handler's mistakes in raising the dog, and it is very unfair to blame agressive behavior on the breed. Cesar Millan is a big authority when it comes to raising a well-behaved and well-balanced dog. I highly recommend his books and DVDs.

You also may want to pick up the "Training Your German Shepherd Dog" by Dan Rice for breed-specific puppy training advice.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."

-Josh Billings

Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppies

ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION German Shepherd Puppy dry dog food, 30-Pound
ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION German Shepherd Puppy dry dog food, 30-Pound

Every Dog breed is different with special nutrition needs. If you want to get your German Shepherd off to a good start, try this Royal Canin Dry Dog Food, specially formulated for German Shepherd Puppies.

 

German Shepherd Puppy Care Tips

There are several essential items you need to care for your German Shepherd. First of all, Frontline is a must have for any dog owner. Make sure your German Shepherd is well-protected from fleas and ticks! Although there are several products on the market that may give you an ok protection, Frontline has proven itself to millions of dog owners and is our first choice for our German Shepherd Baron.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog (45 to 88 pounds) Flea and Tick Treatment, 6 Doses
Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog (45 to 88 pounds) Flea and Tick Treatment, 6 Doses

You can buy 3 or 6 months supply. Also,be sure to purchase the right product for your dog's weight category.

 

Bathing and Grooming Your German Shepherd

I highly recommend Oatmeal Shampoo for your German Shepherd's sensitive Skin. Also, German shepherds do shed a lot, so a deShedding tool is very handy to keep around. Our Dog loves being brushed, and the house stays cleaner too :)

German Shepherd Itchy Skin Treatment

Several months ago, our German Shepherd started suffering from itchy skin. He would spend almost entire day and entire night itching. We ruled out food allergies by trying several different kinds of dog food. The combination of Lipiderm and the anti-itch shampoos worked for us!

Great vacuum for cleaning up after your German Shepherd

If you are in the market for a good vacuum cleaner, look no further! Hoover Windtunnel is one of the best vacuums you can find for vacuuming up pet hair. I did a lot of research before I bought our vacuum, but I have had a Hoover Windtunnel vacuum for 2 years, and I am yet to be disappointed in it. Every time we vacuum, all pet hair is gone in no time, and carpet looks new! I try to vacuum every other day (yes, our German Shepherd sheds pretty bad...), but it's so easy to use and clean, that vacuuming is really not that big of a chore.

Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH70120, Green
Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH70120, Green

If I could give this vacuum A++++++++++++, I would! I bought mine on Amazon, because they had the best deal I could find.

 

Baron used to look just like this puppy!

Great Gifts for a German Shepherd owner

Do you like German Shepherds?

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    • profile image

      queer715 

      4 years ago

      These dogs are so cute! I had a German Shep before he's so intelligent but he kinda messes it out sometimes and pick up a fight. I decided to start training him when he was still 4 through the help of this site (dogtrainingasleader.com). I'm really thankful to this site which has been my saving grace. It has helped me in a lot of issues with my dog. I recommended it to my friends and they loved it as well! For all types of breed owners out there who has some troubles and issues with their dogs and pups check it out now. This has totally worked for me and my dog. The methods are surprisingly super effective! :)

    • profile image

      zeeDogWhisperer 

      4 years ago

      GS are adorable. They are easy to handle during the training. You just need to be an established leader. -based on experience

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 

      4 years ago

      They're great dogs. I had one years ago and she was gorgeous. I still miss her.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      I think they're great dogs. Very smart, too. Pinned.

    • profile image

      Jones98 

      5 years ago

      @jimporsche86: This is a very true and as a matter of fact, doing some research they are ranked 3rd most intelligent dog breeds just behind the Poodle and Border Collie.

    • dogged lm profile image

      dogged lm 

      5 years ago

      In answer NO...I love them, all of them. Their like cocain once your addicted you cant kick it. This is Pippa, 4year bitch, love of my life and sooo sensitive. If you know sheps you know what I mean! Had another white before, just as wonderful, lost her at 13 years due to cdrm, I cried.

