• Potty training should be complete by 3 to 4 months and some such as my star Ryker was done practically when I brought him home at 2 months old. The only time he ever went poo poo in the house was when he had a real bad case of diahrea. Of course, as my Mother always tells me, I have a completely fenced in outdoor yard, this does really make a difference as far as convenience and potty training your pup at any time of year. ( We talk about diahrea in the health tabs on this site). He urinated a little using peepee pads for about  3 weeks and then he was completely house or toilet trained.

  • The German Shepherd is in the large breed and herding class with a very large and extremely active mind.


  • As Alpha and leader your position starts immediately by potty training, the basic commands such as Come when called, Sit, Lie Down, Stay, teaching him or her that biting is wrong ( some pups can bite when they are teething so have plenty of chews and toys for these little guys & gals).  

  • You must have patience and remember at the puppy stage their focus span is limited. By accepting you as his alpha leader your dog will be able to relax knowing that YOU have everything under control and YOU will give him the direction that he or she needs to follow.

  • Crate training today is very popular and especially with puppies. Do not keep puppy or any dogs in a crate for long hours, with the exception of bedtime. 
  • Crate training can be a wonderful aid when potty training your pup since the crate helps with bowel control and at the same time becomes his den for security and resting. 
  • The crate is not recommended to be used as a punishment tool, since this is your friend's den for resting and time out. If you use it as a punishment tool your dog will not want to go in the crate since he will associate the crate with being naughty or bad.

  • We always make sure to add play in any serious training sessions and we always stop the training on a good and happy note. Especially with a "Good Boy" or "Good Girl". Get your dog to do something that he or she has down pat and then you are guaranteed to be able to praise him or her. 
  • They are so proud when praised. 
  • The Shepherd not only needs training to get along and understand our human world, German Shepherds crave it. 


  • Basic training gives your German Shepherd a clear understanding and view of how he should behave in this world and at the same time gives that German Shepherd a job to work his mind, body and social skills.
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Getting back to training....       

I just cannot stress enough how important it is to train your dog. I am not perfect and yes I could be accused of spoiling my Shepherds. At times I have not been as consistent as I should be but I try to get right back on track.

  • Consistency, patience, understanding and and a ton of love.

  • Don't give up, get assistance and you will have that " dog event of a lifetime" with so many wonderful and fond memories for years to come.

  • All of our dogs are different and they all have unique personalities. If you have a puppy just starting out or an older dog with issues or you just adopted a friend from a rescue, please put the time in to train him or her.

  • I cannot emphasize this enough probably because I have seen to many given up when all they needed was a little direction and training which included their owners more so. Unfortunately, the dog pays the price.​
  •  Ryker really started to focus well to learning at about 10 months old. We can teach him almost anything once he did start to focus.


  • As far as I am concerned German Shepherds are still big puppies up to about 1 and 1/2 years. Of course they should have their basic commands well before a year and a half and we should have established our Alpha or Leader of the Pack position by this time as well.
  • By basic commands I mean, come, sit, stay, down, not jumping up on people and general good manners.

  • German Shepherds do not need to be trained to guard, guarding is a natural and with proper training believe me they know the difference. German Shepherds can be trained at any age. They love the attention and they love to learn  new games or commands at all ages. They love to have a job. I'm sure that you have heard the saying, "Get that Dog a Job!" So applicable.

  • A little Canine psychology that every dog owner should know is that all of our dogs are pack animals. In your German Shepherd’s mind you and all other family members are his or her pack and as in any hierarchy there are leaders and followers. The pack leader or alpha is a position that comes with responsibility. The leader is the Alpha and this is your position, and your German Shepherd friend must understand that he or she is at the low end of the pack, beneath all adults and children.


  • If this rule is never established your German Shepherd may take it upon his or herself to be leader and then you have an out of control situation and this spells TROUBLE, especially with the German Shepherd's large body and strong mind.


All dogs worldwide, regardless of breed use the same ways to check to establish the pack leader and some will continuously test you. You must learn how to master leadership.

