Training a GSD
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS (GDS or GSDs) MUST BE TRAINED AND TRAINED WELL. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TIME OR ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THE TIME IT TAKES TO TRAIN THESE BEAUTIFUL AND NOBLE DOGS, PLEASE DO NOT BUY ONE. AN UNTRAINED GSD CAN BECOME A DANGEROUS DOG!
German Shepherd dogs are intelligent and active dogs. GSDs must have a focus, a job, something to do, or they become bored and come up with something to do on their own...you might not like their ideas for keeping busy. Some of their ideas are excessive barking, digging, chewing, and the list goes on and on.
A well trained GSD is a welcomed guest, beauty in motion, something your friends might be a bit envious of, a companion you will hate to have to leave at home on those days it can not join you when you leave it, and a dog you will be very proud to own and show off.
Training is not something that you can do in five minutes a day. It is a continuous way of life. What a dog does that is wrong, is always wrong. You can not let the dog up on the furniture when it is a puppy and not allow up there as an adult. Or worse, and I have seen this many times, you can not let the dog on the furniture when it is cleaned and groomed but not when it is raining outdoors and the dog is wet (although keeping it out of the room when wet the dog would understand ~ as in putting the dog in a room to dry or in it's crate).
Training and or rules for the dog must be consistent throughout the dog's life.
Housebreaking - More Than Going Potty Outdoors
Housebreaking is about far more than the dog going potty outdoors. Housebreaking also includes, but is not limited to, not chewing or jumping up on the couch, not dragging the covers off the beds, not running through the house at full tilt, not laying in your way while you are cooking in the kitchen, not to steal food from the table or counter or someone's plate, not opening the door, or worse scratching on the door while humans are using the bathroom...and much more.
When you have a puppy, or new dog, you must contentiously train the dog, you must be absolutely consistent in how the dog is trained to obey and behave in the house.
Housebreaking can also mean a dog that can be turned loose in a home for hours at a time and not bother anything while the owners are away. This takes time and training to get a dog to this point in it's life.
Even young puppies can learn to do simple ticks. A puppy that learns to sit and shake hands is learning to learn and learning to please. And seeing a puppy perform these little tricks is cute too.
I set up an entire page here about Trick Training. I think far too many people overlook the fact that Trick Training is not just for the cuteness, but to teach the dog to learn to learn. A German Shepherd Dog can be quite intimating to company when they come to visit. If your do knows a couple of what are known as "Parlor" or "Circus" Tricks, this can put people more at ease around your dog.
Please take a minute and read the page I set up on this site called "Tricks". I have a lot of information there as well as ideas and information for training your dog a few tricks.
Again, I will say, buy a book on how to teach your dog tricks, there are a LOT of them. Also look on the Internet for ideas and ways to train. Check out videos on line for a smile, a grin and great ideas!
The best part for some people about trick training their dogs.....the people can do this from an Arm Chair.
There is only one thing worse than a dog that is unruly and that is a wet muddy dog that is unruly in your home, or when you visit someone's home. Dogs like children should be taught manners as they grow. It should come natural for the person in charge, whether that is an owner, handler, or parent. As you are raising your puppy or your human child, you teach them as they grow. You stay consistent and fair, but firm about manners.
Dogs should learn that once the door is answered and when the owner give the
ok command" the barking and growling should be over. The dog should not jump on the person coming in or sniff them for more than a second or two. The dog should behave and leave the person alone.
Dogs should also know how to behave when they go out and visit other people's homes and or other places. They should not just wander around and sniff and perhaps lift their legs on items. They should stay with their owner/handler and behave.
Dogs should also behave when other dogs are around. This is hard for the dog that has other dogs come and visit their homes....especially if this is a rare occasion.
Many of the aspects of your dogs manners will count on the dog's socialization and obedience training.
Socialization is more than just taking your dog for a walk around the block and letting a few people pet it. This is important, but your dog also needs to get out and about to places where there might be strange noises, such as parades, pet stores (where dog's on leash are welcome), bar-b-ques (where the host has ok-ed the dog's presents), at club meetings where dog's are allowed, ect.
