German Shepherd Training School
While proper training and socialization are important for all breeds of dog, theyre especially important for large guardian breeds such as the German Shepherd. This is why theyre not recommended for first-time dog owners.
If you dont feel like youre up to the task, it may be worth it to invest in training lessons for your dog. Failure to properly socialize and train your German Shepherd puts them at risk for a variety of undesirable comportments, such as aggression, shyness, nervousness, and reactionary behavior.
The best way to find a good training school is by word of mouth. Consult your breeder, your veterinarian, and your local German Shepherd Dog club for advice. Dont be fooled by flashy advertisements and false promises. The best training schools never make guarantees on results.
Its also important to interview any prospective school and take a tour of their facility. Ask them about their training methods, what kind of training they do, and the various levels and courses available to you. Focus on schools that stress manners and obedience rather than toughness and protection.
Here are a few dog trainers to check out:
Your Dog Wants You To Be Consistent
For dogs, everything is black and white they dont understand compromise. Remember this and you’ll have fewer bad habits to break.
Training your German Shepherd will be easier.
Heres an example of the types of mistakes owners make:
Change verbal commands from come to come here keep your verbal commands consistent throughout.
If youre trying to keep your pooch off the sofa, be consistent. If you allow it sometimes and other times not, youll confuse your dog and slow down the training.
How can you expect your dog to learn if you’re not consistent?
When Should You Start Training A German Shepherd Puppy
Training your dog becomes more difficult as he gets older, so you might think its ideal to start training a German Shepherd while hes just a few weeks old. However, there is such a thing as starting your puppys training too soon!
German Shepherd puppies should start training when they are 8 weeks old. This is when they usually leave their mother and littermates and matured enough to understand cues. They will have already picked up on good canine behaviors but now will learn more through association and positive reinforcement.
When it comes to puppy training, its preferable to err on the side of being later than eight weeks than the other way around. You have up to two weeks after the eight-week mark to start your pets training.
Even if youre two weeks early, you risk confusing or frightening him by bombarding him with stimuli before hes ready to make the proper connections. During this time, a traumatic experience might have a detrimental and counterproductive effect.
Read further if you:
- Plan to get a German Shepherd puppy or already have one older than seven weeks
- Want an approximate schedule for training your puppy
- Wish to train your dog using ethical training methods such as positive reinforcement
- Intend to commit to 1.5 years of casual dog training
Read Also: How Rare Are White German Shepherds
Tip #: Your German Shepherd Puppy Needs To Learn Things In Different Places And Every Time From Scratch
This is a hard concept to understand for us, clever human beings. Dogs are well lemons as expert trainer Jean Donaldson calls them in her Must-Read book The Culture-Clash. When we learn something new, we can very easily generalize the concept to any situation, that is what makes us creative creatures. Dogs, on the other hand, cant make that cognitive leap. If they learn to Sit in the kitchen, they most likely wont sit in the yard unless trained -from scratch!
Fortunately, you have a German Shepherd puppy, they are clever and chances are they will need less repetitions than the average breed. To help you out on this matter, this link will take you to a step-by-step guide to train a reliable command.
Collecting Essentials To Train Your Gsd
You only cant start to train your shepherd puppy without any preparations. You might need to collect a few things before starting their training. The teaching of a German Shepherd goes in various phases, to make them obedient, devotional, and calm its temperament. But all these training sessions require proper planning and preparation.
To make the sessions for your puppy much more comfortable, there are a few things you can take care of while you train them.
Also Check: How Big Is A 3 Month Old German Shepherd
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Whelping Box Diy
Use The Right Tools For The Job
Use the right tools for your puppy or adult and follow the training steps below to begin basic training with your German Shepherd. Teaching obedience without these supplies makes the work harder on you.
Dont make your life harder!
Buy the right tools.
Here are some of the best examples for your training.
Learn To Attach His Leash The Right Way
Attaching your dog leash the right way at the beginning of the walk training session can make a huge difference between fail and success of each training session. When you attach the leash to your dog during each training session, he should be calm and relax. Remember the cause of your dog pulling is because he is full of excess energy.
