What You Should Know Before Getting A German Shepherd
The German Shepherd, or now more correctly known as the German Shepherd Dog or GSD, is a very popular breed thats easy to recognize. Although the breed is often depicted as a police dog or a guard dog, the origins of the GSD was a farm dog that excelled in working with sheep as both a herding dog and a flock guardian.
The GSD was originally bred for performance and not for a breed standard. They were developed in Germany in the mid to late part of the 19th century. In 1899 a military officer, Max von Stephanitz, actually developed the breed as it is now recognized.
The German Shepherd was recognized as a dog breed in Germany and was used as a military dog in the World War l. At the same time, these dogs were also used by the Red Cross and the police throughout Europe. It was smart, highly trainable and fearless, even in combat situations. While there were some of these dogs in the USA in the early part of the 1900s, it was really the efforts of American soldiers to bring these dogs home that sparked the popularity of the breed.
Todays GSDs are still the same loyal, courageous and highly intelligent dogs they have always been. While they are still used as police and military dogs, they are equally effective as guide and assistance dogs, bomb and drug dogs, as well as wonderful family pets, guard dogs and companions.
Training A German Shepherd Pup
As is the case with almost everything in the world, it is always better to start training the dog when it is young.
While there is no consensus on what is the right age to initiate training for a German Shepherd pup, it is generally around the time that the dog is 8 weeks old when you start training. Some of the steps that can help in the process are mentioned below:
Why Are German Shepherds Easy To Train
Lets take a look at what makes German Shepherds so easy to train
They Are Highly Intelligent
German Shepherds are the 3rd most intelligent dog in the world according to Canine Psychologist, Stanley Coren. Their intelligence and versatility are why the highest percentage of police dogs in the world are German Shepherds!
Their high level of receptiveness and ability to quickly identify threats in their environment makes German Shepherds easy to train if done correctly.; They can learn to do almost any task given to them one familys German Shepherd has even learnt how to do chores!
They Thrive off of Positive Reinforcement
German Shepherds are incredibly loyal and obedient. They are great listeners and love to please their owner by following commands once a relationship is built.
GSDs learn well from being encouraged and rewarded when they perform well. They are naturally determined dogs and are motivated to prove their loyalty to their owner, who they often attach themselves to. This makes them easier to train compared to other dogs.
A Utility Breed
For years, German Shepherds have been bred to carry out an array of different jobs, and the breed has attained many skills as a result.
When used for herding, German Shepherds could perform with little to no training or by responding to a few simple commands. It was their job to look out for threats whilst watching and gathering livestock, demonstrating their ability to listen attentively and be observant of any threats.
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Make Them Work For It
The next thing you need your dog to do is to realize that they need to do something if they want a treat. Start with something simple, like sitting or coming when called. As soon as they do it correctly, press the button then give them a treat.
Eventually, theyll learn that you expect them to work for their treats. Theyll start to look to you for direction and wait for your command so they can get their reward.
Be Consistent In Your Expectations And Actions
If your puppy barks for a meal one day and you say no and withhold it till he is quiet, but you give it to them while barking on a different day, youll never achieve any good results with your training.
Let your no always be no, and your soft voice always so. Otherwise, your poor puppy will be confused about what you expect and will not know how you want them to behave.
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Easy To Train German Shepherd: Be Repetitive
It is true that in order for your German Shepherd to learn a new behavior, he will have to repeat it many times in a wide variety of situations. That said, if you expect your pastor to sit down to do constant exercises of the same behavior without getting bored, you will be very disappointed.
In order for them to get the most out of their German Shepherd training, they need to keep it fun for them. Disperse the training throughout the day and surprise your dog. If your dog is moving on to the next trick in his routine before you ask him to, its time to change the routine.
Are German Shepherds Easy To Train Or Are German Shepherds Hard To Train
German shepherds are eager to please, extremely intelligent and easier to train than other breeds. Early socialization and puppy training are essential to prevent over-guarding and aggressive behavior. Continued obedience training throughout a German shepherds life is recommended. Positive, reward-based training will ensure success when training German shepherds. Lots of praise and high-quality treats go a long way with this breed, but must be given immediately upon completion of the task. Avoid using harsh physical corrections or tone of voice as German shepherds dont respond well to force.
