Understand That Your German Shepherd Is A Working Dog
German Shepherds were bred to work. Specifically, they were bred to herd and guard other animals. This eventually evolved into personal protection and many other applications as well.
The point in telling you this is so that you understand that work is not only a good thing for a GSD, it is essential to a GSDs well-being. A GSD without a job to do will often times become depressed, destructive, and sometimes dangerous. Your GSD wants first and foremost to work for and to please you, his owner.
You should always keep this in mind when training your German Shepherd puppy. Know that your GSD likes to learn, and the more complex the task, the more your GSD will benefit from it.
Practice With Distance Duration And Distraction
Remember to include the 3 Ds of dog training in your obedience lessonsdistraction, distance, and duration.
The 3 Ds help reinforce your German Shepherds training and give you more reliability over your dog.
They familiarize your dog with the many ways in which they might get asked to perform their commands. These extra steps are invaluable to the quality of your German Shepherd obedience home training program.
Examples of the 3 Ds of Dog Training
- Increase the time your dog is one position by taking a long time to offer the treat.
- See how long you can have your dog stay while you move into different practice areas and work on increasing the time.
- Try to keep his attention on you during his training despite other distractions in your room, inside your house, or outdoors.
If your GSD seems to have forgotten their command, take them back to the last place they were successful and begin training from there.
Its not unusual for you to have gone too fast or expected too much.
Not all of your days are perfect, right?
So, its not fair if you expect your German Shepherd to be perfect every day, either.
Adjust your training as needed.
Continue building on your dogs knowledge and your desire for a responsive companion and youll see amazing improvements in their good behaviors and
in your ability to control your German Shepherd.;
Teaching The Stay Step
Have your pup in their collar and 6-foot walking leash. Begin indoors in a quiet area free from distractions.;
Increase the stay time your dog is in the stay position beginning with 5 seconds and working up to one minute or more. Dont rush them to hold their stay, though.
Next, work on extending the distance between you and your dog while in the stay. Take a few steps back each time you train.
Your goal is to reach the end of your leash while your pup stays in place.;
This could take many sessions over weeks or months.
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How Often Should You Walk A German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a large dog with an active temperament, so it will be crucial to go for a walk two or three times a day so that its muscles stay in a good condition. These walks should last about 20 or 30 minutes.
Even if you find it disgusting, you must allow your German Shepherd to sniff around whatever it wants: this is a sign that it is relaxed. Here you can discover the common things you do wrong when walking your dog for more tips.
A common problem when walking German Shepherds is that they tend to pull on the lead, but it can be easily solved. Collars are not recommended for this breed, especially not choke or prong collars, as they can lead to eye diseases especially in younger dogs. Instead, use an anti-pull harness, which will be available in any pet store.
German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic degenerative disease. It is very important to not do intense exercise for hours on end.
How To Do Clicker Training For German Shepherds
Clicker training is a popular reward-based training method. Its a great option for German Shepherd owners because its direct. The dog wants to please their owner, and is a simple way of letting your dog know what you want so you can instantly reward them once they comply.
If youre interested in clicker training your dog, the good news is that you only need one thing: a clicker. A clicker is a small plastic device with a button makes a distinctive clicking noise when you press it.
There are tons of different clickers on the market, and they all pretty much do the same thing. The brand and model you choose will be based largely on personal preference. The difference is mostly in the sound: some are loud, while others make a softer clicking noise.
Youll want to find a clicker that you wont lose, and that is comfortable to use. Some, such as the Downtown Pet Supply clicker, come with a bracelet so you can wear the clicker around your wrist during training sessions.
Others, such as the Starmark Pro-training clicker, have a keyring and can easily be attached to your house keys, which is particularly useful if youre using the clicker to help with potty training. Its also great to be able to train on-the-go.
Whatever clicker you choose, the methodology is much more important than the hardware involved. When clicker training your dog the most important thing is consistency.
Heres a simplified step-by-step guide to clicker training:
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Put Your Pup In Check German Shepherd Obedience Training Basics
German Shepherds are strong and extremely loyal dogs. There is no doubt that this breed of dogs will stick by you through thick and thin. However, if you go overboard with its training, your GS will grow to become an aggressive dog. And trust me, you dont want that.
If you have bought a German Shepherd puppy, start training it in its initial days because GSDs can become very dominant if they dont get the right coaching. One more mistake that many GSD owners make is to treat their dogs harshly. GSDs are not like play dogs or the friendly breeds. Nature has made them tough and dominant.
If you try to handle them aggressively, theyll give it back to you. They also need to learn to behave with people. When you have a GSD at home, you wouldnt want it to bite on the furniture, chew on toys, and much more. And with the help of proper obedience coaching, a GSD can be exactly how you want it to be, i.e. very harmonious.
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.
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Advantages To Training An Older Gsd Compared To A Puppy
There are several benefits to training an older German Shepherd, especially if you have owned the dog for some time. Older dogs are more likely to recognize some basic commands already. Even if they dont know any commands, they will probably know some basic words such as no and good dog!
Older German Shepherds often have a longer attention span than young puppies, as well. They can also be faster to pick up on words and actions:
Old dogs can learn new tricks! In fact, older dogs may be easier to teach. They likely have a longer attention span and more focus than a young puppy. Additionally, teaching your older dog new things can help to keep his mind sharp and slow the signs of senility.
