29 Essential German Shepherd Training Commands

This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation (at no cost to you) when you purchase from my links, which I’ll totally blow on stuff for my dogs, y’all! You can read my full disclosure here.

Training Commands for German Shepherds

Above all else, training your dog should be fun for both of you!

Teaching your German Shepherd training commands is second only to potty training and a ‘soft mouth’.

It should also be fun!

I’ve had several requests for a post on German Shepherd training commands in German.

So, I’ve arranged a special download for you!  It’s recorded in German by my friend Anna!  So be sure to read until the end…

As a dog owner, you decide what commands to teach your dog.  But in general training commands are standard for all thorough dog training.

An important point to remember is that we can’t expect our dogs to know what we want if we haven’t taught them.  This is the essence of any kind of dog training.

I think you’ll agree when I say, you want the best out of your German Shepherd.  So first you need to understand how dogs understand training commands and how to make training commands effective.

Do you want to train your German Shepherd with love?  Check out these kind, force-free training programs.

Consider this study published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology…

Dogs don’t just perceive a command as a physical sound.  But are able to recognize a relationship between certain sounds.

So how does this relate to how you teach your German Shepherd training commands?

The 2 Key Strategy to effective German Shepherd training commands

Top 29 German Shepherd Training Commands

TRUST

“Trust is built with consistency”. This is a quote by Lincoln Chafee. This is essential in dog training.

Be consistent when teaching your German Shepherd training commands.

This will ensure that your dog trusts your commands and establishes you as a good leader. Deviation will reduce your dog’s response.

KISS

Keep it short and simple. Dogs don’t care for ‘correct grammar’ and respond better to short commands that are simple and to the point. Avoid ‘filler’ words like; ‘and’, ‘the’ and ‘on’.

For example; use the word ‘kennel’ instead of ‘go to your kennel’.

Training commands fall into 2 main categories:

  • Basic obedience commands.  These commands are useful for on-leash and off-leash training sessions.  your German Shepherd will likely master each of these with 20 to 30 repetitions over 3 or 4 training sessions.

Teach the basic obedience commands first.  Once your German Shepherd has mastered these, you can move on to the more advanced commands.

  • Advanced obedience commands.  These commands are used in trick training, agility, and working situations.  They are also useful on-leash or off-leash.  Your dog will need more time to master these commands and regular refresher sessions.

20 basic obedience training commands…

  • Attention! – your dog should focus on you, waiting for the next command.
  • Here – your dog should position himself in front of you or at your side.  Usually accompanied with a hand gesture.
  • Heel – your dog should walk at your side.
  • Sit – your dog should sit either on- or off-leash.
  • Stay – your dog should stay on the spot where he is on- or off-leash.
  • Down – your dog should go into the down position.  Could be a ‘working down or a ‘relaxed down’.
  • Come – used to call or recall your dog on- or off-leash.
  • Stand – your dog should stand from either the down or sit position.
  • Go out – your dog should leave the room.
  • Go inside – your dog should enter the room.
  • Let go – your dog should drop any item in his mouth.
  • Kennel/Crate – your dog should climb into his crate or kennel.
  • Good! – usually paired with a treat or play when executing a command correctly.
  • Good dog! – used as praise when performing executing the command correctly.  Usually accompanied with physical attention like patting or a nice scratch.
  • No – immediately interrupt your dog from doing something – should always be used in a gentle tone.
  • Don’t do that – similar to ‘no’ but can be too long-winded.
  • OK – indicating to your dog that the situation is safe or in order.
  • Eat food – your dog has permission to begin eating.
  • Stand still – usually used for off-leash training.  Your dog should stop dead in his tracks in the stand position.
  • Leave it – stop your dog from picking up an object.

9 advanced obedience training commands…

  • Fetch – your dog should fetch the desired item.  Could be the newspaper, your slippers or a ball.
  • Jump – your dog should jump over or through an object. For example a low wall, a hoop or into water.
  • Track – your dog should track the desired item or person.
  • Guard – your dog should be watchful and alert around something like an item, door, person or gate.
  • Bite – your dog should hold onto or bite into an object.
  • Speak/Bark – your dog should bark on command.
  • Quiet – your dog should stop barking on command.
  • Go ahead – your dog should go ahead of you.  Used during agility competitions.
  • Article search – similar to ‘track’.  your dog should search for a lost item.

