The German Shepherd is an athletic dog that needs a lot of care as well as exercise. It strives on proper dog training methods. It is a very smart dog and learns quickly. The German Shepherd can adjust easily with its surroundings and soon becomes a part of your family. However, it is naturally dominant, which makes it extremely important that you prove your dominance from the start. The minute you let the dog take over, it means that you will end up following it for life.
The German Shepherd is a very social dog and needs constant companionship. If you decide to bring home a German Shepherd puppy, then make sure that you are committed to a lifetime of dog discipline activities. It needs a lot of training and exercise while growing up. This active dog needs an active owner. It is known as a good dog for children. It is extremely patient with the tugging, pulling, and mishandling by children. The following information on training a German Shepherd puppy will help you learn the tricks to bring up an obedient and well-mannered dog.
Bringing the Puppy Home
You have decided to adopt a German shepherd and it is time to bring the lucky pup home. Training a GSD puppy begins the minute you take him out of the animal shelter or animal rescue home. You need to put him on a leash and lead him around for a short walk. Speak to him in gentle tones and tell him about his new home and the fun he should expect.
You should not allow him to jump around in the back. He should be kept in a crate with the lead on. Make sure you have someone to hold on to the lead while you let him out of the crate. Or else the dog will have a run for it towards the house. Remember, you need to show dominance over the pup from day 1 while carrying out the basic dog training.
Once you get him out of the car, the first thing to do to is lead him to a spot where you expect him to go potty. Let him sniff around and if possible allow him to urinate or defecate. It is better as you will have less chances of accidents with the new arrival. Then take him inside the house and make sure that all the doors and windows are closed. You do not want your new puppy to escape and get lost. Let him move around the house and get accustomed to the new surroundings. Keep a clean water bowl for him. Show him the dog bed where is supposed to sleep. If he wants, let him have a small nap. Do not carry him in your lap or arm until and unless necessary. He is not a lap dog and you should not instill such bad habits. Keep in mind that this is not a toy breed and will eventually grow up into a large dog.
The First Few Nights
Do not fuss around the dog a lot. You need to be friendly and reassuring to your new puppy. He does not know you and neither do you know him well. You need to allow him to move about in the house for a while. You should let him take his own time and sit quietly as you and the other members of the family carry on your daily business. Before you go to bed, it is important that you take your dog to the same spot for potty. Wait till he finishes his business and bring him back to his sleeping area. Make sure that you do not switch off all the lights in the room. Place his food bowl near him. Make sure you feed him a light meal. Place a clean bowl of water near it. Give him one of your old blankets to lie on and feel comfortable if he does not wish to sleep in the dog bed.
When you begin potty training, consistency and perseverance are the key words you should remember. Puppies are not able to control their bladders like older dogs. You should take your puppy out for potty every 1½ to 2 hours. This will help reduce the number of accidents and help you with the potty training. Never allow the puppy to be out of your sight till you are confident that he is potty trained. You need to use a command that will be associated with the process of going potty. While you take him out to the designated spot, say the word 'go potty' or 'potty'. While the puppy is carrying on with his business, say the word 'go potty' or 'potty' aloud. This will help the pup associate the word with the task that he is doing. When he completes his work, praise him a lot. You can give him a dog treat to make him understand that you are happy with his behavior.
Make it a routine to take him to the designated potty spot every 1½ hour during the day. You should also take him outside 15 minutes after he has his meal. The first few months, you will need to take him out every one hour at night. Gradually as he gets older, you can start placing him in a crate. Place a lot of newspapers in the crate to absorb any accidents. Dogs are den animals and will not soil the area they sleep in. Thus, he will learn to control his bladder at night. However, remember to take him out before he goes to sleep. You should wake up before he does every day and take him out. This will help reduce the number of accidents and potty train your German Shepherd well. If at all the puppy has some accidents, do not shout or punish him. Housebreaking does take some time.
Training the Puppy to Follow Basic Commands
It is very important to begin with the basic dog training commands as early as possible. You need your German Shepherd to be obedient. You should be consistent with the commands and use monosyllables like "yes", "no", "sit", "good","bad", etc. If you keep changing your commands or use very big words, you will confuse the pup. Instead of following you, he will disobey you. You should first teach him the word, 'No'. If he begins to understand the word 'No' it will help save a lot of trouble. Next in line are 'Sit', 'Down', 'Stay', and 'Heel'. You need to use dog treats to make him learn to obey the commands. Place a treat in your palm and place your palm just above the head level of the puppy.
You need to begin training the puppy from the day you bring him home. If you think you will not be able to do full justice with dog obedience and the training process, then you can always take the help of a professional dog trainer. During the training, you will learn that this breed is the headstrong type. You need to show your dominance as the alpha dog to succeed in training a German Shepherd.