German Shepherd Training: The Right Way
How long it takes to train a German Shepherd depends on how consistent you are and how well you support your dog to understand.
You must also consider your GSDs:
- age are they an energetic puppy or more confident adult
- previous training are they fresh to obedience or do they have some basics under their belt
- whether you are using the right training methods that are simple for your dog to understand
The most effective and easy-to-understand system for German Shepherds to learn is called positive reward training. Using positive rewards allows you to mark the specific behaviors your German Shepherd performs right at nearly the exact moment they do them.
Socializing A German Shepherd
Socialization is the process of exposing your dog to new people, environments, and situations in a positive manner. This helps them become more confident and accustomed to the world around them.
With German shepherds, its especially vital you get them accustomed to people and other animals this will help curb their high guarding drive and ensure they know whats dangerous and what isnt.
Tips for How to Socialize Effectively
Here, well quickly give a rundown of some key socialization tips. For further guidance, we advise checking out the American Kennel Clubs in-depth guide.
Slow and steady
Socialization is a lengthy process. Its important to be patient with your pup and take it at their pace.
When you introduce them to something new for the first time, make sure you do so in a way thats not overwhelming. For example, if you want to introduce your German shepherd pup to other dogs, you wouldnt take them to a park where there are dozens upon dozens of dogs, many of which could be unleashed or even aggressive. Instead, you would first introduce them to a dog thats leashed and well-mannered, ideally from some distance.
How to make experiences positive
Whenever you introduce your German shepherd to something new, make sure to give them puppy-friendly treats and praise. This will help them to associate whatever theyre being exposed to with a pleasurable experience.
Do’s & Don’ts For A Healthy Dog
It is unhealthy for a dog to be overweight. Overfeeding is NOT a sign of love.
Your German Shepherd is the right weight when you can tell there are ribs and there is a slight ‘waistline’ behind the ribs, before the rear legs.
- Stages:- Puppies eat more and are highly active- Adult dogs have normal routines and food intake- Older dogs might require special diets & limited exercise
- Feed a really good quality dog food. Quality foods have good protein sources and few fillers. Quality foods cost more but you will feed less because your dog will get more nutrition for the food. Good food will decrease your daily pickup chores.
- Set Regular Mealtimes. An irregular eating schedule can affect your dogs digestive system and ultimately cause chronic digestive disorders.
- Keep the water and food bowls in the same place every day. If you have more than one dog, make sure each dog has its own food and water bowl. Wash them often. Stainless steel is a good choice.
- Dont worry about your dog getting hunger pangs between meals. Unless instructed by your veterinarian, your dog should only need two meals daily.
- Set a 15 minute rule. If your dog has walked away from its bowl, it has probably had enough to eat. Take the bowl up, dispose of the uneaten food & wash the bowl.
Based on information supplied by The American Kennel Club, Inc.
Also Check: How To Groom A German Shepherd At Home
The Ultimate Guide To German Shepherd Obedience Training
If you’re looking for advice on German Shepherd obedience training then this is the most important page you’re ever going to read.
Because while obedience training is often thought of as a quick and easy way to get your dog to obey, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of getting it wrong!
Now, the problem with this particular breed is that they value hierarchy and the pecking order’ above all else. Making it potentially tricky when it comes to establishing yourself as the pack leader.
Worse still, if they are not effectively kept in check. They can be prone to becoming bad-tempered and ill-disciplined.
Especially when their training is erratic or unsatisfactory.
You need to understand that German Shepherds require much more exercise and engagement than most other dogs. And limiting this can often spell disaster if you don’t give them out outlet to release their boundless energy.
However, if you can learn to successfully manage this extra demand. They can be a delight to train and develop.
Now, before we get into the do’s and don’t of obedience training, first a quick heads up.
While obedience training comes with its fair share of benefits, the real magic happens when you learn how to teach your German Shepherd how to remain calm and in control of their emotion.
Pair this with the critical element of learning how to establish yourself as the pack leader, and you’ve got the ultimate recipe for a well, behaved obedient dog that follows your every command.
Socialize Your Shepsky Early With Exposure
Its not just humans that form character in the first years of life dogs do too! Because both Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds have a strong prey drive and will readily chase smaller animals or bark at strangers, socializing them early is non-negotiable.
As early as eight weeks of age, when you bring your Shepsky puppy home, and especially before week 12, begin to teach your puppy the difference between human and animal friends and possible threats. Also, teach the art of safe play with other pets and people without becoming aggressive.
You can use these ways to socialize your Gerberian Shepsky:
- Introduce your Shepsky puppy to unknown friendly persons so he can learn to be calm in novel non-threatening situations.
