Welcome to the German Shepherd Club! Word has it you’ve picked up your new puppy and now you’re looking for information on German Shepherd training? Well you’ve come to the right place, we’re going to teach all you need to know about how to train a German Shepherd Puppy

German Shepherds are special because they’re such hard workers! They’re even in the ‘working dog’ group, says something doesn’t it? It means they’re quick to learn and easy to train, they’ll relish being in a partnership with someone and enjoy clear loving guidance. They’re known for their loyalty and bravery but are also actually super sensitive awww. 

Prerequisites for training my German Shepherd puppy?

What age can I start to train my German Shepherd puppy?

You can start to train your German Shepherd puppy as soon as you get them home from the breeders – the younger the better. They are like sponges at this age and will take every single thing on board.  Enjoy watching their super cute head tilts.

What do I need to train my German Shepherd Puppy?

To train your German Shepherd puppy you won’t need a lot of equipment but we do recommend

  • A collar and ID tags – it’s a legal requirement in many places for dogs to wear ID and don’t want you getting in trouble with your new puppy! 
  • A harness – this can be useful for lead walking and is more comfortable for your puppy than walking on a lead
  • A 2m training lead  – you’ll see these often used with German Shepherds; they have rings along the length of the lead so you can alter it to the length you want. Check out our article on favourite puppy training leads.
  • Treats – you can also use some of your German Shepherd puppy’s regular food to train, they have a strong work ethic so usually aren’t too fussy, but why not check out our reviews of healthy puppy treats here.
  • Toys – German Shepherds are very toy motivated, they just love to play, the big goofy clowns. Not sure what kind of toys they’ll like? Have a look at our top picks for puppy toys.

Good to know about training German Shepherd puppies

Are German Shepherds easy to train?

With the right information and a risk-free environment, German Shepherds are easy to train due to their high intelligence and obedience. Some even consider them to be easier to train than other breeds because they can learn quickly and easily retain lessons.

How much exercise does a German Shepherd need? German Shepherd exercise needs include a minimum of two hours of exercise. This should be spread across a few separate sessions a day. Exercise should include walking, play time, and a bit of training. It’s important to note that puppies and seniors will need less exercise.

What are German Shepherds bred for?

The name says it all. They were originally bred to herd sheep, and to be big and noisy enough to keep predators out. We might think of them being the ultimate police dog since they’re so great at protecting and searching but deep down, they still have the instincts to move sheep around.

Alsatians vs German Shepherds – what’s the difference?

Absolutely nothing! Before World War 2, the UK and Europe called German Shepherds Alsatians due to the region they came from – the German French border area of Alsace-Lorraine. In the US, the “German Shepherd” name stuck across the world.  

German Shepherd Behaviours 

German Shepherds have some classic behaviours associated with them – namely the need to protect and being triggered by movement – not in a bad way. They just get kind of activated by something moving around.

You should know these two are perfectly normal behaviours as they’re intrinsically rewarding – this means it’s so embedded into their DNA that it just feels that good to do them. 

PRO TIP: Many German Shepherd owners will see these normal natural behaviours as problem behaviours. Lunging at a car or barking at a stranger does look like a problem to us, right? 

But there’s no need to stress. The key is to give them an opportunity to practice, manage and train them in day-to-day life from the get go with breed-specific training so all things you see as problems, flutter away. 

When do German Shepherds calm down? It’s known that German Shepherd puppies and adolescents can be a bit crazy and hyperactive. After 6-12 months of age, they should calm down a lot but they will continue to be hyperactive until about 2 years old, though not to the extent it was before.

When do German Shepherd’s calm down?

So, what do you do if your German Shepherd is hyperactive during their puppy and adolescent stage? We’ve got some tips to calm a German Shepherd down.

  1. Show them your calm demeanour (e.g., no big movements, a low voice and draw out the sound of your commands)
  2. Ensure you’re exercising your pooch in a risk-free zone
  3. Don’t pay attention to hyperactivity – they will see this as a reward
  4. On the flip side, make sure to reward calm behaviour with attention, praise and the occasional treat

What does this have to do with how I train my German Shepherd?

