German Shepherd Training Tips
German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent of all breeds and they thrive on training and work. Although the breed was developed from all-purpose herding and working shepherd dogs, right from the beginning German Shepherds have been intended for use as serious police, military, and guard dogs. They have sharp minds and they enjoy demanding work that requires them to think. When you are engaging in German Shepherd training it helps if you train your dog in a way that keeps him interested and alert and not bored.
Many of the training tips that work for training German Shepherds will also work for other breeds. Here are some training tips you can use for all breeds:
Be consistent. Use the same command for an action each time. Don’t change the command word. This will confuse your dog.
Have the same expectations for your dog. If you reward your dog for doing something one day when you give a command, don’t ignore him when he obeys the command the next time you give it. Your training will suffer when you confuse your dog.
Train in several short periods each day. No marathon training sessions. Dogs get bored and they lose interest. Ten to fifteen minutes is long enough for a training session. You can train two or three times per day in these short sessions and you will keep your dog interested in training.
Never train when you’re angry or upset. Your dog can sense it and he won’t want to work. It will affect your training, too.
Keep things cheerful. Dogs learn better when you are cheerful and upbeat. Use a happy voice for commands.
Train every day. If you only train once a week, or a few times a month, don’t expect your dog to succeed at his training. It’s not the dog’s fault, it’s yours. Training requires practice, no matter how smart your dog is.
For German Shepherds
German Shepherds have some special characteristics that you can use to make your training go well.
Many German Shepherds are food-motivated. If your dog is food-motivated, use this to your advantage and give small treats as rewards.
Some German Shepherds are not food-motivated. If your dog isn’t interested in food you will need to find what makes him happy and use that as a reward. For some dogs it’s playing with a special toy as a reward, or belly rubs, or it could be playing with a pair of your socks. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage when training. Something will make your German Shepherd go nuts with excitement.
Use exercise in your training. German Shepherds are large, active dogs and most of them enjoy exercise and play. The more you can make your training like fun and games, the more they will enjoy it.
Take the edge off. If your German Shepherd is too wound up and excited to pay attention to training, take him for a walk or jog before you start your training so he can focus.
Don’t be afraid to require perfection. German Shepherds are one of the world’s best obedience dogs. They can not only learn basic obedience commands, but they are fully capable of performing them to perfection. These dogs can learn the difference between performing a command sloppily and perfectly. Once they know how to do something, you can keep working with them until they do it perfectly.
Train in a quiet area. German Shepherds can have a strong prey drive so if you train in an open area where cats, squirrels, or other small animals may wander by, your dog may be distracted or even bounce off after the animal. Training in an enclosed area is best, especially when you are just starting out with your training.
These German Shepherd training tips should help you with your training. German Shepherds can excel at obedience, or anything you want to teach them. It just takes persistence and work on your part. Good luck with your training!