32+6 Ultimate German Shepherd Training Commands (2024 Upd.)

Last Updated on July, 2024

Training a German Shepherd is the first best thing you can do to them. Thanks to their extreme intelligence, training these dogs will not be as hard as you think it would be. Also keep in mind that it’s not easy either.

So you should know what you’re getting into, if anything goes wrong while training you might confuse your GSD and will find it hard to continue further.

However, going through this German Shepherd Training Commands List will help both you and your German Shepherd on how to have a trouble-free experience while training and what to expect.

In this German Shepherd Training Commands List we’ll let you know every command that you need to teach your German Shepherd with a step-by-step guide on how to implement each command.

Quick Summary

The importance of basic obedience commands in training a German shepherd, including “NO”, “GOOD DOG”, “GO INSIDE”, “DOWN”, “HEEL”, “ATTENTION!”, “DON’T DO THAT”, “SHAKE/PAW”, “KENNEL/CRATE”, “STAY”, “COME”, “SIT”, “LEAVE IT”, “EASY”, “SPEAK/BARK”, “QUIET”, “JUMP”, “GO AHEAD”, “TRACK”, “GUARD”, and “QUIET”.

The importance of teaching proper manners in different situations, including household manners, grooming manners, loose leash manners, car manners, and social manners.

The potential intelligence and trainability of German shepherds, with the ability to understand approximately 50 different commands.

Things You Should Know Before training Your GSD

(KISS)- Keep It Simple Stupid

A German Shepherd and Camping bag in a Mountain

Dogs react instantly to simple and easy commands like;

For example: use the word ‘out’ rather than ‘get out of here.’

So avoid using filler words like; ‘And’, ‘On’, and ‘The’. Dogs don’t mind whatever the language you speak, so try to keep it short and simple.


If you want to build trust, you have to be consistent. Consistency is an essential part of training your puppy GSD the commands.

This means your dog gets to learn the commands faster and authorizes you as its perfect leader. Taking regular breaks might affect your dog’s response, so make sure you are training regularly.

Training Commands to Teach Straight Away

If you assume or buy a German Shepherd, there are certain activities to be taught him straight away. These methods can help your dog behave well and make your German Shepherd acquire himself. Here are some of them listed below;


If you own a puppy for the first time, Housebreaking can be terribly fraughting.

But it is a must because it gathers substantial rewards. The most effective way for a dog to be trained to do his work is impulsively taking him to the particular place where he can learn easily. 

Be aware of your dog’s signals. It’s better to take your dog outside every 20 minutes at the time he/she is awake. If you stop him from having the chance to have a mishap in the house, it won’t be a pain in the back for you to clean up chaos once again.

As I feel it’s a perforated exertion.

I, for myself, don’t commend you all to train your German Shepherd dog to use a dog pad because it usually confuses him where to do his job once you transmit to go potty outside. 

Normally dogs like an orderly routine. Arranging an exact potty time makes your dog comfortable. He will be able to consider that he has an opportunity to relieve himself when the time arises.  

Crate Training Dog Commands

Puppies inside a crate

Crate training is necessary to supply your German Shepherd with a comfortable shelter.

A guarded place of himself in sleeping, playing, or accommodation.

Normally he wants his crate to feel like a lair, so it will be easy for your dog and not in any way use his lair as punishment. 

When should you need to use a crate?

  • When you are not at home to keep your dog sheltered.
  • When he needs a cozy place to sleep at night.
  • When you wanted your dog to have his nap without any disturbance.
  • When your dog feels uncomfortable and wants an intimate spot away from clamor.

Crate training may start up with a bit of annoyance. For the first day or two, your German Shepherd in the crate will urge and mourn to let him out. Stay calm. 

Be brave! 

He will get trained to be in the crate and ultimately get to know that it’s a homely place to sleep.

While your German Shepherd has rest during the daytime, put him in his crate before placing him in there throughout the night.

This can make him get used to the box in a short interval of time. Or else if you make him experience in a crate through an entire night, he will cry overnight and make a fuss. It can make you both quirky the next morning.

Note that all the individuals of the house must go through similar crate training. Distinguish that if there is no one at home, the dog must be in the crate with a blanket and a toy. 