It’s a fair question actually. A dog is a dog is a dog right? But knowing the context and breed characteristics might help you train your German Shepherd puppy better and understand why they do certain things the way they do.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

  • German Shepherds love to work and are extremely trainable.
  • They are incredibly loyal and have strong (but fun) personalities.
  • They often feel a strong bond with one person. It takes a village to raise a dog though, so try your best to get the whole family involved in training.
  • They are a large breed and need training in order to be manageable. Wouldn’t want your German Shepherd as an adult to be jumping up at strangers at the park. Don’t want to make scene! 
  • They have high (…perhaps even more than high) energy levels and require a lot of exercise and active home life – they’re definitely not the kinds of dogs who’d enjoy becoming a couch potato.
  • German Shepherd puppies need lots of exposure to the wonders of the outside world when they’re young as their socialisation window is often shorter than other breeds. There’s more about this below.
  • This is a good one for you to prepare for: They probably won’t lose that guarding and herding instinct completely. Actually, it simply just won’t happen. Because of this, it’s much better to give them an appropriate outlet so they won’t feel like barking or chasing anything that moves. 
  • They generally prefer to live in the countryside where there’s room to run, and space to imagine a life of protecting sheep on a hillside. They will also adapt to city life, as long as you remember every day is a school day for them to learn new things, and provide plenty of mental stimulation.
  • They have a strong sense of smell, so they’ll always be thrilled to play a game of tracking or searching. 
  • Given their love for sports and adrenaline-filled bodies, they will be quite happy going out in all weathers and getting filthy in the mud. So yes, this also means you’ll be getting wet, caught in thunderstorms or gale-force winds. But your German Shepherd must. Go. Out.
  • Don’t let their police background fool you – German Shepherds are often affectionate and have worked for the praise of shepherds for years. Give them lots of encouragement to feed their soft side as well.
  • They are sensitive dogs who thrive on human company – make sure you do lots of alone time exercises when they’re young to help prevent Separation Related Problems (it’s all in the Zigzag app).

PRO TIP: If your German Shepherd puppy switches off or starts acting silly (often a sign of stress) they may resort to doing what they know best – nipping or barking. Shift to some play, let them have some downtime and revisit training later – we want training to be associated with fun, and not something they begin to dread. 

Can a German Shepherd be left alone?

German Shepherds cannot be left alone for longer than 4 hours a day. They’re bored easily and will take entertainment in problematic behaviours like digging, scratching, chewing, and barking. Similarly, German Shepherd puppies cannot be left alone for longer than 2 hours.

How do I socialise a German Shepherd puppy and why is it important?

All puppies have a socialisation window. This is a sensitive period where they’re the most eager to learn about the world and make connections that affect how they view things, often for the rest of their lives.

Within this period of time, there’s another one called “the Fear Period”. This is where puppies learn to interpret hazards – for example, children, loud noises, or unfamiliar surfaces. In German Shepherds, the time they have to interpret these hazards is shorter than other breeds so you must socialise them early so you don’t run into any trouble later.  Studies say that German Shepherd puppies are more afraid of new objects and sounds than other breeds. Ironic isn’t it, that they’re often in charge of saving us from danger. 

Here are easy ways to socialise your German Shepherd puppy:

  • Find out what your breeder is doing to socialise your puppy before they leave them – good puppy socialisation programmes to send them are Puppy Culture and Avidog.
  • Follow the exercises in this training article (don’t want to brag, but we give great advice). 
  • Don’t be afraid to take your puppy out before they are vaccinated, but do it safely! German Shepherd puppies get quite big and hefty, so why not be like Yogi Bear here (owned by my friend and colleague dog trainer Marie Miller) and invest in a carriage for your puppy to keep them safe? Save your arms from working extra hard. 

At Zigzag, we’re of the opinion that the benefits of early socialisation outweigh the risks of disease when exposing unvaccinated puppies to the outdoors. We’re not alone in this though, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior agrees!

Overview of the training programme and topics we’ll cover

So, you wanted the Ultimate guide to training a German Shepherd puppy, didn’t you? Well over the next 8 weeks we’ll be covering how to teach your German Shepherd all about

  • Sitting
  • Lying down
  • Learning their name
  • Coming when you call them
  • Walking nicely on a lead
  • Playing fetch
  • Sleeping in their crate
  • Coping with being left alone
  • Going to the toilet in the right place 
  • Teaching your German Shepherd puppy to not bark

Push Drop Stick is a great way of increasing difficulty when training in a systematic way – keeping things more interesting will be essential for ensuring your German Shepherd is happy and healthy. 

