Controlling Your Protection Dog
Drive is a word protection dog trainers often use to describe a dogs preferred activity level, and responsiveness to a handlers cues. The simplest way to explain it is that your German Shepherd needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.Playing fetch and tug are terrific activities for your GSD. Also, using a flirt pole/toy combo is great way to exercise your German Shepherd. Any of these games can be used to help teach her self-control. Another helpful activity is clicker training. You can use a clicker to teach your GSD to climb agility obstacles will keep her mind and body in great shape.Your German Shepherd should have basic obedience training before beginning any personal protection work.
Training Your Dog At Home
There is also the home training option for people with time, or with limited budgets.
You can train your dog yourself at home.
It will require a lot of time and patience. You will have personally to train and reinforce the behaviors you want to see in your dog.
It may be exhausting at the beginning, but it is a good way to spend more time with your dog. And youll learn a lot about dogs along the way.
Luckily enough, there is plenty of content online, free and paid, on how to train your German Shepherd at home.
GSDs are a very popular breed. There is no shortage in information on training online.
And with forums and Facebook groups, you can ask questions and get feedback from other German Shepherd owners.
Adapting To Social Routine
Since German Shepherds are capable of barking at friends that visit until they become more comfortable with guests, it is wise to socialize your GSD immediately upon arriving home for the very first time when they are a puppy.
If you happen to adopt an adult GSD, you should slowly introduce friends and relatives to your dog.
How to socialize your GSD puppy:
It is rare, but if you notice that your pup is experiencing extreme stress, anxiety, fear or anger in social situations seek help from a trained professional.
Licensed dog training specialists have the ability to focus on the behavior problems and offer a solution.
They will teach you how to correct your dogâs behavior by providing you with helpful tips and tools. Following the professional dog trainerâs advice is essential to your GSD pupâs behavior improving.
If you find that the training is not helping, visit the veterinarian for further assistance.
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Show Him The Boundary Of Your Property
Regularly walk your German Shepherd around your yard and show him where his boundaries are.
This will help him establish the idea of what is his territory and what isnt. It is important for him to be able to distinguish which piece of land is his to guard.
Otherwise, he could bark or show unnecessary aggression to passersby or even the general public.
At some point, its a good idea to get somebody to try and purposely break into your yard. See how your dog reacts, all the while restraining him or holding him .
If he barks and tries to escape to get in the way of the intruder, reward him for his protective behavior.
Know Your Gsds Temperament
If you are purchasing a puppy, question the breeder carefully about protection titles in the pedigree, whether the breeder personally knows any of the dogs holding those titles, or has seen those dogs perform in person.The best thing to do is contact a few breeders of German Shepherds who do protection work, and get an idea of what they usually have available.Breeders can also keep you on a waiting list for a younger adult, if you are OK skipping the puppy stage and cost isnt as much of an issue.
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German Shepherds And Barking
As with any dog, German Shepherds are likely to bark. Their main purpose was for herding and guarding so they can be quite vocal when people walk past or enter or exit the house, but how much noise they make will vary from dog to dog. If youre having problems with excessive noise or barking, we recommend seeking the advice of an accredited behaviourist.
Train Your German Shepherd By Panic Command
In this training method, you must concentrate on training your dog when you say a certain command, your German Shepherd must become protective. The training method by which you should train your German Shepherd to learn this command is given below.
- Take some treat in your hand that your dog likes the most
- Give your dog a treat to prepare to obey you
- Wait for your dog to bark you can also tease him if necessary
- Whenever he barks, give him treat
- Repeat this method over and over again and start using the bark command.
- Make your dog pro so he knows he should bark when you give him the command.
German Shepherds Will Explore Everything With Their Noses
Youll find evidence of their very thorough sniffing everywhere walls, doors, windows, and more. All dogs have a better sense of smell than humans 10,000 to 100,000 times better in fact thanks to having millions more scent receptors. But compared to other breeds, the GSD ranks near the top in scenting ability. Its no wonder they make such great police and detection dogs. Among many other jobs, GSDs are known for their bomb and drug sniffing work, tracking, and search and rescue.
The Final Shepherd Verdict
Dont be afraid of, or worry about your German Shepherds protective instinct, as hes only doing what comes naturally to him, and if anything his devotion and loyalty to you, and his family should be cherished.
But just because you cherish something, it doesnt mean that you shouldnt do your utmost to preserve and protect it, and the best way to help your Shepherd curb and control his instincts is by training him and letting him know that the world isnt as scary or dangerous as he thinks it is.