 The important areas to take control in are the following:

  1. The pack leader will be in total calm Control when your dog barks and alerts you to danger. This would include all things that your dog may perceive as dangerous and barks at in and around your property.
  2. When going for a walk your dog should not pull you at a single stage, even the beginning!     You should learn to walk your dog properly.  
  3. If you are the pack leader then your dog should be able to relax and switch off completely inside the house, your dog relaxes because he or she knows that you are in control of the pack's well being. If your dog is always switched on most of the time and will not relax then that is your dog on pack leader duty!
  4. Feeding your dog correctly also  establishes who is the pack leader and there is much more to it than commanding your dog to sit! If you have a dog that is “not motivated by food ” then you may be in for a surprise! 

  • One of the most frequently asked of all the questions is: “how to become the pack leader.”  Think of the pack leader as the decision maker, where you should go on your walks or outings, how to behave in a variety of different situations and how to respond to all the strange things that are out there.
  • When you understand how dog packs work you soon realize the importance of taking the position of Alpha. The pack leader makes all the decisions. You should not leave it up to your dog since this could be Big Trouble 
  • Maintaining the alpha position is of the utmost importance.

  • The German Shepherd is one of the world's most popular and most widely bred dogs. They have been mass produced and some owners have not taken seriously what it means to establish and maintain the alpha position.

  • Everyday, hundreds of our dogs are surrendered and given up to shelters, rescue organizations and some, due to an owner's reluctance or negligence to provide proper training are euthanized for one bad decision that the dog made.


  • Many excuses from the poor dog's owners upon surrendering their dog are: Sheds to much, too much to feed, too big, don't have time, had a baby, no room, not the right colour, barks to much, jumps on my kids. Ask any rescue or shelter worker and they will tell you that they are used to hearing all kinds of other excuses unimaginable but unfortunately for the dog who's circumstances are very REAL. The excuses and the numbers of dogs that are given up or even left and abandoned are overwhelming.
  • Our society has become increasingly a disposable one. I plead with anyone thinking of bringing home any pet, please know that to this pet you are his or her world, and it is our responsibility to this pet to train, give medical attention and to provide a loving and caring home.

  • Several years ago my Husband came home and told me that while he was out with Max at an equipment repair shop, the receptionist had a beautiful Shepherd that really resembled Max. I am not much interested in going to equipment repair shops, however, I really wanted to see this Shepherd.

  • He was very friendly, beautiful and big. I asked the Lady where she got this beautiful big boy. She told me he was living in a car in the parking lot next door to their shop. The summers here can be very hot and the winters can be bitterly cold. As it turned out, he was related to Max, his sire was Max's Mother's Sire, who is also now Ryker's Maternal Grandfather. ( Donna froze his sperm.) What a small world. I phoned Donna, the Breeder who told me she sold him as a puppy and she did hear that he was living in a barn where he was kept because he chased the livestock. No one knew how he came to be found living in a car in a parking lot. Of course Donna expressed her frustration that as a breeder it is difficult to really know what type of home the puppies will end up at.

  • Donna is a person with great integrity and substance. I know that she has taken back dogs that she has bred, from homes that were not working out and she has kept these dogs until she found more suitable homes. She has a great love , respect and genuine caring for the breed. This dog was between 5 and 7 years of age when he finally found his angel in the lady who gave him his forever home with 2 other fur brothers or sisters. This one had a good ending. Many do not.

  • To a German Shepherd or any dog for that matter, being chained constantly and ending up in the back yard is the same as life in prison. Usually the dogs are unwanted because the owner has not taken the time to train the dog to become a well mannered member of the family.
I have shared some personal photos of Max,    Ryker, Lex and Lex II here along with other      photos .
  • Training should be a time to bond and have great fun together. It is crucial that your Shepherd obeys all basic commands from you. You as his Alpha must have the confidence and trust in your friend that your German Shepherd will obey you on command. Obeying your commands could mean your good friend’s life in a critical situation. 