We told you that German Shepherds have a strong work ethic, didn’t we? That also means they can get bored easily. We’re all about having happy dogs with a zest for life here at Zigzag, so it’s only natural that we’d suggest training in the same way.

We can achieve better and faster results and avoid boredom and frustration by adopting the ‘Push Drop Stick’ approach to steadily increase the difficulty of exercises.

You repeat the same exercise 5 times; if you get all 5 correct, you should go on to the next level of difficulty (push); if you get 3 or 4 correct, you should stay put (stick); if you only get 1 or 2 right, you should drop back to a slightly easier level of difficulty.

Week 1 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

Sleep training with your German Shepherd puppy shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They’re sensitive souls and like to know where you are so don’t worry if they sleep in your bedroom for the first few weeks. You can always get them to sleep where you want once they’re more settled. Check out our articles on how to get a puppy to sleep through the night and Puppy night-time routine to learn more.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Let your puppy explore the garden
– Teach your puppy about surfaces
– Name
– Sit
– Recall
– Retrieve
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Alone Training
– Quiet Training
– Brushing
– Hand Touch

Sleep training with your German Shepherd puppy shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They’re sensitive souls and like to know where you are so don’t worry if they sleep in your bedroom for the first few weeks. You can always get them to sleep where you want once they’re more settled. Check out our articles on how to get a puppy to sleep through the night and Puppy night-time routine to learn more.

German Shepherds like to be around people, but they can also cope quite well on their own. We just need to start them off early and make sure you keep doing something to work on this every day. No training happens overnight, and alone time training is no different. We’ve gone into more details on how you do this in our puppy alone training article.

Training your German Shepherd puppy to go to the toilet where you want them to should be a breeze. They are not usually difficult to toilet train as they like to do anything they can to make you happy. Check out our article on puppy toilet training and it will be ‘simples’ in no time.

German Shepherds are a little special when it comes to puppy socialisation, they tend to be more sensitive in a shorter period of time, and as we mentioned before have a smaller socialisation window than other breeds. 

This week we recommend

  • Letting your German Shepherd puppy explore the garden
  • Teach your puppy about surfaces
  • Taking them out in a bag or a stroller to learn about the world

You can also check out our step by step socialisation programme in the Zigzag app for more information – it’s personalised specifically for your breed, download and start your trial today!

Your German Shepherd is going to love training, but don’t rush it! No need to do more than the basics so early on, instead focus on socialisation and confidence-building type exercises. (You can find more of these in our Zigzag app

This week you’ll be working on  

Preventing resource guarding

German Shepherd puppies are not usually too much of a problem with resource guarding, they like to engage with you so do lots of ‘fetch and drop’ games with them so they learn to always give things up without issue.

All puppies need work with handling and brushing and your German Shepherd puppy will likely be no different. Make it a fun positive experience so that hands coming towards them are always a positive thing. Oh and use lots of treats!

This week focuses on 

  • Handling your puppy 
  • Brushing your puppy – that mane should be looking gorgeous we hope

Week 2 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

Week 2 has arrived, and the fun has officially begun; how are you progressing with training your German Shepherd puppy? This week, we’ll focus on socialisation and habituation, with a particular emphasis on novelty and noises.

Training – There are many new things to learn and teach your German Shepherd puppy, and they will devour everything.

Husbandry – Yes, that coat is certainly in need of some TLC by now, so we’ll go to work on that glossy mane.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Fireworks
– Watch the world go by outside your house
– Play dress up
– Sit in the car
– Invite friends over
– Alone Training
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Name – in garden
– Recall – cue word
– Fetch
– Drop
-Sit – add a cue word
– Lead walking
– Grooming

As we mentioned before German Shepherds are a particularly sensitive breed when it comes to socialisation, so do keep up with these tasks so that your puppy is confident when they’re older and able to adapt to new situations. 

