Few canines display the grace and majesty of the German Shepherd. In addition to being one of the most loyal dog breeds, they are also working dogs that generally enjoy learning. Because German Shepherds have all these traits, being extremely smart, athletic, and eager to please, they are very versatile and trainable animals.
Step 1 :
Begin your training attempts with a German Shepherd puppy when it is around 8 weeks old. Although any German Shepherd dog is trainable, they are very strong and powerful animals. If you start out with a puppy, you have the opportunity to shape and mold its personality and develop your relationship early.
Start gently handling your puppy’s paws, ears, tail, etc. in anticipation of his future grooming and veterinary visits. This will be a big dog, and you want to prepare the dog when they are young and small for nail trimming, ear cleaning, temperature taking and other procedures. These procedures will be difficult to accomplish should your full sized adult German Shepherd dog object.
Begin training your puppy with basic commands. You will need to train them to sit, stay, and heel, in addition to house training them. Your puppy will not understand your commands immediately. Have patience with your dog when they don't do exactly what you ask right away.
Use food treats and praise to reinforce your commands. German Shepherds love to learn and they are highly motivated to follow your commands it they are rewarded with treats.
Prevent feed bowl aggression. Pet your puppy while they're eating, as long as they do not stiffen and stop eating when you are petting the puppy. If the puppy stiffens, stops eating or growls, you have to deal with this aggressive response immediately.
Address food aggression by removing the food bowl and feeding the dog by hand. The puppy needs to earn each and every piece of food from you with a “sit” or some other command. There is no bowl to guard.
Use feeding time as a training time. You can gradually ask the puppy to look at you to get more food, then sit and wait for more food, etc.. The humans controls the resource of food and rewards the puppy for good behavior.
Wean your puppy off of treats for performance. After your puppy has mastered a command, start treating intermittently so that you don’t have a dog that will only perform for food. You still praise your dog, just not offer a treat each time. If you are working to modify a command to create a faster response, add in treats again to shape the behavior until they have it down. Then start using treats to reward truly outstanding performance.
Do not create fear in your puppy. Do not yell at your pet. Learn to recognize when you are losing patience and stop the training session on a happy note. Your dog can sense your frustration in your body language and tone of voice. Try another day when you are both fresh.
Enroll your German Shepherd puppy in a basic or puppy obedience class. Typically, as puppies are first learning commands, one adult family member will be responsible for training. Later, when the puppy is consistent and understands the basics, other members of the family can participate in formal training. It is important for the dog to understand that not only one person in the household is to be obeyed.
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