An Attack Dog By Nature
Some dog breeds are more prone to aggression than others, and German Shepherds are one of them. They are, by nature, attack dogs and often used by law enforcement for this reason.
Since they already exhibit this trait, you must learn to control your dogs tendencies to ensure they only attack when you command. It will keep both you and your dog safe.
Youre Commanding It Too Much
Did you know there is such a thing as command nagging? This is when you repeatedly tell your dog to do something even when it obviously doesnt understand you! The better approach is to stop giving out the instruction and to go back to the basic sit command. Then, use a treat to entice it to follow commands instead of saying sit repeatedly.
Tip #: Socialize Your German Shepherd Puppy
The most important German Shepherd puppy training tip is socialization. Right after you take your puppy to the vet for his first set of shots, enroll him/her in a puppy training or puppy socialization class. Some vets will tell you to keep the pooch inside until the full set of vaccines is completed. Unfortunately, if you do keep your pooch safe inside until he is 4-6 months of age, his socialization period will have closed forever and your chance to raise a friendly and confident dog drops significantly!That said, it is ultimately your decision whether you want to take the risk to take him outside or not. Most large US cities do not have too many disease problems and taking your puppy to a class where the trainer checks that every puppy has had the first set of shots is mostly safe. However, if you leave in a rural area, make sure there is not an outbreak of a disease that can affect your pooch.
Of all the German Shepherd puppy training tips, I suggest you really think this one through. As a dog trainer, I recommend you find a safe puppy socialization class because this developmental period is critical to prevent behavior problems in the future. Apart from that, you also need to socialize your puppy daily on your own, this link will explain the process and give you a list of things to check as you go!
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Your Dog Has One Basic Need Understand This And Training Will Be A Breeze
See that cute puppy snuggled up on your sofa? See that old dog that needs to learn new tricks?
They look to you for guidance
And Heres the trick:
The most valuable thing you can do for your dog is to show him that you are a good leader.
If you’re thinking good leadership is establishing yourself as an alpha’ you’re wrong.
Your dog knows you’re not a dog and so will never see you as a dog or an alpha.
Being a good leader means your GSD can and will always look to you for guidance.
Think about it
If your pooch is looking to you for guidance they feel comfortable and safe and that creates an environment of trust.
Being a good leader is about using brains over brawn to teach your German Shepherd.
Training Goal #: Socialization
Puppies of all breeds have a critical socialization window that closes at 12 to 16 weeks of life, and your GSD puppy is no exception. In fact, for GSDs, who by nature are protective guardians, socialization is extra important so that your puppy learns which strangers are friendly and not a threat.
GSDs are very observant, and your puppy will pick up on your cues and reactions around new people and new situations. During this critical period, having exposure to many different kinds of people in non-threatening situations will help your puppy be confident among friendly strangers rather than fearful or aggressive. And even during times of social and physical distancing, you can still socialize your puppy safely.
Proper socialization cannot be overemphasized for this breed as Adams notes, The foundation for most training is confidence. It is critical that the GSD puppy is well socialized from an early age onward. Safely exposing the puppy to new sights, sounds, and smells is absolutely critical for development. Good socialization translates to confidence.
Certified dog trainer and CGC evaluator Jacqui Foster, CPDT-KA, echoes this sentiment: I tend to lean more towards developing self-confidence in the puppy. For this I recommend short, fun, three-minute games that engage the puppy with the owner as well as in noises, weird and uneven surfaces, family members, etc., throughout the day. A confident puppy is a happy puppy.
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Commit To Basic Commands
German Shepherds belong to the first tier of working dogs in the Dog Intelligence Ranking. Dogs in this group can obey commands at least 95% of the time.
This is the standard you should strive for when it comes to these basic obedience commands as these will help you handle your dog in many real-life situations.
At What Age Is A German Shepherd No Longer A Puppy
So, at what age do German Shepherds stop growing? A German Shepherd’s growth rate starts to slow at about one year of age, and it stops completely between two and three years old. German Shepherds are not fully matured until roughly three years old, and they are considered puppies or adolescents before then.
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How To Stop Puppy Biting The Right Way
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There are TONS of articles and videos about how to stop puppy biting and for good reason! Not only is puppy biting a nuisance and painful, but also can last for several months. There will likely be a point when you ask yourself When is this going to end? Am I doing something wrong? Im guessing if you are reading this article, you have reached that point.