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Will My German Shepherd Attack Guests
Generally speaking, German Shepherds are very a friendly and loving dogs to everyone.
Despite only bonding with 1 or 2 people. They love meeting and playing with different new people.
While meeting your guests, strangers to the dog, an attack is very unlikely to happen. The likely scenario, instead, is your dog will lick the hell outta your guests.
GSDs are smart. They can understand the context of the introduction to the new guests and decide accordingly.
If they dont sense any threat, theyll just keep doing what they know best: being friendly.
When your friends or family members visit, your GSD will probably be the first to welcome them with his tail asking to be petted.
German Shepherd As A Family Dog
The German Shepherd likes being with its family. If its left alone most of the time, it will be confused and naughty, resulting in chewing, digging, attacking smaller animals, etc. It will perceive other animals in its territory as threats if it hasnt been socialized.
Some people who want a German shepherd dog think it wont need training because its naturally intelligent. This misconception can be your dogs downfall. You need to build your relationship with your dog so that itll trust and protect you. Just giving the basic needs wont work because it needs to bond with you and the other members of its family.
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Train Your German Shepherd To Protect Your Home
The positive reinforcement method can also be used to train your German Shepherd to protect your home. You can train them by taking a treat in hand and taking them for a walk around the perimeter of your property.
You should reward them from time to time when they bark and teach them that it is their property and that if an intruder comes, they have to protect it.
Coat Color And Grooming
The German Shepherd was originally bred to herd flocks in harsh climates, and their medium-length double coat fits the job perfectly, acting as protection the dog from rain and snow and resistant to picking up burrs and dirt.
The coat types of the German Shepherd are as varied as their color. Some German Shepherds are longhaired. However, the “ideal” German Shepherd has a double coat of medium length. The outer coat is dense with straight hair that lies close to the body, and is sometimes wavy and wiry.
The coat comes in variety of colors and patterns including black black and cream black and red black and silver black and tan blue gray liver sable and white. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize white as a color for this breed, however, and won’t let white German Shepherds compete in conformation shows, although they’re allowed in other competitions.
Sometimes jokingly called “German shedders,” the breed sheds year-round, and generally “blows”sheds a lot of hair at once, like a snowstormtwice a year. If you want a German Shepherd, be prepared for hair on your black pants, on your white couch, and pretty much all over the house.
There’s no magic solution to shedding, and we just have to accept it. However, brushing two to three times a week will help more of the hair come out in a brush, rather than on your furnishings. And a sturdy vacuum cleaner doesn’t hurt either.
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German Shepherds And Children
Adult German Shepherds can range from being calm and patient to bouncy and boisterous, depending on their personality, training and socialisation. Some can make great family pets in homes with children of all ages, but dogs should always be supervised around young children.
Make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts. German Shepherds can be nervous of strangers so make sure theyre never left unsupervised. Be careful if you are introducing a German Shepherd to younger children or adults unfamiliar with the breed as they often dont know their own strength.
How Will My German Shepherd Protect Me
We have all seen the footage of the trained police dogs catching the bad guys, or the loyal dogs jumping to their owners defense in the event of them being attacked.
Its important to realize that these acts are often a trained response, and there is no way to know if your dog will act on their protective instincts in the desired way without specific training.
Yes, German Shepherds are essentially programmed to want to protect their loved ones, but this can present in many different forms.
Each German Shepherd is different, so this means that their method of protection can vary greatly.
While one GSD will immediately jump to the defense of their owners and attack the threat, another GSD may just bark loudly in an effort to scare away the current danger.
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Gsds Are Loving Companions
These are very social dogs who want to spend time with their humans. The more time your dog gets to spend with you, the happier your companion will be. They may exhibit aloofness with strangers rather than immediately adoring everyone they see, but that only makes their love even more special. Plus, these loyal and dedicated guardians and gentle family pets are willing to put their life on the line to protect their loved ones. And you cant ask for a more loving best friend than that.
Start Positive Reinforcement Training Early
German Shepherds are really intelligent dogs and excel at being trained with positive reinforcement. Focus on teaching them what you want them to do using a gradual training plan, and they will get the hang of it really quickly. But you do need to motivate them so use treats like chicken, turkey, or cheese. Dont make the mistake of using aversive methods because studies show this has risks including fear, aggression, and/or a worse relationship with their owner. – Zazie Todd, PhD
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Obedience Training For Your German Shepherd
This breed was developed to protect the herd and property. It has protective instincts that have been nurtured and encouraged by picking out the best of the litter through decades. You might be worried that it needs to be trained to protect you. Dont worry, the breed is naturally protective. Whether its been trained or not, it will protect you instinctively. The best thing that you can do for your German Shepherd is to train it to be obedient.
