GSD German Shepherd Training
If any information other than proper feeding of your German Shepherd dog can be emphasized, the most important is training. There are “experts”, and there are arm chair dog trainers. You most important impression on your Summerview German Shepherd puppy, and German Shepherd dog, is who is the “Pack Leader”. This is you. Remember you German Shepherd dog will always aspire to be the pack leader. German Shepherd dogs are highly intelligent animals that can distinguish different languages for the very same task. It is important that you build on the relationship between you and your dog daily. Below is just a quick overview of basic, yes basic!, essential training. You German Shepherd dog will continuously learn day by day, and will look for guidance to achieve the tasks you present before him. We strive at Summerview German Shepherds to provide not only the essentials to ensure you and your German Shepherd dog both have an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
We encourage obedience training – it is fun and your and your dog will be taught to work as a team. It is also rewarding to have a well behaved pet!
Puppy kindergarten classes are an excellent introduction for your puppy to other young puppies which provides time for play activity with other new breeds of dogs. Keep in mind that the giant breeds mature slowly and that classes run continuously for an hour. Be cautious that the play activity does not become to stressful on your puppy’s unstable joints.
German Shepherds can be good in obedience but the key to success is motivation (for both the dog and the handler), i.e. you have to make it fun filled event. We recommend that a flat collar be worn in beginner classes and not a choke collar. Check with your instructor on the appropriate collar and leash.
It also pays to check out the credentials of the instructors prior to enrolling in a course. Unfortunately, some trainers believe in manhandling dogs into submission and this does not work with a German Shepherd. Dogs learn best by receiving praise and other positive feedback. Negative feedback tends to confuse dogs, makes them stubborn, and can eventually make them resentful. Keep training sessions fun for you and your dog! The best advice in training your dog is to take him/her everywhere with you, expose your dog to different things. It is a lot of fun for your German Shepherd to travel and have a job. The job of keeping you from being alone. Our dogs love to travel and are good travelers. Everyone of our dogs are trained to behave on a leash in public. Be careful when the weather gets hot and do not leave them in the car when the temperatures go up in the summer time.
Puppies can be exhibited at conformation shows from 6 months on. There are also sanction matches, which are “just for fun” events. This is a great way of putting your puppy through the show routine and it cost only a few dollars to enter.
Sometimes, German Shepherd puppies require their ears to be taped so they will have the proper ear carriage for the conformation ring. According to the German Shepherd standard, the ear flap should form a triangle and lay flat on the side of the head. During rapid puppy growth stage, the ear cartilage is very soft and an improper fold on the ear cartilage can easily result due to teething or vigorous exercise. Taping the ear flap with duct tape and a support will ensure correct ear carriage. This is simple ear taping on the ear flap which will not bother or harm the puppy, if done correctly in early puppy hood can give lasting results. Taping is usually done after 4 months of age.
You have to enter your puppy/dog in a Recognized Canadian Kennel Club Conformation Show by advance registration only. Entries usually close 3 to 4 weeks prior to the actual show date and the cost is about $24+ per show.
We have been handling our own dogs at the show which is rewarding. It can be fun, in a challenging way, and professional handlers can be expensive ($50 and up). If you are interested in showing, we will gladly help you with it. Of course, not all dogs reach show potential and many owners just want a good pet. But if you have something special, why not flaunt it? Conformation showing can be a great deal of fun and they help in promoting your chosen breed.
Some Basic Rules for Dog Obedience Training
- Be patient, consistent leader and make learning fun for you and your dog. Never lose your temper; you’ll do more harm than good, try later or the next day.
- Normal dogs can learn at any age.
- Spend 5 to 10 minutes two or three times daily separated by 4 hours for maximum efficiency of learning. Repetition makes dog training 90% successful. Practice 6 days a week, rain or shine.
- Train the dog to come, sit, stay, down, down stay in that order. Also train to lead as well as heel. If the dog fails at any level don’t reward and start again with a simpler command. Motivation decreases as the complexity of the task increases.
- Use one word commands. Do not combine with dog’s name.
- Train the dog in a quiet environment and once the response is learned in that environment move the training location to a more complex stimulating one. Gradually increase the complexity of the environment i.e. basement, parking lots, school yards, parks, malls, etc. Move to new training locations to provide further new distractions.
- Rewards are to be given immediately (1/2 second) after desired response. Most rapid learning occurs if every desired response is rewarded. Once the behavior is established reward the behavior intermittently thus it be comes more permanent or resistant to forgetting. Use values rewards, find out which reward your dog likes most (food, touch, voice praise). It may be necessary to keep your dog slightly hungry in order to increase learning.
- Do not punish the dog but punish the incorrect behavior. Use only voice as a reprimand, be firm and use deep tone of voice. Be your dog’s master.
- Once the dog has learned the commands from one person; generalize to all members of the family.
- The longer an unwanted learned behavior has been performed the longer it takes to recondition it.
- Be consistent in your dog training, use the same word commands and do not switch them. Don’t allow the dog to do something and not allow him the next day, otherwise he will not learn what is right and what is wrong.