I too searched the wide web for my German Shepherd puppy biting answers and I was disappointed to find not one answer, but several answers conflicting each other. I tried out a few methods with Sophia to see what worked best. This article contains the type of training I find the most effective positive reinforcement.
- Is puppy chewing more your problem? Find out How to Save Your Stuff here.
Before I share the methods, we first need to understand WHY puppies bite.
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Begin With Imprinting To Create A Bond
Your first task as an owner begins even before your dog is old enough to start learning basic obedience. Imprinting helps your dog understand that you are in charge and that what you say goes. It bonds you together. German Shepherds are, at their core, working dogs. They want to know what their job is, and they want to know where they fit into their pack. In order to do both of these things, you will need to make sure you treat your shepherd how you want him to act.
Dogs that are yelled at and cowed during training will be aggressive and unpredictable as adults . Dogs that are firmly, but lovingly corrected, given plenty of attention and praise, and are rewarded for good behavior, are well-adjusted adults.
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Address Bad Behaviors Immediately
Puppies should be disciplined for things they shouldnt be doing. Not only is this undesirable in a pet but also could progress to even worse habits.
Ideally, youd have nipped unwanted behaviors in the bud before your dog gets big and strong enough to cause real damage.
Your dog might also increasingly try to challenge your leadership, so its important that you dont budge.
How To Get Your German Shepherd To Listen To You
Once youve picked your motivational reward for motivation, begin with your dog in an area free of distractions, such as indoors.
The less distracted your dog is at the start of your training, the more likely theyll focus on you, and the better chance theyll listen to you later on when other things try to grab their attention.
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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.
Putting Your Thumb Under Your Puppys Tongue
Yeah, I know where is the logic in that? I mean youre basically setting your thumb up to be bitten and at the same time encouraging biting.
But you wont believe how many folks have emailed me desperate to stop biting and detailing this method as something they have done frequently.
Im not even sure what the idea behind this silly method is, so suffice to say please dont do this!
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Northern Virginia Dog Training Blog
Every single day at our dog training facility in Northern Virginia we hear people say, My dog listens to my husband , but he doesnt listen to me.
So, what we immediately begin doing is asking them questions to see why the dynamic of your relationship is the way it is. Generally, this dynamic among owners and the dog has a lot to do with pack leadership. Ask yourself who is the strongest member of your pack at your house meaning, which one of you are the strictest on the dog, makes him have the best manners . These small yet simple things generally have a lot do with how your dog sees you in the pack structure. Generally we hear females saying He listens to my husband better than he does me much more than we hear males say this. Generally men are harder on the dogs and more strict, and women are generally more cuddly, loving, gentle.
Another major factor that can make a big difference is who spends the most amount of time working with the dog? During our obedience training lessons in Northern Virginia, we tell people on a daily basis, You and your spouse should both be practicing this training at the house. What we see all of the time is if there is just ONE person that trains the dog, over the course a few weeks the dog will listen to that person flawlessly, and not so much the other person.
Learning The Right Ways Of Training A German Shepherd Puppy
Even the best of owners can sometimes do the wrong things.
The worst advice is to punish your puppy, and if that doesnt work, keep punishing them more.
Your best course of action is to prevent the bad behavior in the first place by watching your pup and not leaving them unsupervised.
Learning how to train and discipline a German Shepherd puppy is difficult, but it can be done with consistency and patience.
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Being In A New Location
German Shepherds do not automatically associate learned commands to a brand new setting. It is important to go through each one again when you are in a new place. This is why it is necessary to try as many different training locations as possible. Doing so will help your German Shepherd learn to follow the same sets of behavior wherever it is.
If You Have Other Pets Do Encourage Your Gsd Pup To Play With Them
This will expend your dogs energy and make her less prone to biting. By doing this, you are also socializing your puppy with other animals an essential skill to learn for a well-rounded behavior.
That being said, do not completely write off playing with your puppy! Playtime is still an excellent opportunity to bond with your dog, but make sure to keep it safe and fun by establishing boundaries.
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Dont Rub Your Dogs Nose In His Dirt
Some dog owners think that rubbing their dogs nose in wrongly disposed of poop or pee will make them never repeat it. Wrong! Your dog might change position next time, and that is because your punishment did not teach him that doing it in the house is wrong.
