They Want More Attention
Do you have an attention-hungry German Shepherd?
They couldnt get enough of your time. The rough houses, the play times, the training Those are simply not enough for them.
And so they follow you from room to room, hoping to get your attention. They would get any chance to be petted or snuggled.
Note: Do not give them what they want. Otherwise, theyll get used to it and continue asking for more.
Ways To Boost Your Dogs Confidence
Last updated on By Puppy Leaks
Does your dog act shy or fearful around new people or situations? One way to help boost your dogs confidence is by learning how to shift their focus away from the scary thing and onto something positive.
My favorite method is to use some basic obedience skills. The basics like sit, stay & down are great for this. As simple as it seems these commands help take your dogs mind off of scary situations and put that focus back onto you.
If you want to help your dog conquer their fears around new people and situations there are a few basic methods that help. Heres 5 ways to help boost your dogs confidence.
Stay Calm Even If Frustrated
Sometimes your German Shepherd might frustrate you. But losing your temper will only slow bonding.
The greatest gift you can give your dog to start off on the right track is emotional stability.
- Being patient with them, even during frustrating moments
- Staying calm, despite their unwanted behavior
- Having compassion because they have to learn how to be a dog in a human-centered world
You can show your GSD this emotional stability by taking the time to show your dog what you want him to do. And then waiting on him to figure it out without pressure.
Dont rush to punish undesired behavior.
To strengthen your bond with a GSD, stay calm and explain what he should do instead of the unwanted behavior.
If you cue your dog to come, pause and take a deep breath, rather than say come five more times while raising your voice and becoming annoyed with them. Your GSD may just need you to stay calm while he figures out what you want. If he doesnt perform the behavior you want, its not because hes being stubborn or dominating you.
- Are they in a stressful environment?
- Too many distractions around?
- Not enough positive reinforcement?
Remain patient and take a step back to figure out what your German Shepherd needs from you to understand what you want. And give it to them.
Without an explanation of what you expect or an alternative your dog can do instead, your GSD could become confused and frustrated. This could shut down the bonding process altogether.
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Keeping Four Paws On The Floor
Puppies jump up for many reasons. Life is good, what can they do? Its perfectly normal and natural behaviour but its not something we want to encourage since it wont be so cute when they do so as adults.
How to do it
- Lets prevent jumping up by asking your puppy to sit when you know its likely theyll jump up. Do it just before, just like youre beating them to the jump.
- Dont get cross or punish them if your puppy jumps up, theyre just trying to show us that they love us! Its kind of lovely they like to do that to be honest.
- Heres an important tip. Remember that everyone in your household MUST do this, otherwise its confusing for your puppy and they will keep trying to do it!
What Does This Have To Do With How I Train My German Shepherd
Its a fair question actually. A dog is a dog is a dog right? But knowing the context and breed characteristics might help you train your German Shepherd puppy better and understand why they do certain things the way they do.
Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
PRO TIP: If your German Shepherd puppy switches off or starts acting silly they may resort to doing what they know best nipping or barking. Shift to some play, let them have some downtime and revisit training later we want training to be associated with fun, and not something they begin to dread.
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How Do I Socialise A German Shepherd Puppy And Why Is It Important
All puppies have a socialisation window. This is a sensitive period where theyre the most eager to learn about the world and make connections which affect how they view things, often for the rest of their lives.
Within this is period of time, theres another one called the Fear Period. This is where puppies learn to interpret hazards for example children, loud noises, or unfamiliar surfaces. In German Shepherds, the time they have to interpret these hazards is shorter than other breeds so its quite important that you socialise them early so you dont run into any trouble later.
Actually, studies say that German Shepherd puppies are actually quite afraid of new objects and sounds than other breeds. Ironic isnt it, that theyre often in charge of saving us from danger.
Here are easy ways to socialise your German Shepherd puppy:
- Find out what your breeder is doing to socialise your puppy before they leave them good puppy socialisation programmes to send them are Puppy Culture and Avidog.
- Follow the exercises in this training article .
- Read our full article on socialisation here.
- Dont be afraid to take your puppy out before they are vaccinated, but do it safely! German Shepherd puppies get quite big and hefty, so why not be like Yogi Bear here and invest in a carriage for your puppy to keep them safe? Save your arms from working extra hard.