If your dog gets overly excited, you should stay and do absolutely nothing until he calms down a bit. As soon as he becomes calm, slowly attach the leash. If he starts to bark, run around or jump around, take your hands back and do absolutely nothing. Repeat the sequence until your dog can stand still while you attach his leash.
You May Like: German Shepherd Long Hair Puppy
Why You Need To Be Alpha And How To Do So
German Shepherd dogs are highly intelligent and social creatures. Their trainability, sense of loyalty, and astounding cleverness make this breed an excellent choice for families who want to compete in a variety of dog sports such as obedience or agility competitions.
This intelligence and sense of dominance mean that they may be difficult to handle for an inexperienced owner. For this reason, German Shepherds, despite their popularity, are not recommended for first-time dog owners or owners who dont have experience with guardian breeds.
Teaching your German Shepherd that you are the leader of the pack, the alpha, is extremely important. This will ensure that your dog will look to you for guidance rather than taking matters into their own paws. An untrained, dominant German Shepherd is a disaster waiting to happen.
There are a few ways that you can let your German Shepherd pup know who the boss is. While training is extremely effective, there are some even more subtle ways.
- Only feed your dog once youve eaten.
- Dont let your dog go through doorways before you.
- Set boundaries such as not allowing them in the room when you are eating.
- Speak in a firm voice.
- Dont let disobedience fly. If your puppy ignores a command, get their attention and insist that they listen to you.
When Should I Start Training My German Shepherd Puppy
Training your German Shepherd should start as soon as you take them home. If youre getting your puppy from a breeder, this would be around 8 to 12 weeks old.
As puppies, German Shepherds are very impressionable. They learn rather quickly and have not yet picked up bad behaviors that can disrupt training.
Potty training will be a breeze and they can learn basic obedience very quickly. Additionally, they will learn to respect your leadership right away.
You May Like: German Shepherd Puppy Long Hair
Imprinting Your German Shepherd Dog
Another thing that you need to do before engaging in formal training is called imprinting. Imprinting is a way of establishing your dominance over your dog, but it also helps to bond the two of you.
This might sound manipulative, but GSDs have been bred to be working dogs. In most cases, they enjoy having a job to do, and they enjoy the love and respect that they earn when they do a job well.
Imprinting is related to the way that you treat your dog. If you yell at your dog, chances are they will become aggressive and will have a hard time engaging with other people. On the other hand, if you are loving but assertive with your dog, and reward them for positive behaviors, they will become much happier and open as they mature.
Why Won’t My Dog Come When I Call Him
Have you ever trained your dog to come when called, and then when you call him, he completely ignores you? You are not alone! There are many reasons why your pup is not responding to your command.
- More training is needed. Your dog might not be ready to be off the leash in wide, open spaces and needs more systematic training. Go back to the basics and try again.
- Competing reinforcers. Your dog might be perfectly well-trained to come to you when you call him, but other creatures & people can win in the competition for your dogs attention. It is important for you to know your dog, and that includes knowing when you need to leave the leash on.
- No reinforcement. When you call your dog and he comes to you, it is important to reward him. No reinforcement leads your dog to not wanting to come to you. You can use a food treat or plenty of praise.
- Not understanding the dogs needs. Sometimes your dog will not come when called because you are rushing him. He may need to run, sniff around a bit, or search longer for a good bathroom break spot.
Puppies expect to be “paid” for good behavior. Praise in a happy voice and small treats are the best form of reward for good behavior.
Start by teaching your puppy his/her name. By 4 months, they should know sit, down, come, go out, and wait/stay. Be consistent & patient and reward good behavior. Training for a few minutes several times a day is better than a longer training session.
Recommended Reading: Is My German Shepherd Too Skinny
Dogs Stick To What They Have Learned
If you have a second thought about investing your time and resources on your German Shepherd puppys good training, then this fact will make you decide in favor of it.
Research testing the tendency of dogs to go with the crowd revealed that dogs would stick to what they have learned and not conform to other dogs behavior even under different manipulated situations.
This means that the good training you give to your German Shepherd puppy will stick with him, and you can expect your dog to portray good behavior in any situation.
What Age Should You Start Protection Training
The best age to start protection training is at two or three years old. At this age, a German Shepherd will have matured into an adult and developed protective instincts.
