Tips to Train Your German Shepherd Dog – Dog Obedience Training

Dog obedience training can be a daunting task but with a German shepherd dog, it is a fun and rewarding experience. The German shepherd is a very intelligent breed which makes them easy to train. The German shepherd is eager to learn new things and thrives when kept active and given a job or a task to do.

Training your shepherd will be a growing experience for both of you. The time spent training your German shepherd is a great way for you to bond with your dog, learn his personality and build a trusting relationship. Obedience training will give your shepherd the opportunity to learn boundaries, develop their full potential and become a well-mannered companion to you and everyone else in your family.

It is best to expose your German shepherd to obedience training as early as possible. Start with basic training commands like sit, stay, here, and down. Keep training sessions short, fun and positive. The German shepherd breed is smart and it will not take many repetitions before they have mastered a skill. Take notice of this and always be ready to introduce something new to prevent your smart dog from becoming bored with the same old routine.

When training your German shepherd it is important to utilize these 5 tips:

  • Patience
  • Authoritative Firmness
  • Consistency
  • Positive Reward
  • Fun

1.  Always be patient when conducting obedience training. Every dog is unique and learns different things at different speeds. German shepherds are intelligent but are also known to be stubborn. Expect your shepherd to test you and your patience from time to time.

2.  German shepherds are a beautiful, intelligent, powerful breed. They respond well to an owner who has a command presence with an authoritative firmness. Be firm when training your shepherd and be a leader. If you give them an inch they will take a mile, so you have been warned!

3.  One of the most important things to remember when training a German shepherd is consistency. Consistency will eliminate confusion and frustration. Choose commands and boundaries that every member in the household uses and understands. This will keep your shepherd from being confused as to what is expected from them and from whom. If your training expectations are not consistent and sometime you make your shepherd obey a command and sometimes you do not…you have just given this smart dog an inch.

4.  Be sure to lavish your German shepherd with a lot of praise and positive attention for a job well done. Positive rewards and attention encourage positive behavior. Your shepherd will thrive knowing that he has done well and will continue to want to please you. A stern and strict training approach to obedience training with this breed will not allow this dog to be the best that he can be.

5.  Lastly and most importantly, have fun and enjoy your German shepherd while training. You do not want to think of training your dog as a daunting task. To keep your dog’s attention span you need to keep your training sessions short. Your German shepherd is extremely smart and will feed off of your body language and moods. If you keep your training time light and fun, your shepherd will enjoy learning new things and look forward to training time.

Use what you have learned from this article, and before you know it you will have a loyal German shepherd who is outgoing, well-adjusted and well mannered.

LOOK !! German Shepherd Dog Terms

The titles on this page are used by German shepherd dog clubs and show ring organizations to assign categories to the German shepherd and to reward German shepherd owners, breeders, and their dogs.

Working Titles

AD:  Aus Dauerprufing – Endurance Test

BH:  Basic Companion Dog – Traffic Sureness

B or BH Begleithunde:  The preliminary and prerequisite test for a dog going on to get his/her Schutzhund titles.  A combination temperament and obedience test.  B and BH are used interchangeably.

BIH:  Blind Leader Dog

BpDH1 2:  Railroad Police Dog

BPDH I, II – Bannpolizeidiensthund I or II:  Railroad Police Service Dog I or II

Bundeslestunggssieger:  German National Working Dog Champion awarded at the Bundessiegerprufung.

CD:  Companion Dog – The first of five working qualifications, each of increasing difficulty, awarded to dogs gaining a certain percentage of total marks at working trials.

CDX:  CD Excellent

DH:  Service Dog

DH:  Dienshund – Service Dog

DPH:  Service Police Dog

FH:  Fahrtenhund – Tracking qualification.

FH1:  Advanced Tracking

FH2:  Superior Tracking Qualification

Gebrauchshundklasse:  Working Dog Class – The only class available for animals over two in Germany.

GrH – Grenzen Hund:  Border Patrol Dog

HC:  Herding Champion

HGH:  Herdengebrauchshund, Herding Dog – A qualification of dogs working with flocks.

HT:  Herding Tested

Huntesieger:  Herding Dog Champion at the German Herding Dog Championships

INT Internationale Prufungsklasse:  International Training Degree

IPO1:  International Novice Schutzhund Trail Qualification

IPO2:  International Intermediate Schutzhund

IPO3:  International Masters Level Schutzhund

Kr.H. krigshund:  War Dog

LwH Lawinen Hund:  Avalanche Dog

M.H. militar hund:  Military Dog

PH Polizehund:  Police Dog

PFP I, II – Polizeifaehrtenhund I, II:  Police Tracking Dog I or II

PSP I, II – Polizeischutzhundprufung I, II:  Police Protection Dog I or II

SchH1:  Novice Schutzhund – Qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection.

