German shepherds are known to be intelligent dogs. They can take commands easily and would protect you against possible threats. Knowing how to train a German shepherd is the first step to achieve a harmonious life with your pet; you need to train your dog to make him adhere boundaries and rules. You should also make your dog understand you are the alpha leader.
Training always requires patience and time. Extend tolerance as much as possible because training is done repeatedly. Follow this training guide to make your German shepherd obedient to you as well as deepen your bond and love with each other.
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Pieces of training for german shepherd
It’s more advisable to train your German shepherd during the day. It is best to start the training right away when he’s still a pup. Try these following techniques to train your dog:
1. Alpha training
This training is essential to establish authority in the house. Your German shepherd needs to be trained to treat you as his alpha. They are like wolves who recognize a pack. And for him to treat you as an alpha, you need to show confidence and a strong character. That means you need to be strict with rules and demand him to behave properly at all times. Failing will bring unlikely results because they will think they are the alpha.
You might as well want to avoid yelling at your dog because this will create fear into them. The thing you need to establish is bond between the two of you. Don't be such a control freak to your dog because they might end up despising you and the training.
2. Crate training
German shepherds are den animals. This means they prefer having their own comfortable space. They need to have their own place wherein they feel safe to rest and sleep. That is why training your dog to be in a crate is actually the best thing you could do for your dog and for yourself.
There are going to be times wherein you need your dog to be in the crate because you are going somewhere or you are cleaning the house and you don't want your dog to roam around.
- To start the crate training, buy first a crate that suits your German shepherd. Dogs like them are strong and active, thus it's better to buy a crate that is big and wide. Make sure the dog can sit, stand or turn around. Make it comfortable by placing a blanket that is soft for him. You could put some toys to allow him to relax and play in his crate.
- When you put your German shepherd in the crate for the first time, give him some threats so that this will incorporate a happy experience for him. Keep your dog in the crate for 15 minutes and when he cries or barks don't pet him or take him out. You can make him feel at ease by being there and rubbing him. You could also put music that is calming for your dog so that he will not feel fear by being in a crate.
- After 15 minutes and he seems calm already, take him out from the crate and give him a treat. After a couple of hours, put him back but this time leave him alone. Again take him out and give him a treat. Do this training again and again until your dog is already used to being put in a crate.
2. Waste training
This is one of the essential training that needs to be done because no one wants to deal with poops and pees anywhere in the house.
- The ideal thing to do is to give him a daily routine wherein after he eats, the two of you will walk in the neighborhood and then guide him to his bathroom. It could be a place in the yard or in your home in a box full of soil.
- You could also lead him to his bathroom after you get him from the crate because chances are they already need to pee and they wouldn't do it in the crate which is the place wherein they rest and sleep.
- Because German Shepherds are born to be highly intelligent which allows them to understand you immediately. Then sooner or later they will master the routines and schedules that you trained them to do especially in going to their waste area. Always do these things again and again and have patience on their mistakes. Treat him if you see progress in this training.
3. Sit training
Training your dog to sit is the most common thing a pet owner could do. This training will help whenever you need your dog to sit when he is excited. Not just that, this will avoid him jumping on visitors when they drop by to visit you.
To train your dog to sit, prepare small treats in your hands. Choose a place wherein you will start to teach your dog how to sit.
- To start the training, stand face to face with your dog. Allow your German shepherd to smell the treat in your hand but be careful because he might eat it. Just allow him to smell the treat because this will get his full attention.
- You need to place the treat at your fingertips and allow your dog to see it. Place your hand just above the nose and push your hand forward at the same time saying “sit”. This technique will force your dog in a seated position in able for him to see the treat. When he sits give to him the treat and pet him around so he will incorporate sitting as a rewarding thing to do and that it makes you happy.
- When your German shepherd doesn't get it yet. Continue to do the process, again and again, to allow him to master it. As you go in the process, you could also use verbal affirmations for him to feel good and confident in himself.