    • profile image

      jimporsche86 

      5 years ago

      German Shepherds are Very smart dogs.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 

      5 years ago

      Look at the German Shepherd face! He is brilliant! Enjoyed reading this lens. Blessed :)

    • profile image

      spanishtvonline1 

      5 years ago

      I love German dogs breeds especialy shepherds, very nice lens. Germany is my favorite country to visit, eat, explore and the dog breeds are one of the best in world. I love to watch German TV online, to learn german and to visit this country.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I LOVE GERMAN ShEHERDS! NICE LENS!:-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Just had to stop by and give Baron a little scratch behind the ears, I had a shepherd who couldn't get enough of that and he looked like Baron when he was a pup...his name was Elliot.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      German shepherds are wonderful creatures, and you've provided some great resources (and a marvelous video!). Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: i ment my Boyfriend...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      me and my bro was wanting a dog for awhille,and we came arcoss a german shepherd puppy (soild black)well at first i wasnt up for a "cop dog" or thats what i thought.So he talked me into it and i am glad he did,he is 4mons.old soooo smart and has been house trained since he was 2mons (we both r stay at home parents) so we have alot of time with him he loves dogs and loves aggervating our cat.He is great with kids and doesnt jump on them,he sleeps on his big dog bed we bought him and does tricks as well and loves ice and water.He favs me more idk y but he does.So i named him Bear...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      One needs to learn a great deal before having pets, one has to be really careful. After all, the pet is just like a family member and it is a great learning, I can recall my experience of having my first pet dog; together we learnt a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      FB liked, I'm still think its so cool that your husband and Baron learned German together, love that video!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Stopping back just to hope I can have a German Shepherd in my life again, they are my favorite breed and now I know where to come with training questions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Yes! Lejla, my German Shepherd was very loyal, smart and protective. She was the best dog I ever had.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      I like all dogs.My daughter has German Shepherd dogs, very faithful dogs, but like all dogs you must treat them with respect, but i think german shepherds more so, they do not like strangers growling at them, my husband found that out. I do not have any problems with any dogs I think they know I have a lot of love for them. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      A very timely lens for me. I have a couple of stray dogs that arrived this week and both need immediate training. Like your husband and you, I try to keep the high energy levels in check by doing at least two long walks with them every day. What you shared about training errors with German Shepherds is very true. I've always been a little afraid of this breed because my uncle had a very vicious German Shepherd. He would attack on very little provocation. In fact, their very own dog attacked their youngest daughter and mauled her face. After hundreds of stitches, she healed but is scarred to this day. I only share that story to reinforce what you have presented here. We must be responsible dog trainers and care-givers. I'm sure it wasn't the dog's fault.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      6 years ago

      Great lens - German shepherds are fantastic dogs. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • krakensquid profile image

      krakensquid 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens! :)

    • profile image

      Tamara14 

      6 years ago

      Just what I needed to find today Katie! My brother got a puppy from the dog shelter just the other day and he should read this asap, because the puppy has some real hunting breed in his blood and it's an absolute must to train him. So far it's funny to watch how my brother can't sleep as long in the mornings as he's used to :) I'm giving him this link for sure.

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      6 years ago

      @elyria: German Shepherds sure are "guard" dogs, Elyria. What a cute story :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      My favorite dogs of all time, and I sure have enjoyed training them because they are smart. Nice to stop by a blessing, and congratulations Giant Squid Katie!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      of course, it like it as well as pomeranians

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      german shepherds are intelligent dogs used by the police to deter criminal activities

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 

      7 years ago

      I love the name "Baron" so much and it suits your gorgeous German Shepherd dog perfectly! My grandfather used to have a german shepherd dog when I was little and I remember how smart she was. I still remember those times when my grandparents would sent me off to "bulochnaya" to get bread and the dog would just walk by herself right behind me to make sure I don't get lost or get in troubles. She always knew to keep an eye on me and be my escort even though noone ever trained her to do that. Kids used to laugh that I always walk with "ohrana" :)

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      7 years ago

      My husband was a drug dog handler in the military and he worked with shepherds a lot. This dog is absolutely beautiful, what gorgeous markings. Loved your lens. Blessed!!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Baron looks so cute, great name too. The FURMinator really works, we used it on our German Shepherd. Excellent lens, these are wonderful dogs.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      I still love this lens about training German Shepherds; it is one of my favorites on Squidoo. It has such a lovely personal element to it; I feel as if you and your husband are long-lost friends of sorts :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Oh yes, we like German Shepherds - however not so much when she sheds - she is long haired :)

    • profile image

      jakenewman 

      7 years ago

      Nice tips, but I'm sure their not gonna be any good for my bad boy. haha

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @CliveAnderson LM: Thanks you for stopping by, Clive. Would love to read your wife's lens about German Shepherd training. Hope she takes your suggestion!

