How To Train An Adult German Shepherd
When you bring in an adult German Shepherd into your life right from another situation/home, the background information you have of them is sometimes blurry. But lucky for you, adult dogs can learn new skills and can be trained as well, just like humans!
The difficulty in training an adult German shepherd depends on their previous experiences and knowledge. Depending on how and where they spent their early years, they may have probably gone through traumatizing experiences or developed a bad behavior, so there is likely some unlearning to do as well.
Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through some of the links on this page, I may earn an affiliate commission.
In this guide, you will know what to expect while training an adult German Shepherd, and how you can get the result you desire for your efforts.
Most Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems
Before we dive into the most common behavioral problems associated with German shepherds, I think its important to look at where the breed has actually come from.
Over the last century, German shepherds have been used for tracking, search and rescueespecially for the police and protection and guarding. So, its no surprise that a lot of the issues are in this exact area.
They have been intentionally bred for traits such as fierce loyalty, intelligence, and strength.
This leads to one of the first common problems for German shepherds, which revolves around aggression and the need to protect. Its very possible that an untrained German shepherd would be likely to bark or lunge at other dogs or people, especially on his own property.
Its not at all that this type of dog is being mean or nasty. In fact, from the dogs point of view, he believes hes just doing his job of protecting his family or territory.
Its a very, very common problem, and, at the end of the day, it is what the German shepherd has been bred to do a lot of the time.
The good newsthis behavior can be untrained. Or even better yet, if youre working with a German shepherd puppy or a young German shepherd, you can easily avoid this behavioral problem. And in case you are wondering, this does not automatically mean, that if you ever really do need help, that they wont rise to the occasion!
Once again, with some basic training and a good sturdy harness, this behavior can be easily prevented.
Aggressive German Shepherd/ Doberman Pinscher
My husband and I just got a 1 year old German Shepherd/ Doberman Pinscher mix and she absolutely adores us and respects us fairly well. Our problem is that she is extremely aggressive and vicious towards visitors and she wont listen when we tell her it is ok. She appears to be trying protecting us but we are not sure. We want her to be a good guard dog but also to accept the people we allow to come over. What are your suggestions?
You May Like: How Much Do Full Grown German Shepherds Weigh
How Can I Teach My German Shepherd Puppy To Be Ok On Their Own
Its a fair question and were here to help you see through those puppy dog eyes and help your puppy cope from the very beginning.
Take it slow: It works much better than trying to speed up the process. If they seem worried by you leaving, stay in view, and just pop right outside their confinement area.
Keep it short and sweet: No need to stay away for long, 60 seconds tops will do for now.
Repeat: Do this at least once a day to make progress go steady and smoothly.
What To Do When Your New Dog Plays Rough
Some dogs really enjoy rough-and-tumble play. The problem is that not all dogs enjoy this! Worse, many of the rough-and-tumble players arent good at reading the body language of their playmates when their friends arent having fun anymore.
As a human, its really hard to teach your dog appropriate play strategies.
Instead, I focus on finding a few friends for your dog so that they can learn to play well together.
Most dogs arent well-suited to the rave like atmosphere of a dog park. Theyre too easily excited or startled to be trusted with a ton of strangers.
Find your German Shepherd mix a few good friends who can both tell him when theyve had enough and enjoy his play style. Then schedule small play-dates with them instead of heading to the park!
Normal dog play can be pretty rough. If theres good back-and-forth between the dogs, then its generally ok.
Its ok if theres chasing, some play growling, some biting, and so on if both dogs are doing it.
But if one dog is doing all of the growling, chasing, tackling, body slamming, or biting, its not fair play! Time to interrupt by gently pulling the bully dog away. Use a back-clip harness for this.
A good way to test if everyone is having fun is to remove the rougher dog from the melee.
If the other dog returns and keeps trying to play, everyone is having fun and its all good.
If the other dog says, Phew! Thanks for getting me out of that! Then its time to find a new playmate.
Recommended Reading: Would A German Shepherd Beat A Pitbull
Training Goal #: Socialization
Puppies of all breeds have a critical socialization window that closes at 12 to 16 weeks of life, and your GSD puppy is no exception. In fact, for GSDs, who by nature are protective guardians, socialization is extra important so that your puppy learns which strangers are friendly and not a threat.
GSDs are very observant, and your puppy will pick up on your cues and reactions around new people and new situations. During this critical period, having exposure to many different kinds of people in non-threatening situations will help your puppy be confident among friendly strangers rather than fearful or aggressive. And even during times of social and physical distancing, you can still socialize your puppy safely.
