How to Discipline A German Shepherd Puppy

How To Discipline A German Shepherd Puppy

What comes to the mind of many dog owners when they hear of disciplining their puppies is denying food, physically torture, or locking them in a cage.  They consider them as the best ways of making their puppies understand their mistakes. A dog behaviorist will tell you that those are the worst ways of disciplining your puppy. So, how do you discipline your German shepherd puppy?

You can discipline your puppy by redirecting a bad behavior, for instance when you get him chewing your socks, give him a chew toy. Ensure that you discipline your puppy at the exact time he misbehaved. Use positive reinforcement to encourage your puppy to continue with good behaviors and always have a realistic expectation when training your puppy


The Best Ways To Discipline Your German Shepherd Puppy


When you find your puppy doing something he shouldn’t do like chewing your shoes, immediately take it away and interchange it with a chew toy. You should use a verbal cue like ‘no’ to stop him. By replacing the shoe with a toy he will understand that they are not meant for chewing but toys are.

Get the Right Timing

You should not discipline your puppy three minutes after the act. If you discipline your dog long after any act, he will not understand the reason as to why you disciplined him. This is because dogs have a two-minute memory, they will not remember anything that happened fifteen minutes ago.

A dog’s memory relies on associating between commands and situations. When you give him a treat for pooping in the potty area, he will be associating the potty area with good memories and he will do it again expecting a treat.


A German shepherd can be jumping on you as a way of greeting or trying to get your attention. You should show him that he will not get your attention by jumping on you. If you give him any attention either positive or negative, he will be encouraged to do it again.

The same case applies to an excessively barking puppy, he should not get any attention even if he barks for long. Wait for him to keep quiet even if it is for seconds and give him a treat, this will make him relate keeping quiet with a reward.

Use Positive

By using positive reinforcement you reward your puppy with treats and praises when he does anything right, this will motivate him to repeat it.

For example, if you command your puppy to come and he obeys, give him a treat. This will make him understand the command ‘come’ and he will obey the next time you will use it.

Positive reinforcement involves;

  • Giving treats like liver, carrots, and packed treats.
  • Expression of physical attention like a pat on the head or a hug.
  • Verbal praise like congrats boy/ girl.
  • Chew toys.

The Don’ts When Disciplining Your German Shepherd Puppy

No physical punishment

The use of physical punishment makes your dog lose trust in you. Any form of punishment like smacking, spanking, or leaving him a whole day without food is not a good disciplining method.

Your puppy will not comprehend that all that punishment is meant to discipline him, he will in return become aggressive, fearful, and it will destroy the bond between you and him.

Physical punishment is against US law and can lead you to trouble. Seek a behaviorist intervention if you cannot handle your puppy.

No Yelling

Dogs can hear even the faintest sound so you do not have to shout at them. They are also bright enough to tell apart between a low and a high-pitched voice.

If you yell at him, he will be aggressive or get used to the yelling and will not obey you anymore.

Never Rub His Nose in Dirt

There is a common myth that when you rub a puppy’s nose in his poop or pee after disposing of it in the wrong place will make him never do it again. This is misleading and inhuman because by doing so, you have not trained him where to do his business, the next time he might do it in a different place.

This act can make your dog stressed and anxious. It can also install fear and make him eat poop to hide the evidence before you see it, this will lead to health complications.

The best thing to do is clean the spoiled floor or carpet with a strong detergent (but not bleach or ammonia).

Do not Encourage a Bad a Behavior

As a parent of a German shepherd puppy, you might encourage bad behavior like nipping, biting, and jumping on you as it can be fun when he is young. When the puppy matures, it will be hard to control his biting which will be strong and painful or jumping on you with his strong paws which can hurt.

What you will not like him to do when fully matured, train him at an early age it’s not acceptable.

Have Realistic Expectations.

Most of the training videos on YouTube will show a flawlessly trained dog, what they don’t show is the amount of energy, struggles, and the consistency they had before they made him a super trained dog.

You will end up training your puppy for months without the exact results from YouTube making you frustrated. Remember they don’t reveal the times when the dog was stubborn and couldn’t follow a single command.


When disciplining your German shepherd puppy, use the most humane method possible. Using force will not give you the desired results but a stubborn and aggressive dog.

Make sure your puppy has fully understood their mistake with the least time possible or else he will repeat the same mistake.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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