How to Train a German Shepherd: The Canine Profile
The German shepherd is without a doubt the perfect poster dog. The dog has an imposing built, regal facial features, plus the intelligence and agility that would put superheroes to shame. Any professional trainer would train the German shepherd with a smile on his or her face because of this dog’s superior intelligence. They have an impeccable ability to absorb information quickly and even distinguish positive tones from negative tones. Because of this, German shepherds are highly trainable for a variety of roles. They can be trained to become companion dogs, show dogs, obedience dogs, watch dogs, search and rescue dogs, and police dogs.
Dogs, having originated from wolves, are pack creatures. They live in groups and establish a social hierarchy. In a pack, there is always a pack leader or an alpha. They have to establish the hierarchy and the pack leader in order to create and maintain stability in their pack. When the dog senses that someone is more capable of dominating, they readily submit to the domination. This is a survival instinct among dogs, which makes them lovable and trainable by humans.
German shepherds, just like any other dog, thrive on the pack culture. You need to dominate them and show them who’s in charge in order to gain their respect. It’s important to establish leadership in your relationship with a German shepherd, especially because this breed is naturally intelligent and independent. Failure to establish leadership in your relationship will turn things around. The dog will react aggressively if made to do things against its will.
If you want to learn how to train a German shepherd, you must learn how to establish leadership over it first. Don’t do this through fear and violence. You have to talk clearly and in a firm voice when you’re giving out your commands. Even in the simple task of walking, you must establish dominance. If the dog walks ahead of you, pull the lease gently but firmly towards you. Don’t let it out of the door before you do.
Communicate Clearly and Establish Uniformity
Dog training is essentially about establishing patterns with your dog. Even though the German shepherd is an intelligent animal, it does not have a broad vocabulary. Moreover, the dog needs you to speak loudly and clearly in order to register your commands. When you want the dog to lie down, use “down” instead of “lie down.” Keep the commands short. It’s also important to have the dog trained by the same person and as much as possible, at the same time and place. Let the dog learn in a uniform environment until the dog can recognize the patterns. Assist the German shepherd in certain commands. For example, if you want the dog to sit, push down the butt gently.
Last but not least, remember that positive reinforcement is always the way to go when training German shepherds. German shepherds are intelligent and willing to please their human masters. Don’t forget to give them a treat or a pat on the neck or head when they obey your command. If they go against your commands, a firm no should suffice. Avoid spanking and nagging the dog.