Obedience means it will listen to you during the most crucial times. This ensures there will be no accidents concerning its protectiveness towards you and his family. Instead of asking, will my German Shepherd protect me if untrained? The question should be, how do I train it to obey me?
Some dogs have been put down or re-homed because they dont behave in public. The basic instinct of the German Shepherd is to watch over the herd and to get rid of any threats. This can be dangerous if your dog cannot discern the situation. As I said before, I believe this breed has the initiative to think on its own. Its initiative is based on what its been trained to do and his instincts.
Basic obedience starts with teaching your dog to sit and to listen to your commands. German shepherds are quick to pick up on what you teach them and they are eager to learn. Just like kids, we need to teach them the limits of what they can and cannot do.
The Pastoral Breed Group
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.
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Common Health Problems In German Shepherds
German Shepherds are great dogs for the right owners, but they are at risk of certain conditions and illnesses common with the breed. Making sure the parents of your puppy have had the relevant health screening can reduce the chances of your puppy being affected by some of these upsetting conditions.
German Shepherds are in a group of breeds classed as Category Three by The Kennel Club, which is the highest category of the health concerns due to their conformation. This means that these types of dog have been bred over many years to look a certain way, but that these changes to the way they look have started to cause them health problems. For German Shepherds, this is mostly due to the shape of their back legs and hips.
Some of the conditions German Shepherds may develop include:
This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other conditions that German Shepherds have been shown to be prone to.
How To Get Your German Shepherd To Protect You
There are a number of things that you can do to make it more likely that your German Shepherd to protect you that I will mention below. The best thing for you to do will depend on how you want it to protect you such as on command or when a person is on your property.
Train it using the panic word method
The panic word method focuses on training your German Shepherd to become protective when you say a certain word.
To train it to learn the panic word you would do as follows:
Get some treats that your dog likes
- Give it a small treat so that it knows that you have treats
- Wait for it to bark by teasing it with the treat if necessary
- Reward it when it barks or when it shows a sign of barking
- Continue to do the above each time you show it the treat say the command word so that it learns that the command word means to bark
You can watch the video below to see how it is done
Use positive reinforcement training to get it to protect your home
You can also use positive reinforcement training to get it to become more protective of your home.
You can do this by
- Walking it around the perimeter of your property while rewarding it with treats to teach it to learn that it is its property.
- Rewarding your German Shepherd for barking when someone comes onto your property
You can watch the video below to see how it is done
Train it to learn who is friendly
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A German Shepherds History And Its Protective Instincts
In 1899, a German Cavalry officer, Captain Max von Stephanitz, made it a mission to develop the ideal herding dog. Through that mission, he and other like-minded breeders from Germany soon bred the ancestors of the modern German Shepherd Dog.
Meaning, German Shepherds werent developed for police or military work but were instead bred for herding and protecting sheep. As such, the German Shepherd came to be by breeding dogs with qualities ideal for herding such as a protective disposition.
History Of The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd came to light during a time period in Germany when dogs were bred for specific work purposes. At this time in the 1850s, Shepherds were breeding dogs who people believed would herd their sheep and protect their livestock.
It was the popular opinion that dogs should have a purpose, and many were in search of the perfect dog for their working needs.
Among those who were on the hunt for skilled working dogs, was a man named Max von Stephanitz. He was an ex-cavalry captain, and a former student at the Berlin Veterinary College.
While attending a dog show in 1899, he came across a dog that stopped him in his tracks. The striking dogs name was Hektor Linksrhein, and his traits made him everything that Stephanitz believed a working dog should be.
Hektor was stunning, strong, and incredibly intelligent. Stephanitz immediately purchased Hektor, and began the incredible journey that became the starting point of the German Shepherd.
Hektor, soon named Horand, became the center of the new organization, Society of the German Shepherd Dog.
Stephanitz founded this organization with the hopes of establishing an incredible foundation for breeding working dogs, and creating an entire breed just like Horand.
He bred those who followed Horand to be fiercely driven, loyal, protective, and intelligent.
Stephanitz is now credited for creating the German Shepherd, and in hand responsible for some of the desirable traits passed down in the German Shepherd breed.
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