Are German Shepherds easy to train? GSD Colony

Are German Shepherds Easy to Train? (Myths vs. Facts)

Do you ever wanted to have a perfectly trained German Shepherd, but you are not sure whether it is easy to train German Shepherds dogs? Well, we have good news for you! If you want to train your GSD, you can start immediately after reading this article, and soon you will find out why!

German Shepherds dogs are unbelievably easy to train, and everyone can do that, without any experience and knowledge. Everything that you need is a will and patience, and results will come faster than you think!

If you notice on social media some dog owners how easily walk their calm dogs, and how their dogs successfully obey their commands, trust us, it’s not hard to achieve that.

Let’s see now how you can easily train your German Shepherd dog, without any help from professional dog handlers and trainers.

Are German Shepherds easy to train?

Yes, German Shepherds are easy to train. They are the third smartest dog on the planet, and they can learn a new command only after 5-10 repetitions.  With consistent practice, patience, and proper training, you can teach your German Shepherd dog basic commands in his first few months.

Many dog owners believe that they need the help of professional dog trainers to train their dogs, but we believe that anyone can do this without their help. Don’t get us wrong, dog trainers are really amazing, and we highly recommend them if you want to have a truly, high-level trained GSD, but you must work with your dog, not only your dog trainer. 

Each German Shepherd has its own personality. Some German Shepherds can faster learn than others, some slower than others, but in general, they can be easily trained. 

You can separate German Shepherds into two general groups: working line and show line. After little research, we came to the conclusion that working lines learn faster than show lines. 

German Shepherd show line vs German Shepherd working line training - GSD Colony

This doesn’t mean that you can’t train show-line German Shepherd. This dog breed loves to work and train, especially working lines, and that is why it’s a little bit easier to train working lines. But if you are a first-time dog owner, we highly recommend you show line, because you need a lot of experience, time, financial resources, and energy to have a working line German Shepherd.

Max von Stephanitz, the developer of the German Shepherd dog breed, wanted these dogs to be brave, smart, strong, extremely loyal, and very sociable with humans. Thanks to all these features, German Shepherds have easily become one of the smartest dog breeds.

Now let’s see what you can do, and which commands and trick you should first train your German Shepherd dog.

Is German Shepherd easy to potty train?

One of the most important first steps, when you buy or adopt a German Shepherd dog, is potty training. Luckily, German Shepherds are easy to train, and they will enjoy potty training, only if you make this training interesting. 

The key to success during potty training is patience, consistency, and a good relationship with your German Shepherd dog. During potty training, you should never hurry up, and you should never, never punish your GSD.

Everyone makes mistakes, and during this training, you must be always be prepared for a little mess. Before you start, make sure that you have a must-having equipment for potty training like a:

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Training pads
  • Dog poop bags
  • Treats (rewards)
  • Household cleaners

Are German Shepherds puppies easy to train?

Yes, German Shepherd puppies are easy to train, and they can learn some basic commands such as “sit”, “down” and “stay” in their first 7 to 9 weeks. The best practice is to start training them basically from the first steps, but you should be gentle and careful which commands you will train them.

Training isn’t only “fancy” tricks and commands. You need to teach them to behave well near other animals, kids, and people. Training should be fun and interesting for puppies, and around 70% of training time, you will spend playing with your puppy.

You may wonder how much time should you train your German Shepherd puppy at the beginning, and the recommended time of puppy training is at least 15-30 minutes every day. 

If you don’t know with which commands you should first start, we recommend you to start teaching your German Shepherd puppy these commands first:

  1. Name recognition
  2. Leave it or no
  3. Come
  4. Watch me or look
  5. Down (lie down)
  6. Take it and drop it
  7. Sit
  8. Stand
  9. Wait
  10. Heel

Are male or female German Shepherd easier to train?

Believe it or not, female German Shepherds are easier to train than male German Shepherds. Although there seems to be no difference, there is a difference in behavior between females and males.

Male German Shepherd Female German Shepherd
Average Height (adult): 24-28 inches Average Height (adult): 23-26 inches
Average Weight (adult): 75-95 pounds Average Weight (adult): 65-95 pounds
Lifespan: 9-11 years Lifespan: 10-12 years
Exercise: 1+ hours per day Exercise: 1+ hours per day
Family-friendly: Often Family-friendly: Yes
Dog-friendly: Often Dog-friendly:  Often
Trainability: Excellent, highly intelligent  Trainability: Excellent, highly intelligent


Male German Shepherd dogs are more territorial, dominant, aggressive, protective, and larger in size, so why then is easier to train female German Shepherds than males? 

Female German Shepherds are better with children, with other dogs and animals, because they have a higher “social” level than male German Shepherds. Unlike males, females German Shepherds will usually always be happy to cooperate with you and listen to your commands.

This is one of the reasons why police officers and other Special Forces use males as K-9 dogs. There is a bigger chance that females can become “friends” with the enemy than males, but when you send a male German Shepherd dog to complete the task, peace was never an option.

