Dog Training Books for German Shepherds

Want to take your German Shepherd to the next level? Interested in why they are one of the top protection dogs? In this article we’ll cover the top dog training books for German Shepherds.

The Top 5 Training Books for German Shepherds

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Best for Young GSDs and German Shepherd Puppies

Your German Shepherd Puppy Month by Month, 2nd Edition

Liz Palika and Terry Albert offer one of the best intros to GSDs from puppy to adulthood. This is one of the basic books you should have in your library as a German Shepherd owner.

It breaks down GSD development from birth through adulthood. Plus it maps out month by month the training you should focus on.

Want to be the pack leader? This book will train you.

Want to know dog first aid? It’s in here too.

Just be warned that the monthly timeline is right on the progression but not always accurate for your specific dog.

Some dogs take longer to make their way through this.

Plus, this book isn’t the best for older dogs. You’ll want to check out our series on training for rescues, adoptions, and older dogs here.

The book covers development super briefly. Maybe too simply for some. If you want a deep dive into the GSD breed you’ll want to look elsewhere.

What We Like

  • The What to Expect When You’re Expecting for German Shepherds
  • Covers emergency first aid
  • Teaches you how to be the pack leader
  • Great background info on the GSD breed (though brief)

What We Don’t Like

  • The months don’t match all dogs. Some will develop faster or slower.
  • Not useful for adopting older GSDs
  • Too simple – Brief on content. The chapters don’t deep dive into each topic (e.g. fear imprinting). You might have to search elsewhere for more information on some points.

German Shepherds For Dummies

German Shepherds For Dummies

If you’ve read a For Dummies book you know what you can expect here – a fun, informative look into training your GSD.

You also know they can cover things pretty briefly. As one reviewer put it, you could simply change the cover picture to a collie and call it Collie’s for Dummies.

That said it’s still an excellent book for beginner dog owners.

No, we don’t recommend this as a must have. Yes, we recommend it if like us you enjoy the For Dummies fun and easy to read format.

If you like these books and trust this brand this will be the GSD book for you.

And yes, it does go into some depth on the GSD breed. It’s just not enough for advanced dog owners.

What it does cover it covers well. Beyond the basics it also includes help on training aggressive GSDs.

German Shepherds For Dummies
  • For Dummies
  • Coile, D. Caroline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 296 Pages - 09/15/2000 (Publication Date) - For Dummies (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Easy read
  • Easy to understand
  • Covers the basics well
  • Funny and informative
  • Good for training aggressive German Shepherds

What We Don’t Like

  • Not good for experienced dog owners – Only good for someone who never had a dog.
  • Very little on GSDs, lots on dogs in general
  • Too simple

Best for Training a GSD as a Friend – Training by the New Skete Monks

How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners

A classic book on dog training from the Skete Monks. Don’t let the monk title fool you. This book covers advanced topics like protection and attack training.

In addition it covers the basics. However, it uses somewhat outdated topics.

Do we recommend this book for new dog owners (in this century)? No.

Do we recommend this book for protection training and attack training? Yes, and we’ll go into those types of books next.

This book is great for an older audience that’s used to older, slightly more harsh ways of doing things.

It’s not for a positive reinforcement modern audience.

Still, it’s a great companion guide to other forms of advanced training.

Again, this isn’t for beginners. See one of the earlier books above for that.

Plus this book is for larger dogs in general. It’s not specific to German Shepherds.

However, it’s still great for that breed.

Just take what it says with a grain of salt. Some of it’s suggestions like squirting water on your dog when it’s whining in a crate are not appropriate. This is not good negative reinforcement.

See our full article on proper negative reinforcement. Don’t blindly follow the advice given in this book.

Learn to separate the gold from the ore. That’s true of all books. The more you read, the better you get at that.

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Monks, New Skete (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 364 Pages - 05/15/2001 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Best book on building a relationship with your dog
  • Covers how to read a pedigree
  • Goes over grooming, exercise, and basic care
  • Training on basics – sit, stay, come
  • Advanced training – protection, attack training, alarm barking, and dealing with aggressive behavior
  • Section on dealing with dying written by monks

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit dated – the book is 41 years old
  • Old training techniques from the 70s – better methods currently available
  • Scruff and shake method is a bit scary to implement on a large dog
  • bad for crate training

Best for Protection Dog Training

K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs (K9 Professional Training Series)

K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs (K9 Professional Training Series)
  • Gerritsen, Resi (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 12/22/2014 (Publication Date) - Dog Training Press (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Learn the skills you need to have before you start training a GSD
  • Simple, easy to understand language
  • Covers the breeds suitable for protection work
  • Obedience exercises needed for protection work – 1/2 the book focuses here. It may seem basic but these need to be perfected prior to protection training
  • Methods work

What We Don’t Like

  • Exaggerated writing
  • A bit overpriced (click above to check current price)
  • Doesn’t simplify into training steps – need to read lots of text to get the methods

Best for GSD Military Training

U.S. Military Working Dog Training Handbook

U.S. Military Working Dog Training Handbook
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Department of Defense (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 305 Pages - 10/30/2012 (Publication Date) - Lyons Press (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Written by the Army for the Army
  • Great first aid section (written by the army so of course!) – huge part of the book is medical
  • Good for long hikes and camping away from vets since it covers first aid so well
  • Step by step instructions
  • Feels like you can throw all the other books away – Just use this
  • Good reference for the dog library

What We Don’t Like

  • Not a beginner book – better for advanced dog owners
  • No pictures