The Need for Early Socialization and Training | The German Shepherd
The first thing you should know about German Shepherds is that as puppies they are loud and boisterous. This does not make them aggressive – on the contrary, young German Shepherd pups are as friendly as can be! But given their large size and the disproportionate ratio of their legs to the rest of them at that age, these dogs are likely to be clumsy in their enthusiasm – which could spell danger for your valuable collection of china vases or porcelain figurines! Don't expect a young German Shepherd puppy to have the same noble gravitas as an older specimen, and be wary of bringing in such a young dog to a home with young children or the frail or elderly – these dogs don't know quite how to control their energy yet, but they're big enough to knock over a light human.
Thus, it is important to begin socializing German Shepherds early. As they are an instinctively “protective” breed, they are by nature wary of strangers and the unfamiliar. Bringing your German Shepherd to socialization classes or gatherings early on – from the age of about four months – is one invaluable way to help your German Shepherd learn to be comfortable around new people and animals and be friendly rather than aggressive. In short, making sure that your German Shepherd is properly socialized is one of the most important and productive things you can do for your dog.