HOW TO TRAIN YOUR GERMAN SHEPHERD
Dog training is an essential stage in the life of any dog and their owner. It needs to be done properly, with a conscientious approach, in order for it to be successful and allow your furry friend to live perfectly in harmony with their new surroundings.
What Age Should I Start Training My German Shepherd?
The answer is simple: as soon as you welcome your new puppy home! You can start training your German Shepherd as early as 2 months old, whether they're intended to be a guard dog, companion dog, working dog, or even a guide dog. Your German Shepherd is most likely to learn during the first few months of their life, so take the opportunity to set up a solid training plan, based above all on a positive approach. Puppies are always more receptive than adults, but all dog breeds can be trained, regardless of their age. Also, keep in mind that even though your dog seems small at first, German Shepherds grow into large dogs in adulthood. Annoying behaviours developed when your pooch is small can become more problematic when they become larger in size.
But, you're in luck! German Shepherds are relatively easy to train. Intelligent, obedient, and deeply loyal, these doggies love to please. They also need to move and exercise to feel useful. However, their willing nature in no way exempts you from training your German Shepherd as seriously as you would another dog.
German Shepherd Training Tips
Dog training requires certain prior knowledge and a solid base. To successfully train your German Shepherd puppy, start by banning all forms of violence, both verbal and physical. While rough methods can get you results faster, they are nonetheless counterproductive in the long run because they destroy any trust your dog has in you. They would only be obeying you out of fear, not out of a desire to please you.
Always follow these three main principles when it comes to dog training: coherence, patience, and consistency!
Coherence: Keep your commands short and easy to remember, and stick to them along the way. Be sure to prohibit anything you wouldn't want your dog doing once they grow up. It is easier to grant permission later than to withdraw permission granted too early. Set limits and make it clear to your puppy that you are in charge.
Patience: Your German Shepherd dog cannot be expected to understand everything immediately, no matter how smart they may be. Your dog will need to repeat the exercises over time to master them. Teach your German Shepherd one command at a time, repeat until they've fully grasped it, then move on to the next one. Obedience also requires patience.
Consistency: The only thing that will bring concrete results is repetition over time. Set aside fifteen minutes a day for training sessions and repeat each lesson as many times as necessary until your four-legged friend understands what you want from them.
Which Basic Commands Should I Teach My German Shepherd?
It's important to teach your dog a few basic commands as early as possible to guarantee their safety.
Come: This command helps you keep your dog safe under any circumstance. It allows you to call them back to you whenever you see that they’re in danger. To teach your German Shepherd to come to you, start in an enclosed, secure area. If need be, ask a family member or friend to help you. Take turns calling your dog and congratulating them profusely when they come towards you.
Heel: A German Shepherd puppy who pulls on their lead is not a problem. But your puppy will soon grow up and, in adulthood, this little annoyance can quickly become quite difficult to manage on your daily walks. As such, it's important to teach your pooch to respect and follow your rhythm. As soon as they start to pull, pull back, give the command, and walk in the other direction. Repeat this as long and as often as necessary until your pooch is walking comfortably alongside you on the lead.
Stop: This command should not be interpreted as a punishment by your dog. You need to keep a positive approach and also reward your pooch for stopping whatever they were doing. It is a form of exchanging good practices.
Take advantage of your German Shepherd's instinct to expedite their learning! Like any good sporting dog, your pooch likes to exercise, run, and play. This is the perfect opportunity to train them. You don't have to wait for training sessions to practise lessons with your pooch. Any and every situation can be used to educate your dog. For example, take advantage of your daily walks to teach your four-legged friend to walk on a lead without pulling and to come back to you as soon as you call.
Playtime is also a great way to train your German Shepherd without them noticing. And don't forget the essential step of socialising your dog! This crucial moment should ideally occur between your puppy's second and third month of life. German Shepherds are sociable dogs by nature but don't tempt fate. Let your doggy meet other doggies, as well as other animals, like cats and exotic pets. German Shepherds are not aggressive by nature, but they still need to learn how to behave in different surroundings in order to grow up comfortably and happily.
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