Puppy Socialization

Puppy SocializationPuppy Socialization is the beginning and end of every adult dog behavior. But for German Shepherds, the right socialization is more important than anything else!

This is because GSDs have been bred to be responsive to stimuli in their environment. Now, if you don't socialize your GSD puppy comprehensively and in the right way, your adult GSD later will be alert to all stimuli, and all the time. Your dog will be permanently stressed, day and night! And you will have to bear the behavior consequences and health cost of a permanently stressed dog. That is no fun for you. And it's a nightmare for your dog. :-(

This is why we have MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICALS that feature the relevant aspects of the right puppy socialization. So that a new puppy owner knows what to do, when, how, and why. And so that you won't be facing all the dog problems for which other dog owners seek out our site to get HELP!

Like that, yes. You are lucky, you may subscribe to the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL for free here.

But what if you got a puppy already, before studying our currently three years worth of Periodicals?

Well, in that case you may want to get up to speed immediately! Today. And you can: All you need is in the Puppy Development Guide - Puppy 101, including all links to relevant Periodicals. It's a massive, well-structured compendium how to raise a German Shepherd puppy. It's a text book.

But what if you don't like reading much? If you don't want a text book?

In that case you may be pleased to know that you can see right now how Tim Carter raises a German Shepherd puppy. Live and Multimedia: the New Puppy Diary.


Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.

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PLEASE NOTE: Posting a fragment of your overall dog problem in the comments below is not going to help. Provide complete details if you really seek the right solution. Of course we have a page for that as well: Dog Problem Consultation.





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    I have 6 adult cats and 1 older pug who thinks she is just one of the gang. What article/periodical do you recommend to help keep "peace in the hood"? I'm going to be a guardian for Asia, an 8 mo female who has not yet been socialized to cats. I'm not really worried about the pug.


      Unless you're lucky and all goes well from the start, an 8m old GSD puppy (right?) you need to socialize a LOT from the start. There are "safe harbor" proceedings "Introducing new dog to cat" in the New Dog Checklist, as well as "Introducing new dog to resident dog". The book is free.

      As you're getting a puppy, I would also download the New Puppy Checklist. It's free too.

      All of that aside (and there is a LOT in both booklets), you will need to apply all our standard tips as well (Feeding routine, Attention-seeking, Bite Inhibition training, Controlled play-fighting sessions, etc).


    I have an 8 mo old male GSD. He is very aggressive with visitors to the house. He is "okay"with people at the dog park, doggy day care, and any place away from the house. Our neighbors are scared of him. I believe I understand his desire to protect his territory, but if I or my wife are around, I would like some way to let him know that it is okay


    I have a 4 month old husky/gsd mix and a 6 year old border collie. the problem is the border collie bites him (draws blood) at random. she will allow him to clime on her and paw at her and i guess when shes had enough she bites him. what i am worried about is he is going to be really big (55pounds-4months) vet says over 100lbs easy and when he finally stands his ground he will hurt her....will this be an on going battle? when once be enough for her? and at what age should i expect him to fight back? as it is show he shows his husky and screams like she cut his foot off....any info is much appreciated


    I have a 9mth old GSD bitch. She is a lovely dog but has always been nervous of dogs she doesn't know. She lives with my old jack Russell and spends a lot of time with my mum's staffie and has a couple of other doggie friends but is scared of other dogs. We went to puppy class when she was 4.5 months old but weren't allowed in the class because of her reactive behaviour to other puppies and had to stay in the kitchen. I took her to a dog psychologist who said it would turn to aggression and to walk and meet lots of other dogs. This is easier said than done. I walk for hours every day and if we meet a dog who is good natured and the owner is prepared to help she will play with them after a few minutes of backing off and barking. However she is getting worse and I am getting a little concerned and need help with her. She was spayed at 7.5 months. Please can you advise how I can help her. I know I get nervous if I see a dog on a walk and am aware too that this probably goes down the lead to her. I am not sure what to do next.


      Gwenda, which parts of the systematic socialization recommendations have you undertaken, when, how long, and what was the outcome of each part?
      At what point during this socialization process did you decide to keep your dog on-leash, and what happened when/if you let her meet other dogs off-leash?
      What have you done so far to become your dog's accepted Pack leader?
      (not to be confused with the type of oppressive pack leader some famous dog entertainers are suggesting)
      How does she behave during meal times, how during playtime, and how often have you done controlled play (with start & stop) - and what was the outcome?

      Basically, you see there's so much more one needs to know before excluding your pup from class (phew!) or recommending sth in a comment box here. I would say, start with the above (if you haven't yet), and then report back how it's going with that systematic socialization, accepted Pack leader, etc. Okay?

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