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So You Want a German Shepherd That Can Perform Tricks, Right? Here are 25 German Shepherd Tricks To Impress Your Friends

Last Updated: February 7, 2024

As a proud German Shepherd owner, I’ve discovered that one of the most rewarding aspects of our journey together has been exploring the vast world of German Shepherd tricks.

German Shepherds can do so much more than just the basic sit, stay, and come commands. I should know, having witnessed these brave dogs perform various tricks during my role as a police officer.

If you’re looking for new ways to engage and challenge your furry friend, you’re in the right place, as I’ll share with you an array of advanced German Shepherd tricks that will impress your friends and deepen the bond between you and your dog.

Let’s get started!

Tricks To Teach Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds are incredibly capable and can learn a wide range of advanced tricks that go far beyond basic obedience.

From awe-inspiring agility feats to intricate tasks that showcase their problem-solving prowess, there’s no limit to what these dogs can achieve with the right training and encouragement.

Whether you’re a seasoned trainer or just starting to explore your German Shepherd’s potential, the tricks I will introduce will take your training sessions to new heights.

1. Play Dead

Teach your German Shepherd the “play dead” trick by starting with the “down” command. Once they are lying down, gently roll them onto their side and encourage them to stay still by using a calm voice and offering treats.

Introduce a unique command like “bang” or “play dead” as you do this. Practice this in short, positive sessions, gradually reducing the need to physically roll them over as they begin to understand the trick.

2. Roll Over

Begin with your dog in a lying down position. Hold a treat near their nose, then slowly move it behind their head towards their shoulder, encouraging them to roll over to follow it.

Use a specific command like “roll over” and reward them immediately when they complete the action. This trick may require some patience, as some dogs might need a little extra encouragement to roll all the way over at first.

German Shepherd Rolling Over

3. Fetch Specific Items

Introduce your German Shepherd to the item you want them to fetch, giving it a specific name. Hold the item, say its name, and encourage your dog to take it from your hand, rewarding them when they do.

Gradually increase the distance you throw the item, always using its name when you send your dog to fetch it. Over time, introduce new items with different names, practicing each one until your dog can differentiate between them.

4. Open and Close Doors

Attach a soft rope or a towel to a door handle. Lure your dog with a treat to grab the rope with their mouth and then gently pull, causing the door to move. Use commands like “open” and “close” to differentiate the actions.

You must reward any interaction with the rope and gradually shape the behavior until your dog can open or close the door on command. Ensure to practice this on both lightweight doors and those that are safe for your dog to interact with.

5. Turn Lights On and Off

Lower a light switch or use a training switch to introduce your dog to the concept. Use a treat to guide their nose or paw to touch the switch, using commands like “lights on” or “lights off.”

Initially, you may need to help by guiding their paw or nose. Reward any successful interaction with the switch, and practice until your dog can reliably turn the lights on or off with your command.

6. Speak on Command

Find a natural trigger that makes your dog bark, such as someone ringing the doorbell. As they bark, say your chosen command, like “speak,” and immediately reward them.

“In the line of duty, every trick and command mastered by your German Shepherd isn’t just a skill; it’s a lifeline. Their discipline is your peace of mind.” – World of Dogz

Practice this in different scenarios to generalize the command. Be patient and consistent. Then gradually introduce the command without the initial trigger, rewarding them for barking on cue.

German Shepherd speaking on command

7. Army Crawl

With your dog in a down position, hold a treat just before their nose and slowly move it away, staying low to the ground. Encourage them to reach for the treat without standing up, using a command like “crawl.”

Reward any forward movement while crawling. This trick helps with flexibility and strength and can be a fun way to keep your dog physically active.

8. Stand on Hind Legs

Support your German Shepherd by holding a treat above their head and encouraging them to stand on their hind legs.

Use a command like “stand” as they do. Initially, they may only stand briefly, but they can learn to balance longer with practice. Ensure this is done on a safe, non-slip surface to prevent falls.

9. Jump Through Hoops

Introduce the hoop at ground level, encouraging your dog to step through it with a treat. You can then gradually raise the hoop off the ground, using a command like “jump” as they go through.

Always ensure the hoop is at a safe height to prevent injury. This trick is excellent for physical fitness and agility training.

10. Spin in Circles

German Shepherd Spinning

Guide your dog to spin in a circle using a treat. Lead their nose in the direction you want them to spin, using a command like “spin.”

Start with one direction, and once mastered, teach the other direction using a different command. Reward them for complete spins, and practice until they can spin without the lure.

11. Weave Through Legs

Stand with your legs apart and lure your dog through them with a treat. As they follow the treat, take steps to encourage continuous movement through your legs, using a command like “weave.”

Start slowly, rewarding each successful weave, and increase speed as your dog becomes more proficient.