  • Fireworks – Because German Shepherds can be sensitive to noises, start them on a low volume and create positive associations by pairing them with rewards.
  • Watch the world go by – educating German Shepherds that there is a noisy world out there is vital so that it doesn’t come as a surprise later on. Remember to carry them using a stroller or dog buggy if they’re not fully vaccinated yet.
  • Playing dress-up is something for adults to do, not for your German Shepherd! Wearing hats, and scarves, using crutches or a walking frame will create a vision of a ‘strange’ appearing human, which your German Shepherd puppy will learn isn’t so terrifying if introduced correctly.
  • Get started with the car. There’s no need to embark on a long road trip just now; simply show them that the vehicle is an enjoyable place to be. Feed them some food and let them play for the time being.
  • Alone training – aim to progress on this week by week so that it’s not an issue when your German Shepherd is older.
  • Crate training – this is worth persevering with and done methodically so that your German Shepherd puppy loves their ‘den’!
  • Teach them their name in the garden – we need to practice in different locations, it keeps things interesting, and means they’ll respond anywhere!
  • Recall training: add a cue word
  • Fetch and drop: Your German Shepherd puppy is going to go bonkers chasing down toys and then bringing them back to you. Even though they aren’t natural retrievers, they enjoy the chase the most – it gives them an outlet for their fiery need to chase things.
  • Sit – add a cue word
  • Introduce lead walking training
  • Brushing your puppy: Here’s some good news; German Shepherd coats are fairly low maintenance as dog coats can go. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enjoy a bit of pampering. Brushing is a great activity to do to bond with your puppy too – they can feel your care through your soft strokes.

Week 3 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

It’s already week 3. We’ll go through the following subjects this week:

  • Create a socialisation checklist that is unique to you and your circumstances.
  • How to teach your German Shepherd puppy not to jump up
  • Fitting a harness to your German Shepherd puppy in preparation for “walkies”!
Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining Exercises to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Scent Trails
– Go for a drive
– Invite Friends Over
– Write a puppy socialisation checklist
– Recall – outside in the garden
– Four Paws on the floor – Not Jumping up
– Down
– Generalisation
– Alone Training
– Harness fitting
  • Scent trails – German Shepherds certainly have a nose for it! Get that tracking nose working!
  • Invite friends over – no need to overwhelm your puppy but they can learn that people other than you are nice too.
  • Go for a drive with your puppy – let them explore the world a little, and get a bit more used to travelling.
  • Write a puppy socialisation checklist for your German Shepherd puppy: As a German Shepherd owner, let us advise you to teach them how to keep calm around livestock when they’re young – especially if you live in the countryside. Don’t want any angry neighbours yelling at you for your puppy making their sheep go ballistic (pun intended). In all seriousness though, it’s illegal for dogs to worry sheep. We’re sure you don’t want to get in trouble with the real police dogs.
  • Recall: teaching your puppy to come when called, outside
  • Stop your puppy jumping up – this is important with a large dog such as a German Shepherd
  • Generalisation – different locations
  • Teach your puppy to lie down – your German Shepherd puppy will ace this one
  • Alone training – keep on working on this
  • Harness fitting for a puppy – You’ll be fitting a harness on your German Shepherd puppy this week. Choosing a puppy harness might be challenging, there are so many on the market, but here are our suggestions when you’re trying to choose.
  • A Y shape so that any pressure is distributed evenly across the body rather than being concentrated on the neck or across the chest, where movement is restricted.
  • One with no moving parts – they should never tighten or pinch!
  • Lightweight – Because German Shepherd pups are sensitive, especially when they’re small, the harness should not be overly hefty or have cumbersome buckles.
  • Made of soft material – fleece lined is even better!
  • Long enough in the back and doesn’t bunch up under their arms. 
  • Our favourite harnesses for German Shepherds are the Perfect Fit fleece-lined harness and the True Love harness

More can be found in our article on Harnesses and the Zigzag Puppy app.

Week 4 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

Week 4, it’s been a whole month since you started training your German Shepherd puppy. 