German Shepherd Training Commands AdvancedDog training is constant – you’re training them even when you think you’re not.

Keep in mind, a lot of training will happen during your daily interactions with your dog and consistency is still important here.

But short refresher sessions are essential.  These short sessions will keep your dog from becoming ‘rusty’

4 Key takeaways for teaching your German Shepherd training commands:

  • Always be consistent.  Use the same words each time.
  • We can’t expect our dogs to know what we want without teaching them first.
  • Keep your commands short and simple.
  • Do regular short refresher training sessions to avoid a decline in your dog’s response.

And now for the special download…

Here you can download an audio recording of how to pronounce all of these commands in German.  My friend Anna is a native German speaker, so you’ll be getting it from the horse’s mouth so to speak!  You can also download a text file so you can follow along with the audio.

How to Download These Files

Audio File:

Click the “Audio” link below and use the 3 dots next to the volume control to download this file to your computer.

Text File:

Right-click the links below and select “Save as” to download the file to your computer.

German Shepherd Training Commands – Audio.

German Shepherd Training Commands – Text

Is your GSD still jumping on you and your guests?  Check out this article to learn the best way to stop jumping behavior.

If your puppy needs new toys, you might be interested in these safe and durable toys.

  • Joseph

    I’ve always wanted to teach my dog commands in German!

    We’re getting a German shepherd puppy in a few weeks once he’s old enough to be taken from his mum. We also have another german shepherd, Laika, she’s 4 years old. Do you think it’s too late to start teaching her commands in German? I’d like them to both know commands in German. Please let me know your advice.

    Thanks for the great download in this article!
    Joe

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for stopping by, I’m pleased you found the audio download useful!

      Ohhh, how exciting, a new puppy! You should check out the puppy section.

      Yes, retraining Laika with new commands in German is possible. But you must be prepared to start over with a clean slate. She already knows the behaviors which is a big plus point, now you’ll just have to pair them with the new German word. It’s going to take time for her to become fluid with the new commands so you’ll need patience. But she is a German Shepherd after all – they are fast learners!

      My suggestion is to teach each dog one command at a time but do it separately. Once they are both fluid in performing one behavior to the German command then you can bring them together and proof only that one behavior together. Then train the next command separately and so on.

      Good luck with the new pup and training Laika. Please come around again and let me know how you’re getting on. :)

  • This doesn’t show me any of the commands in German for a German Shepard

    • Hi Cutiepie,

      If you scroll down to the bottom of the article you’ll find the download links for both the audio and text of the commands.

      :)

  • Lisa

    We have 2 male GSD’s a 5 year old rescue we have had for 3 years and a now 8 month old. We went through traditional group dog training sessions for both dogs. Our rescue (Lars) sometimes has selective hearing and our puppy (Tim) has a VERY short attention span. They respond to basic English commands however, I started 2 days ago trying German commands. It’s like a light bulb went off in their heads, they BOTH respond correctly to German commands 99.9% of the time. Just amazing! We are excited about training again. Thanks :)

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks so much for sharing your success! Your comment just made my day. :)

  • Sarah Fowler

    We have had our 6 month old German Shepherd for almost 5 months now and although he’s really good for the most part, we can’t get him to stop jumping up on us and in doing so he hits us in the face with his paws. How can we get him to stop this behavior before he really hurts someone?

    • Hi Sarah!

      Yes, jumping up a behavior that must be reconditioned, especially in a large breed like the GSD.

      Teaching your GSD not to jump up is one of the easier things to teach if it’s done right.

      There are 2 techniques you can use but the work very well as a combination too.

      Since your boy is not fully grown yet (although he is already strong) you can try to ignore the behavior. So for example, when he jumps up, don’t say anything to him or try to push him down. All you need to do is stop and turn your body away from him and don’t respond in any way to his jumping behavior.

      Dogs will continue to act out a behavior as long as they get attention, even if it’s negative attention like being told ‘no’.

      The rule of thumb here is to only give him attention when he has all 4’s on the ground.

      If you have kids, I don’t recommend this method for them.

      Rather use the second method which is safer.

      With method 2 you and your family members will need to keep food rewards handy until he’s learned not to jump. But they are smart dogs and learn quickly.

      Basically, as you folks are walking and he’s walking along too drop a few food treats on the floor. Here you’re not necessarily teaching him not to jump, what you are teaching him is that when he has all 4’s on the ground good things happen – he gets food rewards.