The more places your dog visits the more socialized your dog will become. this will make your dog more stable, and your dog will love going with you and having fun.
Dogs need Obedience Training. If you are not going to sign up for a Class, you would start any dog with Basic Obedience, then at least get a book and work with your dog at home. Watch videos on line so you can see just what that person is doing with their dog. In photos of books and on line and videos, you will get a better idea of how to train your dog correctly.
Some dogs also excel at Obedience, GSD are usually a breed that will exceed at this, what can become, a Dog Sport. Check for a club and competitions near you. Learn the rules. Have fun with it!
German Shepherd Dogs were bred as a breed for a job, herding were their purpose. It was later found how much these dogs could be taught. It was discovered, and I think we still are discovering, how many jobs this breed of dog could fill. And further, how many jobs an individual could perform well at.
If your GSD is going to be a Working Dog, if you bought your dog with the intentions of it performing for you in one way or another, then YOU or a TRAINER, must teach this dog to do it well. Some jobs require much more training than others. But if you want your do to have a job and do it well, TRAIN THE DOG CORRECTLY.
I trained many dogs to pull, pack, to become racing sled dogs, and much much more with no more than a Training Book on the subject and a lot of time spent. You can do the same. In today's world there is a book on training or a website for everything you can think of to train your dog to do or become and more. Take the time to find it, to read it, to follow through with the training.
Clicker Training. Some people Love it, I don't. I bleive that your voice is a much better tool to use to train a dog than some little click noise. Your voice is unique, your dog knows it well, and you can use tones and stretches (pull a word out, such as goooooooood booooooy) when needed. You will not loose your voice (well, maybe if ill for a short time) or misplace it, or have to carry it in your hand.
Clicker Training started with Dolphin Training. Have you ever heard a Dolphin? They click. From here trainers thought it would be a good idea to use clickers to train all sorts of animals. Many will tell you that you can not speak as fast as you can click a clicker and that it makes a difference.....Really? I have been, like so many people, training animals to do all sorts of things without a clicker all these years.
If you are interested in Clicker Training there are many books on the subjects as well as all kinds of websites that cover the subject. There are classes you can take with your animals.... just do not be fooled into thinking you MUST have a Clicker to train an animal.
Basic and Foundational, you must have a well fitting, well made, collar and a well made leash with a quality snap attached to the leash for snapping to the dog's collar. You also need the proper collars for the training, Choke Collar for Obedience, Flat Collar with no tags for training such as Frisbee, so that no part of what is on the dogs neck will hit the dog in the face, everyday collars to wear around the home. There are collars that are made for specific trainings and or jobs. Leashes of different lengths are necessary for different types of training. A 6' leash is the traditional Basic Obedience Training as well as a 20' long line for training further away from the Trainer.
Make sure you use the correct equipment any time you are training your dog. The correct equipment, right down to the collar and leash you use, can and often do mean the difference in how well your dog is trained for certain jobs.
Humans need to learn how to use some collars. A Pinch Collar can be dangerous and painful to the dog when the human does not know how to use it. Humans with anger issues should never use a shock collar on a dog. If you do not know how to use or handle a training collar, get help and learn how. Did you know that a Choke Collar must be put on the dog in a certain way for it to work correctly on the dog's neck?
Time Your Training Sessions
It used to be "rule of thumb" that when training your dog, you trained TWICE a day for 15 minutes each session. Actual Timed Sessions. As in when you took an Obedience Class they encouraged you to wear a watch and use it when training to make sure that the dog "got it's time". I still think this is a great idea. But I have to admit, I only train for about 15 minutes, that is actual training, per dog, 15 minutes on a leash training. And yes. I rally own the watch in this photo....only mine has a Blue Band.
Dogs really do need that everyday, one on one training each.
Our dogs, here, we are ALWAYS training, whether to "sit" for a treat, not to rush out the door, basic manners all the time.
The contents of this page for Training a GSD is still under construction. Please check back later!
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 14:07:32 -0400