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Shepherd Dog Training Essentials
By MS du Toit
German Shepherd Dog is a very noble breed with excellent
working abilities. These dogs are capable of performing long hours of
physical exercise without showing signs of extreme exhaustion. They are
often used as police dogs, guard dogs, search and rescue dogs and also
therapy dogs. The German Shepherd Dog is one of the best examples of a
perfect working dog.
The German Shepherd Dog is also one of the most popular family and pet
dogs because of its many good properties. Owning a German Shepherd Dog
comes along with a great responsibility to train the dog. It is very
important that the owner shall at least do basic obedience with their
dog. That includes sit and down on command, sit and down stays and
loose leash heeling. The recall command is probably the most important
command of all for any dog, but even more so with the German Shepherd
German Shepherds are very strong dogs and you do not want to be dragged
around the block when you take it for a walk. You need to be in
control. When you have visitors, you do not want your German Shepherd
to jump up against your friends. It is essential that you start
training your German Shepherd puppy the moment it arrives at your home.
From day one you should establish the packing order. Your puppy should
not for one moment get the idea that he must fulfil the role of alpha.
Things your German Shepherd puppy should not be allowed:
- Your puppy will be very cute and beautiful, they all
are, but he should not be allowed on the bed or on the couch.
- He should not be allowed to play bite any human. If
he wants to bite your hand, say “NO” in a growling voice and give him a
The most essential thing you should do with your
- Your puppy should be well socialized especially the
first few months of its life, but preferably for the rest of its life.
Take him with you wherever you go. Let him meet other dogs, people and
German Shepherd Dogs are such clever dogs and easily trainable and so
willing to please their owners that it is really sad when owners do not
train their dogs.
There are so many disciplines in which their dogs can
excel for example:
- Protection work
- Therapy work (depending on the temperament)
Which method should be used for training the German
It is wrongly believed that because the GSD is such a strong dog, that
you should use strong and harsh methods to train the dog. Actually it
is just the opposite. GSD’s are sensitive dogs and so clever that they
learn very fast when you use positive reinforcement methods with lost
of treats and praise. Clicker
training is ideal for training any dog but also the GSD. You
still have to be very firm especially when it is a male dog going
through his hormonal phases, but the key is consistency and patience.
If properly trained your German Shepherd will be a joy and companion
for many years.
MS du Toit has been training dogs for ten years.
Please visit her Dog
Training Review Page.
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