If you are considering owning a German Shepherd, you may be wondering how easy it is to train these dogs.
If you know anything about the breed, you probably know that they are well known for being land-based working dogs, but does that mean that it will be easy for you to train them? Here’s what you need to know about German Shepherd training.
Is the German Shepherd easy to train? The German Shepherd is one of the easiest breeds to train out there. These dogs are extremely intelligent, highly sensitive, and brave enough to do almost anything for you. A long history of working together with people prepares these dogs to be your companion.
German Shepherds are some of the easiest dogs to train, but what do you need to know when it’s time to get out the treats and do a training session?
German Shepherds are easy to train, but there are a few things that can hurt the process and other tips that make it that much easier. This is what you need to know about training a German Shepherd.
Why are German Shepherds easy to train?
If you are looking for a breed that can do virtually anything you want them to do, the German Shepherd is a great choice.
These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes it easy to train them. Here are some of the main reasons why German Shepherds are so easy to train.
German Shepherds are extremely smart . They were bred for many years to both herd and protect a herd, which required a lot of independent thought as well as careful attention to the handler. For this reason, they are excellent at using their minds both to solve problems on their own and to focus on you and decode your instructions.
These dogs are problem solvers who prefer to keep their minds occupied. You won’t have to encourage your German Shepherd to seek mental stimulation. Your pastor will already be looking for ways to engage that active mind. You just have to provide an output.
Eager to please
German Shepherds are very focused on their humans and desperate for approval. Many German Shepherds can be trained very effectively using few rewards other than praise and happiness from their humans.
You will be surprised to know that courage is important in the training process, but if you want your dog to act at any time other than when he is comfortable, relaxed and in a familiar environment, you need a dog that is brave enough to advance in training. regardless of the distractions and anything that could be potentially scary.
Form close ties
The German Shepherd tends to form a very close bond with his family. This makes them not only eager to please, but especially in tune with who you are.
Your German Shepherd may appear to know what you are thinking even before you do. This means that sometimes they will perform a behavior that you want before you do not realize that you are asking.
The bond that a German Shepherd forms with its owner can sometimes lead to jealous behavior, which we discussed in the article.
When and how to start training
You should start training your German Shepherd as soon as possible. Good breeders start with basic training like teaching the dog to come when called and potty training when dogs are only a couple of weeks old.
As soon as you receive your puppy, you should continue with the training. However, if you haven’t trained your dog by now or have adopted an untrained German Shepherd, don’t lose hope.
Shepherds are smart and adaptable and they train at any age. Here are some essential training techniques that you can start with your German Shepherd regardless of his history.
Trick training is very suitable for German Shepherds because it is fun, active and variable. To train your dog to do a trick, draw them into the posture or behavior with a treat and then mark it with a word of praise and reward.
Start with very simple behaviors, such as sitting, standing, and asking your dog to come to you, and progress to more complicated tricks like jumping through hoops, running in circles around you or between your legs, and performing a series of behaviors. .
One of the most important skills in training a powerful breed dog is the ability to think for itself, which requires some self-control training first. Your untrained puppy or adult dog may have very little self-control and may be unable to focus for more than an instant.
Increase your dog’s self-control by teaching him to stay for a reward and gradually increasing the time he needs to stay.
German Shepherds tend to be cautious around new people and animals, so regular socialization from a young age is extremely important for them to develop as well socialized dogs.
Remember, German Shepherds are brave enough to fight for you and smart enough to have their own opinions and make mistakes, so it is essential that they see other people and animals in the right perspective.
There are many ways to successfully train a German Shepherd, however there are some fundamentals that are extremely important to maintain regardless of how you decide to train your Shepherd.
Use positive reinforcement
German Shepherds are sensitive dogs and many of them are devoted enough to their people to work out of affection and praise alone. Find out what motivates your dog and use lots of positive reinforcement during his training regiment. Well-motivated German Shepherds will use all their mind and effort to achieve the goals you have for them.
In the old days, many German Shepherds were trained to do police work with harsh training tactics. Many police officers found this to be counterproductive when dogs became unpredictable and did not trust humans. Now coaches recommend training pastors only positively and never using harsh training tactics or punishments.
Many short sessions work better
Even for a very focused dog like the German Shepherd, trying to focus on training for half an hour or an hour at a time can be very difficult. It is best to work in small sessions of 5 or 10 minutes per training session, especially when teaching new skills that require a lot of thought.
Common mistakes to avoid
Since so many people have a strong opinion of what this breed is, it should come as no surprise that there are some common mistakes when training the German Shepherd. Here are some mistakes that are important to avoid.
Thinking that your dog is better trained than they are
If you have been in the business of training your shepherd since he was a puppy, by the time he is around a year old you can expect him to be extremely well trained and reliable off the leash and in other difficult situations.
Unfortunately, your dog’s mind is still developing. Most dogs go through two periods of fear, one between eight and ten weeks of age, when most dogs go to their new home, and another between 6 and 14 months of age.
During periods of fear, dogs can react fearfully to things that previously did not bother them and are extremely sensitive to bad experiences.
As German Shepherds are very sensitive, these fear periods often hit them harder than other breeds. If your dog is supposed to be sufficiently trained to withstand stressors and handle difficult situations for about a year, they may be surprised when their fear period kicks in and they suddenly ignore all your commands.
It is true that in order for your German Shepherd to learn a new behavior, he will have to repeat it many times in a wide variety of situations. That said, if you expect your pastor to sit down to do constant exercises of the same behavior without getting bored, you will be very disappointed.
In order for them to get the most out of their German Shepherd training, they need to keep it fun for them. Disperse the training throughout the day and surprise your dog. If your dog is moving on to the next trick in his routine before you ask him to, it’s time to change the routine.
How do I make self-control training fun?
Make self-control training fun by asking your dog to stay in a specific position or by teaching him to “freeze,” when your dog will have to stop moving each time you tell him to and stay that way until you release him.
This type of training may not seem like a lot of fun at first, but as time goes on both you and your dog will enjoy it, and it will soon become clear how important it is.
What If My German Shepherd Doesn’t Comply?
Shepherds are dogs who love to work for you and will lean back trying to understand what you want. If your German Shepherd is not doing something that you want them to do, chances are that you have not explained it well, not that your Shepherd is being stubborn.