German Shepherd Commands: Essential Obedience Training Tips for Your Pup

German Shepherd Commands

German Shepherd Training Commands are an essential part of training your pup. These commands can help you with basic obedience, provide a way to communicate with your dog, and teach them what they should be doing in different situations. 

This article covers German Shepherd training commands that every owner needs to know!


21 German Shepherd Commands to Teach Your Pup

1. Sit

The command “sit” teaches the dog to assume a sitting position on their hind legs for you to be able to pet them or clip his nails.

This is also known as an active down gesture and it can be used when teaching a recall, which will make your German Shepherd come to you.

Sitting is also a very useful command to have when teaching your pup how to properly greet people and other dogs.

Although it’s not an essential German Shepherd Command, the “sit” gesture can be used as part of many different commands throughout training!

2. Stand

The stand command is a useful command to teach your pup when you want them to remain in one spot and not move.

This can be an essential German Shepherd Training Command if you need your dog to stay still while at the vet’s office so they don’t hurt themselves or other people!

The “stand” gesture is also important for teaching how polite dogs should be when greeting people.

When you want your pup to stay still and not move, use the “stand” command!

3. Down

The “down” command is one of the most important commands in German Shepherd Training.

Use it to teach your pup that you want them to lay down and stay as still as possible.

If they disobey this training gesture, use a gentle tug on their leash or collar until they are lying flat on the ground! 

4. Wait (stay)

The “wait” command is used to teach your pup that they should stay where you are when you stop walking.

If they disobey, tell them again with a firm voice and tug on their leash or collar until they obey!

This gesture can also be useful if your puppy tends to run away from you or become too excited when meeting other dogs.

Use this command to stop your dog from running away.

5. Come

The “come” command is used to teach your pup that if you call them, they should come over to where you are. 

This gesture can be very useful during obedience training. It also helps with the recall skills of a German Shepherd Dog.

If your puppy does not obey this command, you can use the “sit” command until they come to you.

6. Heel

The heel command is used to train your German Shepherd Dog to walk at your side.

You can use this command to teach them that they should stay close by you and not get ahead of you or behind!

If the pup does not obey, tell them again with a firm voice until they do.  It is also important for an obedient German Shepherd dog to have a good heel command so they will be able to obey.

Always be aware if they are pulling away from the heel position and correct it as needed! They should mostly stay at your hip to monitor your actions and movements.

7. Off

The “off” command is used to train your German Shepherd Dog not to jump on people.

A dog like the German Shepherd can be very enthusiastic and may forget themselves if taught this early!

This means they should not climb onto you, lick you or otherwise try to get at you when they are excited.  Always give them a firm voice when teaching this command so that it will stick in their memory for longer than just one time.  If necessary use treats as rewards until they learn what the correct behavior is with this particular task!

If your pup does not obey then tell them again until they do. They must stay away from anything higher than knee level!! This includes water fountains, trash cans, or any objects in the house.

8. Leave it

You can use the leave it command to prevent a pup from grabbing something that is not theirs.

The “leave it” command can be used for various objects, and it should be given with firmness!

It may take some time to get your dog the hang of it but in the end, they will learn what you want them to know.

Do not hesitate when giving this command because if they grab an object then you must make sure that they are punished until they understand how serious this behavior is!!

9. No

The “NO” command can be used when a pup is doing something that they are not supposed to do.

This command can be used to indicate anger or disapproval of what they are doing.

Some examples of this command include if your pup jumps on you, eats their food before the appropriate time, or chews up one of your favorite shoes.

The “NO” word should always have lots of energy and tone behind it so there is no confusion between what you want and don’t want! Puppies need discipline so make sure that they get it by being strict with them at all times!!

Tips: You must show dominance over your pup because this will tell him who is in control for the rest of his life!

10. Quiet

Use the Quiet command to tell your pup to be quiet.

If you want your canine friend to go from barking or whining, give him the command of Quiet and he will behave.

This way, when guests are over, they won’t have to deal with a screaming dog!

11. Speak

The Speak command is great for getting your pup to stop barking and growling at strangers.

This one may take some time, but it will work eventually if you use the command enough times!

Speak also works when someone knocks on your door or rings the bell.

Your pup will know that he cannot bark because this can scare a stranger away so they won’t come in!

12. Fetch

Fetch is another great command to train your pup with.

This will teach them how to play fetch, and it can also be used during hunting season for a fun way of training!

