Dog Behavior

German Shepherd Puppy Training: The Surprising Truth About When to Start

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility in various roles, from family pets to service dogs. Their keen minds mean they’re quick learners, but this also implies that they pick up both good and bad behaviors rapidly. So, when is the right time to begin molding your German Shepherd into the well-behaved companion you desire?

The Perfect Time to Begin Training a German Shepherd Puppy

Ideally, training should commence as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. This age recommendation may seem premature, but it’s worth remembering that puppies are like sponges, soaking in everything from their surroundings. Between 8 to 16 weeks, known as the ‘critical period of socialization,’ puppies are incredibly receptive to stimuli, making it a golden period for training.

At this age, German Shepherds can already start learning basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” However, the training sessions should be brief, given a puppy’s limited attention span. Aim for sessions lasting 5-10 minutes and always conclude with positive reinforcement, ensuring your pup associates learning with positive experiences.

Consequences of Delayed Training for a German Shepherd Puppy

Postponing your German Shepherd’s training can lead to various behavioral issues, given the breed’s natural intelligence and energy:

  1. Aggression: German Shepherds, due to their history as herding and guard dogs, can exhibit aggressive tendencies. Without early socialization and boundaries, this can escalate into problematic behavior.
  2. Excessive Barking: This breed can become vocal, especially when they’re bored, anxious, or trying to alert their owner. Without early training on when it’s appropriate to bark, this can become a persistent issue.
  3. Jumping Up: Due to their enthusiasm and size, German Shepherds can inadvertently knock over children or elderly family members by jumping up in excitement.
  4. Separation Anxiety: German Shepherds are known to bond deeply with their families. Without training on being alone, they can develop separation anxiety, leading to destructive behavior when left by themselves.
  5. Poor Leash Behavior: An untrained German Shepherd can be a handful on walks, pulling on the leash, or being reactive to other dogs and people.

Early intervention and consistent training can prevent or alleviate these issues, ensuring that your German Shepherd matures into a well-adjusted adult.

The Merits of Online Dog Training for Your German Shepherd Puppy

Online dog training has surged in popularity and for good reason. For German Shepherd owners, there are two standout benefits:

  1. Flexibility and Adaptability: Unlike traditional dog training classes that operate on fixed schedules, online courses offer unparalleled flexibility. Whether you’re a night owl, an early bird, or can only spare a few minutes during your lunch break, online training caters to your schedule. This flexibility is crucial for busy families or individuals, ensuring that your German Shepherd’s training isn’t compromised by other commitments.
  2. Diverse Expert Insights: The digital realm offers access to a plethora of dog training experts from across the globe. This means that you’re not limited to the methodologies or expertise of your local trainers. You can learn from renowned professionals, benefit from their years of experience, and even gain insights into specialized training methods tailored for German Shepherds.

Additionally, many online platforms foster communities of dog lovers. As a participant, you can pose questions, share your puppy’s progress, and gain support from fellow German Shepherd enthusiasts. This sense of community can be instrumental, especially during challenging phases of your dog’s growth and learning.

The Only 2 Online Puppy Training Courses We Recommend

1. SpiritDog’s Ultimate Puppy Bundle (BEST BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION)

This comprehensive online puppy training program, designed by experienced trainer Steffi Trott, aims to help dog owners raise a well-behaved, social, and friendly puppy. The course provides lifetime access to over 70 lessons, including videos and an exclusive eBook, with a focus on critical behaviors like biting, potty training, and chewing. Participants can learn at their own pace from home, with the ability to ask unlimited questions to professional trainers. The program promises noticeable improvements in puppy behavior with just 10 minutes of practice per day. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, lifetime personal support, and seven bonus mini-courses covering specific issues like hyperactivity and separation anxiety.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass” (BEST OVERALL)

In addition to basic puppy training, this more comprehensive training class tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog. It’s made in a very easy-to-follow video format.


In wrapping up, the key to a well-behaved German Shepherd is early and consistent training. Starting from 7-8 weeks and leveraging the advantages of online training platforms can set your dog up for success. The result? A loyal, obedient, and joyful German Shepherd that’s a delight to have as part of your family.

The iHeartDogs Ask a Vet tool gives you access to verified veterinarians 24/7. Get professional help for your pup and feed shelter dogs now.

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