Tips to Train a German Shepherd
Animal file: German Shepherd
If you have decided to adopt a German Shepherd dog, you must bear in mind that it will not automatically become your new best friend: you must make an effort to train it so that it becomes a sociable and loving companion.
Puppy and adult German Shepherds have a peculiar temperament, and so they need to receive specific training to make their intelligence and skills shine. In this AnimalWised we'll tell you all you need to know about this breed. With these tips to train a German Shepherd, you'll be come inseparable in no time.
Training a German Shepherd puppy
Dogs can be trained at all life stages; if you adopt an adult German Shepherd, you will still be able to train it. However, training a puppy from a young age will give you the opportunity to prevent behavioral problems that often come up in this breed, such as fear and possessiveness.
The first step to train a German Shepherd puppy will be to start the socialization process. This is a gradual process in which the dog will be exposed to all the external stimuli that it will come across in its adult life, from humans to other pets and the outdoors environment, including cars and bikes.
You must ensure that your young German Shepherd finds the first contact with the outside world positive and pleasurable. This way, it won't get frightened or stressed, and it will grow to be open and sociable in the future. While you carry out the socialization process with your puppy, it will be crucial to teach it to do its business outside. This is a process that requires patience and lots of affection. Gradually, your German Shepherd will start doing this properly.
Training an adult German Shepherd
If you have adopted an adult German Shepherd, there's not need to worry. Adult dogs can also be trained properly, and in fact this breed is known for being clever, friendly and willing to learn. Through positive reinforcement you will be able to teach your German Shepherd almost any trick or command without any problem.
As it makes the transition from puppy to adult, the German Shepherd dog should learn the basic dog commands that will help it to live with other people and pets, including "sit", "stay", "down", and "heel".
Training sessions shouldn't be more than 15 minutes long, but they should take place every day. This will help you enjoy life with an obedient, docile dog, and your German Shepherd will be safe at all times.
How often should you walk a German Shepherd?
The German Shepherd is a large dog with an active temperament, so it will be crucial to go for a walk two or three times a day so that its muscles stay in a good condition. These walks should last about 20 or 30 minutes.
Even if you find it disgusting, you must allow your German Shepherd to sniff around whatever it wants: this is a sign that it is relaxed. Here you can discover the common things you do wrong when walking your dog for more tips.
A common problem when walking German Shepherds is that they tend to pull on the lead, but it can be easily solved. Collars are not recommended for this breed, especially not choke or prong collars, as they can lead to eye diseases especially in younger dogs. Instead, use an anti-pull harness, which will be available in any pet store.
German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic degenerative disease. It is very important to not do intense exercise for hours on end.
German Shepherds as working dogs
Since the origin of the German Shepherd breed, these dogs have been trained as working dogs. They have herded livestock, but they have also been guardian dogs and assistants to police forces, firefighters and rescue teams. Nowadays, German Shepherds are also considered excellent service and therapy dogs. The excellent disposition of this large and beautiful breed has led it to play a key role in all of these professions for many years. Of course, they can also be excellent companions for any type of family.
If you want to train your German Shepherd as a working dog, you should go to a professional dog trainer. However, remember that this breed is sensitive, and may become aggressive or suffer serious behavioral problems if you let it be trained by someone who uses punishment techniques.
Finally, we must stress that dogs shouldn't be trained to attack, unless in extremely specific circumstances and in controlled environments - certainly not in our daily lives. Training a dog to attack will make it stressed, frightened, and likely to develop behavioral issues. If that is your intent and you don't have professional extended experience, it's best not to adopt a dog at all.
These are our tips to train a German Shepherd. If you want to learn more about this breed, don't miss the following articles:
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