SchH2:  Intermediate Schutzhund – Qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection.

SchH3:  Masters Level of Schutzhund – Qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection.

SchHA:  A Limited SchH Title – Similar to SchH1 but without the tracking portion.

S.H. sanitats hund:  Red Cross Dog

TD:  Tracking Dog – Qualification title for nose work.

UD:  Utility Dog – Working Qualification

WH:  Watch Dog

ZH:  Zollhund – Dog trained to work with customs police.


ZB-Zuchtbewertung:  Confirmation Show Rating followed by:

VA – Vorzuglich Auslese:  Excellent Select – the highest attainable award by a German show dog and granted only at the annual Sieger Show.

V – Vorzuglich:  Excellent

SG – Sehr Gut:  Very Good – An official German show grade and the highest obtainable by dogs under two.

G – Gut:  Good

A – Austreichend:  Sufficient

M – Mangelhaft:  Faulty

U – Ungenugend:  Insufficient

Juguendklasse-ruden:  Youth class for males of twelve to eighteen months at German shows.

Sieger or Siegerin:  Title given to the top Male and Female at the German National Show.

Weltsieger:  World Sieger title awarded to the top dog at the FCI All Breed Show.

Europasieger:  Conformation winner at the European All Breed Show.

Bundeszuchtsieger:  Conformation winner at the German National All Breed Show.


AKC:  American Kennel Club

Angulations:  The angles at which bones of shoulder and upper arm meet at the shoulder joint, and those of upper and lower thigh meet at the knee joint.

Bloodline:  Animals sharing a specific family relationship over several generations.

CGC:  The dog has a Canine Good Citizen Certificate

CKC:  Canadian Kennel Club

Cow Hocked:  The dog stands and moves with the point of hock turned inwards.

Croup:  The pelvis together with covering of muscle and coat.

Dew Claws:  Additional toes on the inside of the leg above the foot and making no contact with the ground.  Many puppies are born without them on the rear legs.

Entire:  Having both testicles in the scrotum.

High Withered:  When the area where the neck runs into the back is definite, long and well filled in with muscle over the vertebrae between the shoulder blades, and slopes into the back, rather than being on the same horizontal with it (flat-withered).

Inbreeding:  Deliberate mating together of close relatives.

KK1:  Korklasse – Survey Breed

KKLI:  Korklasse I – Breed surveyed recommended to breeding, Koer Class rating which states that the dog has been breed surveyed and found to be breeding quality.

KKLII:  Korklasse II – Breed surveyed suitable for breeding.

Korung:  German breed survey to select animals for breeding – Class 1 animals recommended, Class 2 animals suitable.

Lbz – Lebenszeit:  Lifetime Rating

Monorchid:  A dog possessing one testicle.

OFA:  Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (Hip Certification in U.S.)

OVC:  Ontario Veterinary College (Hip Certification in Canada)

Penn HIP:  Developed at University of Pennsylvania (USA).  The procedure measures hip joint laxity; it does not grade a passing or failing score.  Loose hips are more prone to developing degenerative joint disease.  (See OVC, OFA, “a stamp”).

Sable:  A gray, brown or fawn foundation color with black shaded guard hairs (Wolf like colorings).

SV:  Schaferhund Verein – GSD Society of West Germany.

SV Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde:  (German Shepherd Dog Club) The original GSD breed club and breed registry, based in Germany.

TC:  Temperament Certified

TSB Triebveranlagung:  Fighting Drive

TT:  Temperament Tested

Washed Out:  Marked palling of color and pigment in nose and nail.

ZW Zuchtwert:  ZW Value, Zuchtwert Evaluation – A Breed Value Assessment, a number assigned that gives an indication of the genotype of the dog for breeding purposes.


“a” – Zuerkannt:  Certified hips that fell within the following three categories:

  • “a” – 1 Normal – Certified Normal Hips
  • “a” – 2 Fast Normal – Certified Near Normal Hips
  • “a” – 3 Noch Zugelassen – Certified Still Permissible Hips

Foxtails: What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know

Foxtails are a pretty common sight along the road or in fields when you are out walking your dog. The big question is whether or not you know what they really are.

Foxtails are essentially nothing more than clusters of seeds that adhere themselves to the stalks of long grass. The clusters have sharp points so that they can easily embed into the soil when they fall loose, allowing new roots to take hold and plants to grow.

In order for the seeds to do their job, they need to be able to penetrate the dirt, which is why the sharp points have a barbed appearance. You will also find bacteria made up of enzymes on the outside of the cluster. These break down into cellular matter when they come into contact with the ground, once again allowing the seeds to take hold in the soil.