      When I teach my pups not to jump I will turn my body away and ignore them until they stop jumping. And only give attention then. You should be patient because you might end up standing there like a statue for a while. Depending on how quickly your boy realizes that his jumping is not giving him what he wants. Only keeping all 4 his paws on the ground will get him attention.

      I’ll use the second method when we’re just around the house or in a training session.

      You will need to phase out the rewards as soon as you’re sure he totally gets it. Start using less and less treats until you’re not using them at all.

      Does this answer your question? If you’re unsure of anything please feel free to drop a question in the comments again.

  • Rosemarie tocci

    I have a bsd foe 3 months still bites me I feed him wet food snacks love attention I rub him but he is always bitting me my arm is bruised and cut I look like a druggy sorry the truth….

    • Hi Rosemarie,

      At 3 months your puppy is going to bite, that’s why it’s important to use this time to teach him not to bite.

      Please read this article, it shows 4 different ways you can successfully teach your pup not to bite.

      If you have questions, just drop them in the comments of the post on biting. I’m happy to give you tips. But check out the article first because it’ll give you a good idea of how to teach your pup.

  • Danny hollis

    Hey we have a 7 month old German that will not let anyone touch her but me.she was hit on by the last owner. How can I break her from doing so.

    • Hi Danny,

      I’m so sorry to hear about the bad experience your girl had with her previous owner. I can relate, because my girl Charley was severely abused by her breeder.

      It’s a very difficult fear to help a dog get over. Especially because the GSD is highly sensitive and intelligent. All I can do is give you advice based on how I worked and still work with Charley. But I’ll be honest, it can be something she never gets over completely. I’m not saying that is the case with your girl but it is the case with Charley. So I manage situations actively to keep her in her comfort zone.

      So I started by slowly introducing her to one person at a time. And once she had accepted them in her space, I’d allow them to start with physical contact. If you do this too quickly she might respond negatively. Also going too fast could make her shut down.

      I recommend reading this article on triggers and thresholds. The article is about a dog not listening but the triggers and thresholds apply to any situation where a dog feels out of control or uncomfortable.

      This article on how dogs learn is also a great read because it goes into the psychology behind dog learning. Check it out for a bigger picture on how your girl learns.

      Another tip I can give is teach everyone not to pet her head. And if they want to touch her. First allow her to smell their hands. Teach them to hold their hands palms facing inward so she can smell. If she’s comfortable after smelling teach them to turn their palms facing upward and moving slowly to pet her. Pet only on her body if she allows it but like I said never let them pet her head.

      Let me know if this helps. And as you go along, if you have questions just drop them here in the comments.

      Chat soon.

  • Thadeus

    Gabriella thanks to GOD, you have experienced much on GSD’s. U are too far from mine. I wish I could see Ur training temple. Welcome to Tanzania

  • Ray Dylan

    Thank you so much.. I just know this will work so well for my new GSD Snow.

    • You’re welcome Ray!

      If you have any questions as you go along just drop them in the comments.

  • Hey were getting a rescue that’s a year old and are all these commands still possibly. She’s potty trained and knows her “home”

    • Hi Danny!

      Congrats on the new member to your home! She’s a lucky girl!

      Yes absolutely! These commands are all still possible no matter how old a dog is. That saying about not being able to teach old dogs new tricks – well it couldn’t be further from the truth!

      You’re lucky she’s already potty trained! That’s a big load off your shoulders. You might just want to keep an eye out for a while and take her out regularly for the first week or so. It’ll just cement into her mind quickly where her new potty area is, where the door is she goes in and out of and just a gentle reminder that her potty training manners apply to her new home as well.

      Also, if you’re interested in learning how to teach her basic manners and also develop her mind I highly recommend a program I use for my own dogs. It’s called Brain Training for Dogs. I’ve done a full review of what’s inside and how I use it with my dogs. You can read more about it here.

      If you’ve got other questions, just drop them in the comments, I’m always around to help.

      Chat soon,
      Gabriella

  • Drew Edwards

    hi we just got our German Shepherd puppy yesterday. we’ve had our Yorkie/Cocker spaniel mix for about 2 years now and when we got home with the new pup she was interested at first then she ran inside and hid under the bed all night. what can we do so they will interact with each other? we love them both and don’t want one of them to feel less loved or as important what can we do?

