How to train your German Shepherd puppy
Whether leading the blind, protecting soldiers, helping police officers or simply playing with children, the German Shepherd is known for its beauty, loyalty and intelligence.
In order to optimize your training process, it’s important to bear in mind a couple of facts about this versatile breed:
- German Shepherds grow quickly and can reach up to 90 pounds.
- German Shepherds are bred as working dogs, so they need to do a job that will exercise them both physically and mentally.
- Shepherds have quick minds and are easy to train, making working with this breed both fun and challenging.
As with training any dog breed, establishing your role as the leader of the pack from the very start is important. If you don’t play your role properly, your dog will step in to fill the void, something which you want to avoid at all cost.
Leadership, however, should not be thought of as a strong-fisted dictatorship which only involves giving orders. A leader leads the way, points out where you are going and handles any problems that may come along the way. If you can give your dog the impression of “No worries, I’ve got this covered. I will take care of everything!” then she will feel balanced and ready to follow your lead.
So, right from the beginning, you want to start with simple, verbal commands that convey a clear message. Here are some samples:
1. When you feed your dog, tell her “Sit” and lift the food bowl above her head. She will automatically sit while looking up. Put the food down and when she leaps for it, pick the bowl up again. Don’t let your dog have the food until she stays seated.
2. As you are housebreaking your German Shepherd puppy, your training should include a questioning word to signal going out to use the bathroom. It could be “Out?” or “Potty?” or whatever you think appropriate, as long as you use the same word consistently. Once your puppy is housebroken, you can use it to ask if it is time.
3. When you and your puppy are leaving the house, you should go out the door first. Use the word “Wait” and make her stay in while you step out. This will take a lot of patience to get through, but keep trying. Who gets to go first and who has to wait, is a subtle cue for your dog about who is the leader and who is in charge. The Online Dog Trainer video program also contains a video that clearly demonstrates how to effectively proceed with this procedure.
As with any training, consistency, consistency, consistency is the key to success.
Give your puppy training each day and make sure to reinforce it with positive praise. Also make sure that your puppy is getting an plenty of exercise to burn off any excessive energy that would keep it restless and into trouble with bad behavior.
Finally, focus on proper dog socialization training for your dog, something which is covered in detail throughout different video’s in Doggy Dan’s dog training program.
Once you’ve covered the basic training with your dog, you can take your dog on a leash for a walk to a public place such as the park where your dog can see and hear other people and dogs.
Use these trips to exercise your own leadership skills as well so that your dog clearly notices that even outside the house, you are still the leader and your dog is the follower.
With the right training and correct division of the roles of leader and follower, your brand new German Shepherd puppy will become your most loyal and cherished friend for many years to come.