    ​If you do not take the time for your German Shepherd to learn his or her commands you only have yourself to blame if your Shepherd becomes out of control. Should this happen he or she could end up spending a big part of his or her life alone and miserable. Even worse your dog could end up in a shelter, parking lot or even be put to sleep.

  • The German Shepherd is one of the most highly trainable breeds. Let your most loyal friend grow up to be the distinguished Gentleman or Lady that he or she so deserves. You will find it most rewarding to have that trust in your dog and confidence to be able to let your friend accompany you and your family almost anywhere. Most German Shepherds also love to go driving with their partner and family.


  • Basic dog Training is essential for your well being and your dog no matter what breed of dog he or she may be.
As with all our kids German Shepherds need to be ‘puppies’ as well. They must have that puppy time and they do not come with all of their training and behaviour degrees. 

This is up to you.

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds and from their beginnings to the present day this breed is the ultimate and superior working dog. 

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Most German Shepherds are at heart good dogs and there usually is no question of their intelligence.  

All it takes though is one bad decision on the Dog's part and it could mean the end of the dog's life.

  • Basic training is a must and furthermore a must if you wish to engage in further training such as agility, protection, schutzhund, rescue or any other specialized training. 

  • The obedience training is first and foremost and a must, this is one of our basic responsibilities.

  • If you choose to deny your friend this training or education you will be depriving your dog of the opportunity to fulfill his or her own potential and your dog may become very bored and unruly which in turn will eventually cause a lot of frustration for you and your family.

  • Training days should be simple and enjoyable for both of you. Talk to your dog all of the time, "good boy" or "bad girl", "poopoo", "peepee", "lets go" is a real favourite of Ryker's since he loves to go in our truck cruising or for a long walk. 

              How To Stop Dog Aggression

 Do YOU start the aggression with your dog by simply joining in?

Is your dog listening to you just before he or she behaves aggressively?

When your dog starts to become aggressive he is taking no notice at all of you?

Your dog may be making his own decisions and will not listen to you if you try to show him a different way to behave. What he is doing is just too important to him and in your dog's mind he believes he is doing the right thing.

Dog aggression is usually done in order to protect, their pack and themselves.

Firstly there is of course a whole range of different types of aggression from dominant to fearful and everything in between. Then there is aggression that occurs the whole time and other aggression, which is very erratic, and random depending on a number of differing factors. We could also look at what your dog is aggressive towards; it could be people, animals, other dogs or objects.

The  cause of the problem is the same. Your dog thinks that he or she is the pack leader, becomes fearful and attacks to protect, you and himself. Dominant dogs will be more proactive, often attacking when they still have the option of running away, fearful dogs will only attack if they have no place to run.

The most important concept  if you want to understand how to stop dog aggression is that your dog must first look to you as the pack leader and therefore you must master the art of Leadership.  Only then can you convince him that you are the pack leader on the walk. 

Once you have convinced your dog that you are the pack leader outside then upon reaching the point where he usually is aggressive you will find that he will actually start to take notice of how you are behaving!  

Just remember, dogs are pack animals and they follow the pack leader being alpha..

 In the introduction of "The Good Shepherd", by Mordecai Siegal & Matthew Margolis 
( Little Brown & co; 1996) the authors characterizes the breed: " the German Shepherd is more like a person then a dog, but more like a person we always hoped to be. He is smart, hard working and completely loyal. German Shepherds are like no other dogs because of their distinctive personalities...Their presence in any family is dynamic and stirs the deepest emotions, The German Shepherd experience is the dog event of a lifetime." 

  • We all adopt our own ways and tricks to communicate with our pets and our pets do the same. Personally, we basically live with our dogs, they sleep in the house, they sit with us in front of tv, go out with us even if we are just running an errand, sit around the table with us, etc. I know they get to know our language and our body talk. Both Max and Ryker watch when we put our shoes or coats on, get the truck keys, start making dinners, turn the tv off to go to bed etc. 

  • They get to know our every move by watching our body language and they know much of the language that we speak.