Why Socialization Is Important For Your Dog
German Shepherds are friendly, confident, and good-natured dogs, but only if theyre properly socialized. Otherwise, they could grow up to be fearful and incessantly suspicious of unfamiliar things in their environment.
Such dogs will not only be unhappy and constantly anxious but could also develop fear-based aggression.
Unsocialized German Shepherds are unenjoyable, difficult to care for, and possibly unsafe to own. Remember that GSDs grow up to be large and powerful dogs. They could cause serious harm if their lack of socialization causes them to behave improperly or lash out.
Having a properly socialized GSD means being able to bring them places without fear of hurting others. You can trust them to tolerate guests and be friendly with other dogs and animals.
Additionally, socialized dogs are unafraid of the vet or being handled by professional groomers. Ultimately, socialization allows you to have an enjoyable, fuss-free companion.
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Tip #: Teach Your German Shepherd Puppy To Use His Mouth Properly
You may have noticed that your German Shepherd puppy likes to chew on your shoes, toys, boxes, carpets, pillows, your handswell, pretty much everything! Before you loose your mind let me tell you that this is normal puppy behavior. At this age dogs explore everything with their mouths and even though annoying, it is a great time to teach your pet what is appropriate for his mouth as well as how to soften the bite. The reason German Shepherd dog puppies have sharp teeth is because they are capable of learning how much pressure to apply when biting different things. This is good news! It means you can actually teach your pooch that when biting human skin they need to be absolutely soft and tender. To train a German Shepherd puppy to do this follow this link!
How Do I Know If My Dog Fears Other Dogs
Sometimes it can be hard to identify fear, especially if your dog reacts to the presence of other pups by barking and lunging. Behaviors that look aggressive are often rooted in the fight-or-flight response. When your dog is on leash, for example, they cant run away from an approaching dog. When flight is not an option, the next course of action is to fight.
These behaviors may mean that your pupper is afraid of other dogs.
- Your dog barks, lunges and/or snaps at other dogs
- Your dog yawns or licks their lips in an exaggerated way when other dogs approach
- Your dog attempts to move away from approaching dogs
- Your dog hides when another dog is present
- Your dog shivers or whines around other dogs
- Your dog refuses to take treats or play around other dogs
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Tip #: Stop Your German Shepherd Puppy From Pulling On The Leash Now
Pulling on the leash is another of those dog behaviors that people think come out of the blue, but actually they happen because there was never formal training done. To prevent pulling on the leash all you have to do is make sure your puppy understands that he gets rewarded when the leash is loose. Pay close attention to what he does during those first few walks together and make sure you reward him for staying close to you!
Got any German Shepherd puppy training tips to share with us?
Let Him Know You Are The Leader
Your German Shepherd has to see you as a Leader. This is a fundamental fact that all the dog owners must know.
You should love your Dog like your Baby but never let him have everything it wants.
If the German Shepherd is doing something wrong, then you have to stop him immediately, and it must listen to you.
Most dogs lack confidence because they do not see a leader in their owners.
If you are a dog owner and your dog did not see you as his leader, then it will not listen properly to your commands.
If your dog knows that you are number 1, then he will feel confident when he is with you, and the Gsd will feel confident when he has to face something challenging.
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How Do I Give My German Shepherd Confidence
If your shepherd shows anxiety towards a strange loose dog, you can build their confidence by verbally reassuring them, and by presenting a confident and relaxed demeanor to the situation. If you come across strangers during your walk, have treats with you, and have the stranger offer a treat to your puppy.
Should My German Shepherd Puppy Be Fully Vaccinated Before Socializing In Public
The answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. When searching this topic online you will find several different answers.
Do your puppy and yourself a favor and ignore any advice to the contrary your puppy SHOULD NOT socialize in a public setting until they are fully vaccinated.
Puppies will require three sets of puppy vaccines, spaced 3 weeks apart from each injection. Vaccines work by boosting immunity to infectious diseases in a dogs body.
When you take your puppy out in public before they have received adequate protection from all three vaccines, their body is still at risk for contracting infectious illnesses.
Many puppies that contract the deadly parvovirus, are in fact puppies that were taken in public after receiving just one or two vaccines before their vaccination routine was complete. Infectious disease can be anywhere, and it is never worth the risk.
While you wait for your puppy to be fully vaccinated, you can still engage them in positive socialization experiences. For example, you can:
- Invite other people to your home.
- Take them on car rides.
