German shepherds are undoubtedly the most beautiful and intelligent animals you could ever own. They are fiercely loyal, and, if trained properly, will become an inseparable member of your family.
However, if left to their own devices, German Shepherds become bored, agitated, snappy and — in some cases — a threat to society. They are a strong animal, and they need and expect, strong, kind leadership from their masters. The most important aspect of training German Shepherds that you need to understand, is that it is time intensive. You can be reassured that it is time well spent.
A Healthy Relationship Is The Foundation Of All Training
A dog that is fearful of it’s owner, translates that fear into self-defense and disobedience. Your pet needs to learn that it can trust and love you. So many people feel like they need to be overly aggressive with their pet in order to get obedience. Obedience is important, but that comes more from consistency than from how harshly you discipline your pet.
What is unfortunate is that most dog owner refuse to learn how to be a good owner. And so they over-react to their dog’s behavioral issues and blame their pets for problems that actually stem from the poor owner-pet relationship.
I highly recommend that you invest in some training. Not just to learn how to teach your dog to behave, but also to teach you how to better communicate with your pet. Sure, that might cost you a little time and money, but the enrichment that comes out of your life is well worth it.
When you consider that German Shepherds are the highest rate of bites that the local emergency room sees, it underscores how important good training is. And spending quality time simply being a good dog owner goes a long ways towards beginning to establishing your pet’s training.
Training Begins With Engaging Play
Because so many behavioral issues arise out of sheer boredom, it is critical that you provided a variety of activities — and plenty of human interaction — to keep your German Shepherds mentally engaged. A bored German shepherd will be so busy trying to play, bark, annoy, and get your attention that training sessions will be nothing short of infuriating for both of you. Bored puppies don’t train well.
Long walks, playing in the park and wrestling with a chew toy, are all great ways to engage your puppy in active play. If you have a dog park in your town, your pet will undoubtedly love getting to run free and interact with the other dogs. Training as play can be very engaging. Teaching your pet to catch a frisbee can lead to hours of insane fun for the both of you.
Training German Shepherds Not to Bite or be Aggressive
German shepherds are not naturally aggressive, and when you meet an aggressive German shepherd, it typically means the it has experienced unhappy upbringing. There are several key things that need to happen when a German shepherd is a puppy to help it become the calm, balanced and adult it should be.
To begin with, you wanted to be well socialized with other dogs. Taking it to a puppy dog park, or to arrange to play dates, can be a great way for it to learn to healthily interact with other dogs, and help it become a more established individual.
Secondly, it is key that you do not hit or yell at your puppy. German shepherds that are abused as young dogs tend to imprint with more aggressive behavior as adults. Finally, it is important that your puppy learns to recognize you as its master, or “pack leader”. Being firm, quiet, and praising good behavior, all go a long way in helping a puppy learn how it is to respond as an adult.
This is especially important with a puppy’s biting behavior. Puppies are more inclined to bite and gnaw on people they do not see as their leaders. You should establish your alpha role at an early age: start teaching your puppy to “heel” on walks, and make sure that it follows after you through doors, as that is a sign of the respecting your role as pack leader to let you go first. In addition, use strong verbal commands such as “No” when a puppy tries biting. Provide puppies with chew toys and make sure they get plenty of exercise to help them work off their orneriness.
Use Structured Obedience Training As A Mental Exercise
Beginning at about eight weeks of age, German shepherds are ready to begin formal training. You can enroll them in a local obedience class, or trying one of the top-notch training programs that are listed online.
For a German shepherd, obedience training is more important than it is for many other breeds. Obedience training helps develop a German shepherds cognitive abilities, and goes a long ways towards helping it become satisfied with his role in the family. It also helps fight boredom, and gives them something to look forward to. It is an absolute must if you mean for your German shepherd to become a long-term member of your family.
Source: Dogs by Nina
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