Make sure whatever the rules implemented must be followed by everyone. If anyone fails to follow the same rules, the dog will get muddled, and his crate training can end up lapsing.   

Positive Reinforcement

german shepherd positive training

Employing Positive reinforcement to train your GSD is something you are teaching your dog to conduct himself with good behaviors you like and disregard the behaviors which you do not like.

You can play games, take him for walks or car rides, and serve your dog to conduct good behavior.

This is one of the most effective procedures in training the dog’s good behaviors.

Whenever your dog makes a mistake, correct him by giving him a grim ‘NO’ command. Praise him after he corrects himself.(1)

Let’s say you are telling your puppy to ‘SIT’, and instead, he stands. When he does this, give him a ‘NO’ command and pull him down slowly to a sitting position. Raise your tone and command him ‘GOOD BOY’ and praise him with a treat. 

If you see your dog chewing your things, give him a stern ‘NO’ and slowly take the item from him. Instead, give him a designated toy and praise him.     

Reward-Based Dog Command

Reward-based training helps your German Shepherd improve in good, needed behavior. You can do this training by gratifying your dog when he does something properly. 

A reward can be anything, a tasty treat, or verbal praise to ado and cuddle, depending on what your dog is being entertained by. We get many benefits by Reward-based training like:

  • It increases the important bond between humans and a dog.
  • It creates peaceful and cheerful hearing dogs.
  • Very often, we can have fun during dog training.

It actually works!

Leash Training

German shepherd leash training

Leash training makes your German Shepherd lead you with a leash.

The foremost thing that we must consider while leash training is that your dog must be comfortable with his leash to give him plenty of room to breathe. 

The dog should not pull off his leash and stop walking until you give a ‘STOP’ command.

The leash training must be taught to the dog at once since you will be taking him outside on a leash for potty intervals.

The dog must feel pleased with his collar and walking with a leash tied up to a human while walking at human’s footsteps.

Make sure that you acquire the proper equipment. The type of collar you use is dependent on the dog you have. It may differ from the size of the dog. There are many types of collar

Standard collar – A popular collar that you see everywhere. Certain dogs may need only this. Dogs with smooth necks and heads may skid out, so it is not much suitable for them. 

Martingale collar-This is one of the great collars for dogs with the substandard habit of pulling off a leash. This is a double arced collar. When your dog pulls off the leash, it gets tightened. Worry less about it; it only makes him a bit uncomfortable.

Your dog might pull the leash when you are walking. Stand still and be calm till he stops pulling. 

Remember not to use your leash too hard while he has put on a training collar. He may not agree and may fear training. Sometimes he may also get strained. 

The main thing to remember for a leash is to make sure it is strong that it won’t break when the dog pulls it. There are some leashes which will be useful:

Standard Leash– This is outworn. It is a string style or just a flat band. There are broad variations in designs.

Retractable Leash- This can help the trainer let the dog go further as desired and then lock it. Note you must use these type of leash once your dog has been trained well in standard leash. 

It may take a while for your dog to get used to a leash. If you start walking, he may continue to pull. Wait for your dog to come back to your side and give him some treat and praise him. Praise him orally and give him a forward command.

If your German Shepherd is not corrected at a young age, he will grow up thinking that pulling is a sustainable behavior. 

Once he is grown up with this behavior, he might pull you around as well. A small puppy will not seem to pull much, but it’s better to keep an eye on him while walking and praise him all the time when he is in your footsteps. 

And if you want read more about dog leash training, click here.

Life offers nothing for free

Yes! This could be a kind of very easy training task. Life offers nothing for free training; this basic method teaches your German Shepherd, to obtain certain things, he must act accordingly. Let’s take it easy.

Let us consider if your dog wants to go out, it must first sit and work calmly till you attach your leash to his collar. If he wants to be served, he must first sit and shake. 

Remember that when your dog is being trained in this method, he understands that he must exchange himself in order to own what he wants.

Let your dog sit for at least 5 seconds. Then let him be served by you. This helps your dog learn patience. 

Be creative! Get some new ideas to teach him in this training method. Decide what your German Shepherd must do before he does anything. Sometimes you may like your German Shepherd to shake his tail before having his treats in the bowl.