- Hold them in your arms at pet stores or events, and let other people greet them.
- Take them to the vet for their routine care.
If you begin the vaccination process at 7-8 weeks of age, your pup can be fully vaccinated by 16 weeks. This leaves you plenty of time to adequately socialize your German Shepherd puppy.
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How Training Will Boost Your Dogs Confidence
When faced with something scary our dogs have a tendency to focus on that scary thing and ignore everything else. Im the same way. If a big scary scorpion lands on my desk Im getting up. Im not going to finish watching that funny cat video, not until that thing is gone.
Our dogs do the same thing. The scary thing becomes their focus, and until you can shift their attention that big scary thing is going to be the only thing theyre focused on. Its our job to help show them that the scary thing isnt so scary after all, and one of the best ways to do that is by redirecting their attention.
The more skills your dog learns, the more positive things your dog will have to focus on distracting her from dwelling on the things she previously feared. Start by teaching Sit, Stay and Down very useful commands that will also help the dog gain a sense of accomplishment and have something to do to earn your praise. Help for the Shy & Fearful Dog, Paw Rescue
When you give your dog something to focus on rather than the scary thing , it gives them something else to concentrate on, rather than just being afraid. And the more they see that nothing bad happens around that scary thing, the more confident theyll be around it.
Desensitization to scary things take time, and success wont happen overnight. Fear is an emotional response, and that can be challenging to overcome.
Building An Unbreakable Bond With Your German Shepherd
If you want an attached German Shepherd, then youll need to focus on your dogs unique personality.
Building a bond with your German Shepherd should be relaxed, pressure-free, consistent and never overwhelm or stress them. Your German Shepherd has evolved to not only want to be around you but to trust you completely.
Without pressure and by allowing your GSD the security he needs, he will begin to bond naturally.
While bonding with a young German Shepherd puppy is generally easier, even older GSDs can learn to attach to their owners with time and patience.
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From 9 Months To 24 Months
Dogs of different breeds and sizes mature at different ages, and while one year of age is commonly considered the end of puppyhood in general, a German Shepherd Dog may not reach an adult level of maturity before the age of two or three . So continuing to work on impulse control, improve obedience skills, and advance to training in more focused activities like tracking, scent work, protection work, agility, and herdingall of which are capabilities of this breedmust continue throughout this period and then be reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood.
Keep in mind that this is a breed that thrives on constant and consistent work and training, and loves to have a jobor many jobs!to do. If you can provide your GSD with outlets for their intelligence and versatility, both you and your dog will reap the rewards.
Yasmine S. Ali, MD, is a cardiologist and writer based in Tennessee, where she lives with three Canine Good Citizens, including an AKC-registered German Shepherd Dog.
Exercise And Socialization Are Related
German Shepherds are an extremely energetic breed. They thrive in an active environment and can begin to misbehave when they are not getting the exercise that they need. Lack of proper exercise can lead to pent up energy, which can be displayed as a number of different behavioral problems.
A mentally and physically stimulated German Shepherd has everything they need to live a healthy and fulfilled life in every aspect. Some ways to get your German Shepherd active are to:
- Go on frequent walks
- Doggie daycare
- Dog sports
The recommended daily exercise for a German Shepherd is 45 minutes a day. By meeting your dogs daily needs, you can help to limit any behavioral issues.
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Your Role As Your Dogs Secure Base
Your role as your GSD caretaker and secure base includes commitment, concern, and responsibility.
An owner must be able to be a secure fixture when their dog needs them.
When their dog feels insecure and aroused their owner must appease their insecurities so their dog can relax in their environment again.
The dogs owner must focus on their behavior and be interested in their GSDs mind so they can respond by meeting the dogs needs. This gives messages about the owners availability to not only meet their dogs needs but also offer relaxation.
If the owners responses are predictable and accurate, then:
- The dog isnt overwhelmed by anxiety or dangers
- Faith in the attachment figure is strengthened
- The owner becomes a source of security in the dogs eyes
The dog learns to trust and to wait for their needs to be satisfied. A GSD can then use this proximity attachment figure as a secure base that can be relied upon, called upon, and returned to in times of stress.
Essentially, your GSD is forming an attachment to seek:
In return, the owner bonds with their German Shepherd. This is about a sense of commitment, concern, responsibility, and love for the dog.
You should know the fundamental elements to create an attachment between you and your GSD.