Training a German Shepherd DogAngela Bentley
Training a German Shepherd is the same as training any other dog breed. We train the basic commands: heel, sit, down, come, wait, place, off and out. These commands give us the foundation to expand on in different situations and around more difficult distractions.
Exercise is important for this breed and the more structured the better. Heel provides a great way to structure a long walk but for times when that’s not possible, a game of tug can release tension and wear out your german shepherd. You will want to put rules to the game too! “Out” is the command we use for the dog to release the toy to us. “Off” is how we tell the dog to stay away from the toy so we can pick it up without him pouncinng on it. Add in a sit until released with a word like “tug” or “get it” and you’re on your way to working on impulse control while having fun. Just be sure to put the special tug toy up after the game and bring it out on your own terms.
You don’t want to create a dog that needs to play constantly.
An on that note, when training a German Shepherd we want to teach him or her how to relax. Sit and Down stays will help with that. Start for short sit/stays and work up to more time with you further away. Same with the down but add even longer periods of down/stays to create a really relaxed state.
We begin with no distractions to really help the dog understand the command and then bring in distractions like other dogs, new surroundings, temptations on the floor (food or toys), or working in public where there is a lot of people.
Just remember: Exercise, structure and relaxation for a well balanced german shepherd. All of this can be achieved with obedience training and the right approach.