Proper socialization cannot be overemphasized for this breed as Adams notes, The foundation for most training is confidence. It is critical that the GSD puppy is well socialized from an early age onward. Safely exposing the puppy to new sights, sounds, and smells is absolutely critical for development. Good socialization translates to confidence.
Certified dog trainer and CGC evaluator Jacqui Foster, CPDT-KA, echoes this sentiment: I tend to lean more towards developing self-confidence in the puppy. For this I recommend short, fun, three-minute games that engage the puppy with the owner as well as in noises, weird and uneven surfaces, family members, etc., throughout the day. A confident puppy is a happy puppy.
How Do You Properly Introduce Two German Shepherds
Although introducing your German Shepherd to another dog can be stressful, the good news is that this doesnt need to be a cause for stress. Taking some steps to ensure that the introduction goes as smoothly as possible is a good idea.
This video demonstrates how smoothly an introduction can go when done properly. Allowing the dogs to represent each others space is a vital part of making sure things go well.
According to the German Shepherd World, meeting in a neutral setting works best for these dogs. Examples include dog parks or someone elses yard.
Both dogs should be leashed for the best results. In fact, taking a walk together is one of the best ways to start the introduction. The dogs should be kept a healthy distance from each other during their walk to avoid any possible problems.
After the dogs have had a chance to rest for a moment after the walk. The dogs should be allowed to smell each other for a couple of minutes. After they do this, it should be safe to allow them to interact with the leashes still attached.
Watch the behavior of the German Shepherd Dogs very carefully. If you see behavior that indicates a willingness to play, like bowing or tail-wagging, encourage the dogs to play together gently to help them get better acquainted.
If the dogs show any signs of hostility, separate them, and only allow them to interact again after they have calmed down. For at least the first few days, you should make sure the German Shepherds are not left alone unattended.
Don’t Miss: German Shepherd Whines A Lot
Leash Training Tips And Tricks For German Shepherds
Whenever you take your German Shepherd out of the house, you should put them on a leash. In many places, its illegal to have a dog off-leash when outside the home. This is because many dogs have trouble behaving themselves when left to their own devices.
Harnesses are a safer alternative to collars. If your dog pulls on the leash, that constant pulling motion can wreak havoc on your dogs neck muscles and trachea. If you have to pull on your dog suddenly in an emergency, you could inadvertently injure your dogs neck if theyre wearing a collar.
Picking the right size harness for your dog is a little trickier than finding a well-fitting collar. Many brands give recommendations and measurements to help you make the right decision, but your best bet is to bring your German Shepherd to the store and have them try on the harness before you buy it.
The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is padded and has reflective strips sewn into it for nighttime use. Its breathable fabric makes it perfect for long days spent out in the heat.
For something a little more heavy-duty, theres the Convert Harness which is designed for hiking. Among other things, it allows you to add bags so your dog can carry their own food and water up the mountain.
No matter what kind of harness your German Shepherd wears, the real success during daily walks is dependent on training. Its important to establish who is boss. You want to walk your German Shepherd, not the other way around.
Regular Vet Checks For Health Problems
It is possible your GSD is house broken/trained, and knows it needs to go to the toilet outside.
But, there are health reasons which prevent this.
Bladder problems and infections could be the issue. Urinary incontinence can be a big problem in dogs where they lose control of their bladder.
Look for symptoms like unnaturally leaky and bloody urine. Irregularities in their poop can be a sign of a bowel or digestive problem.
Its very important not to skip your GSDs regular vet checks to make sure he or she is fully healthy.
Feed Your German Shepherd Regularly/have A Feeding Schedule
This one is important..both you and your German Shepherd should understand the feeding schedule of the house and how your GSDs body works in relation to pooping.
With the way their digestive system works, a German Shepherd dog or puppy will want/need to go potty to poop around 10 to 30 minutes after it has eaten.
It is a good habit to make in the first place, but if you are having real troubles with house training, you can simply put your GSD outside immediately after it has eaten for up to half an hour.
Feed him or her at the same times each day, and they will usually have to go potty outside at the same times each day. Its simple association.
It is even better if you are able to observe when your GSD goes to the toilet in this time, and give him or her a small treat and/or some praise immediately after .
You can even lead your GSD out to a particular spot outside each day after it has eaten to further reinforce potty training habits.