Dogs like their space clean, especially from their dirt. So, if you force them to the dirt they dont like having next to them, the most you can do is create anxiety and fear.
Instead, if your German Shepherd puppy soils your carpet, clean the mess with a detergent that removes the stain and odor and then redirect your dog outside.
Also, reward him when he relieves himself during a walk and withdraw the reward when the same is done in the house. This will teach your German Shepherd to associate doing his thing outside with a good treat and avoid that which takes it away.
Do German Shepherd Puppies Grow Out Of Biting
If you find it cute that your little German Shepherd puppy is biting your hand, think again! GSDs grow-up to become strong and muscular dogs. If you encourage them when they bite or make ‘aww’ sounds, it will adopt biting as a habit. However, once a GS pup grows, its biting habits are not cute at all.
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Positive Reinforcement Produces Positive Results
Your German Shepherd will respond best to training with positive reinforcement. Yelling or physical punishment will cause this intelligent breed to mistrust you.
Reward good behavior with treats or praise or both. Its the best way to show your German Shepherd that hes doing it right and its a motivator for him to continue with this behavior.
Remember earlier when I said that your German Shepherd actually wants to please you?
Well, once your dog has mastered the behavior, you can remove the treats and reward only with praise hell relish in it all the same.
You know by now that there are heaps of different training programs. Each program has a specific focus, function, and outcome.
Well take a closer look at some of these in future posts. So, for now, lets look at two basic programs
Catch Your Dog Being Good And Reward Them Out Of The Blue
See your puppy acting the way you want? Reward them out of the blue!
Its easy to get caught up in scolding when your pup when they are getting into trouble, but rewarding him out of the blue for being good shows them theyre doing the right behaviors .
Keep small bits of treats in jars around the house out of reach of your pup and use any opportunity your catch your pup doing good to reward them.
Here are some ideas for opportunities to reward your dog:
- If theyre lying calming on their mat, give them a piece of a treat. But dont make a big deal of the situation or youll wind them back up.
- When theyre playing with the toys you want them to chew, drop a tiny bit of treat out of nowhere.
- If they sit and wait at the door, instead of dashing out ahead of you, reward them!
Discipling your German Shepherd isnt always about catching bad behaviors, but also about rewarding good things your dog does. Dogs like to do things that you reinforce, even if you dont think they worked for the reward its still part of training.
If you only worry about punishment and corrections, then youre missing out on the opportunities to reinforce positive behavior.
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Determine The Best Reward
All dogs have a reward that they respond best to. Most German Shepherds are food-motivated, so youll find that treats are effective for reinforcing good behavior.
Others, however, prefer to play as a reward. For such GSDs, you might try tossing them a toy or playing a short game of tug whenever they get things right. Other dogs are happy enough with kind praises and an ear scratch.
Will A German Shepherd Run Away
German Shepherds are a breed that require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. When they don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to become hyperactive and will be more likely to run away if given the chance. Walking your German Shepherd daily is an easy way to make sure that it is getting exercise.
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How To Train A German Shepherd By Reward And Reinforcement
German Shepherd Dog
The German shepherd dog is beautiful. An intelligent canine from working descent, he will bond with and protect his handler with courage and conviction.
This breed of dog is employed by police and military within roles ranging from crowd control to tracking and physical capture of an escaping subject.
The German shepherd can make a wonderful family pet and when choosing a particular dog, it is important to keep in mind that many suffer from hip dysplasia and related problems. This is normally due to irresponsible breeding. Both parents of a litter should be hip scored before mating. When taking on an adult dog certainly check the gait. If the dogs back slopes downwards towards the tail it may have a problem with hips due to excess pressure. It is not always possible to see potential hip problems but sometimes they are obvious.
How to Train a German Shepherd Dog
A biddable and handler focused dog, this breed is a pleasure to train. Extensive research on how to train a German shepherd dog is not always necessary. Positive reinforcement and reward based training is however essential.
Train your German shepherd with a suitable reward. His intelligence will ensure timely response and keen learning. Clicker training is a perfect tool when deciding how to train a German shepherd dog.
Train a German shepherd Dog with Positive Reinforcement.
Walking and other Dogs
The Family Protector
Learn to train your dog Positively!