- Allow your Shepsky puppy to play with other puppies, dogs, and cats and correct aggressive behavior like biting and growling by removing the puppy from the playmates when it happens. Reinforce good behavior with a verbal reward, a pat, and a treat so your puppy knows thats the way to behave with playmates.
- Feed your German Shepherd Husky mix puppy with other dogs and cats so your pet doesnt grow to be food aggressive.
- Allow other family members and visitors to play with your Shepsky puppy. You can have them reward good behavior with treats so your puppy learns to associate people with positive experiences.
Recommended Reading: When Do German Shepherd Puppies Stop Biting
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.
The Following Two Videos Are Examples Of Effective Gsd Leash Training
This video illustrates the use of a short leash and why German Shepherds make efficient police dogs.
The most notable features are frequent praise, consistency, and persistence. Note the pups eye contact and single-minded focus on his trainer.
Also, notice the trainer is using play as an incentive. In this case, the leash is only a back-up because the puppy is so well-trained and engaged.
- Why Does My Dog Act Like A Cat?August 29, 2022
- Do German Shepherds Smell? Common Concerns You Should Be Aware OfAugust 29, 2022
- When Is My Puppy Ready To Sleep Out Of Crate?August 29, 2022
- Blue Bay Shepherd Price How Much Do They Cost?August 29, 2022
- What Does it Mean When My German Shepherds Ears are Down?August 28, 2022
You May Like: German Shepherd How To Train
Training Goal #: Begin Obedience Training
The German Shepherd Dogs work ethic is legendary, and you can encourage your dogs best working traits with early and ongoing training. GSDs excel at obedience, so begin teaching your puppy basic commands like sit, down, and stay, as well as loose-leash walking, from an early age. Enrolling in a puppy obedience class can be extremely helpful both for teaching these commands as well as socialization, and its not too early to begin thinking about CGC training as well.
They Were Raised In A Poor Environment
In some cases, the excessive nipping may be an indication of a puppy raised in a very poor breeding environment, where the puppy didn’t get a chance to learn the ABCs of bite inhibition with his littermates and mom and the breeders did little about it.
Some of the worst cases of poor bite inhibition are often seen in puppies removed too early from the litter or singletons. In some cases, the biting may be genetic, due to a poor temperament and weak nerves.
Also Check: Best Toy For German Shepherd
How To Train A German Shepherd
German Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent and are, therefore, pretty easy to train as long as you follow the correct steps.
Train your German Shepherd puppy from an early age, usually around 8-weeks old. Use verbal and non-verbal cues to teach basic commands like SIT!COME! and NO! Give treats and lots of verbal praise to reinforce your commands. Socialize your puppy well and discourage bad behavior.
Once you have the basics covered, you can progress to advanced German Shepherd training. But lets start with the essential foundations of puppy training.
Positive Reinforcement Produces Positive Results
This golden rule really is a culmination of all of the other truths we’ve just looked at.
Science has repeatedly shown that positive reinforcement training builds relationships that drive positive results.
Whereas using punishment-based methods destroy relationships, devastates trust, and slows down learning.
And punishment-based trainers often criticize positive reinforcement training, calling it a bribery system.
But if we’re honest
No human on earth would work for no pay. So why should our dogs?
Positive reinforcement is a system of payment for a job well done. It starts with food, but as you progress with your German Shepherd’s training, you’ll rely less on food.
Well, through training, there are a host of other experiences that naturally reinforce your dog.
Here are a few
Don’t Miss: What Age To Neuter A German Shepherd
Training German Shepherds Not To Bite Or Chew On Things
Dogs explore the world through their mouths, and most puppies go through a biting stage. This type of biting is not aggressive, but it still needs to be addressed before they get bigger when a playful bite can become dangerous.
Chewing is another popular puppy past-time. They may do it simply out of boredom, because their teeth are coming in, or as a way to learn about their world. Once again, its a natural behavior that should be curbed as early as possible.
Here are some tips for teaching your German Shepherd puppy not to bite or chew on things:
- Yelp or cry when they bite during play. This is what their mother and littermates did to let them know they got too rough, so its a very natural way to teach them not to bite you. Let your hand go limp and then ignore them for 30 seconds to send a clear message: if you bite me, I will not play with you.
- Provide toys. You need to provide them with something theyre allowed to sink their teeth into, especially when theyre teething. Have a variety of toys for your puppy to choose from.
- Use an anti-chew spray. Chew Deterrent Spray is just one example of a non-toxic substance that you can put on nearly anything. It has a horrible taste, so one nibble and your puppy wont go back to chewing on whatever you sprayed.