The time of the year when foxtails can cause the most amounts of problems for dogs is during spring and summer. This is when the climate is drier and the seeds start to fall loose in search of a place to penetrate the soil. While foxtails are found all over the country, they are most prevalent the western region of the United States, with California being the state where they are most commonly found.


Foxtails play a major role in the natural process of reseeding, but they are certainly not helpful to dogs. Once a dog brushes against a foxtail, it will attach to his fur and the seeds will move inward as the dog walks. The aforementioned barbs allow the clusters to stay attached to the fur, while the enzymes will go to work on breaking down the tissues and the fur. Over time, the foxtails can get down to the body of the dog and start to burrow in the same way as they do with soil.

All of this leaves you with a pet that ends up very ill. Just how sick is a matter of the point of entry and how much damage was done by the foxtails on the way there. The most common ways into the body are through the eyes, ears, mouth, nasal passage, and even the lungs. They can also affect the backbone and other essential parts of the body.

Your vet will very quickly be able to locate and remove the foxtail with tweezers, assuming it hasn’t already gone too deep. If that is the case, surgery may be required to remove the offending barbs.


Here are some signs that your dog may have picked up a foxtail:

  • Your dog starts to sneeze and paw at their nostril, where blood may appear.
  • Foxtail in the ears will lead your dog to shake their head, pawing at their ears, and taking on a very stiff gait when they walk.
  • If the eyes are affected, you will notice excess discharge, tears, and mucus.
  • If a foxtail penetrates your dog’s mouth, be on the lookout for gagging and retching. They may also swallow repeatedly, stretch and scratch at their neck, and try to eat grass.

If you spot any or all of these signs and fear that foxtail may be the issues, you need to see the vet immediately. Time is very much of the essence here. You may be able to remove some of the seeds on your own, but the vet is definitely the best option, as just a few missed seeds can mean serious health issues for your dog.



15 lovely reasons why German Shepherds make the best pets

German Shepherds have a long standing history as guard dogs, trained to serve, protect and intimidate. They’ve been cast in action films and awarded medals of honor so is it really any wonder why we would want one for ourselves?

If you’re left unconvinced about the range of benefits that come with adopting a German Shepherd of your own, read on.

Here are 15 reasons why German Shepherds make the best pets:


15 -They are obedient and easy to train

German Shepherds actually enjoy learning and taking orders which makes the training process far simpler and more enjoyable than it is with other breeds.


14 – They are loyal and protective

If given proper training and a bit of TLC, your German Shepherd will become extremely loyal to you and in turn become protective. This means that they will love you unconditionally and if the situations arises, you know they’ve got your back.


13 – They are highly intelligent

Their intelligence is made up of all of their amazing and special traits – obedience, curiosity and a real thirst for mental stimulation. This is why they are often recruited as police dogs.


12 – They are wonderful companions

Once German Shepherds have attached to you, their sweet and friendly nature becomes an extreme positive. This is what makes them an ideal family dog.


11 – They are active dogs

German Shepherds are an extremely high-energy breed which means that they will encourage you to become fit and healthy too! They love a lot of outdoor exercise so take it as an opportunity to get active with them.


10 – They are healthy dogs too

Unlike many dogs of a larger breed, German Shepherds have very few health related risks when kept on a healthy diet and given enough exercise. The main concerns are in regards to their hip and elbow joints, but are avoidable if kept healthy.


9 – They are heroic

Their heroic nature is part of the reason why many German Shepherds are used in police forces. They have been awarded medals of honor for their service and bravery and are responsible for saving the lives of thousands of people.


8 – They are awesome family dogs

If you socialize your German Shepherd pups when they are young, they will grow up to be fantastic playmates for young children.


7 – They are adaptable

While they may not seem it, German Shepherds really can adapt to any kind of lifestyle or living situation. As long as they are given plenty of exercise, they can adapt to suit your needs.


6 – They are low maintenance

German Shepherds require little to no grooming at all. Their beautiful natural coats can remain that way without any special care, which means expenses for you.


5 – They come in a range of colors

While you might think German Shepherds all come in variations of the same black, tan and brown coloring, you’d be wrong. Some of the less common colorings include solid coat colors of blue and white.


4 – They can be friendly to other pets

They may seem like a breed that craves dominance over other animals, but that is certainly not always the case. When socialized early, German Shepherds can even become quite timid and gentle with other pets.


3 – Even if they aren’t – they look intimidating

German Shepherds emanate the kind of look that says ‘do not mess with me’. Their reputation coupled with their larger frames means that people are often quite afraid of the breed regardless of how docile or friendly they might actually be.


2 – They will accept those you trust

While German Shepherds might be standoffish and protective of you around those they don’t know, this will change quickly as they learn to trust new people and familiarize themselves with them.

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