Monday, December 15, 2008

How to Train German Shepherd Dogs

Almost a dozen times in a month I get phone calls from people around my locality and even from far and wide, inquiring about the ways to train up their German Shepherds. Interestingly most of them have already put their German Shepherd on training sessions, but the sadly many of them turn up with loads of complains. Let me tell you that stubbornness and aggression are not typical characteristics of German Shepherd Dogs. These are the consequence of improper training. Believe me, there's no word like “Bad Dog”, the owners, handlers and trainers may be bad and compel their dogs to behave in the way they should not! If your shepherd have are developing bad habits, you are responsible for that – don't blame him! It's due to the lack of socialization and bad training that a dog become what they shouldn't be.

As for my first German Shepherd Dog training tips, Stop Muzzle your GSD Immediately! If a trainer suggests you to muzzle your dog, just move on... look for another good trainer. No point wasting time talking to him regarding dog training. Remember, no reputable dog trainer or canine behaviorist will ask you to muzzle your dog. There are other good ways to control your dog if he is aggressive to other dogs.

Training German Shepherd Dogs is an art, to be mastered properly before actually you start training a GSD. Here's how to train German Shepherd Dogs.

Be Gentle While Training a GSD

German Shepherd dog training can be perfectly accomplished by starting at an early age. If you lose your patience and temperament you are an utter flop in this field. Undesirable behaviors have to be dealt with in the most consistent manner. Loving lavishly during the training session won't work; being too harsh to him would be a bad idea either! Things must be dealt with in a gentle manner. Hitting and yelling at him will make your work tougher.

Use His Intelligence

German Shepherd Dog is the world's most intelligent breed after Border Collie and Poodle. He can learn things faster than many of the other dog breeds. This reveals a great opportunity for you, if you are a dog trainer; encash this opportunity! Don't forget to reward him for all positive behaviors with treats and lavish praises. Be consistent in this. You will get to know how smart your German Shepherd puppy is! Remember that German Shepherd Dogs have the inherent quality to distinguish goods from the bads! Your GSD's behavior may be modified at any point of time almost throughout his life.

Early Start Off

Start off training your German Shepherd Dog at an age as early as around 6 months. This will make life easier for both – you and your dog. Letting the problems go unaddressed may be nightmare for you as a GSD owner.

House Training Your German Shepherd Dog

House training German Shepherd Dog is unquestionably a great idea. Once a dog properly housebroken he would never uses the house for his toilet. House breaking your German shepherd puppy can be an easy process or difficult as well depending on the method you follow. Remember it starts on the you bring your GSD puppy home. Right after you bring your puppy home, take him out on a leash to the potty spot as per his choice. Don't carry him to it's potty spot. As soon he reaches the spot, just deliver the command – one single word you would use for him for potty. Be consistent. German Shepherds are very smart to learn things quickly. You have to be a patient and keep an eye on your shepherd all the day. When you see the toilet or potty signs take your GSD puppy out to his potty area. Common signs are circling, floor scratching, ground sniffing and running here and there looking for an apt place for potty.

Chewing Things

All German Shepherd puppies chew on things – sometimes his own body parts. It's a normal behavior – as normal as heartbeats! Just don't be worried. All you need to do is to divert his attention by putting him to play with other puppies and stuff. If he chews you finger... don't let him do that. A single approach to say one word of dissatisfaction (for instance “Uffff or ouch”) in response to the behavior with moderately strict voice can be a good method. But don't forget to get out of the room, leaving him alone for a while. Repeat things as many time as he tries to chew your thumb.
Socializing GSD

Early age socialization is of utmost importance. While an unsocialized German Shepherd may be a nightmare for you, a properly socialized GSD puppy can make the most precious companion. Start of the Socialization session before he is 3 months old. Just try out these few full proved approaches.

  • Call over your friends and let your German Shepherd Puppy mingle with them.
  • Let your friends come with their pets. Don't allow aggressive pets.
  • Take your puppy to your friends' places.
  • Take him out nearby where he can see mobs and can experience strange sounds like screeching car, blowing horns, and sounds of heavy vehicles.
  • Take your GSD puppy for short car rides.
  • Make him acquainted with the process of bathing, brushing ear cleaning, nail clipping etc.

Positive Reinforcement

Since GSD is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, it takes comparatively less time to train a German Shepherd Dog, provided you follow the most effective training method – Positive Reinforcement. This is a method to condition your Shepherd's most desirable behaviors. This involves two simple approaches:
  • Rewarding for your Shepherd's every single desirable behavior
  • Not rewarding accompanied by showing expression of dissatisfaction for every single undesirable behavior.
He would soon understand when he would get a reward and when he wouldn't.

Be The Alfa member of The Pack

Make your German Shepherd understand the fact that you are the Alfa member and he must listen to you. This will make your training session go smooth. This should not take too long – especially for a GSD puppy , because as puppies can learn things faster then you think. He can grab a number of things at the same time. So along side the basic obedience training and housebreaking your GSD puppy , you can train him not to jump on people and to sit and stay quite whenever you want.

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Anonymous ,  December 17, 2008 at 10:17 PM  

Found your blog through a dog photography blog. I have a GSD from German lines, who is my 'heart dog'. He's the most amazing dog ever! I like your advice on training, emphasizing the positive, (though I prefer "leader" over "alpha", due to connotations it carries). He's my Assistance dog, though I joke sometimes that I'm his Assistance human, too lol. Check him out at
my dog photography blog is

Anonymous ,  June 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM  

thanks for the great idea on daeling gsd,,,, godspeed!!!

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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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