Stub Out Negative Behavior As Early As Possible
Dogs were not created as domestic animals they had to be tamed. This is why, now and then, they will tend to go back to their wild behavior like biting or insistently barking when food is in sight. You need to tame that as early as possible.
For example, if your puppy tends to demand his meal by barking when you appear with his food bowl, hold on to it, and give the command to stop. Give the food only when he stops. Your pup will quickly learn to associate silence with the food bowl being placed in front of him.
If your puppy is having difficulty mastering his bite inhibition or if you need some help with puppy biting, check out my top article, How to Discipline a German Shepherd for Biting.
Week 7 Training Your German Shepherd Puppy
The 7-week itch! Nah not really. I bet your German Shepherd puppy is doing wonderfully and growing rapidly! Its crucial to remember that while they may be physically growing quickly, they are still babies psychologically for a long time, so be kind and dont expect too much too soon.
In Week 7 well explore
- Puppy Agility yes you can start already yippee!
- Walking with a friends dog
- Practising recall off lead
- Teach your German Shepherd puppy to stay this will be a great one to show off at the park, trust us.
- Go for a walk with a friends dog We know you cant wait to be a dog parent and go on those nice weekend walks with your friends. So, first, take a walk with a dog that your German Shepherd puppy has already met. At first, it may be difficult for your puppy not to get distracted, so keep the rewards coming and try to keep them interested in you, rather than the other dog!
- Recall off the lead Make sure you do this in a secure and confined area and bring plenty of smelly treats, a fun toy to play with, and your silly high pitched voice so you can call your German Shepherd puppy back regularly.
- Push/drop/stick on known exercises You have to keep things interesting since puppy brains are like sponges, so dont make it too simple for them. Remember, German Shepherds enjoy learning!
Understand The Limits Of Any Dog Training For A German Shepherd Husky Mix
As Canine Weekly explains, the goal of a high-quality positive reinforcement-based training program is to help your dog feel confident living life in a family and community.
It is not to train the innate character, personality, and temperament traits of your dog.
You can count on your puppy having a strong prey drive, a love of running and chasing, some level of protective instinct, and a need to be with you for the majority of each day.
How much of each trait your German Shepherd Husky mix puppy dog inherits can be hard to predict, especially in breeding programs that cross two purebred dogs, versus two-hybrid breed dogs.
Because of this, you will need to plan for everything.
For example, you will need to provide your dog with an escape-proof yard since the German Shepherd Husky mix is known to be an accomplished escape artist.
You will also need to take as much time training kids how to interact with your German Shepherd Husky mix as you will in training your dog to do the same.
Finally, the more you can do to provide your Shepador with a daily job, the happier and more well-adjusted your dog is likely to be.
These dogs can make incredible canine athletes and excel in all types of canine sports, from agility to dock diving, obedience/rally to search and rescue, service, and therapy dog work.
A well-trained Shepador is more likely to be a confident and happy Shepador who is a joy to live with.
You May Like: How To Potty Train German Shepherd Dogs
Initiate Your Dog To Being Handled Gently
Dogs are great at giving and receiving caresses and hugs. But they also have to handle grooming which can feel uncomfortable. Your German Shepherd puppy can learn to handle this uneasiness if taught to take it when young.
You can do this by gently handling your pups ears, paws, ears, and coat. You can find out more about whether German Shepherds like to be petted in this article.
What Is Obedience Training
Our ever-so excited furbabies love to express their excitement through extreme ways .Without proper guidance and assistance on how to behave, your dog would not know how to function near humans or other pets. And these behaviours can even end up harming them Obedience training your dog helps in teaching them crucial life skills and behaviours to function in their human buddys world.
“Training is a great way to bond with your dog”
You May Like: When Do A German Shepherd Ears Stand
How To Potty Train In Winter
Winter poses a unique challenge to potty training. Not only is your puppy likely to be miserable standing outside at 02.00 a.m., but youre not exactly going to be thrilled about it either.
Unfortunately, theres no way around it. Keep a warm jacket and slippers beside your bed to bundle up for the potty runs, with treats or a favorite toy in a pocket so that it is still a positive experience for your pup.
In extreme conditions, consider setting up a construction outside to protect you both from the weather.
Questions To Ask Before Any Training Session
Preparation and planning are vital before diving into any training session with your German Shepherd.
And these are the 3 questions I encourage all my clients and students to ask themselves
What are you looking for? decide what you will be observing to mark.What rewards will you use? challenging behaviors need higher-value rewards.What’s your event marker? clickers work best for precise behaviors.
You May Like: How Long Will A German Shepherd Live