  • Tukhar Gogoi

    Pls help me in training my gsd, he is doing a mess in the house, please mail me with some advices, I am in a desperate need for help

  • Debbie

    I just got a 5 year old shepherd, also have a 10 year old rough collie who just finished her heat. the male knows to leave the female alone, but takes his aggression and humping towards me. Is he too old to be fixed and if not will that stop his emotions towards me.Iam working on training but its hard he only understands turkish and using hand signals. I ‘ve had him 2 weeks and he is learning he’s had no training at all. Any advice would be helpful can’t use your link.

  • James

    I am going to get another German Shepherd after losing Thor. He was amazing and I had used this site before for his training and will use it again for my next dog. I would like to find hand signals to include in the training. If you could add those, that would be great. Thanks for a simple yet marvelous site.

    • Hi James!

      I’m so happy you’ve found this site useful and that it helped with Thor’s training.

      I’m sorry that you had to say goodbye to your best friend, it’s always hard. But I’m sure your new pup will find a place in your heart next to Thor’s.

      I will share the hand signals I use here. Just need to get a few pics to upload since I think it’ll be the easiest way. I should get them up by next week.

      :)

  • Vicki Stevens Carpenter

    Hi,
    We just brought an 8 week old puppy home and my 2 year old female is not having it. She will not stop barking at him. I think she is jealous since she was my youngest until the new kid came. Any advise on how to help this transition?

    • Hi Vicki!

      Congrats on the new pup!

      I can totally relate to your situation, I’ve been there before and it can be stressful when you want everyone to play nice but it’s just not happening.

      The most reliable way (but not the quickest) is to reintroduce them to each other slowly. I shared an article with steps to introduce a puppy to a cat. But the steps can be used to introduce one dog to another too. Here a link to that article.

      It’s worth mentioning that over time it will get better. My crew were tricky to introduce in the beginning but they did warm up to each other and are best of friends now, so all is not lost, there is hope. It’ll just take a lot of patience.

      Let me know if you have other questions while you’re working on this.

      Chat soon.

  • SHUBHAM

    I HAVE 3 MONTH OLD PUPPY.
    WHICH FOOD I PREFER FOR HIM?

    • Hi Shubham,

      Thanks for your question.

      I recommend a grain free diet if you’re going to feed a kibble. But my top recommendation is a raw diet which is what I feed my German Shepherds.

  • Anil Jain

    Vegetarain diet for German shepherd

    • Hi Anil,

      Thanks for your question.

      I don’t encourage or support vegetarian diets for dogs. Sure, they can eat some vegetable and fruits, mine do but it’s only for extra roughage as well as a way to get natural whole food vitamins.

      Dogs are facultative carnivores, which means they thrive on a carnivorous diet but can eat other types of food too in small amounts.

      There are hundreds of online articles detailing why dogs should eat a meat-based diet but, simply compare the teeth of omnivores, herbivores and carnivores and you can see that dogs are designed to eat a carnivorous diet and not a plant-based diet.

  • Carey

    Hello, we just adopted a year old GSD male. He has been marking at all the doorways but seems to use the toilet outside.
    Is this something he’s doing now because it’s a new place that will fade away with some time or do I need to intervene?

    • Hi Carey,

      Thanks for your question.

      It’s not uncommon for rescue dogs (males specifically) to mark territory once they arrive at their new home.

      It sounds like your boy is already potty trained since he’s happily going outside too. But yes, I think you should intervene to avoid bad habits forming.

      The first thing is to clean all the areas he’s already marked with an enzymatic cleaner. You can find these on Amazon.

      The next thing is to implement some potty training strategies. Firstly, limit his access to areas inside the house for a while. Secondly, either crate him if you can’t directly supervise or tether him to you so that he’s with you at all times while inside the house. These strategies will help to keep accidents from happening. And also ensure that you see any signs that he’s ready to lift his leg.

      Check out my potty training article for more tips. They are applicable to pups and even older rescue dogs.

  • DEBORAH

    FYI… I was not able to get the audio or text link to do anything by right clicking on them. I was able to see the text file and hear the audio file by left clicking on them.

    • Hi Deborah,

      If you do a regular left click on the audio it’ll open in a new page. You’ll see 3 dots right next to the volume control. Click on those 3 dots and it’ll give you the option to download.

