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Training Classes and other Essentials | The German Shepherd

Regarding training for your German Shepherd, be careful about what classes you choose to join. While most reputable classes will take German Shepherds from the age of about four months, helping them learn to understand and get on with others and to learn boundaries of what is or is not acceptable, some classes are loath to have such large dogs involved. If a puppy class seems reluctant to take on your German Shepherd, or even requests that you muzzle him or her, this is probably not the class for you.

If your German Shepherd is aggressive from early on, one good way to deal with the problem is not with a muzzle – which is increasingly seen as a negative influence on your dog's behavior – but with a Canny Collar, a plastic cone-shaped collar that looks a bit like an Elizabethan ruffle that prevents your dog from having the freedom of movement in his head to bite or snap at other dogs.

Along with socializing your German Shepherd, another thing to get your German Shepherd dog used to early on is the process of grooming. Most dogs hate baths – it's a well-known stereotype – but German Shepherds in particular have a tendency towards molting quite frequently – a year-long cycle of hair removal and shedding. As an owner, you should get your dog used to the necessary brushing and bathing that is attendant to this condition; some dogs even learn to love the attention and “preen” when they realize that the grooming process makes them cuter and more irresistible than before! Be sure also to invest in a vacuum cleaner – the last thing you want is a house and furniture covered in German Shepherd hair!

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