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Are you excited to begin training your German Shepherd and wondering how to train a German Shepherd because you’re eager to get started?
I’ve trained German Shepherds and will show you the quickest ways to get the behaviors that you want…
While having fun and bonding with your dog!
By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have learned the best ways to train your German Shepherd in the shortest time possible.
How Long Will I Have To Train My German Shepherd Daily?
Be prepared to train your German Shepherd for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. You should practice basic obedience training, but also include fun training games to keep them interested in their training and engaged with you.
You’ll want to break up the 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day to make sure your German Shepherd doesn’t get bored of the same routine commands.
Aim for five three-minute sessions daily in the beginning, as a minimum.
There are exceptions to this rule since your GSD is a working breed and some GSDs will enjoy training for longer. But start with no more than a few minutes in a short session and gradually build onto each individual session longer times.
During each session work on just one or two commands so that your dog learns the right way to perform the command. You can add in another command they know if they’re struggling to pay attention and keep the session positive and interesting.
Ready to start using games during your German Shepherd training?
It takes anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks to train a German Shepherd to learn basic obedience commands.
Usually, most 20 week old German Shepherd puppies are house trained, crate trained, and understand a few basic commands if you’ve trained them correctly.
Crate training will take about a week to introduce slowly and have your dog or puppy go into the crate on their own to relax. But if your dog has had a bad experience with the crate it could take months.
Keep in mind that if you have an adult Shepherd who has already lived with another owner (or many dog owners) then you may have to undo improper training or behavior problems. This means that you have many months ahead of you of training.
Some GSDs are aggressive or reactive and it may take years before they learn to relax around other dogs in a calm manner.
While other German Shepherds have excellent dog social experiences from the start and can mix in with other dogs on a whim and quickly pick up their training basics.
When to Start Training a German Shepherd Puppy?
Your puppy is capable and ready to learn at 6 to 7 weeks old many simple obedience commands. But you shouldn’t pressure a puppy this young with perfect obedience. A 1 minutes session is long enough for a young puppy.
After a couple of weeks, your German Shepherd puppy should know to sit, stay, and down, as well as its name. Although a reliable off-leash come (recall) usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks of proper dog training.
Leash training is rather quick when you gently place the leash on your dog or puppy, use food rewards or play, and don’t use the leash to jerk your dog around the house or neighborhood.
It took me only about a day to train my German Shepherd to sit using lure and reward training. This means, I use one of the best, tasty treatsto move her into the position I want, and then reward her with the food.
My GSD took about 7 days to sit and wait at doors before barging out, but…
She only takes a day to unlearn this behavior if I relax on it and let her out without waiting!
A simple trick, such as ‘spin’ took me only a day, but more complicated tricks could take weeks or months. Something complicated like staying in place with tons of distractions (think cats or squirrels running by) might take you at least 6 months to work up to.
Keep in mind that German Shepherd training requires you to work in very small steps and build upon their success. You can’t just let your neighbor’s cat walk right in front of you while you’re walking your GSD and expect them not to lunge if your dog isn’t worked up to ignore this high value distraction.
Think of it this way: In school, you didn’t start with calculus. You started with basic math, then geometry, algebra, and so on. Don’t rush the learning or you’ll take longer to train your German Shepherd.
German Shepherd Training: The Right Way
How long it takes to train a German Shepherd depends on how consistent you are and how well you support your dog to understand.
You must also consider your GSDs:
age – are they an energetic puppy or more confident adult
previous training – are they fresh to obedience or do they have some basics under their belt
whether you are using the right training methods that are simple for your dog to understand
The most effective and easy-to-understand system for German Shepherds to learn is called positive reward training. Using positive rewards allows you to mark the specific behaviors your German Shepherd performs right at nearly the exact moment they do them.
The Brain Training Program gives you step-by-step dog training to help you speed up your success rate and the time it takes you to train your GSD. It’s also a way to see if you’re performing the commands in a way your dog knows so that you don’t waste any time learning bad behaviors accidentally.
Not to mention, it’s affordable. Have you seen the price of in-person German Shepherd training these days? Yep, it’s not cheap. Start from home with online dog training to get a head-start on your dog’s obedience and keep some money in the bank.
Setbacks That Slow Your German Shepherd Training
A German Shepherd will forget everything they’ve learned if you don’t hold them accountable and to a standard, skip their daily training, or let them perform a bad behavior and unintentionally reward them.
Harsh punishments and the wrong types of corrections can cause your dog to become fearful of you. Stick with positive dog training, or reward-based training, for a better bond with your special breed.
All dogs learn very differently and at a variety of paces.
Don’t feel you need to rush to catch up to German Shepherds you see on YouTube or Instagram.
This will only set you back in your own German Shepherd training!
Instead, build up in small steps by starting in a distraction-free area with your basic German Shepherd training commands. Even in the most desirable situations, your dog may struggle with particular commands.
Don’t rush the training or your dog won’t learn the skills properly and reliably.
When you see your German Shepherd forget a command, go back to square one – the beginning of the command – and work on the training… again.
If you’re staying consistent and taking baby steps toward your overall training goals, then there’s no need to rush the progress.
Try using your phone to record you training your dog.
When you think you’re not going fast enough, take a moment to watch your training videos to get a better perspective. I bet you’ll be surprised how much you’ve taught your German Shepherd!
6. Use a training program to keep you on track
Staying on top of your training is hard when you don’t know what to teach next.
Instead of just guessing if you’re doing the right thing using a training program designed to build upon your dog’s skills.
Online training is easy and simple to follow, and the step-by-step directions guide you through the correct ways to train your German Shepherd with the best results.
This training system also includes games to play which improve your Shepherd’s behavior and mental health. And, if you have a puppy it’s perfect for their first introduction to positive training.
German Shepherd Training Lasts A Lifetime
Don’t focus only on how long does it take to train a German Shepherd, as this can cause you to rush through training, make mistakes, and neglect the fun you and your GSD will have training together!
Instead, concentrate on the good things your dog does and LET HIM KNOW you like the behavior by offering praise and rewards.
Don’t try to train him only when he is being bad, as this means your German Shepherd begins to think that training is punishment. Instead, set up a daily training schedule to help you train them quickly.
You can speed up training by using the right methods to train a German Shepherd…
Which is positive, reward-based training.
But know that all dogs learn at different rates, and it’s better to focus on the fun of training to make the time more enjoyable for both you and your dog!
Training a German Shepherd lasts a lifetime, and you’re never really done with training.
Catherine Krasavin owns Shepherd Sense, a dog website aimed at German Shepherd owners and lovers. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honors, and has been training dogs for over a decade. Catherine’s currently attending continuing education courses to keep up with the latest in animal science, as well as earning her diploma in dog training. She owns a plush coat German Shepherd who was awarded Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold Award - the highest level of achievement.
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