This makes your dog identify that you are his master at all times.            

2 main Classification of Training Commands

You know that when teaching your German shepherd commands, you must consider certain things on how to command him. Commands can be classified into two as shown below,   

Basic Commands

If you are teaching basic obedience commands for a German Shepherd puppy, here are some important key factors to remember.

Train your pooch the commands in a very quiet place in the house and let him have enough space to move in the room so he will be able to understand the instructions very easily.

Use the same leash and collar to train so he can realize it’s his time to concentrate.

As I have mentioned before, keep your commands short and simple. Your dog feels much easier to understand commands when it is one or two words. 

Don’t confuse your puppy while teaching basic commands. If you command him ‘FORWARD’ and wave your hand in the front direction, your dog will be very clear.

And the next time you command him ‘LET’S GO’ and you want him to move forward, he will be confused. So make sure you are being sharp and clear to your dog without making him confused. 

Your puppy gets frustrated when you continue training him for hours. 30 minutes of training sessions per day is better.

Usually, if he does not get an interval during dog training, he may start barking, and he will not understand the instructions given by you.

Make sure you aren’t forcing your puppy on training commands while he is stressed. If you train so, he will relate obedience with anger and fear.

To make your GSD a well-mannered and disciplined dog teach him the basic commands. I will be talking about each of them in a while in this article. So Keep Reading completely.

For some puppies, it may take a bit of time to pick up commands, but some pick up faster. Generally, your German Shepherd puppy is very clever. They may learn the commands after two to three repetitions over three to four training sessions. 

Remember always to be kind and calm while training your GSD and use the commands very short. 

A puppy biting a human hand

Advanced Commands

As we discussed basic commands, there are advanced commands too. Your dog may learn these commands when he is six months or one year old.

Advanced commands are significant in trick training, agility, or working situations. 

Basic German shepherd training Commands List

  • No

‘NO’ command is important in training your dog from doing forbidden activities. This basic obedience command is really easy for your dog to understand. He will learn ‘NO’ simply from your expressions and sound.

If you find any difficulty in teaching him this way, you can use your leash and pull him from acting you are making him refrain from.

Better not to serve him while teaching him ‘NO’ command. Because he may get confused at certain moments.


You normally praise your dog, saying ‘GOOD DOG’ when he does something properly. Basically, this command is done by physical actions like patting or a pleasant scratch.

  • Go Inside

When you use the command ‘GO INSIDE’, he must go inside the particular place where you are telling him to go from the exact spot where he is standing.

  • DOWN

This command could be learned when your dog starts to sit. An easy method to teach him ‘DOWN’ command is, you have to make him sit and tempt him towards the ground. Hold a treat in your hand down on the ground, a bit in front of him.

Don’t force your dog to lie down on the ground. When he lays properly, give him the treat. This is a simple method to teach him this command correctly.

  • Heel

Before you teach your dog this command, your dog must master the method of walking with a loose leash. To introduce the ‘HEEL’ command to your dog, first of all, stand with your pooch facing the same direction and when he walks at your side, say ‘HEEL’ and move forward if he follows and walks at your pace, marvelous! Praise and reward him with some treats. And keep going longer and longer distances.

  • Attention!

This is the very first obedience training command to be taught by you to your pup. When you call his name, he must be able to recognize that he must pay attention to you.

When he pays attention, in fact, make sure you are too paying him attention. Teach him to focus on you until you give him the next command.

  • Don’t do that

It’s the same as the ‘NO’ command. You make him aware of the activities which you refrain from. If you want to lengthen your command, you can command him as ‘DON’T DO THAT’.

  • Shake/Paw

This command is somewhat a bit funnier. If your pooch is a foodie, he may catch up with this command very quickly. If your dog is waiting for a treat, you can ask him to shake hands.

Initially, make your dog sit. While you state him the command, pull his paw, and hold it for some time like you are shaking hands. Praise him and serve him with a treat.

Kinda entertaining and easy, right!

  • Kennel/Crate

This command is used to send your pooch back to his crate. When you command your dog ‘CRATE’ or ‘KENNEL’, he must walk up to his crate/kennel.

  • Crate/Kennel/Bed

When your German Shepherd starts to enjoy being in the crate, you can teach him a command to go there when said.