To keep things fresh we’ll introduce some new ideas such as 

  • Push/Drop/Stick – making exercise more difficult
  • Time to start teaching loose lead walking 
  • Settle
  • Meeting another dog
  • Grooming sensitive areas – this will be an important one to get the hang of as your German Shepherd will shed quite a lot of hair!
  • Looking for a Puppy Class – this is a fun one.
Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Meet another dog
– Find a puppy class
– Settle on a mat
– Lead walking
– Recall games
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Grooming sensitive areas
  • Meeting another dog – ​​isn’t only about your puppy running about like a wild thing, but also about your puppy learning to focus on you while another dog is there, as well as being comfortable in another dog’s presence. Calm older dogs are good for this one.
  • Find a good puppy class for your puppy 

PRO TIP: For German Shepherd puppies, it’s truly worthwhile finding a puppy trainer or attending a puppy socialisation class. They have a long list of brilliant advantages, some of the best ones being that you’ll get fresh ideas of all things training, and a happy trainer to help you with any problems you might be having. They will also help you keep track of your puppy’s improvement, and make sure that the difficulty is always right so your puppy is kept on their toes and eager to learn. 

Most importantly for German Shepherd puppies, it will give you a chance to work with them around other people, and different dogs from a young age.

  • Settle on a mat German Shepherds are incredibly curious, which can make it difficult for them to relax while out and about. They’re a bit ‘bark first ask questions later’ Do a lot of settle training and teach them to quiet down so they can be as cool as a cucumber when you’re out and about.
  • Lead walking – no one wants a large breed of dog pulling them down the street, so be sure you teach loose lead walking and how about some heelwork too? 
  • Recall games – Play a game of tennis with your pooch!  Calling them from person to person with treats on either side. This, plus lots of additional recall games, may be found in our article 50+ training games.
  • Get started with grooming and brushing sensitive areas – In long-haired German Shepherds, this is typically the case with the face, legs, and ears, which become tangled the most and may hurt when brushed. Remember to brush carefully, do a little bit of brushing on a sensitive area while feeding them treats or letting them have a lickimat, and then brush an easier to brush area. Furminators are good for getting out dead hair, don’t go overboard though, we don’t want a bald puppy!

Week 5 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

Week 5 already, what quirks have you spotted in your German Shepherd?

We’re going to be taking the lead walking and recall training outside – you’ll be grateful for the harness you taught your German Shepherd puppy to wear for this bit. If you think this training is as easy as ‘a walk in the park,’ think again. For the time being, it’s all about training a puppy to learn how to walk properly and how to react to what’s going on around them.

For socialisation, start working on items that are vital to your lifestyle this week, such as if you have a horse and want your puppy to be comfortable with horses, or if you enjoy sailing, having them near water will be important to you. Getting your puppy exposed to new experiences early on can help them accept them much more easily.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Go to the pub – you deserve it!
– Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist
– Alone Training
– Recall – outside using a lead
– Lead walking – outside
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend nail clips
– Grooming
  • Go to the pub/dog-friendly café – you deserve it! Remember that settle training you did before, take your mat and get your German Shepherd puppy to settle on it with a nice stuffed kong.
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – doesn’t matter which, just keep up the momentum.
  • Alone training: increasing time alone is important for your puppy. It gives them essential coping skills.
  • Recall – Practise this outside, using a lead,  and lots of rewards. It’s also a good idea to consider how you’ll deal with distractions; if your puppy is particularly sensitive to the cooing of other dog walkers, or if they’re particularly interested in other dogs, you’ll need to make yourself the BEST thing in the park, and probably use a long line until you’ve done a bit more training.
  • Lead walking – Take this outside. It takes some time to master loose lead walking, but with practice and patience, you’ll get there. Make sure you keep a strong pace going, since German Shepherds enjoy walking quickly, and praise often to keep your puppy interested.
  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises – yes let’s get those little brains going and make things trickier!
  • Pretend Nail Clips – simply holding a claw, pretending to clip, and rewarding your puppy with a treat is enough. Don’t force this, because we’ll want to do it for real shortly.

Week 6 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

It’s time to start truly honing your puppy’s skill set and talents; you’ve come a long way in just 6 weeks!

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist– Following on walks
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Check puppy’s mouth
  • Tick 3 more items off your socialisation checklist – make sure your German Shepherd puppy is getting a well-rounded education in all of those sights and sounds.
  • Following on walks – Bring special toys, like the Tug-E-Nuff Pocket tugger, with you on walks to ensure your German Shepherd puppy enjoys hanging out with you. Playing with them will make you irresistible!
  • Push/drop/stick – work on the basics but make them harder.
  • Start checking your puppy’s mouth and their teeth – This may seem unusual to your puppy, but their teeth will be falling out shortly, and it’s crucial to keep an eye on what’s going on inside in case they’ve kept any baby teeth.

