The German shepherd is one of the most intelligent breeds in existence today – and we’re not just being biased! However, like with most other pups that you come across, training a German shepherd puppy is a pretty tough job. You’ll need a lot of patience and determination, but in the end we’re sure that you’ll find the experience to be worth every second spent.
If you’re just not sure where to begin, we’ve got a few tips that you may find helpful throughout the training process:
The First Night’s Sleep – It is highly recommended that you start crate training your puppy as soon as possible. Like wolves, dogs enjoy the den-like atmosphere and it is also a safe and secure place, eliminating any worry you may have about what your puppy would be getting into during the night. You may hear him cry, but it’s okay; we encourage you not to get up and go to him. Your puppy needs to learn to sleep alone and that being vocal will not get him what he wants.
Feeding – Your puppy should be fed around two or three times a day, starting at two cups of dog food and then adjusting the amount as he grows. If you’re sure which type of dog food is best for your German shepherd, we would recommend looking for a brand that offers options for large breed puppies. When it comes to hydration, you want to make sure that fresh water is available and within reach for your puppy all throughout the day but certainly not at night. Remember that your new puppy is still being trained and too much water in the evening could lead to late night accidents in the crate.
House Training – This should be addressed soon after you bring your puppy home for the first time. Take your pup out on a leash and encourage him to do his business. Because German shepherds are incredibly intelligent, you can even train them to return the same place each time they go outside by directing them to the spot during training. Keep in mind that there will be accidents and you should never threaten or be physical with your German shepherd as a means to get your point across. A stern “No” can go a long way.
Once you get the basics down, it will be easier for you to train your German shepherd to do tricks and perform tasks over time. Just remember that for now, you are dealing with a small, ill-knowing puppy and patience is a virtue.