Bottom Line: Your Babys Safety Is No 1 Concern
When it comes to an initial introduction, its very important to review your puppys behavior. If youre noticing any problem behaviors intense smelling or nosing, barking, hyperactivity, jumping up or aggressiveness keep your baby away from the dog, until you can schedule a session with your trainer. A trainer can help to determine the cause of problematic behavior and provide actionable tips for reversing behaviors.
Do you need a training refresher to prepare your puppy for a new baby? Schedule a session with Misty Ridge today. We bring decades of German Shepherd training experience and can help you prepare for a successful family introduction.
You May Like: Why Does My German Shepherd Pant All The Time
How Old Is Diesel The 2 Year Old German Shepherd
This is diesel he is a 2 year old German shepherd X malamute. He is very excitable & has very little spacial awareness so wouldnt suit a home with a permanent We have a lovely litter of German shepherd X 1/4 husky pups three quarter German shepherd & quarter husky so more German shepherd a very intelligent quick to
Consider Safe Dog Anti
If your German Shepherd is chewing valuables, consider using safe anti-chew dog deterrents. These use an aversive association mechanism by causing your dog to associate the object with the deterrent that has an awful smell or taste, therefore, labeling it not good for chewing.
Follow these steps to create the aversive association:
Note that coupling the deterrent with another form of training that redirects your German Shepherd to chew permitted objects such as toys will be more effective in making your dog cease chewing your valuables.
Some of the anti-chew deterrent tastes/odors you could consider include those with a bitter apple/lemon flavor, apple cider vinegar, or cayenne pepper. However, be careful with the latter as although the pepper is not harmful to your dog if swallowed, it may irritate his eyes if he gets it on his paws and then rubs his face.
Introducing A New Dog To Your Household
Whether you choose to get a puppy from a responsible breeder or adopt a German Shepherd dog from a rescue group, the first two weeks for you and your new dog are a critical period of adjustment.
If your dog had a previous owner, this time could be particularly stressful for him or her. Here are some tips for a smoother transition for new dog owners.
Keeping Four Paws On The Floor
Puppies jump up for many reasons. Life is good, what can they do? Its perfectly normal and natural behaviour but its not something we want to encourage since it wont be so cute when they do so as adults.
How to do it
- Lets prevent jumping up by asking your puppy to sit when you know its likely theyll jump up. Do it just before, just like youre beating them to the jump.
- Dont get cross or punish them if your puppy jumps up, theyre just trying to show us that they love us! Its kind of lovely they like to do that to be honest.
- Heres an important tip. Remember that everyone in your household MUST do this, otherwise its confusing for your puppy and they will keep trying to do it!
You May Like: Long Haired Gsd Puppy
Training A German Shepherd Puppy At 8 To 12 Weeks Old Yes You Can
A GSD pup of 8 to 12 weeks of age or older still needs positive reinforcement for the best behavior changes. Disciplining your GSD should not involve hitting, kicking, slapping, intimidation, or yelling. But you can and SHOULD start training a German Shepherd puppy when they first arrive home with you.
Do you want your German Shepherd puppy to stop their unwanted, bad behavior and turn into the sweet angel you want them to be?
Then follow these easy disciplining and training tips thatll keep your relationship with your dog strong, while still overcoming bad behavior. You can easily learn how to train a German Shepherd puppy if you work smarter
How To Train Your German Shepherd Puppy Not To Jump
While having your German Shepherd puppy jump up enthusiastically is cute when they are little, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. A 20-pound puppy may be unlikely to knock you over a 100-pound adult is another story.
Luckily, teaching your pup not to jump isnt rocket science. Its a matter of conditioning. The first step in training your German Shepherd pup to keep calm when they greet you is to set the mood: if you are relaxed, your puppy will learn to be relaxed as well.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep greetings low-key. Greeting your puppy enthusiastically and loudly is a great way to encourage them to jump up. Instead, come in the front door quietly and wait a minute or so before saying hello to your pup.
- If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. Resist the urge to pet them. Petting them when they jump up reinforces the negative behavior. Turning away from them when they jump will show them that jumping does not get your attention.
- Only pay attention to your dog when theyre sitting. As soon as you get in the door, tell your dog to sit, and only reward them with attention when theyve done so.
- Be patient. Because your German Shepherd pup is so happy to see you when you walk in the door, it may take them a while to realize that they will only get the attention they want when all four paws are on the floor.
Don’t Miss: Taping German Shepherd Ears