Week 7 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

The 7-week itch! Nah not really. I bet your German Shepherd puppy is doing wonderfully and growing rapidly! It’s crucial to remember that while they may be physically growing quickly, they are still babies psychologically for a long time, so be kind and don’t expect too much too soon. 

In Week 7 we’ll explore

  • Puppy Agility – yes you can start already – yippee!
  • Walking with a friends dog
  • Practising recall off lead
  • Checking their ears and teaching them that ear drops are ok
Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Puppy Parkour
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Wait
– Walk with a friend’s dog
– Recall – off the lead
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend ear drops
  • Have a go at puppy agility – yes you can start some exercises already, though jumping isn’t recommended until they’re a year old.
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – How about taking your German Shepherd to a city farm, letting them watch from afar and rewarding them for being such a calm puppy?
  • Teach your German Shepherd puppy to stay – this will be a great one to show off at the park, trust us.
  • Go for a walk with a friend’s dog – We know you can’t wait to ‘be a dog parent’ and go on those nice weekend walks with your friends. So, first, take a walk with a dog that your German Shepherd puppy has already met. At first, it may be difficult for your puppy not to get distracted, so keep the rewards coming and try to keep them interested in you, rather than the other dog!
  • Recall – off the lead Make sure you do this in a secure and confined area and bring plenty of smelly treats, a fun toy to play with, and your silly high-pitched voice so you can call your German Shepherd puppy back regularly.
  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises – You have to keep things interesting since puppy brains are like sponges, so don’t make it too simple for them. Remember, German Shepherds enjoy learning!
  • Pretend ear drops: Some German Shepherd puppies have particularly hairy ears where all kinds of things can build up if we’re not careful. This makes some prone to ear problems because they spend so much time playing in water and rolling the mud, so make sure to clean and dry your puppy’s ears regularly.
  • Preventative exercises such as (pretend) ear and eye drop training can be of great help to teach your puppy that using them isn’t a big deal. When the day comes when you actually use them it won’t be so tricky as they’ll be fully ready for them. 

Week 8 – Training your German Shepherd puppy

It’s the final week of our guide on how to train a german shepherd puppy – two months already! Let’s teach them some new tricks. 

  • All about Joggers and Cyclists and no they shouldn’t be chasing them 
  • Generalising exercises and behaviours in different places
  • Searching and using their nose
  • Not to worry about nail trims
Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Joggers and Cyclists
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Practice exercises in different locations
– Teach a hand target
– Introduce nose work
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Nail trims
  • Joggers and Cyclists: People who exercise can (and probably will) trigger your German Shepherd to go into that eye–stalk–chase sequence. We know joggers could do a good job at running away, but it’s still not an ideal situation to get into. You’ll want to pay extra attention to this!
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – maybe take your German Shepherd for a swimming lesson?
  • Practice exercises in different locations – how about a train station, or in a shopping centre or mall?
  • Teach a hand target  – This is a favourite among pups and their owners. Hand Targeting or touching is the foundation for additional trick behaviours like leg weaving and closing doors.
  • Introducing nose work to your puppy – We mean it when we say your German Shepherd puppy has a better nose than you! Play a game of hide and seek with their favourite toy to bring out those excellent search skills.
  • Trim your German Shepherd puppy’s claws – It’s time to trim their claws – use a pair created specifically for claws as they’re rather tough!
  • Make sure you use lots of treats and only snip the ends; there’s no need to go too low and risk catching the quick (that’s the vein that runs through a dog’s claw; cutting it hurts and seems to bleed a lot!)

What’s next for your German Shepherd puppy?

Involving yourself in a Dog Sports Club and teaching your German Shepherd all the good stuff like agility, treibball (that’s code for herding balls) flyballhoopers or anything similar with positive reinforcement will be the way to go to keep your German Shepherd’s brain ticking.

While your German Shepherd is young, it’s also worth working through other life skills and obedience training – like the ones we offer in the Zigzag app. Not only will it keep their brain nice and fresh, but it will also make you look extra snazzy at the park…having them do all these crazy tricks will surely make people think you’re some sort of magician. Looking for more great puppy training tips? Check out our overview of when to start teaching your puppy anything, next.