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Training A German Shepherd: Tips, Protection Training, More

Written by Kelvin LowFebruary 18, 2022
Training A German Shepherd

Are German Shephereds Easy To Train?

Yes. In fact, german shepherds is one of the smartest dog breeds.

They are good in understanding new commands introduced by the training. There is a 96% chance that they will obey your command on first try.

While most dog breeds needs around 25 - 100 times of practice, it only takes them less than 5 attemps to master it.

So, it's safe to say that german shepherds are easy to train if you're using the right approach.

What Is The Best Age To Start Training A German Shepherd?

The older your dog gets, the harder it is to train them. Some experts suggest to start training only when german shepherds are at least 8 weeks old. The reason behind this is because they may not be ready to connect with humans yet. Thus, there is a risk that we could frighten them during the training.

In my personal experience, it is best to start training them as soon as you bring them home. This can prevent them from developing any bad habits in future.

If your german shepherd is less than 8 weeks old but you wish to start training them, start small and observe. You'll know if it's too much for them.

4 Tips When Training German Shepherds

1) Be Consistent With Our Commands

Having a consistent command will make it easier for german shepherds to learn. Let's say you're potty training your dog, stick with a command you and your family prefer (e.g. "go potty"). Once you've introduced this command to your german shepherd, don't change it.

Changing commands will confuse your dog, causing them to take a longer time to understand.

2) Don't Train If You're In a Bad Mood

Believe it or not, the behavior of your dog during training is a reflection of yourself. Be positive, supportive, and excited when training.

German shepherds, like other dogs can sense your emotions. They know if you're happy, sad, tired, angry, or frustrated. If you're happy during the training, they will be the same too. But, if you're in a bad mood, your dog will be more defensive and not want to listen to you.

3) They Don't Understand What You're Saying

If you're not already aware, dogs don't understand what you're saying. They try to understand what humans are saying based on our emotions. Have a look at this short video.

Some may argue that German Shepherds are different. It may seems that they understand and feel what you are talking about. But my point here is that you should make your command short and clear.

Avoid saying too many words when you're giving your command. Instead of saying, "Pepper, come here, come here, come, come"

Try saying, “Pepper, come here."

4) Rewarding & Disciplining

It's important to reward your dog when they did something right. But when they did something wrong, disciplining is important too. When we talk about rewarding & disciplining, you have to do it within seconds of their action.

When you're punishing, make sure that you're showing your dog what they did. Or else, they will be disciplined not knowing what they did wrong.

Note: Please do not punish them out of anger. It's like disciplining a child. You'll have to find the right balance.

How To Train A German Shepherd

Now that we've gone thru all the useful tips when training the dog, let's get into the real business - training. We'll be touching on a few common trainings for german shepherds and how you can get started too. It involves:

  • Training a German Shepherd for Protection
  • Training a German Shepherd to Sit
  • Training a German Shepherd to Be Friendly
  • Training a German Shepherd Not to Bite

Training a German Shepherd for Protection

Training a german shepherd for protection is a more advance training. It requires more maturity and life experience before it's suitable for training. Thus, it is best to train them after 2 - 3 years old.

Step 1 - Develop Bond and Obedience

Start by building a strong connection with your german shepherd. Spend more time with him, doing the things he likes. This will help to build up the bond with your german shepherd, allowing you to train him much more easier.

Step 2 - Pick A Verbal "Attack" Command

Before staring, get yourself a thick dog attack gloves to protect yourself during training. Tap the face of your german shepherd until he grabs the glove. Say your preferred command for "attack". It can be any words on any language.

Some trainers would use a foreign language for this command. This can prevent others from saying the command accidentally or intentially. You can teach him to attack by saying the command on Spanish or Chinese. If your german shepherd responded to your command, reward him with snacks.

Step 3 - Pick A Verbal "Stop" Command

Train your dog to stop attacking upon hearing the word "stop" or something else in other language. Make sure that you're using a command that only you would use. Start by training with a attack glove. After getting used to it, try changing it to a bigger object during training.

Step 4 - Get An Assistant To Act As "Intruder"

Before proceeding, make sure that your assistant is an experienced dog trainer. This will ensure the safety of both your dog and assistant during the training. At a controlled area, get your assistant to approach you and your dog. As your assistant gets closer to you, get him to act aggressively towards you.

If your dog did not attack your assistant by this time, use your command to get your dog to attack.

Step 5 - Have More Practice With Your Dog

Keep practicing with your dog on the "Attack" and "Stop" command on different scenarios. This have help you to make sure that your dog will obey your command on different scenarios.

Training A German Shepherd to Sit

Training a german shepherd to sit is quite simple if you're following these steps. Train your dog to sit for about 3 to 4 times a day in a row.

Step 1 - Lure Your German Shepherd with His Favorite Snacks

Look for a snack that your german shepherd love, hold and move the snacks above his nose.

Step 2 - Move Your Hand Towards His Head

The next step is to move your hand from his nose towards his head. Move the snacks around his head for a couple of seconds. Your german shepherd will naturally moves around and soon come to a sitting position.

Step 3 - Say the Command, "Sit"

This step is important, the moment your dog sits down, say the command immediately. You can combine the command with a hand gesture. This will help to dog to know that you're giving a command.

Step 4 - Reward Him And Keep Training

Reward your german shepherd with the snack that you've lured him with when he listened to your command. This will encourage your dog to sit when he hears the command. Repeat this training for as many times needed to get him familiar with the command.

Training A German Shepherd to Be Friendly

The key to train your german shepherd to be friendly is to get him to socialize more. The more your german shepherd socialize, the more friendly he'll be. Start by taking him to the park while he's still a puppy. Introduce him to other dogs, animals or your friends.

If he starts acting aggressively, maybe being aggressive towards cats, use your command to get him to sit. Do not punish your dog if he did not behave well outside, it will only make things worse.

This requires a longer time as your german shepherd will need to get use to the outside world. So, get him to socialize with others whenever you have the chance.

Training a German Shepherd Not to Bite

When your german shepherd is still a puppy, you'll find out that biting is an issue. This is because the way dogs play is different with humans. To train your german shepherd to not bite you, all you have to do is reply your dog with a high pitch "Ouch!" when he bites you.

After saying "Ouch", stop all eye contacts with your german shepherd and do something else. E.g. scroll thru your social media. After some time, your german shepherd will be calm and learn that it's not right to bite you.

But if your dog is having biting issues at an old age, especially with other dogs, a simple "Ouch" won't work.

Have a small air horn with you during the times when your dog is most likely to bit others. The air horn will help to distract your dog. Then, follow with a obedience command to get your dog to sit before things get worse.

How Much Does It Cost To Train A German Shepherd?

It depends on where you're located and what you're trying to train your german shepherd.
If you're living in the US, here's a rough estimate on how much it cost to train a german sheperd.

  • Puppy Training - $125 - $150 (4 weeks)
  • Basic Obedience - $150 - $180 (6 weeks)
  • Intermidiate Training - $200 - $380 (6 weeks)
  • K9 Advanced Training - $1,000 - $10,000

Final Verdict

Training a german shepherd is not as scary as you think it is. As long you have the love and patience with your dog, he'll obey the command one day! If you're still having trouble training your german shepherd, it's best to hire a dog trainer for help.

Remember, the older your dog gets, the harder it is to train.

About The Author

Kelvin Low

Kelvin Low has more than three years of experience in taking care of pets at home - ranging from dogs, hamsters, to cats and hedgehog. His passion and care towards animals has motivated him to create educational content online to more more pets owners in need.

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