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 

      7 years ago

      Nice tips, thanks! Hopefully I can use some of these on my Pit Bull Sadie... My vacuum cleaner always scares here haha

    • CliveAnderson LM profile image

      CliveAnderson LM 

      7 years ago

      Great lens I simply adore German Shepherd Dogs they are the Bees Knees of Dogs as far as I am concerned.

      My wife Nicole was the first Female Police Dog Trainer in Surrey so when it comes to the training aspects she certainly knows what is what... I am currently trying to get her to also create a lens on the subject, but so far she has only managed one on our recent Holiday to Parga in Greece.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Warm Regards,

      Clive

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 

      7 years ago from England

      I ADORE GSd's!!! I've had three in total. One was a rescue dog who had been badly neglected and treated. I would also recomend the FURminator... no GSD owner should be without it as they shed a LOT of fur. Super lens and I am so in love with the puppy in the video... I want another one now LOL! Blessed by a Squid Angel ;)

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 

      7 years ago

      very cute, thank you for sharing. Have a great day!

    • ftuley lm profile image

      ftuley lm 

      7 years ago

      Enjoyed the read.

    • profile image

      Positivevibestechnician 

      7 years ago

      great tips and great puppy shots!!

    • Stacy Fordham profile image

      Stacy Fordham 

      7 years ago

      Dogs are great.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      Favourited

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      Who wouldn't?

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 

      7 years ago

      You are lucky to have a nice dog. Having a trainer for a husband is a plus. I learned a few things here. My niece shakes a sock in front of the dog when he pee's in the house. She would never hurt him. But she was taught that that sound teaches them it's wrong.. Good lens

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      This is such a lovely lens on training dogs- so simple and basic- which is what the dog responds best too. Many thanks!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Love German Shepherds. We have a 10 year old female.

    • catbehaviors profile image

      catbehaviors 

      7 years ago

      Baron is a beautiful dog. Great tips on training a German Shepperd, I'm sure the tips can be used when training any dog. I love the way your dog knows his commands in German! lol

      *blessed* :)

    • catbehaviors profile image

      catbehaviors 

      7 years ago

      Baron is a beautiful dog. Great tips on training a German Shepperd, I'm sure the tips can be used when training any dog. I love the way your dog knows his commands in German! lol

      *blessed* :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Great lens, Katie. Training is so important with animals that have power.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I think they are beautiful dogs and very intelligent but I get afraid of them for some reason. I had a Golden Retriever before my little Morkie, yet I was not afraid of him, although he could pull me over easily :)

      Don't you just love Ceasar Millan? We have learned so much from him.

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much!

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @chrissuard lm: Wow, Thank you! Baron is definitely a cutie :)

    • chrissuard lm profile image

      chrissuard lm 

      7 years ago

      I love your dog, a real beauty. Blessed by a squid angel. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Your video puppy looks just like my Elliot from my teen years! Thanks for the memories! How sweet that your husband and Baron learned German together! I want a dog again and will lensroll to my I Want A Dog lens, I hope that helps.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, I like German Shepherds and most dogs in general. It was nice reading through the tips you provided. It was interesting to know that he is trained in German!...great job! :)

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @Trekkiemelissa: Thank you for the tip! Will do :)

    • profile image

      Trekkiemelissa 

      7 years ago

      Good lens. I would normally send you a message, but I can find the link to send you a private message is that I would suggest to you to change the title to your Guestbook to something unique instead of New Guestbook. Other than that, well done.

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: I completely agree! It's all about the training.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      German shepherds that are trained properly

      as explained here make great family dogs.

    • katiecolette profile imageAUTHOR

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Wow! Thank you so much! I really Appreciate it! This is my first Angel blessing!!! Yeah!!!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      This is a treasure of a lens. You give a highly informative, yet sweet and personal presentation on training dogs. The way your husband and you trained your German shepherd is such a good example for all dog owners. Angel blessed and featured on More November Blessings, plus rolled to puppy love connection.

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