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33 German Shepherd Training Commands To Get A Good Boy

33 German Shepherd Training Commands To Get A Good Boy

German Shepherds are known as one of the best military, police, and search and rescue dogs because they’re smart, easily trainable, and obedient by nature. So, why are there so many German Shepherd training commands?

The answer is simple; all canines, including GSDs, have to be trained to understand the human language and gestures, and to learn how to react in various situations.

If your pup isn’t properly trained, it won’t be able to fulfill your request, react in time (or at all), and will start behaving in an odd way (German Shepherds might even show signs of aggression in these cases).

There are plenty of German Shepherd training commands, and it would be impossible to mention them all at once, which is why I listed the most common commands that every GSD owner should teach their doggies.

Basic Training Commands For German Shepherds

german shepherd trained by a dog trainer

If you want your German Shepherd puppy to become an obedient doggie, you need to start training it from an early age.

Of course, it’s impossible to teach your pup all the commands at once, which is why you should start with basic training commands like the ones mentioned in the paragraphs below:


This is one of the most common basic commands that can keep your pup calm when it gets too excited, or when you want to show off in front of guests.


Abort unleashing if your GSD is still not responsive to this command – I repeat, abort unleashing now. Jokes aside, this is one of the first commands German Shepherds should learn before going outside without a leash.


No matter how careful you are, your pet’s leash can easily get tangled whether it is because of their playfulness, leash materials, improper application of the leash, or any other reason. 

If you notice such a thing during walks, all you need to say is “leash” (if the canine is trained from an early age) and your pup will know it needs to remain calm until you untangle the leash.

Leave (It)

This command is of critical importance as it represents dominance over your canine. If you tell your pup to leave something alone, there are high chances it won’t react to it at all. This way, you can prevent your pup from consuming anything that could be potentially dangerous for it.


So simple, yet crucial; this command is an obligatory part of every canine training. It might be often confused with “wait”, as they basically mean the same thing. However, I’d rather say that “wait” requires a shorter break while “stay” implies that the canine should remain calm for a longer period.


Every vet and groomer is thankful to all dog owners who teach their canines this command, as it keeps the pup calm during grooming sessions and examinations.


When it’s time for a break, your trained GSD usually won’t stop unless you say “wait” or “stay”. If you want to give a new command or simply want to stop the dog for a few seconds, this command is something you’ll definitely need.

Potty Training

german shepherd puppy  learning to pee outside

Stick to a simple command while potty training a GSD, and try not to change it in order to avoid confusion. GSDs are indeed intelligent canines, but they won’t understand what you want if you change the command multiple times.


This command will get your German Shepherd into a standing position in no time.


One word can be more powerful than a whole sentence. If you’re trying to teach your pup how to behave without the leash, this one-word command will be essential, as it’ll teach the canine obedience from an early age.

Go Eat

This is a universal command that all canines, GSDs included, love the most. It helps owners to have more control over their furry buddies, but it also trains canines not to eat before they get their owner’s permission.

Go In

The simplest way to get your GSD into the house or a room is to teach it this simple command.

Go Out

If it’s time to go out, all you have to do is say this command to your German Shepherd, and repeat it until the doggo memorizes it.


If properly trained, a GSD will immediately stop whatever it is doing after you use this command, until you give it a new order.

Good Dog

Technically, this isn’t a command, but more of a praise; however, you have to admit that our German Shepherds deserve to be praised for good behavior.

Intermediate Training Commands For German Shepherds

german shepherd being trained by his owner in the park

Once your GSD learns how to sit, stand, and wait, it’s time to move forward with more complex commands that will make your dog-owning life easier:


If you don’t want your German Shepherd to pull your arm each time you go for a walk, it’s necessary to incorporate this command into training. By using “heel”, you’ll be able to keep your pet near you without having to pull the leash all the time, as shown in this video.


Essentially, you’ll add “it” or the specific thing after the verb to complete the command, but the canine will learn to recognize even if you simply say “take” something that is within their line of sight. This way, you will teach your pup to ask for your permission before any further action.


German Shepherds love to bark, so you won’t have to spend too much time teaching them to speak.


This command might be a bit challenging for GSDs, as they can rarely keep it quiet. However, since they’re easily trainable and intelligent, they’ll overcome the need to bark if their owner orders them to.


Both you and your German Shepherd puppy can have great fun during training by playing the game of fetch. This way, your doggo will acquire the skill of finding things and bringing them back to you.


Teaching canines “no” feels just like you have a furry toddler running around, wanting to touch everything around the house, and a parent frantically running and yelling “no”. It might not be so dramatic, but you’ll still have to repeat “no” lots of times until your GSD finally gets it.