Harmony Peraza, Veterinary Technician, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Adult dogs, especially if they have an established relationship with you, are often more eager to please. This means that they love to spend time with you and are keener on time spent training and working on new skills.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and have an intense desire to please their owners. They are, therefore, keen to participate in any training.
Since mature German Shepherds tend to have a higher level of focus than puppies, they can be very enthusiastic abouttraining. You can often take advantage of their instincts to tailor training to suit. German Shepherds have an astounding work ethic and are eager to perform any job or task.;
Sleep Training The First Week
Eventually, wherever you want them to. But for now, beside your bed is the best place for your puppy to sleep it will help them feel safe.
If you were a teeny baby, youd probably want to sleep next to someone too. Having them sleep beside you will also be of great help with toilet training youll be able to rush them to the toilet as soon as you hear them squeak.
Theres something else you should know. You probably wont be sleeping incredibly well for the next few weeks puppies take a while to have full control of their bladder, so you can prepare to sleep with one eye open for now. Dont worry! Youll be back to sleeping with both eyes closed soon enough.;;
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How To Train A German Shepherd To Sit And Stay In 4 Steps
German shepherds are inherently smart dogs and can learn tricks and commands quickly. You can start training your puppy from litter age but the best time to teach is within 12 14 months of the dogs age. The most basic training that owners want their dogs to have is following the command to sit. It is advised to start to train a German shepherd to sit early as it will make the trick quicker for the dog to learn.
How To Teach Your German Shepherd Puppy To Not Bark
German Shepherds are known for liking the sound of their own voice. It makes a lot of sense though, its essentially because they want to guard and alert people for danger. What can they do, they just love you?
They also find barking self reinforcing, so once they start they can really rather enjoy it. While barking is a very natural and normal behaviour for dogs, it can be annoying for humans its not quite like music, is it.
Heres how you get them to stop barking:
First, find out why they are barking. Dogs can bark for a variety of reasons, but usually, its one of the following:;
- Territorial reasons: Alerting you to a threat. Cant blame them, they just want to make sure no one comes and gets you.;
- Fear or Anxiety: Barking or whining makes your puppy feel good and is often self soothing. Kind of when you sing in the shower.;
- Attention: A German Shepherd bark is loud and hard to ignore. Again, like your shower-singing habits.;
- Excitement: This happens most often when playing, theyre just letting you know how happy they are!
- At other dogs: Theres always time for a chat. Who knows what theyre really saying, it can really be anything from; Where did your owner get your lead? to Your breath is disgusting, please stay away.;
- Boredom: ;Barking makes dogs feel good when theyre bored. Strange, but true.;
Although these are all good reasons to bark, barking can become a problem in the human world. Heres a couple steps to follow to help you out on this:
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How To Socialize An Older German Shepherd
The best time to socialize a dog is when he is in the early development stages as a puppy. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Sometimes, you may end up with an older German Shepherd who has not been properly socialized and has trouble accepting anything new, whether experiences, people, or other dogs or pets. The good news is that you can still socialize an older German Shepherd, but how?
To socialize an older German Shepherd, start by taking the dog out on walks and expose him to new places, smells, sounds, people, other dogs, and different animals. Invite family and friends around one at a time, monitor your dogs progress, and slowly work up to a dog park.
When socializing an older German Shepherd, take things slowly to avoid fear, anxiety, or aggression in the dog. Introduce one experience at a time, dont overwhelm him, and use lots of praise. Consider the GSDs prior experience, temperament, and adaptability before any new situation.
Simply exposing adult animals who lacked early exposure to social situations will not likely meet their needs.;These animals can benefit from individually paced interventional programs.
If your GSD barks or performs negative behaviors while meeting other dogs, dont yell or harshly tug him away. This will excite him even more and create a negative experience that he will learn to relate to meeting others. You can also consider the use of a muzzle at this stage.
Make Them Work For It
The next thing you need your dog to do is to realize that they need to do something if they want a treat. Start with something simple, like sitting or coming when called. As soon as they do it correctly, press the button then give them a treat.
Eventually, theyll learn that you expect them to work for their treats. Theyll start to look to you for direction and wait for your command so they can get their reward.
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Our Dogs Are Doing The Best They Can
This quote from the living legend and multi-world champion in the sport of dog agility, Susan Garrett, truly gets to the heart of the matter.
It’s a pretty darn powerful statement and gives us the clarity we need to start this next mind-shift. It’s all about education and the environment.
So let’s take jumping on guests as our example again and apply the principles of education and environment to our solution of do.
- I want my dog to keep all four paws on the ground.
- I want my dog to go into a sit and calmly wait for guests to greet him.
- I want my dog to go to his bed or crate when guests arrive and wait to be released to greet guests.
When we start to look at training challenges from a do-perspective, we begin to see the education we need to provide for our dogs.
In this case, we see that the first step is to educate our dogs to keep all four paws on the ground.
We also see that we need to build a lot of positive value for the behavior of sitting with duration and later distraction.
Or being on a bed or in their crate if that’s what we want our dog to offer.
We shouldn’t start our training when guests arrive or are already visiting.
If we do that, the environment will be too challenging for our dog to perform in, and we’ll be setting him up to fail.
Instead, we should be training for the situation and not in the situation.
Before you know it, you’ll be throwing a cheese and wine party and your dog will be the star of the show!
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