Training a German Shepherd is one of the most important things about owning this breed. German Shepherds are dogs known for their high level of physical activity. They love and need to exercise all the time as well as participate in different tasks.
Like all breeds, German Shepherds must receive certain types of mandatory training, such as:
- Socialisation training
- Obedience training
- Potty training
However, these dogs may require other types of training depending on the activity or task they are going to carry out. Remember that German Shepherds have been used throughout history to be police, fire, drug detection, herding, and guard dogs.
The Essentials Of Training a German Shepherd Puppy
Train Your German Shepherd Puppy Based on Its Intelligence
As you know, the German Shepherds are among the most intelligent dogs in the world, and that is the reason why they are very versatile animals that have been used in a wide variety of jobs, tasks, or activities throughout their history.
Remember that this breed has performed well on farms, police agencies, fire stations, etc., for many years. Today, they are widely used as service dogs due to their willingness to please people.
The intelligence of German Shepherds makes them versatile dogs that can be trained to do just about anything. However, that does not mean that they are always easy to train, as their intelligence also makes them stubborn at times.
Knowing the level of intelligence of your German Shepherd will make you plan training according to its virtues. That way, the process will be more pleasant and faster.
Focus Training on the Activity It Will Do
As we have already said, German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs, that is, they are capable of carrying out different tasks that their owners need. Some are good at herding cattle; others are excellent at locating drugs, while many others do well as service dogs.
Therefore, you should focus the training of your German Shepherd on the activity or job that you want it to do. That is important for you to have a dog that will help you with whatever you need.
In the same way, that will also make the dog feel happy since it will have something to do. When a German Shepherd doesn’t have an activity to do, it will get bored and will develop destructive behaviours as a result.
Socialise Your German Shepherd from an Early Age
When training a German Shepherd, one of the first things to consider is socialisation. Socialisation is essential for this breed of dog as it will be in constant interaction with strangers and other animals depending on the activity it performs.
You should take advantage of its puppy stage to provide socialisation training since, at that age, it is more open to interacting with other animals and people who are not part of its family. In this way, it will learn to get along with them and recognize those who are not a threat to their family.
If you have no experience socialising another dog, then you will need to enrol your German Shepherd in socialisation classes. That way, you’ll ensure you have a friendly dog that’s unlikely to have behaviour problems in the future.
Be a Good Leader for Your German Shepherd
Many people think that you have to use discipline to make these dogs see us as leaders, but that is a mistake. It is important that you keep in mind that German Shepherds naturally see their owners as leaders as they trust them.
You should never force a dog of this breed to see you as the alpha, as this could make it lose respect for you. The best way to be a good leader is to be a parent to it.
That is, you should not abruptly show dominance over the puppy, much less use any violent method. What you should do is treat it with the same respect and love it gives you.
The key to being a good leader lies in knowing how to act at the right time, being patient and persistent, and never giving up on canine parenting no matter how difficult the situation may become.
Be Patient and Consistent During the Training Process
We have already mentioned this above. Just as a person needs to practice a lot to develop a skill, dogs need to do the same. Therefore, you must make sure to train your German Shepherd every day without exception until it has mastered the skill you were trying to teach it.
German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs that love to learn new things every day. They are able to learn a skill or command faster than other breeds but still need to be trained every day.
Never give up when training your German Shepherd because if you do, all the effort will have been in vain. When you want to train it again, it will have forgotten everything you taught it because you didn’t let it practice it every day.
Do Not Hesitate to Use Treats When Training Your German Shepherd Puppy
Positive reinforcement is one of the most important methods that every dog owner should use for training. This method involves rewarding the puppy with a treat and praise when it does something right or behaves well.
This will help your German Shepherd associate something positive with the training. Therefore, it will repeat the action for which you have given it the reward over and over again.
Keep in mind that treats and praise aren’t the only rewards you can use to train your German Shepherd puppy. You can use everything your dog loves to train it. For example, you can pet it, take it for a walk, or play with it.