Puppy Information - Things to do with your Puppy!

Congratulations on your new German Shepherd Dog. Here are some suggestions of fun and useful activities for you to get into with your dog. Your puppy might thrive in one area but not another. We suggest that you and your puppy test out a number of different things under the guidance of a qualified trainer.
But remember, whatever sport you decide to do with your dog, have fun!

Obedience

A dog that understands and follows rules is a happier dog. He can enjoy more freedom without putting himself or someone else in danger. There are many different schools of thought and an abundance of training facilities and classes available. Talk to your local club and/or your Veterinarian about when to begin your puppy's formal training.

The Begleithund (companion dog) test (BH) is a pre-requisite for both IPO titles and Agility. Your dog will learn and be tested on basic obedience commands, basic social skills and environmental soundness.

Puppy Classes

There are a variety of different courses available. Some offer interaction with other puppies and people, some are set up as an adventure playground. Puppy courses are usually designed to get your puppy comfortable in a number of different surroundings and situations.

Tracking

All over the world dogs are used to sniff out missing people, drugs or explosives. While your dog is born with his great sense of smell, he's not born a tracking dog but only becomes one through thorough training by his handler. You can begin forming your dog's tracking skills at an early age. Tracking titles FH1 and FH2 can be obtained and tracking is also a component of all three IPO titles.

Agility

Established in England in 1978, agility has become the fastest growing dog sport in the U.S. It is a very physical sport, for the dog as well as the owner. Team work, concentration, conditioning and training are key elements of agility. A comprehensive list of agility trainers and facilities are available on the AKC website.

Protection

The SV calls protection work one of the basic requirements of maintaining the breed in its current state. We build on the dog's working drives, ability to cope with stress and self-confidence. Physical health and stamina are necessary to train in this discipline. While not all German Shepherd Dogs can make great working dogs, a qualified trainer can oftentimes see the potential for IPO work in a young dog. Protection work is one of the three components of IPO.

Herding

The very foundation of the GSD came from the needs of the Tending Shepherds of Europe. The traits they needed were high prey drive, stamina, strong pack drive, intelligence and courage to carry out their work. Tending style herding on a smaller scale can be seen at AKC’s “C” course trials. Herding is usually started after the dog has basic obedience. Go to herding trials when you can to help you understand the skills required. Herding can be demanding and rewarding.

Please click here to view more details and rules of herding, set forth by the SV.

Conformation Shows

So you think your puppy is gorgeous? Let someone else be the judge of that, namely a SV conformation judge. Check our events page for upcoming shows and contact the WDA office or your regional director for requirements.

Please contact the Webmaster at GSDCA-WDA Webmaster with any comments or questions.

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