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How To Train Your German Shepherd Puppy Not To Jump
While having your German Shepherd puppy jump up enthusiastically is cute when they are little, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. A 20-pound puppy may be unlikely to knock you over; a 100-pound adult is another story.
Luckily, teaching your pup not to jump isnt rocket science. Its a matter of conditioning. The first step in training your German Shepherd pup to keep calm when they greet you is to set the mood: if you are relaxed, your puppy will learn to be relaxed as well.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep greetings low-key. Greeting your puppy enthusiastically and loudly is a great way to encourage them to jump up. Instead, come in the front door quietly and wait a minute or so before saying hello to your pup.
- If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. Resist the urge to pet them. Petting them when they jump up reinforces the negative behavior. Turning away from them when they jump will show them that jumping does not get your attention.
- Only pay attention to your dog when theyre sitting. As soon as you get in the door, tell your dog to sit, and only reward them with attention when theyve done so.
- Be patient. Because your German Shepherd pup is so happy to see you when you walk in the door, it may take them a while to realize that they will only get the attention they want when all four paws are on the floor.
Theyre A Little Needy
You desperately want to spend time with your dog right now, but the German Shepherd tends to take it to the extreme, and they can become quite clingy, even following you to the bathroom!
When they feel as if theyre not getting enough attention from their family members, they tend to do whatever it takes to get that attention from you, as found in a recent study.
During this study, researchers believe German Shepherds are one of the breeds that have become needier due to breeders attempting to make the dogs more affectionate as pets.
The thing is, owners are often also to blame for this clingy behavior, especially if they are constantly petting, cuddling, and praising their German Shepherd!
Another thing to consider is that German Shepherds dont like to spend long periods alone and may suffer from separation anxietyif left for too long. My German Shepherd is never left alone for longer than 4 hours, and she is always well exercised before I leave the house. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, dont worry as I have a great article; German Shepherd Separation Anxiety: Training, Help & Treatment.
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When And How To Get Started With Training
You should begin training your German Shepherd as soon as possible. Good breeders begin basic training like teaching the dog to come when called and potty training when dogs are only a couple of weeks old.
As soon as you get your puppy, you should continue training.; However, if you havent trained your dog up until now or you have adopted an untrained German Shepherd, dont lose hope.
Shepherds are smart and adaptive and take to training at any age. Here are a few essential training techniques that you can begin with your German Shepherd regardless of their history.;
Finding A Puppy Who Is The Best Fit For You
Finding a good, ethical breeder is one of the most important ways to ensure you are getting off to the right start in obtaining the puppy who will be the best fit for you and your household. Breeders observe their puppies personalities and drives and can match the right puppy to the right individual or family.
You may also wish to acquire a puppy from one of the breed-rescue organizations listed in the AKC Rescue Network; currently, over 40 GSD rescues are listed, a testament to the popularity of this magnificent breed. If you choose this route, be sure to discuss with the breed rescue organization your needs and what you are looking for in a puppy; they should also be able to help you find the puppy whose temperament and personality will be the best match for you.
Nadia Adams of Oher Tannen German Shepherd Dogs has been a GSD breeder for 15 years and comments, A well-bred German Shepherd Dog is highly intelligent, thriving on praise and wanting to please the owner. This combination makes them very trainable, which is one of the most appealing qualities of the breed.
This breeds high level of intelligence and strong willingness to work mean your GSD must receive consistent and ongoing training from an early age. A bored GSD is a destructive GSD. That said, states Adams, the sky is the limit, if the owner ca devote a good amount of quality time to the dog, especially during the critical first year of life.
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German Shepherds Always Want To Please
One thing that sets GSDs apart from other dogs is that they are always eager to please. They are adorable dogs that love to keep their human partners happy and feeling proud of having them around. Therefore, they are always striving to do all that they can in every challenge you pose them to just see you happy and prove to you that they are the best. Therefore, when training them to respond to your commands, the German Shepherd dogs will try their best to try and grasp what you want them to do in just a few tries.
Five Easiest To Train Dog Breeds In The World
1. Border Collie
Its not a surprise that Border Collies top the list of the smartest and easiest to train dog breeds in the world. They dominate obedience and agility championships, herding competitions, and international dog shows. They are also famous for their gaze, a move the breed imitated from their wolfish ancestors who used this strategy when hunting sheep.