The time when you put him in his crate, you can command him by saying ‘CRATE’, ‘KENNEL’ or ‘BED’, and praise him the time he goes in.

  • SIT

Sitting is a basic action performed by your dog initially. It’s really very easy for you to teach him the command “sit”. To teach him this command, first of all, while you are at your training session, make him stay and stand, hold a treat in your hand.

Don’t take the treat too close to him. Take it closer to his nose and move your hand up and back over the nose of your dog. When you do this, he comes to the sitting position.

Don’t try to compel your dog to sit by pushing him down. Below video might be helpful. 🙂


This command alerts your German Shepherd that he is focusing on something that he shouldn’t. Easy way to teach him this command is to let your dog pick up something that is not his. You may watch him and once he tries to access it, command him saying ‘LEAVE IT’.

When you command, he will lose his focus and get away from the object. Done! And praise him.

  • Here

When you want your puppy to come near you or place himself next to you, you can command him by saying ‘HERE’. Usually, this command goes with hand actions.

  • Eat food

When you offer your dog the bowl of food, you can give him a command ‘EAT FOOD’ to let your dog know that the permission is granted to eat, and he may start to eat.

  • Go out

When you give him the command ‘GO OUT’, he should leave the particular place from where he is standing.

  •  Okay

‘OKAY’ helps your puppy to understand that he is free to locomote. You tell your dog to wait, and he stands for some time. And if he obeys the order properly, command him ‘OKAY’, and he understands that you have let him free.

  • Stand

‘STAND’ command is usually practiced by your German Shepherd when someone wills to pet your pooch. Initially, have your dog sit. Have a treat in your hand over his nose and step back, attracting him to stand up. Then you command him. Your dog stands. And praise him with treats.

Try this without a treat for some days.

  • Park/Go Potty

When it’s time for your dog for a potty interval, take him to the appointed place anywhere outside from your house.

Command your dog ‘PARK’ or ‘GO POTTY’, and he eventually understands that he is in the appropriate place to do his job. Take him to the place when the time arises. Praise him after he is done with his business.

  • Standstill

Your dog is supposed to stop abruptly in his route in standing position when you give him the ‘STAND STILL’ command. You usually give this verbal command when you train your German Shepherd without a leash.

  • Let go

When you say your dog ‘LET’s GO’, he should drop the item which he is holding with his mouth. If he picks up something which does not belong to him, then train him with this command to get away from the particular item.

  • STAY

‘STAY’ command requests your dog to be still in his position. Initially, have your dog sit beside you. Then walk a few steps away, having a keen eye on him. Show him a stop sign through your hand, similar to the stay command.

Hold for a moment. If he moves at this point, repeat the process again. Make your dog understand what you are expecting him to do.

Once your dog is mastered in this training, you will be able to walk away from the room, making him sit and stay.

  • COME

‘COME’ is a basic command to be taught to your dog. When your pooch is out of attention while you set him free outside, say ‘COME’ to bring his attention towards you.

Let your dog run far away from you. To bring him back, pull your leash, gently commanding him. It will be better if you have a treat at the end of your leash so he may come to you faster.

If he respects your commanding, praise him with a treat.

  • Easy

This command could be used if your German Shepherd pulls the leash too hard. Stop walking for a while until he stops pulling. And tell him ‘EASY’ and give the forward command and move.

If he does this often, you may repeat the same method.

Advanced German shepherd training Commands List

  • Bite

When you say him ‘BITE’, your German Shepherd should bite or hold on to an object tight.

  • Fetch

Make your dog bring the things which you say him to by using the ‘FETC H’ command. It can be anything of yours. Maybe your shoe, ball, or your clothes.

  • Article search

If something that you own is lost, train him to track the item using this command.

  • Speak/Bark

When you command your dog ‘SPEAK’ OR ‘BARK’, he must bark.

  • Go ahead

When you command your dog ‘GO AHEAD’, he must walk ahead of you.

  • Guard

Make your dog watchful around the things when you say him ‘GUARD’; like an item, door, person, or a gate alerting him.

  • Track

It’s similar to an Article search. Make your German Shepherd track on objects or a person when it is lost or stolen by someone.

