Pet Training Series: How to Train a German Shepherd Puppy

Skylar Dial
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Get the Housebreaking Essentials

Bringing a new puppy into the family is a tremendous responsibility.

But with some focus and dedication, you can raise your puppy to be a perfect companion. At this time, you need to put away all your reservations about your home and lifestyle.

You may have not even moved into your house or bought your puppy yet but there’s still something important you need to do.

The checklist above is what you need to get for your home if you want to maintain a squeaky clean surface for your puppy.

When you first get your puppy, you can use these items to help keep your home clean. You’ll also be training your puppy at the same time. If you first start using these items when your puppy is still young and wouldn’t understand if it’s been done wrong, you can easily continue to use these things in your home even until your puppy has grown into an adult.

So, take your time and make sure that you are prepared to provide a safe, clean, and comfortable home for your loved new puppy.

Tips to Remember When Housebreaking Your GSD

German Shepherd Dogs have a pleasant nature, but if you’re not careful when housetraining them, you can easily frustrate them or cause problems with their bladder and even their bowels.

There are many different methods you can use when housetraining your GSD. But one of the most important aspects of housebreaking your dog is consistency – both in terms of the time you spend with your dog and in terms of which methods you use.

In this post, you’ll learn about the key techniques pet experts recommend to help you successfully housebreak your GSD. And you’ll find a simple 4-step process that you can follow to achieve the same success.

Start with Basic Obedience

German Shepherd puppies are intelligent and they have a strong desire to please their masters. But you still have to read the signals and teach them the basic commands at an appropriate age. As soon as the little bugger starts accepting treats with no fear, you can start teaching them the basic commands.

The first command should be "sit." To keep things simple, you can use a sign, but be bold – push your dog gently on the bottom and say "sit." If your dog refuses to sit, keep pushing on her bottom until she understands that you're serious and she has to comply.

If you started teaching your dog early, the command "sit" should be a breeze for the puppy to learn.

The next command should be "stay." As soon as the puppy can sit on command, it's time to teach "stay." You can use a sign for this as well. Hold the treat in front of the puppy's mouth and say "stay." If your dog moves to grab the treat, pull back the hand and say something in a stern tone, such as "no."

Teach Important Commands

Before you start training the pup, think about which commands are likely the most important. A few to think about are:

  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel
  • Down

Where will you be spending the most time with your pup? In your home, at the dog park, or at a neighbor’s house? Think about the dogs your pup will be around and the type of activities you’ll be doing most often.

Teach some or all of these commands to your German shepherd puppy. All of these commands are basically the same; the learner just needs to learn the name of the command.

Once you’ve chosen the most important commands, begin to use them in your daily training. Reinforce them at each opportunity. Watch the pup closely. See when it’s time to accept a treat or give a verbal praise e.g. “What a good girl!” You’ll see the positive response a second or two after you praise or offer the treat.

Use a command and get the desired response then follow it immediately with praise and a reward. The rewards might be a treat, a pat on the head, or a game.

If All Else Fails, Seek a Professional

If you have ever looked up pet training in Google, I’m sure you noticed there are as many opinions on pet training techniques as the number of sites out there that discuss them. And hence, pet training can be a confusing subject.

In my opinion, the only way to know which method works best is to actually try different ways, get feedback from your pet, and go with the one that gives you the best results. And if you do choose to hire a professional, make sure you do your homework (by checking credentials) and get your pet accustomed to the techniques that is going to be used.