Are male German Shepherd easy to train?

If you decide to get a male German Shepherd dog, don’t worry, because you can easily train them without so many complications. They are friendly, better guardian dogs, and very protective.

But as we mentioned before, it’s easier to train a female German Shepherd dog. If you planning to get a German Shepherd dog, and you are a first-time dog owner, we suggest you get a female. Females are more friendly and less aggressive.

If you only want to get a male because they are more powerful, trust us, you will be surprised how females can be strong with consistent training.

Are female German Shepherd easy to train?

Absolutely! With the right, good treats and a lot of your positive energy, the training will become one of their favorite things very fast. Since they are easier to train than males, you can make better and faster progress with females. 

Have just one thing in mind, do not punish them if they don’t obey your commands at first. You need to be gentle and patient, and once you two build a great relationship and trust, every next obstacle will be easy for the two of you.

Are German Shepherds easy to crate train?

If you’re ready to invest your time and train nicely your German Shepherd dog to be in the crate, then yes, crate training is easy with German Shepherds. 

You should nicely and gently introduce the crate to your German Shepherd. The first steps should be an introduction to the crate, just let your German Shepherd sniff his crate, and reward him once he does that. 

Don’t place your German Shepherd immediately into the crate and lock him, because it can only leave negative consequences. 

You want to sit near the crate so that your GSD can be comfortable and relaxed as he walks past the crate.

Once he becomes comfortable near the crate, you can start putting some treats into the crate, so that we must come in and take it. Don’t lock the door of the crate immediately, let your German Shepherd do explore more.

Always use the treats to reward him as soon as he steps into the crate. Now when he feels comfortable in the crate, you can lock the door, and keep his try to keep his attention on you. You don’t need to rush, and always be patient. 

German Shepherd puppy training crate tips - GSD Colony

A crate is a place where you want to put your German Shepherd when you want to avoid small accidents and keep him in a safe place. Some dog owners use a crate to punish their dogs, and this is a big mistake. Don’t ever do this.

Also, don’t try to save some money and buy a little crate. German Shepherd is a large dog breed and their needs space. Before you buy a crate for your German Shepherd, read the size chart and see which crate dimensions are recommended for your dog.

How to train a German Shepherd to be friendly?

The best way to train your German Shepherd to become a more friendly dog is to train with him on socialization.

The solution for this isn’t any doggy daycare parks, dog trainers, or something like that. This is your dog and your responsibility. If you’re struggling with this training, it’s okay to ask for professional help, but you also must participate in training.

If you want to make your German Shepherd more friendly, try to follow these steps:

  • Practice makes improvement: this is something that you need always to practice. When you see an opportunity for socialization training, do it nicely and easily.

  • Take always baby steps: if your German Shepherd isn’t a very friendly dog, you can’t overnight train him to become a friendly dog. Always take baby steps.

  • Take it public: the best way to train your German Shepherd to become more friendly is to explore with him new places every single day. Dogs love to explore, and this can significantly reduce their stress. When you take your not very friendly dog out into the public, always keep him on the leash, and make sure that your GSD has a muzzle.

  • Ask for help from professionals: if you can’t solve this problem alone, you should contact some local dog trainer and ask for help. Make sure that you always participate in training sessions, because you want to learn how to calm your dog when he is alone with you.

  • Make it positive: for every new experience of your German Shepherd you want to make it positive. If he behaved nicely nearby other animals, humans or dogs, reward him, and always correct him when you notice bad behavior.
How many dog bites in one year United States of America - GSD Colony

Before you take your German Shepherd to any place (pet store, park, other families) make sure that your dog is vaccinated.

How long does it take to potty train a German Shepherd puppy?

With the regular daily training and exercise, usually, it takes 4-8 weeks to potty train your German Shepherd puppy. If you are a first-time dog owner, this training can last additional 1-2 weeks longer.

Make sure that you are the only person who trains your German Shepherd a potty training. When multiple persons train the same thing one dog, this can be really confusing for them. 

The key to successful potty training is routine, practice, and consistency. Once you build a perfect routine for potty training, practice this routine every single day, until you notice that your German Shepherd puppy is potty trained.

Why are German Shepherds so easy to train?

German Shepherds are easy to train for a few reasons: their intelligence, bloodline, loyalty, and their desire to work.

The main reason why the German Shepherd dog breed exists it’s because Max von Stephanitz wanted a dog breed that is smart, strong, and loyal enough so that these dogs can work with people and help them.

German Shepherds have many talents, and today, some jobs we can’t even imagine without these dogs. They can easily adapt to the new environment and learn so many new things in a short period of time.

Final words.

Training a dog isn't complicated as you think, especially if you have a dog like a German Shepherd. There is no doubt that the German Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds ever, and because of this fact, you can start training them without any previous training experience.

German Shepherds require daily exercise, at least 1 hour per day, so make sure that your dog is getting enough attention during the day from you.

Be patient and consistent, and we can guarantee you amazing results! Happy training!

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