The Poodle surprisingly takes the second place on this list. Stereotypically thinking, one might assume that Poodles are too sophisticated to bother themselves with exercise and puzzle-solving, but dont let their air of fancy fool you! Poodles are extremely smart creatures who can see through your actions!
3. German Shepherd
Taking third place is none other than our beloved German Shepherds. They might be huge, aloof, and a bit rough, but their incredible loyalty and intelligence totally make up for it. They would love nothing more than playtime with their family and brain-rattling chew toys to spend their time munching on.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers take fourth place on this list because they are such hard-working dogs. They are famous for working as search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and assisting people with disabilities. It takes lots of intelligence to be such a versatile dog breed with amazing work ethic!
5. Doberman Pinscher
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How To Socialize Your German Shepherd
It is one of the essential things in the training of a German Shepherd Dog.
Why socializing is so Important?
Socializing will help your Pup to become an excellent loving Dog. The training starts when you bring home your puppy.
In the first weeks, all your family members must spend time with him so the dog can start feeling comfortable and happy.
Then after a few weeks when you start taking him out, introduce him to new people and new pets and dogs.
The dogs you are introducing to him must be amiable and fully vaccinated.
If you see any aggressive signs from them, take away your puppy.
Another example I will give you is :
Some children of your friend have come to your house and they want to play with the puppy but he runs away or try to bite them as he does not wants to play. You should not punish him but try to understand first if it the cause.
In Most cases the problem can be you and i will tell you some reasons why i am saying that.
It is very important to meet new people of different gender and let your puppy have experience with different pets and dogs.
The very first thing I can recommend you is taking your puppy Often for walks in the parks, even better if these parks are Dog Parks.
How To Train A German Shepherd In 3 Steps
The best way to train the highly intelligent German shepherd is by using positive reinforcement. Be clear on what you do and do not want your shepherd to do. This breed responds very well to the ultrasonic training device.
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What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In
The most common colors are black and tan, black and red, black and cream, or black and silver. These colors cover the dog in one of these three patterns:
- Saddleback the black overlays the dog’s back and sides . The rest of the dog is tan, red, cream, or silver. Usually there’s some black on the face, as well.
- Blanketback the black extends further down the shoulders and hips.
- Bicolor like a Doberman or Rottweiler, which is mostly black with small tan/red/cream markings specifically confined to the head, chest, and legs. Honestly I don’t know why this pattern is called bicolor, which simply means two colors. As we’ve just seen, the other two patterns also have just two colors.
Another common color is sable, which is an overall shade of gray, golden, or red, with black-tipped hairs that create a “dusted with black” effect.
A less common, but perfectly acceptable, color is solid black.
Then there are two controversial colors: blue and liver:
- Blue German Shepherds have inherited a color-modifying gene that changes their black pigment to smoky gray. Many blue dogs look as though they’ve been dusted with flour.
- Liver German Shepherds have inherited a color-modifying gene that changes their black pigment to brown .
Blue and liver are considered serious faults by the official German Shepherd clubs and breeders who show their dogs in the conformation ring. But you can still register these dogs and compete with them in activities such as obedience and agility.
How To Do Clicker Training For German Shepherds
Clicker training is a popular reward-based training method. Its a great option for German Shepherd owners because its direct. The dog wants to please their owner, and is a simple way of letting your dog know what you want so you can instantly reward them once they comply.
If youre interested in clicker training your dog, the good news is that you only need one thing: a clicker. A clicker is a small plastic device with a button makes a distinctive clicking noise when you press it.
There are tons of different clickers on the market, and they all pretty much do the same thing. The brand and model you choose will be based largely on personal preference. The difference is mostly in the sound: some are loud, while others make a softer clicking noise.
Youll want to find a clicker that you wont lose, and that is comfortable to use. Some, such as the Downtown Pet Supply clicker, come with a bracelet so you can wear the clicker around your wrist during training sessions.
Others, such as the Starmark Pro-training clicker, have a keyring and can easily be attached to your house keys, which is particularly useful if youre using the clicker to help with potty training. Its also great to be able to train on-the-go.
Whatever clicker you choose, the methodology is much more important than the hardware involved. When clicker training your dog the most important thing is consistency.
Heres a simplified step-by-step guide to clicker training:
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