      For the text file, left click on it and when the new page opens, right click and choose “Save as”. This will give you the option to save the file to your computer. :)

      I’ve updated the instructions as such. Sorry for the inconvenience. :)

  • Patricia Bronk

    My husband and I are training our puppy with hand signals (we are deaf). The most difficult is recall. When our puppy is running around outside, she won’t come, no matter- whistle, food, etc. She needs to be on a rope. She won’t look at us outside, she is “busy” chasing leaves or just sitting there getting a “tan”. Help!

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment.

      Are you using a clicker to communicate with your pup that whatever behavior she’s offered is what you want? If you’re new to clicker training or know about it but want a refresher, check out this article on how to start with this method. And drop me questions in the comments if you have any.

      In our home, there are two types of recall. The first one my crew understands as they need to come for food, grooming, cuddles, and other basic stuff. The second is an emergency recall and they understand this to mean, “stop dead in your tracks and come to me”.

      A recall is a tough thing to teach but it’s totally possible. The main thing your pup needs to learn is that coming to you doesn’t mean the end of fun. In my experience, that’s why most dogs ignore or struggle with recall, they don’t want their fun to end.

      There are a few things you can do to help her learn this.

      First, reduce the distractions and reduce the area you’re training recall in. So for example, take your recall training inside your home. It’s taking a few steps back, I know, but it’ll give her the opportunity to learn in a smaller and distraction-free environment before going back into a larger and more distracting environment.

      What I did was to pick a recall sound and I chose a whistle. I’d whistle at random times, like if they were busy with something else, just chilling or any other time I wanted them to come. As soon as they came, I’d click and reward handsomely. And then let them get back to what they were doing before.

      Once I was comfortable that they were reasonably reliable, I took them outside into the yard. I’d wait until they were doing their own thing and then whistle. As soon as they started to move towards me I’d click and when they reached me reward handsomely.

      Then I started to show them that coming to me doesn’t mean the end of fun.

      I did this by gently taking hold of their collar underneath their chin and holding for a few seconds while giving jackpot rewards. Then I’d release and let them get back to their fun. By doing this you’ll show your pup that good things happen when she comes to you and that you’re not out to stop her fun.

      If you find that she’s still ignoring you, make yourself more interesting than anything else around her. Dogs find something or someone running in the opposite direction extremely interesting and of course they enjoy the chase. So you can try this as a way to snap her out of a “busy” zone she might be in. As soon as you see her coming towards you click and give lots of jackpot rewards once she reaches you. Then proceed with the collar exercise I detailed above.

      Another thing you should definitely do is find the food rewards she considers the highest value. Because if she’s ignoring the food rewards you currently use, it’s most likely that she doesn’t feel they are worth working for when it comes to recall. And recall does require the highest value treats you can find.

      I’ve detailed how you can do this in an article on dog learning. You can find it here and just scroll down to the part on “The Power of Food in Dog Learning” and follow the steps. Once she’s shown you which treats she considers as the highest value, use those for your recall training.

      Hope this helps. And please feel free to drop me more questions in the comments section. I’m happy to help.

  • Lisa Wanie

    Hi, I have a 7 month old GSD who is doing great with training but I think could do better. I also have a 3 year old Golden who is well trained but seems to get to involved when I’m training the GSD. Should I separate them when I am training the puppy????

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your question.

      So I like to work with my dogs separately when I’m teaching a new behavior. And once they are fluid, I work with them together. So I do recommend separating them to work separately with your pup. then you can work with them together and so your Golden gets a chance to brush up on the old behaviors they already know.

      My crew also know a solid stay, which is great when I’m working them together but need to focus on just one of them. Then the other one waits in their stay position until they are released.

  • Maria

    Hi, I have a 5yr old GS. Beautiful boy, who is hard to train. Dropped or refused from trainers because he is very nervous/anxious. At home when someone is outside, across the street, or a UPS, Fed Ex, mail tuck stops or pass by, he climbs the couch where the window is and barks like he is going to bite them all. He does not respond at any command, I have to grab him from his collar and pull him down. Is like a shark in a biting mode. What do you recommend. I changed the couch’s place, but he loves the window like someone who wants to know everything of everybody through the window. He wants to know what is going on outside.

    • Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Check out this article on trigger and thresholds. It sounds like your boy is triggered by the things you’ve mentioned. That’s why he doesn’t respond to commands at that moment. It’s not uncommon, in fact, my rescue Lexi used to be obsessed with the window and whatever was going on there. she used to pull at the curtains and once pulled it right off. In the article, you’ll also find steps to teach a solid “focus” command. This is extremely useful because it will teach your boy to look to you for guidance and can be used to neutralize a situation.

      I also recommend checking out the dog training program I use with all my dogs. Firstly, there are specific steps and videos to teach a dog not to bark and freak out at stimuli on the other side of a window. It’s what I used to teach Lexi to not be so concerned with it.

      The program is useful for a dog of any age since it uses games as a way to tap into our dog’s natural intelligence to teach them the behaviors we love and want them to continue with. So even if regular trainers have dropped and refused your beautiful boy, you can be successful in training him. I started using the program several years ago when Charley came into my life. She was fearful as she was severely abused in her past. The program really changed her life and boosted her confidence.

      I’ve written extensively on the program and my experience. And I had the privilege of interviewing the dog trainer who developed the program for her own dogs. You can read all about it here and read the great advice Adrienne shared during the interview.

      Please feel free to drop any other questions you have in the comments. I’m always around and happy to help.

      Speak soon,
      Gabriella

  • Maria

    Thank you so much! This is the first response I get online about my boy. I will read the article and sincerely thank you. If I have more questions I will write them here.

  • WAce

    Thank you for having this site. I am a new GSD owner and I found great training information to really bond with my girl. She is my first GS and I am totally in love with spending time with her and want to be the best owner to her.

    • Hi WAce,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so pleased you’re finding the information here useful. :)

      There are so many wonderful things you can do to build the kind of bond you want with your puppy. If you haven’t already done so, consider getting onto “Dog Speak”. You’ll get a weekly email with tips on tools, games and training techniques that you can implement to deepen the dog-human bond. I also share my personal health tips for German Shepherds. You can find out more and sign up for “Dog Speak” here. See you on the inside!

      Chat soon,
      Gabriella

  • Arek

    Adopting a 12 month old German/Belgian rescue, any tips or advice in training/acclimating her to her new home?

    thank you!

    • Hi Arek,

      Congrats on your new canine companion!

      The first thing I recommend is that the moment you bring her home, take her to the spot you have designated as her toilet area. Allow her to sniff around and wait until she does her business, just a pee will be fine. I’ve found that dog’s coming to a new area want to at least pee as soon as they arrive. Chances are if you let her inside your home before doing this, she’ll have an accident inside.

      Also, have a plan in place to restrict her access to areas inside your home with the idea of giving her access over the next few weeks. In my opinion, this is an essential step in potty training. Although your girl is 12 months old she’ll need at least some potty training. This article will give you some handy tips on potty training. And you can also check out my potty training guide if you need more detailed potty training advice and support. Crate training her or using the tethering method can be helpful in this. But ideally, if she’s not used to a crate you’ll need to crate train her first.

      I highly recommend dipping your toes into clicker training too. This method is force-free and based on science. It’s a fun and kind way to train our canine friends. And dogs respond extremely well to this method. Here’s an article to get you into the clicker training method and how it works.

      I also highly recommend helping your girl start as you’d like her to continue when it comes to behavior and obedience. Check out this dog training program that I use for all my dogs. It’s unique because it taps into the natural intelligence of our dogs through the use of games to learn the behaviors we want.

      I’ve found this program helped boost my dog’s confidence and turned them into problem solvers. Both of these skills are essential for dogs to learn to make the right choices and cement the behaviors we want them to keep.

      And of course, you’re welcome to email me or drop questions in the comments section on my site. I’m always around to answer questions.

  • Deanna Marshall

    My 2 yr old black GSD is timid.! I’m afraid she won’t protect me when I need her to. Help!

    • Hi Deanna,

      Confidence and protection work are two different things. Although the GSD is naturally wired to protect and guard, for you as an owner to be 100% sure your girl will protect you, she has to be trained specifically for this.

      In terms of timidness, this is something you should work on regardless of whether your girl will take part in protection work training. A timid dog is more likely to react and this can pose several problems in a number of different situations.

      I highly recommend looking into clicker training to build your dog’s confidence. And follow a training program that employs this method. If you’re interested in something like this, I recommend checking out the dog training program I use for all my rescues and puppies. It’s an excellent way to build confidence in a dog and turn them from timid doggies into confident dogs, excited to learn, engage and problem solve.

