So you want to adopt a German Shepherd puppy, huh? I don’t blame you. They’re super smart, healthy and highly adaptable. GSD will be your perfect hiking and running accountability partners, so kiss your procrastination days goodbye.
If you’re worried about training them, I’ll tell you a couple of German Shepherd dog training tips and techniques that you must know.
German Shepherd Dog Training Tip #1: Be a good parent
It all starts with you. Be a good parent instead of becoming an alpha. Imagine you had a couple of kids. Perhaps you already have children. How would you want to raise them? Would you want them to fear you, or look up to you as their trustable guide?
The same thing goes for puppies. Parent your German Shepard puppy and make them feel like they’re living in a safe, loving environment.
Would you leave your two months old baby alone? Of course not. Unlike humans, though, you don’t have to be around your German Shepherd puppy 24/7. As long as you don’t leave them alone for long hours, they’ll be okay.
Dogs love companionship. They usually stay in packs, so don’t take that away from them in their developmental stages.
Applaud > Scold
They are still babies, so don’t hit them when they make a mistake. Using any form of violence, whether it is verbal or physical, will plant a seed of fear in their impressionable brains, and break any part of the trust you’ve already built.
Praise their good behavior, and don’t punish them for their mistakes.
Patience is key. If there is one thing I’m going to repeat throughout this post is being mindful about everything. Please be patient and be conscious of your actions and reactions towards your puppy.
They are babies, and their intent is never to hurt or annoy you. All they need is some time to learn about which behaviors are appropriate.
If you stay mindful, your GSD puppy training weeks will go on so much smoother.
Make up some rules
Set the rules you want to see your dog following. It will take your German Shepard a while to understand and learn them, but stay consistent with what you teach them.
German Shepherd Dog Training Tip #2: Potty Training
The advice of teaching kids another language when they’re young exists for a reason. It is so much easier to receive and learn new information at a young age. Thus, start potty training your German Shepard puppy right away.
Where exactly should they go potty?
Pick an outdoor, designated area. Until your puppy is well trained, stick to taking them to the same spot every time they need to go potty.
Should you have a trigger phrase?
Yes! Come up with a phrase that you’ll always say before taking them outside to do defecate; exp: time to potty. With time, they’ll connect the dots and understand how this phrase means they’ll go out now to do their thing.
How often should you take the outside?
Keep in mind that puppies need to potty more frequently than adults, but how often exactly? Take your pup’s age in months and convert that to hours.
So if your German Shepard pup is two months old, try to take them out every two hours. If they’re five months old, then take them out every five hours.
At eight months and above, you will only need to take them out almost every eight hours. The frequency gets less and less as they grow, then gets fixed at every eight hours.
When to take them outside?
There are three scenarios where you have to take your puppy outside immediately to potty. These instances are:
- After they’ve ate
- In the morning, right after you wake up.
- After their playtime session
How should you react?
Every time your GSD potties outside, praise and reward them. Don’t be afraid to use the treats when you’re potty training them. These puppies need all of the motivation they could get during this phase of their lives.
But what if you’re walking around the house, and you spot their defecation on your new, expensive carpet? Should yell and scream in their faces. Nope! Recall what I mentioned in tip number one. Be mindful and take a deep breath.
Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out.Breath in. Breath Out.
No matter how angry or disappointed you feel, don’t take it on your puppy. If you scold and punish them, your GSD puppy won’t understand why you are so pissed at them.
They’ll think you’re mean, and as time passes by, they’ll stop trusting you. Your GSD will no longer feel safe around you, and we don’t want that to happen.
If you catch them while pooping inside the house though, say the trigger phrase and carry them outside the house to their designated spot, then leave them to finish pottying there. Don’t forget to praise them, and give them a treat afterward.
What kind of signs should you look for?
As time passes by, the patience you’ve invested in training your German shepherd will start to reap some benefits. Your dog will eventually tell you when they need to go out to potty; you just need to see and understand the signs.
Here are three things to be on the lookout for:
- If your GSD looks through the window or at the door, then glance at you, then they need to go out.
- If they arch their back, that is a sign as well.
- If they start crying or whimpering, it might mean they need to go potty.
For more potty training techniques, read our How to Crate Train a Puppy- Your A-Z Guide here.
I hope you’ve learned something new from this German Shepherd puppy training post. Let me know if you want to learn even more German Shepherd training tips and techniques in the comments down below.
If you’ve already adopted a GSD puppy, how old are they? What are you struggling with the most?