  • Jump

If you wanted your dog to jump over low walls or jump into the water, say him ‘JUMP’.

  • Quiet

If your German Shepherd is barking unnecessarily, command him ‘QUIET’ to stop him from barking

Proper Manners for German Shepherd Puppy

You know German Shepherds are probably powerful dogs. They are big and more energetic compared to other dogs. It’s a very big deal to train your dogs well.

We must make sure that our dogs are well mannered and obey the command whenever said. Command him whenever he tries to do something which you avoid him from.

Below I have listed some of the proper manners that you should teach your dog.

Household manners 

Some owners may agree with their dogs to use their things like a bed, fittings. But some may dislike it. It depends on what you allow him to do and what you don’t allow him.

When he does something which you do not like, give him a grim ‘NO’ command. 

There are some other household manners as well; chewing of items etc… 

Grooming manners

Grooming or brushing your German Shepherd is beneficial. It can increase the bond between you and your dog and also the physical health of your dog.

Make him stand still whenever you want to brush him, trim his nails, brush his teeth, and while visiting a veterinarian.

Make sure you make him comfortable while touching his body all over. Start training your dog from an early age.

Loose leash manners

You may have an idea of how to train your dog with a loose leash, as we discussed before. 

Remember, never let him pick up things that do not belong to him. He should walk following your footsteps with a leash attached to his collar. 

Car manners

GSD’s may play or jump inside the car when you take them for car rides.

An essential behavior that you must start teaching your dog to avoid accidents and for the safety of you, your dog, and others. 

Make him sit-stay without jumping on you while driving. It may cause accidents. It’s better if you use your seatbelt to not only make him seated but also to safeguard him from accidents.

Unfamiliar people and animals

Unknown people may like to pet your puppy. Show them that your German Shepherd is attentive. Train him to sit calmly when you introduce him to new people and animals. Avoid him from jumping and barking when he sees them for the first time. 

This will make people fearless to pet your dog. Remind him of the commands you taught him and be persistent.

 Social manners

A GSD dog barking

Start training your puppy socially at an early age. He might be unsocialized because of a lack of socialization.

If your dog is untrained with this aspect, he eventually becomes irritated, uneasy, and fearful of unfamiliar dogs.

Take your pup to visit with friends and family and introduce him.

You may take him to people with friendly, well-trained dogs.

Praise him when he acts accordingly and don’t make him concerned. 

Remember, you should never take your pups to a dog park for socialization. There are unskilled and untrained dogs in the parks with their holders. Dog owners don’t monitor his dog and let the dog run in the park violently while the dog owner has no focus. 

Those unsupervised dogs may ruin your pup’s good behavior and may cause injuries. Better step away from dog parks.   

If you want to make your dog smarter by teaching him brain games that will skyrocket your dog’s intelligence, obedience, and overall behavior without spending hundreds of dollars Online. Then << check this out Brain Training For Dogs <<

How many commands can a German shepherd learn?

Well! All this while we were discussing the manners, training, and commands to be taught to your dog, I think now you may have a clear understanding of all the facts.

German Shepherds have the ability to understand 50 different commands approximately. Teach your GSD whatever necessary, and make your puppy a well trained, obedient German Shepherd.    

4 German shepherd training tips to Keep in Mind

While training your German Shepherd, there are certain tips to keep in mind to make your training more effective.(2)


  • Make sure you are being firm and accurate. Use the same words every time.
  • Teach your pup everything initially and make him understand what you wanted him to do.
  • Remember, dogs understand better when we command them short and simple, so be concise.
  •  Short retraining sessions ordinarily can make your dog respond to you well.


  • Probably German Shepherds are very energetic. But remember to give your dog intervals during training sessions, or he may not understand the commands.
  • Don’t scream or punish your German Shepherd physically for minor errors during training because he may get frightened and lose his trust on you.
  • Using sentences like commands will not help your dog to understand the commands himself. Make sure you command him short and simple.
  • If your German Shepherd refuses to follow your command, try to command him differently rather than repeating the same. If you do so, he may take no notice of you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  1. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/dog-training-positive-reinforcement-alpha-dog-method
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/puppy-training-timeline-for-your-german-shepherd-dog/

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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