German Shepherd Training: The 7 Golden Rules & Basic Commands
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Im sure youll agree when I say:
A well-trained dog is a pleasure to have around.
If you own an untrained pooch you know the frustration it causes.
Whether youve just brought home your first German Shepherd.
Or if youve finally decided its time to teach your old dog new tricks
Youve come to the right place to get the 101 on German Shepherd training.
It is a fact that German Shepherds are among the brightest and most intelligent working dogs.
Preceded only by the Border Collie and the Standard Poodle.
This is according to a book published by Stanley Coren in 1994 The Intelligence of Dogs.
You can read more about his study and the metrics here.
Thanks to their ability to understand new commands in less than 5 repetitions and obeying the first command 95% of the time or more.
And the desire to please you most owners can succeed at training their dog on their own.
Because of their intelligence, German Shepherds can sometimes be stubborn. They need a firm hand and a smart approach to their training.
Training your German Shepherd is exciting. But sometimes dog training can seem overwhelming if you don’t even know where to begin.
So heres the deal:
Youve got to get inside your German shepherds head
And Im about to show you exactly how you can do this:
What Might Be The Best Age To Get A German Shepherd Spayed Or Neutered Based On The Case Study Data
This is only speculation based on case study data, but it could be:
A female dog might be spayed at less than one years old if you want to decrease the risk of mammary cancer
A male dog might be neutered at older than one year old if you want to decrease the risk of Hip dysplasia
Talk to your vet about what is best for your individual dog and make the decision based on the data you provide and your vets professional opinion.
TheDailyShep.com are not veterinarians, or animal professionals/experts. Information provided is for informational purposes only it is not a substitute for professional or qualified advice.
The information is based on either our own thorough research, and/or own experiences, as a means of free speech.
You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.
You can find our full set of disclaimers and T & Cs in the footer of this site.
Enjoy your reading, and thank you for being here
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My Personal Experience With German Shepherds
As with any breed, theres the whole range of different personalities and characters and temperaments that you can come across. But today, I want to share what my general experiences with German shepherds has been like.
I can confidently say that the breed description given to German shepherds is pretty accurate. I have encountered many German shepherds who are physically and mentally strong, courageous, and often have a hard time backing down.
Of course, not all German shepherds fit this description. Ive come across many who are very fearful and nervous. But mostly, Ive seen the confident, strong-willed shepherds.
Whats fascinating to me with German shepherds is that, despite a strong personality, they do seem to want to work alongside you. They all seem to have a deep desire to connect with you, work for you, and do a great job.
Its almost like they want to be your partner rather than work independently. However, this means, if youre not sure what youre doing, they will very quickly step into the driving seat, which is a problem. You really dont want your German shepherd in charge of making the decisions!
Thats where theyre not a dog for everyone, because German shepherds play this game of Whos in charge, me or you? at a very high level. I call it the dog code.
Since then, Ive fallen in love with German shepherds. I could certainly see myself ending up with one in the future. And yes, I would fully trust this breed around my kids, my wife, and my other dogs.
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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.
What Is Obedience Training And Why Your Dog Needs It
The sole purpose of obedience training is to teach your German Shepherd how to act at home and in social settings.
Socializing, house training, and basic sit, stay, and recall commands will fall into this category.
Obedience training is essential to avoid the development of behavior problems early on. It’s also the only way to fix bad habits and behavior that have already developed.
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Is A German Shepherd Puppy Right For You
German Shepherd puppies make very loyal, protective, and loving pets. Many vets, trainers, and owners who share their lives with German Shepherd puppies feel blessed. If you can accept the responsibility for training them and caring for them, you will be rewarded.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Week 2 Training Your German Shepherd Puppy
|Socialisation exercises to do this week||Training to do this week||Husbandry Tasks to do this week|
If your puppy is very nibbly when youre feeding them treats , stuff up a Kong and use that instead.
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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.
Consider A Custom Crate For Flying
For any airline, whether your dog is traveling internally or internationally, a custom-made crate may be the best option so you can be assured it is the best fit.
Pet shippers will arrange this for you or you can find someone locally, or even build it yourself as long as it is to the airlines specifications.
While traveling with your German Shepherd, whether by car or plane, you may need to locate pet-friendly hotel options on your journey.
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Work With An Animal Behavior Therapist
For people that may have complex psychological issues, a therapist can help to unravel the ball of yarn, so to speak. The same applies with your dog.
You may be surprised at what a professional dog behavior expert may be able to accomplish with your dog and you together.
So if you feel that your dog is aggressive, take a step back and do not get frustrated. Go through the proper channels, speak with your veterinarian, and speak with a behaviorist.