      I’ve written extensively about the program and my experiences with it. I was also fortunate to be able to interview the developer of the program. You can check out the program and my interview with Adrienne here.

  • Sarah

    Hello,
    I just came across your website. I’m excited and haven’t had a chance to read everything. I’m texting you hoping you can give real advice for my 15 mos old shepherd/lab mix. Teddy is a beautiful all black large dog even for his breed. He’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, long story short my husband was injured in a car accident and has been in the hospital since teddy turned 1. Obviously the family was highly stressed and anxious in the beginning. Teddy I believe picking up on those feelings turned into “cujo” with no warning. Mostly we were able to contain the situation and no harm done. However, one day while I was calmly talking to my cousin and another man in our backyard, I tried to introduce the stranger to teddy and he was ok then without cause or warning he went ballistic and bit both men three different times. I hired a trainer and it’s helped a lot. My husband is still not home but anxiety levels in house are back to normal.
    My question: can a dog that can turn viscous and attack with no warning ever be trusted?
    We discussed putting him down, but he’s such a wonderful smart loyal dog.
    Our trainer said yes, but he’s never even met teddy. He met with us and gave us training skills. Which are great, but again when he turns it happens so quickly you cannot be prepared. The trainer was very expensive-well worth it we thought if it works.
    Our family is large and our home is very active. We now make sure teddy is taken into another room if someone is coming over.
    I guess I’m asking you the impossible, I’m hoping your experience may have insight or experience in this behavior.
    I also wonder if he’s so smart he’s almost crazy – like a person.
    He truly is lovable and mostly docile. I hate the thought of putting him down. And if all of this is not sounding crazy enough I was told that when he did attack his bites although real bites, were quick and clean. He bit abscess released immediately- someone said that was a good sign?? If I were reading this post my response would be “really? What are you waiting to happen? Him to do really bad damage to someone?
    I know I’m just babbling now but I’m truly at my wits end.
    My vet recommended a therapist but I just don’t have time for that. My son and daughter are the 2 in our family that work with the training.

    • Hi Sarah,

      I’m so sorry to hear about what you and your family have been going through. I hope your husband recovers and gets back home soon.

      Okay, so the first thing is that a dog will never attack or bite without warning. A dog’s warning system is body language as well as verbal warnings like growling, barking and even air snapping. This is unless he’s been reprimanded or warned not to bark or growl.

      And unless there’s a serious neurological issue, temperament problem or another health issue, a dog is not likely to just attack out of the blue.

      Also, for an issue this serious, I would have expected a trainer to meet Teddy and work with him one-on-one over a period of time, I think just meeting with you and never meeting Teddy or working with him is not going to help you solve anything.

      I totally agree with your vet, you need to get a qualified behaviorist or professional dog trainer to meet with Teddy and work with you and your family one-on-one. I understand that you’re really strapped for time, especially with your hubby in hospital, but from what you’ve described, this situation does need urgent attention.

      If you feel more comfortable, drop me an email and let me know where you are so I can check if there are any trainers in your area from the school I’m studying through that can work with you.

      Chat soon.

  • Dawn Tolliver

    I am looking for a trainer to teach a Shepard how to calm down a person with add. He gets suddenly violent pumped up like an ape but he’s a skinny kid. It’s scary. I noticed his dog always goes to him and places his head on his arm instill he pets him which helps call him down. But could he be trained to see this attack coming on and stop it. So Tyler could learn to recognize his problem. Please help this kid has a lot of inside anger he lost his wife and two young kids in fernan lake in cdl idaho in 2016 its on the web. He’s been lost ever since and kid his shep is his only hope.
    Dawn.

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you for your question.

      I’m sorry to hear about the terrible tragedy that befell your friend.

      I’m pretty sure his dog can be trained to see an attack coming on. But this will likely need to be facilitated by a trainer experienced in training service dogs. Depending on where in on the globe you are will determine how much support you can find for this.

      I recommend getting in touch with a couple of national organizations that deal with training dogs for people with health issues. I know if you’re in the States, or any first world country for that matter there should be a tremendous amount of support for what you’re looking to do.

  • Zaki

    Hi, thanks for the information
    But the download links are not working, could you please update?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.