These instincts will provide a protection drive for your German Shepherd, making it easier to teach him protection skills.
Nonetheless, even from early puppyhood, around 12 weeks, your puppy will need to be socialized and learn basic obedience.
This will then provide a foundation for him when training for protection.
It will also incline him to respect you as a leader, and enable you to have control over his actions.
Recommended Reading: German Shepherd Overgrown Nails
When To Start Training For No
If you get your German Shepherd as a puppy, start training them while theyre young. Their size makes a difference because this task gets more and more difficult the heavier they get. You dont want to have to deal with a 70 to 90-pound puller if you can avoid it!
If you dont get your German Shepherd as a puppy, no problem. Start leash training as soon as they come home if they dont already have proper leashing walking skills.
How German Shepherd Training At Home Helps You
German Shepherd training at home is important not only for your dog but also for you and your family. Obedience teaches your dog how to experience success both inside the home and out.
Training your German Shepherd at home gives you the opportunity to practice as much as you want when convenient for you. It saves you time and money.
But there are many more amazing benefits!
Don’t Miss: When Do German Shepherd Ears Go Up
Training A German Shepherd Doesnt Happen Overnight
Shepherd pups want to please and have order in their home. Create more consistency for them and youll see fewer German Shepherd puppy problem behaviors.
To do this, stick with your training. Dont confuse your dog by having different rules for different days or times.
Begin with a plan in place and disciplining your GSD will go smoother from the start. Dont give up when your pup doesnt understand what you want the first few times. Persevere with your training and discipline.
Remember that your German Shepherd is highly intelligent and needs your help to get the best from them.
If you feel like giving up, take a break from training for a day or two. Its OK and your dog will still learn by having an owner who is more relaxed and calm than one who is stressed and frustrated.
In order to avoid training frustration, remember that just like you a German Shepherd needs time to learn the rules of the house and new commands. This is true especially of puppies or rescue dogs.
If you want to take a break from training and have fun, then include a few days a week of puzzles. You can read more about the best puzzle toys for your German Shepherd and find a few you like so that you and your dog dont get burned out on training.
Understand The Body Language Of Your Puppy
In the previous tip, I have discussed the importance of understanding how your German Shepherd puppy communicates. Aside from this, you also need to understand the body language of your puppy.
You must know how to properly analyze and understand his body language. For example, if you notice that his tail hangs in the middle, then it shows that he is feeling either of these emotions scared, aggressive, or playful. When it comes to animals, their body language is uncertain since it can show that they are happy but mean the other way.
You must understand his body language depending on the environment and situation. However, you cannot decipher this overnight, so you should be patient when understanding your puppys body language.
After you read this article, you must study the body language of German Shepherds to develop a better understanding of your puppys body language and what it means.
Don’t Miss: How Big Is A German Shepherd At 6 Months
Give Your Dog Responsibilities
German Shepherds thrive best when theyre pre-occupied and able to use their unique physical and abilities. In fact, if you give your GSD some household chores, youll find that theyre happier and better behaved.
Apart from having a happy helper at home, giving your dog a job also gives you plenty of opportunities to train and reward them for their positive behaviors.
Train Your German Shepherd To Come
There will be times when you will call your pup to come over to you for a variety of reasons. These reasons include to eat, drink, go outdoors, go for a walk, searching for him in the house, calling him away from danger, calling him to come to you in a large park and many other reasons that will arise throughout his lifetime. Train your pup to come to you by following the steps below.
- First, fill one of your hands with small treats.
- Go outdoors in your yard where there is open space but it is a fenced in area. If you live in an apartment, you can just go to another room.
- Hold both of your arms straight out so that your body resembles a similar figure to a cross.
- At the same time you hold your arms out, say the verbal command come.
- When your dog reaches your feet, quickly give him a treat and reward him verbally or by gently patting him on the head.
- Repeat the process until your pup understands what his proper reaction should be.
The reason you are using such a large hand signal for this specific command is because if your dog is far away from you in a park or down the street, he may not be able to hear you. But most likely will be able to see your large hand gesture from a far distance.
Also Check: Will Neutering A German Shepherd Calm Him Down