Chances are there will be a hopeful future.
When To Spay A Femalepuppy
Conventional beliefs state that female German Shepherds should be spayed before they go into first heat, around 6 months of age.
This is because studies have shown that spaying at this time would practically eliminate the risk of breast cancer and the uterine infection called pyometra.
However, there are various other factors to consider before making the decision to spay.
|Spaying of German Shepherd Dogs and Female-Specific Illnesses|
Spaying at younger than 6 months old gives your German Shepherd the highest risk of developing at least one type of cancer. Based on cancer risk, the best spay age is between 6 months and less than 2 years of age.
Taking into account the risk for joint disorders, female-specific diseases, and associated cancers, the best age to spay a female German Shepherd is around 1 year old.
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Socializing A German Shepherd With People
The key to socializing a puppy or adult German Shepherd is to make sure that while your German Shepherd dog is dealing with new people and a variety of different environments, he maintains the positive feelings. Try to avoid a distressing experience as this will delay your German Shepherds socialization and training to adapt to people and new situations.
The situations in which you place your dog may be out of your control, so it is up to you to try to ensure that your German Shepherd puppy or adult dog is comfortable at all times and is not in an awkward situation.
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.
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Tip #: Potty Train Your German Shepherd Puppy The Right Way
Right around now you are also probably dealing with potty training, the best German Shepherd puppy training tips for potty training are outlined below. You should know how many times, and when to take you puppy out. Use a crate if you need to and NEVER punish your GSD for an accident you did not see happen, you have to catch-him-in-the-act if you want to mildly reprimand and redirect to the correct spot.
Hope You Love Dog Hair Everywhere
Theres a reason people call them German shedders. Enough said! German Shepherds have a double coat, which equals twice as much fur all of your floor, your sofa, your clothes, etc. You also cant win with your wardrobe if you end up with a classic black-and-tan German shepherd, they have black, brown, tan, and sometimes white hair on them, so no color of clothing is immune!
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Most Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems
Before we dive into the most common behavioral problems associated with German shepherds, I think its important to look at where the breed has actually come from.
Over the last century, German shepherds have been used for tracking, search and rescueespecially for the police and protection and guarding. So, its no surprise that a lot of the issues are in this exact area.
They have been intentionally bred for traits such as fierce loyalty, intelligence, and strength.
This leads to one of the first common problems for German shepherds, which revolves around aggression and the need to protect. Its very possible that an untrained German shepherd would be likely to bark or lunge at other dogs or people, especially on his own property.
Its not at all that this type of dog is being mean or nasty. In fact, from the dogs point of view, he believes hes just doing his job of protecting his family or territory.
Its a very, very common problem, and, at the end of the day, it is what the German shepherd has been bred to do a lot of the time.
The good newsthis behavior can be untrained. Or even better yet, if youre working with a German shepherd puppy or a young German shepherd, you can easily avoid this behavioral problem. And in case you are wondering, this does not automatically mean, that if you ever really do need help, that they wont rise to the occasion!
Once again, with some basic training and a good sturdy harness, this behavior can be easily prevented.
Tip #: The Best German Shepherd Puppy Training Tip Is
Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior.
This rule is amazing and will work wonders, besides it is really easy to apply, all you have to do is pay attention to your German Shepherd puppy and reward the good things he does. However, there are a couple rules to keep in mind for it to work:If you notice that the bad behavior is no getting any better, it’s probably because _somehow_ it’s being rewarded! You need to figure out what the reward is and remove it.If ignoring your pooch for the bad behavior doesnt work, then you can train your canine friend an incompatible behavior. For example, when a dog is laying down, it is harder to bark.
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Top Activities For German Shepherd Dogs And Puppies
Games for German Shepherds can include everyday objects that you can find around your house and are fun activities that give your German Shepherd mental stimulation and exercise.
Try a few of these activities for German Shepherds and see which ones your dog loves!
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How To Start Sleep Training Follow Our Easy Steps
German Shepherd Puppy Communication Guide
These are some basic puppy commands you should use.
Familiar words such as those in this list help your dog feel connected and start bonding with you.
Be sure to follow this easy German Shepherd puppy training guide to begin their basic obedience commands at home.
Your dog doesnt develop impulse control until 6 to 8 months old. Keep this in mind when discouraging behaviors and using corrections.
After safety and security, your dog has five basic needs:
- and playing
They live their days around these basic needs.
Your dog may become easily overwhelmed if you dont meet these needs. A dog who nips and scratches you arent always wanting to play but may have other needs that you arent meeting.
Its your job as their leader to understand what your puppy needs and to make sure you meet these demands.
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