Puppy Training Timeline for Your German Shepherd Dog: From 8 Weeks to 2 Years

A well-trained german Shepherd Dog ( GSD ) is a joy to live with, one of many reasons why this is America ’ s second-most popular andiron breed. Making sure you bring out the best of this noteworthy engender starts with puppy aim, when your GSD is most impressionable .

Finding a Puppy Who Is the Best Fit for You

Finding a good, ethical breeder is one of the most crucial ways to ensure you are getting off to the right beginning in obtaining the puppy who will be the best suit for you and your family. Breeders observe their puppies ’ personalities and drives and can match the right puppy to the right individual or family .
You may besides wish to acquire a puppy from one of the breed-rescue organizations listed in the AKC Rescue Network ; presently, over 40 GSD rescues are listed, a testament to the popularity of this brilliant breed. If you choose this path, be sure to discuss with the breed rescue organization your needs and what you are looking for in a puppy ; they should besides be able to help you find the puppy whose temperament and personality will be the best match for you .
Nadia Adams of Oher Tannen german Shepherd Dogs has been a GSD breeder for 15 years and comments, “ A well-bred german Shepherd Dog is highly intelligent, thriving on praise and wanting to please the owner. This combination makes them very trainable, which is one of the most attract qualities of the breed. ”

This breed ’ second high level of intelligence and strong willingness to work mean your GSD must receive reproducible and ongoing coach from an early historic period. A bore GSD is a destructive GSD. “ That said, ” states Adams, “ the flip is the limit, if the owner ca devote a good amount of quality prison term to the cad, particularly during the critical first year of life. ”
You can use this timeline as a scout to make sure you are hitting all the right target goals during the crucial stages of your puppy ’ sulfur life .

From 8 to 16 Weeks

Training Goal #1: Socialization

Puppies of all breeds have a critical socialization window that closes at 12 to 16 weeks of life, and your GSD puppy is no exception. In fact, for GSDs, who by nature are protective guardians, socialization is extra authoritative so that your puppy learns which strangers are friendly and not a menace .
GSDs are very law-abiding, and your puppy will pick up on your cues and reactions around new people and new situations. During this critical time period, having exposure to many different kinds of people in non-threatening situations will help your puppy be confident among friendly strangers preferably than fearful or aggressive. And tied during times of social and physical distance, you can still socialize your puppy safely .
proper socialization can not be overemphasized for this breed ; as Adams notes, “ The foundation for most education is confidence. It is critical that the GSD puppy is well socialized from an early age ahead. safely exposing the puppy to newly sights, sounds, and smells is absolutely critical for exploitation. commodity socialization translates to confidence. ”
Certified dog trainer and CGC evaluator Jacqui Foster, CPDT-KA, echoes this opinion : “ I tend to lean more towards developing assurance in the puppy. For this I recommend short, fun, three-minute games that engage the puppy with the owner a well as in noises, eldritch and mismatched surfaces, family members, etc., throughout the day. A confident puppy is a happy puppy. ”
During this menstruation, be surely to expose your GSD to the many different elements of daily life and routines you will want them to take in stride as adults. For case, GSDs need even grooming to control shedding and maintain coat and skin health, particularly during those seasonal times ( normally doubly a year ) when these dogs “ blow their coats. ” so you should introduce your puppy to basic groom tools, like combs, brushes, and smash clippers, early on—going slowly at beginning and making it a playfulness have .

Training Goal #2: Crate Training

This is besides a good time for crate aim, which Adams recommends ampere well. GSD trainer and cad sports enthusiast Alexa Hagood, LVMT, agrees : “ Crate breaks, even when brief, can help the puppy become acclimated to going in the crate and having some alone time. ” She notes that this can help reduce the risk of a puppy developing separation anxiety, and recommends beginning with using the crate for feeding times ( for five to ten minutes inside the crate ), and at times when the owner needs to do daily chores.

Training Goal #3: Housetraining

Crate trail is an invaluable tool for facilitating housetraining, which about all GSDs take to promptly and easily. In fact, many GSD owners will find that this is one of the easiest breeds to housetrain, ampere long as changeless supervision and consistency are provided .

From 3 to 9 Months

Training Goal #1: Begin Obedience Training

The german Shepherd Dog ’ mho work ethic is fabled, and you can encourage your dog ’ randomness best working traits with early on and ongoing train. GSDs excel at obedience, so begin teaching your puppy basic commands like model, down, and stay, arsenic well as loose-leash walk, from an early age. Enrolling in a puppy obedience class can be extremely helpful both for teaching these commands a well as socialization, and it ’ s not besides early to begin thinking about CGC train angstrom well .

Training Goal #2: Recall

Begin teaching your GSD to come when called arsenic soon as possible. It takes a lot of prison term, practice, and patience to get a dependable hark back, but this skill is well worth it, as it is one that may save your chase ’ sulfur life one day .

Training Goal #3: Impulse Control

Learning to control their impulses is important for all puppies, and for the GSD, it can be one of the most significant ways to curb problem behaviors to which this breed is prone if allowed to become bore : behaviors such as excessive bark, dig, aggressive chew, and inappropriate chase ( due to their prey drive, GSDs have been known to chase everything from cats to cars ) .
The winder to impulse restraint is getting your frump to focus on you. This will have beneficial effects for all the rest of your prepare efforts, particularly in AKC andiron sports like Obedience and Rally .
Require that your puppy sit before getting food, playing with an stimulate toy, going outside to play, or any other favorite action. As your GSD puppy advances in obedience train and knows more commands, you can require more advanced commands or tricks in rate to receive treats or play .
German Shepherd Dog navigating an obedience course.

From 9 Months to 24 Months

Dogs of different breeds and size mature at different ages, and while one year of historic period is normally considered the end of puppyhood in general, a german Shepherd Dog may not reach an adult level of maturity before the age of two or three ( and males tend to reach this stage by and by than females ). indeed continuing to work on impulse control, improve obedience skills, and advance to prepare in more focus activities like tracking, scent work, protective covering work, agility, and herding —all of which ( and more ) are capabilities of this breed—must continue throughout this period and then be reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood. This is besides a full prison term to transition from puppy food to a large breed dog food .
Keep in take care that this is a breed that thrives on constant and reproducible work and discipline, and loves to have a job—or many jobs ! —to do. If you can provide your GSD with outlets for their intelligence and versatility, both you and your frank will reap the rewards .
Yasmine S. Ali, MD, is a cardiologist and writer based in Tennessee, where she lives with three Canine Good Citizens, including an AKC-registered german Shepherd Dog .

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