Are German Shepherds Easy To Train?

German Shepherds are beautiful dogs that are most commonly associated with guard or police dogs.

Are German Shepherds Easy To Train?

If you’re considering introducing one to your household, you might be wondering how difficult they are to train.

Dogs of their size can be difficult to manage if not given the proper training habits and guidelines, so it can be important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before committing to a dog breed.

In this guide, we’re going to be explaining everything to do with German Shepherds and how easy they are to train.

We’re going to break down the common characteristics of the breed, how intelligent and quick they are to learn, and some of the common issues you may run into when trying to train one.

What Is A German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are some of the most popular dogs in America and in the wider world.

If you haven’t heard of them before, you may know them by their second name ‘Alsatian,’ as they’re called in Europe.

German Shepherds have their origins in rigorous selective breeding conducted by Max von Stephanitz in 1899.

He bred them from various breeds of German Herding Dogs. 

German Shepherds were originally bred to be a superior type of herding dog, with a great focus on obedience, intelligence, and physical capability.

Since their origins, they were used throughout the beginning of the 20th century as dogs in war, search-and-rescue, and as police dogs.

In modern working climates they are most often used as guard of police dogs, but they are also a good pick for Service Jobs such as leading the blind or mobility-impaired owners. 

General Characteristics Of A German Shepherd 

As a general note, German Shepherd dogs are great at learning and assisting humans in a variety of different roles and situations.

In the section below, we’re going to be outlining some of their most common characteristics so that you can see if they’re the right breed for your lifestyle and/or household.

Size: German Shepherds are typically classified as medium to large dogs. They are physically strong and very active.

Friendliness: German Shepherds are a common pick for families as they are very friendly with family and children, and very loyal, often creating deep bonds with their owners. They’re also very friendly with strangers – though they may have difficulty meeting strange dogs.

Sensitivity: This is both a positive and a negative depending on their environment and how well trained they are. German Shepherds are exceptionally sensitive, meaning they respond to smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound much more than other dogs. This is one of the main reasons why they are used for such a wide variety of different working jobs. 

Energy: If you’re looking for a very active dog that will keep you on your toes, German Shepherds are a great pick! They need a lot of long walks and physical exercise and mental stimulation. 

How Easy Is A German Shepherd To Train


The first thing we want to point out before we get to the root of our question is that how easy a dog is to train can depend massively on the specific dog and the owner.

Dogs have different personalities, and these personalities can interact differently with their environment. 

With that being said, German Shepherds are generally considered one of the easier medium to large dog breeds to train.

Their working history in a variety of different complex roles means that they have been bred to learn quickly and to respond to training and external stimulus.

They are very intelligent and active dogs who want to please their owners in any way that they can.

The Difficulties Of Training A German Shepherd

The main difficulties of training a German Shepherd stem from their high intensity and energy levels, as well as their size.

They are fast, strong dogs that need a lot of mental and physical stimulation.

If you have a German Shepherd from when they were a puppy, then you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to set boundaries, and rules and to encourage positive behavior patterns.

German Shepherds are dogs that respond very well to positive training, meaning that you should show them the correct way of doing things and then reward them for that behavior.

German Shepherds are also one of the easier breeds to train when it comes to more complex training requirements such as working jobs or Services.

They are affectionate dogs who can be trained to do a variety of different complex tasks.

This is why police so often pick German Shepherds as guard or sniffer dogs because they’re very willing to help their owner in any way they need.

Another thing that can be difficult about training a German Shepherd is their tendency to bark and howl.

Whilst they’re not the most vocal dogs in the world, you’ll need to start your dog off with good behavior patterns when it comes to barking or howling.

They also have quite a high prey drive which can be difficult when going on long walks out in the deep country.

Lastly, German Shepherds are quite strong and heavy dogs, meaning you’ll need to be able to match their physicality to properly control them. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, German Shepherds are easy to train dogs providing you have the physical capability and resources available to properly train them.

They’re a great fit for a person or family who has an active lifestyle and lots of time to give. 

We hope that this article has given you some idea of how easy a German Shepherd is to train and that you’re now able to tell if they’re the right kind of dog for you.

A German Shepherd can be a great inclusion to your family and we hope that they’re the perfect companion for you for years to come.

Anna Granger
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