There are things and people we’d like our German Shepherds to keep their paws away from. If you don’t want to scare anyone or have dog paws on your new furniture, you need to teach your pooch to get “off”.

RELATED: Why Does My German Shepherd Put His Paw On Me? 8 Answers

Back Up

I’d say this command is the equivalent of “place” when you’re outside the house. You can’t really say “place” in a dog park, as it might just confuse the canine. If you use “back up”, the dog will immediately get out of your way.

Advanced Training Commands For German Shepherds

german shepherd training in the park

The commands that are considered advanced might be easy to teach if you’re a training expert, but less-experienced pet owners might find it quite challenging to teach their pups to spin, jump, and go into their crate.

Don’t get discouraged if you’re not able to teach your pup any of the commands mentioned below. What you can do instead is ask for help, be it from a professional dog trainer or a more experienced canine owner.

Drop It

If the pooch isn’t willing to let go, you should find a way to make it do so, which means a new command… “drop it”. If the canine is trained well, it will respond to this command immediately.

Watch Me

This one might not be so frequent, but definitely a helpful command that will immediately draw your doggo’s attention to you, especially if you notice that the canine is losing concentration.


The song from Queen can perfectly describe this command – “I want to break free”. “Break” stands for release from any other command that might still be active.


This command is essential for good police canines like German Sheppies, especially during search and rescue missions. It might be challenging to teach, but with the right treat, you won’t have many issues.


Going in circles can be quite useful during grooming sessions or vet checkups, which is why it’s important to teach your GSD how to spin.

Come Up

This is a command that I usually use to get my pup into the car. If you decide to use it as well, make sure that you also use the hand gesture of patting the car seat. It might take some time until your puppy gets used to it, but once the pup gets into the car, make sure to praise your furry buddy for such an accomplishment.


Carrying tea while trying to clean up a mess might be quite challenging with the dog between your legs, which is why it’s important to teach the pup to get back to its place (be it their dog bed or favorite spot on the sofa) until you’re done.

Roll Over

Every person who has entered my house has had to witness the “roll over” moment, and I’m sure the majority of dog owners do the same thing. However, this command isn’t learned just for fun, but also as a useful order during grooming sessions or examinations at the vet’s office.

Kennel/Crate Up

The point of crate training is to teach your pet to get into the crate without hassle. Once the German Shepherd acquires this command, it will go into the crate each time you use it.

READ NEXT: Why Does My Dog Suddenly Hate His Crate? 14 Reasons


Jumping over obstacles is natural for the majority of canine breeds, but you need to teach your pup how to control itself and wait for your signal before jumping.

Best Training Method For German Shepherds

man trains german shepherd in the park

There is no super-secretive method that will help you train your German Shepherd in a few days, unfortunately. However, there is one type of training that turns GSDs into nearly perfect working, companion, and guard canines, but with a lot of work and patience from your side.

Say hello to Schutzhund – your new best friend during training. Translated as “protection dog”, this training method, or sport as some would call it, is a great way to teach your pet training commands and obedience.

The German Shepherd is ranked third on the list of the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds in the world, so there’s no doubt they’re smart enough to acquire various types of commands. However, with this training method, your canine will be able to shine and show its full potential.

So, What Exactly Is Schutzhund?

Schutzhund is an intensive training program that consists of three different levels: obedience, tracking, and protection. Each level has its own set of very specific rules and norms that you’ll have to follow along with your canine.

Susan Barwig and Steward Hillard, authors of “Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods”, emphasized the importance of all three levels for successful dog training. Schutzhund isn’t just a method that will make dogs obedient… it also helps them to enhance their protective and tracking skills.

This is especially useful for German Sheppies that can perform various roles such as working, police, search and rescue, or family dogs.

This training method might seem tedious at times for both owners and their furry buddies as it requires long-term commitment, but in the end, you’ll be more than pleased with the results.

If you’re a novice owner or new to the world of dog training, you can check out this video with useful tips for Schutzhund beginners.

Wrapping Up

Training a German Shepherd isn’t nearly as tough as working with a Rottweiler, a Beagle, a Siberian Husky, and other stubborn dog breeds. However, there are certain challenges you might face with a GSD.

They’re usually not considered a stubborn dog breed, but if not properly trained, German Shepherds might show resistance to orders and commands, just like Moira – a rescued German Sheppie that refused any type of leadership until she received appropriate training.

That is why dog training is the key to owning a well-behaved canine.

If you’re a first-time owner or you doubt your training skills, you can always consult with a professional dog trainer who will teach your pup commands and help you become a confident pet owner.


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