The commitment that it takes to traing your german shephered is similar to training any animal, yet the steps taken are very much different. The German Shepherd Dog was initially developed in Germany as an all-around working dog, primarily helping handlers in herding sheep and livestock. The breed was developed to have intelligence, character, courage, agility, and an eagerness to please. These traits carry over to the smart, lovable big dogs we know today.
Today's German Shepherd Dogs are most commonly thought of as loyal partners of the Police force, or as guide dogs for the blind. This may give you the idea that training your German Shepherd will be a breeze, which isn't the case - German Shepherd puppies are particularly boisterous and may wreak havoc in their handlers' property if not trained properly. Training your German Shepherd Dog requires you to establish a bond with it. As your german shepherd's handler, you need it to trust and respect you. As the handler you need to make sure that you control your german shepherd and not to let it control you.
This has happened to many handlers of this dog! Not sensing the necessary leadership figure, the German Shepherd Dogs resorted to taking leadership for themselves, sometimes barring any sort of entry into houses and bedrooms. In training your German Shepherd Dog, it's important to establish your position as the Alpha Dog - the head of the pack. Your German Shepherd Dog won't resent this - they'll actually love you for being the authority figure, since it gives them a feeling that everything's under control, and they won't have to take charge.
Establishing your position in the pack is pretty straightforward - you praise your German Shepherd puppy if he does something good, and discipline him if he doesn't. Now, German Shepherd Dogs instinctively try to improve their position in the pack, and they might disobey orders or nip at you in an attempt to do so. Consistency in training your German Shepherd Dog is therefore very important - once you teach him a good lesson, such as not jumping on people, it must be constantly enforced. Training your German Shepherd puppy also means you'll have to expose it to people and other dogs regularly.
Socialization, especially in the earlier years of the puppy's life, will make it more genial towards others, effectively watering down its natural tendency to just go wild. Training your German Shepherd can be much easier for you if you enroll it in an obedience school early in its life. Social niceties (which behaviors are acceptable and which are not) are effectively taught in these schools, and German Shepherds are generally quick to catch on to these lessons. However, make sure the puppy doesn't suffer in obedience school.
Some schools use muzzles and tight leashes on their students, which can inhibit your dog's social relations in a bad way. Training your German Shepherd shouldn't be a traumatic experience for it - show some love, and it will be returned to you over many loyal years.
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