If you are lucky enough to share your home with a German Shepherd, you know they are extremely active dogs. Smart, bold and determined, they need a lot of attention and exercise. German Shepherds are also naturally dominant dogs and need training to ensure that your dog is a happy, well- adjusted member of your household. It is essential that you must be able to control your German Shepherd or he will control you.
So, what is the best way to train your German Shepherd? We are going to share some important points, but before we get to that, here is the biggest secret to training your German Shepherd….
Yep, that’s it, consistency. Too often someone will get a German Shepherd puppy and underestimate the amount of time needed to effectively train it. Training your dog is pretty straightforward, give him praise when he does something you want, and correct him when he does something wrong. Do this over and over and eventually your German Shepherd will be trained. In essence, training your dog enhances the bond you share. Effective training establishes you as the leader of the pack, which makes your dog more comfortable. Promoting this natural rank can be accomplished by following these teaching points. We will uncover the best ways to train your German Shepherd to ensure a long, happy relationship.
First understand that your dogs’ behavior is largely governed by instinct and it is up to you to temper that instinct with conditioned behavior through human training. This can be done by correctly establishing a social hierarchy within your household from the first day you bring your German Shepherd puppy home. The hierarchy consists of an Alpha dog, which is the dominant dog; the Alpha is then followed by the Beta dog, or second banana, and so on. The Alpha dog is the supreme ruler of the pack; dominant to all, submissive to none. The Beta dog is second in line for dominance; so it logically follows that the Beta dog is submissive to the Alpha but dominate above all others. Finally, at the back of the pack, so to speak, is the Omega dog, the dog that is dominant to none and submissive to all. The major point you must remember is that your German Shepherd is happiest when he has an Alpha dog to give him firm, consistent leadership. But, it is also important to know that your German Shepherd is instinctively wired to better his pack position, so you may experience periods where he tests the boundaries, especially during training. Your German Shepherd may push your buttons by misbehaving and ignoring commands you are sure he knows. This is normal and the best way to work through it is with consistency and maintenance of the training program you have established.
In the wild, the Alpha wolf decides where to hunt, when to hunt and where to settle the pack. The Alpha wolf always eats first after each kill and is the unequivocal leader of his pack, no exceptions. He governs his pack in a firm and fair way, with no exceptions to his law.
What does this mean to the training process? It means that if you are going to effectively train your German Shepherd, you need to become the Alpha dog of your pack. That will establish a proper relationship between you and your dog from the start; he will bond to you more closely, more deeply and work harder to please you, if he understands his relationship with you.
Now, there is a special situation that you should know regarding your pack status. Imagine this situation: You are a petite woman married to a man who is 6’4” and who weighs 225 pounds. Can you possibly be the Alpha dog? You might be your husband’s perhaps, but in the mind of the dogs, probably not. Your husbands’ voice is most likely deeper and the undetectable scent he gives off to the dogs, establishes him as the natural pack leader. So, are you doomed to Omega dog status? Definitely not! You can easily be Beta dog and establish your dominance over all the dogs in your house, but you may have to work a little harder. Similarly, it is essential that any children in the house participate in the training of your German Shepherd, as they also need to exercise their dominance.
This is just a small sample of the great teaching methods found in 'Training Your German Shepherd'. Click here for a more detailed information on training German Shepherds.