4. Stay training
Train your German shepherd to stay whenever you say stay. Incorporate following techniques to achieve an obedient German shepherd.
- Train him in his the place where you want him to stay. Place treats and when sees it and eat it the command the word “stay”. If he stays then give him another treat and affirm him. If he does not listen then do this again and again for him to get used to it.
- Whenever you command him to stay, step back and be away as much as possible while he stays in the spot steadily. Repeat this daily or whenever you have time for training.
5. Stop chewing/biting training
When a German shepherd undergoes a teething process then most likely he will bite or chew your household items. Most likely he would want to bite your furniture or shoes. Thus training your German shepherd not to do this will be very helpful to your home.
- To avoid your dog from chewing and biting on your household items then you must use bitter spray. Spray it on all of your items, furniture’s etc. to avoid him from wanting to chew and bite it.
- Also, observe him wherever he goes and whatever he is doing. Once you caught him chewing on the items, don't rush into him by stopping him. Just go near him and give him his toy. When his attention goes to the toy and he bites it instead then affirm him by saying good words.
- To help your dog in his teething process, buy toys that are helpful in this process. There are many available toys like this on the market. To achieve this training then do this repeatedly for him to practice it.
6. Stop jumping training
Dogs will greet you by jumping. It is his way to show that you are his favorite person and that he is very excited to see you. However, jumping might cause an injury to your dog. Thus, training not to jump will be helpful in his part as he grows up.
The reason why your German shepherd will jump on you so that he can see your eyes to greet you. He just wants to be at the same level of your face.
- Start the training by allowing your pup to greet you at your front door. If he jumps on you, then ignore him. If he continues to jump on you then just ignore him and walk away. But, if you see him now just standing then greet him and pet him. Continue to this every time he greets you at the door. You can also reward him with a treat and affirm him.
- You can also give him a toy whenever he greets you at the front door. In this way, he will be more focus on the toy. Eventually, this training will become a habit for him.
7. Don’t bark training
It’s natural for the dog to bark especially when it is like German Shepherds who are strong and active dogs. This will help in protecting you and your household but when there will be a time that he constantly barks whether he sees a new face or other reasons. You may need to discipline him and train him not to bark so much.
- To discipline him, you may first need to identify the cause of the bark. Remove it if it is an item or give a solution to his barking. When he stops then it’s good, he just wants to inform you that something is up.
- When he barks because of your friend or a thing that cannot be removed then encourage him to be friendly. You could reward him by giving him a treat through that other person or place it besides when it is a thing. Support him because he might be afraid. Reward him when he eats the treat and not at all bothered.
- Continue to do the process, but when it does not solve the problem then visit your vet because the concern might be in his health.
8. Come here training
Training your German shepherd to go to come you whenever you call him is quite useful along the way. For instance, there might be a dangerous situation and you need him to go to you for safety.
- Train him by using treats in your hand or a toy. You can do this in a yard or a park or even just at your house. Hold your hand out and call him to “come”. When your dog comes to you, reward him immediately with a treat in your hands.
- Habitually do this again and again so that your German shepherd will get used to it.
This training is useful because whenever your dog gets lost in the park you will just call him to "come". Because when he is afraid he tends to hide into trees making it hard for you to find him. But by using this training he can recognize your voice and come out and goes to you.
9. Working dog training
When you are planning to turn your German shepherd into a working dog. Then you must do this training. German shepherds are commonly used for search and rescue dog. They are also used in any military work. By doing this training, you can identify their trainability, intelligence, perseverance or their heart to be on the job. This will practice their protective instinct and sense of smell as well.
- Train him by sending him to any Schutzhund training. This will increase your bond and this will identify his strengths.
The most important thing to achieve is genuine bond. Don't pressure him if he’s not able to accomplish the training. Eventually, your German shepherd can do it – you just have to give him time. Support and reward him always and guide him as he grows up.
Dogs need to be emotionally healthy. And as a pet owner, it's your job to provide it to them. Pursue your learning in how to train German shepherds and make each day count.