It teaches the dog that once they do something wrong, we don’t want him to do it again in the future.

Make sure your pup knows the specific object you want him to bring before issuing the command.

If not, he may come back with one shoe instead of both or just stick his head into a box leaving out an item on your list.

13. High Five

High five is a great way to teach your pup how to greet people, and it’s also good for morale.

This will make them happy again instead of being in the doghouse!

It can be hard at first because they may not know what you want them to do or where their hands are supposed to go so don’t hesitate from showing him right away.

If he doesn’t seem like he knows what you want him to do, try holding his paw up as high as possible with both thumbs on top and fingers underneath.

Once he “gets” that then move on to just raising one back hand with palms facing outwards while still standing next to each other.

14. Go out

Go out is when you want your pup to go outside, but not just any time. 

The key here is that they have been doing something wrong and need a break from whatever it may be. For example, if there’s dog poop on the floor then tell them to go back outside for their “break.”

It also works well as an intimidation tactic. If someone comes over who has scared your dog in the past then say “go out” or act like you’re going to open the door and wait until he leaves before letting him into your home again!

In case of emergencies, this command will let them know what needs to be done first so they won’t keep sniffing around looking for clues about why you called him.

15. Drop It

The drop it command is used when you want your pup to stop playing with an object that they shouldn’t be.

This command is perfect for kids and parents alike who don’t want their pup picking up something dangerous or someone’s personal belongings around the house.

It’ll also let them know if it was a mistake, like placing food on top of the stove then going back outside. The “drop it” command will tell them not to go near those items again until you’re ready to put out some new food for them to discover!

16. Go Potty

When you want your pup to go potty outside, this command is the one for you.

This is a good word cue that will teach them where they should be going when nature calls!

The “go potty” command can also work if it’s time to move from an inside spot of the house to their outdoor play area and they might have forgotten.

It’ll let them know what needs to be done first so they won’t keep sniffing around looking for clues about why you called him.

They don’t need any more hints than these two commands: drop it or go potty – we’ve got everything else covered with our guide!

17. Crawl

The crawl command will be a good way for you to teach your pup how they should behave in different situations.

You can use this when it’s time for them to go inside, or if they’re getting too close to something that needs space!

But most importantly, the crawl command is what we recommend teaching first – because dogs don’t know their name and come running every time.

Instead of trying to yell “come here!” from across the yard while also frantically waving your arms like crazy; try using just one hand with a finger pointed down so he’ll understand where he should be going on his belly as soon as possible.

This is an important skill that makes potty training easier, but there are plenty

18. Speak

The speak command is the one you’ll want to use when your pup is barking or whining at something.

If they’re really spooked by an unfamiliar sound, try putting on a shirt from their puppyhood (or just take them for a walk) and see if that helps with any anxiety.

This command can also be used as “hush” if he’s getting too rowdy in public – but don’t forget about rewarding him later!

No need for treats: give him praise instead of food so he knows it was all done well.

19. Good dog!

Use the “good dog command” to show appreciation to your pup for doing something you like or approve of.

This will come in handy when he does his business outside or greets someone without being too aggressive – and don’t forget praise, either!

If they’re barking at the doorbell, use this phrase as soon as it stops ringing so that they learn there’s nothing worth getting worked up about.

“Good puppy!” would also work here.

20. Lay down

This command is the first step to teaching your pup how to relax.

It’s not just a nap, it teaches them where their place in the family hierarchy is and that you’re pack leader – so remember: keep your orders calm but assertive!

If they don’t listen at first, try saying “down” instead of “lay down.” They’ll eventually catch on. And if all else fails…well then there are other commands for that too.

21. Stop

The “stop” command is also an important gesture in German Shepherd Training.

This sign will teach your pup that you want them to stop what they are doing and sit still!

Use the hand signal for this one, too- hold up your palm to tell your dog to stay put until you say otherwise!

Bottom Line

When training your pup to follow these commands, you should maintain consistency.

If you only practice every now and then, it’ll take them much longer to learn the commands that are new or different from what they’re used to – even if their behavior changes for a little while!

Remember to give them a bit of praise and love when they do the right thing. This will reinforce good behavior in German Shepherd Training!

Figure out which command best suits your pup’s personality, whether it be “down,” “stand up,” or anything else from our list of essential commands for training your dog.


I am an animal behaviorist, and I am happy to share my knowledge with GSD owners on everything German Shepherd.

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