12. Skateboarding

Introduce your dog to a stationary skateboard, allowing them to sniff and paw at it. Place treats on the board to encourage them to put their paws on it.

Once comfortable, gently move the board with your dog on it, using a command like “skate.” Reward their bravery and balance, gradually increasing the distance as they become more confident.

13. Find Hidden Objects or People

Start with a simple game of hide-and-seek using a favorite toy. Hide the toy in an easy spot, and send your dog to find it with a command like “find it.” Reward them when they succeed.

“Working side by side with a German Shepherd, you learn that every trick is a testament to trust. It’s not just training; it’s building a partnership that saves lives. – World of Dogz

Gradually increase the difficulty by hiding the toy or a person in more challenging locations, using scent trails or warmer/colder cues to guide them.

14. Ring a Bell to Go Outside

Hang a bell by the door at your dog’s nose level. Every time you go out, touch their nose or paw to the bell, using a command like “bell.”

Reward them and proceed to go outside. With repetition, your dog will learn to ring the bell when they want to go out, associating the action with the reward of going outside.

15. Balance Treat on Nose

German Shepherd Balancing Treat on Nose

Start by having your dog sit. Place a treat on their nose, using a command like “wait.” At first, they may try to snatch the treat; use gentle guidance to keep it in place.

Once they can balance it, give a command like “okay” to allow them to toss and catch the treat. Reward patience and successful catches.

16. Clean Up Toys

Teach your dog to pick up a toy and give it to you. Once mastered, introduce them to a toy box, using a command like “clean up.”

Encourage them to drop the toy into the box, rewarding each successful attempt. Gradually increase the number of toys they must pick up and put away.

17. Bow

Catch your dog in the act of stretching into a bow and introduce a command like “take a bow.” Use treats to lure them into the position if they don’t do it naturally.

Reward them for holding the position. This trick is not only cute but also stretches their back muscles.

18. Wave Goodbye

Start with the “shake” command. Once your dog offers their paw, move your hand up so they follow it with their paw, using a command like “wave.”

Reward any paw movement that resembles a wave. This trick is a crowd-pleaser and can be a fun way to greet or say goodbye to friends.

German Shepherd Waving

19. Back Up

Encourage your dog to walk backward by walking towards them gently, using a command like “back up.” Reward any backward steps.

“The precision of your GSD executing a complex maneuver is more than impressive—it’s essential. In our world, a well-trained dog is the difference between success and failure, safety and peril.” – World of Dogz

Practice in a hallway or narrow space to limit their ability to turn around, gradually increasing the distance they can back up.

20. Hide and Seek

Teach your dog to stay while you hide in another room. Call them with a command like “find me.” Reward them when they find you.

This game enhances their search and rescue skills and provides mental stimulation.

21. Scent Discrimination

I know, I know! Pretty easy for the German Shepherd, huh?

Use several identical containers, one with a treat or a scented object. Teach your dog to sniff out the correct container using a command like “find the scent.”

Start easy with visible treats, gradually making it more challenging by hiding the scent among multiple unscented containers.

22. Tidy Up Their Bed

Encourage your dog to fluff or straighten their bed by using a treat to lure them into pawing or nosing their bedding, using a command like “make your bed.”

Reward any effort towards tidying their sleeping area. This trick encourages cleanliness and care for their space.

23. Retrieve the Phone When It Rings

Start by associating the ringtone with a reward. Place the phone in an accessible spot and encourage your dog to bring it to you when it rings, using a command like “phone.”

Reward them for touching, picking up, and eventually bringing the phone to you.

24. Push a Shopping Cart

Introduce a mini shopping cart, encouraging your dog to touch it with their nose or paws. Place treats in the cart to motivate them to push it forward, using a command like “push.”

Reward interaction and gradually increase the distance they push the cart.

25. Dance with You

Teach your dog to follow you in a dance by using treats to guide them into standing on their hind legs, turning in circles, or weaving through your legs.

Use specific commands for each movement, such as “dance” for standing and turning and “weave” for moving through your legs.

Reward each successful movement, gradually stringing them together into a dance routine.


How long does it take to train a GSD advanced tricks?

Training a German Shepherd to perform advanced tricks typically takes several weeks to months, depending on the trick’s complexity, the dog’s age, and the consistency of the training.

At what age can German Shepherds start learning advanced tricks?

German Shepherds can start learning advanced tricks around six months of age, after mastering basic obedience commands and when they’re mentally mature enough.

How often should I train my dog new tricks?

Training sessions for new tricks should be short but frequent, ideally 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a day, to keep them engaged and prevent fatigue.

Can all German Shepherds learn advanced tricks?

While all German Shepherds have the potential to learn advanced tricks, individual ability may vary due to factors like age, health, and temperament.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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