German shepherds are among the most popular and well-recognized dog breed across the globe. However, these guardian dogs need a lot of hands-on training, and first-time pet owners are generally discouraged from making them their first pet.
This small guide will help you understand the basics that you need to cover when you are training your loyal companion.
German shepherd training using a clicker
One of the most effective training tools for a German Shepherd is using a clicker. In essence, a clicker is a simple tool that is used as a way to positively reinforce correct habits in your pet. When a puppy follows your command correctly, it is your job to press the clicker and immediately follow it up with a treat.
There are some steps that should be followed with regards to clicker training, and they are summarized below:
- The clicker should be introduced to your pet in a quiet environment. You should also have some treats or food with you on hand. You should proceed to click once and then immediately offer your pet some food. This associates the clicking sound with treats and rewards
- Once your pet becomes accustomed to the clicker’s association with treats, then you can start to help your pet understand that they need to do something that gives them treats. To do this, you need to start simple and get your pet to accomplish a task such as sitting or responding to their name. Once they do so, you should press the clicker and give them a treat.
- After a number of weeks, they will be used to the clicker, and then you can continue to use the clicker without the treats. Pressing the clicker as a reward can let your pet know that they’re doing a good job.
An important thing to remember is that your german shepherd puppy only has so much patience at a given time. In the beginning, your training sessions should be limited from 5 to 10 minutes. This can give your pet ample breaks and can help them avoid anxiety. Long training sessions and repeating the same trick several times over can also make your pet feel extremely bored. Be sure to maintain a healthy balance between the two.
GSD House training [Train your dog at home]
Generally speaking, it is best to start this aspect of training as soon as possible. One important thing to remember is that a puppy’s bladder is quite small, which can limit how long they are able to hold it in. To avoid any accidents, it is best to follow the hour/month rule. For instance, if your puppy is 3 months old, then they can go 3 hours without a potty break. This rule can be applicable up to 8 months of age.
Here are some more tips which can help you house train your puppy:
- Keep a regular schedule of feeding and toilet time
- Make sure to take your puppy outside immediately in the morning. They should also be taken out after eating and naps, as well as immediately before bedtime.
- Make a regular spot for your pet to go in the yard. Once they smell their previous excursions, they will be more willing to go potty.
- Keep your German Shepherd company while they finish their business. Once they’re done, be sure to reward them to positively reinforce the habit of going outside.
- If your puppy does have an accident inside the house never punish them. What you can do is be firm and say “no”. If they are currently going, you can simply pick them up and take them outside. Be careful to not be too harsh with them, as it can lead to unhealthy habits, such as eating their own waste to hide it from you.
Realistically, it can take anywhere between 4 and 6 months to house train your puppy, so remember to be patient, loving, and consistent in your teachings. Expect accidents along the way and never shame your puppy for any incidents of this nature.
Crate training is another important aspect of any puppy’s life. In this particular process, you provide a safe space for your puppy to go to. It requires a lot of positive reinforcement and patience, and the payout is enormous for you as it gives you some pet-free time during the day. The best way to go about crate training is to follow the tips outlined below:
- Don’t force your puppy inside their crate. Such an action can make them associate the crate with unpleasant experiences, making them more unwilling to go inside.
- Take small steps while crate training. This means that initially, once your puppy is inside the crate, you can close the crate for a few seconds at a time. As they become more used to the crate, they can stay for longer stretches of time like 5 to 10 minutes. A perfectly crate-trained German Shepherd can stay in its crate all night long.
- To further reinforce the idea of the crate is their safe space, you can feed your pet inside the crate. An added advantage of this step is that your puppy will be less likely to use it as a toilet.
Even if you are confident that your puppy is crate trained, you should not leave them alone and unsupervised in the crate for extended periods of time. This is because they might need a potty break, and if they do have an accident in their crate, it can be a major setback for their house training.
Training your German Shepherd should be a positive experience for both you and your puppy. While this particular breed is highly intelligent, they also have a really independent streak. This means that while the rewards for proper training are tenfold, the breed is definitely a challenge, especially for first-time pet owners. As long as you establish yourself as the Alpha of the household, and maintain a friendly yet firm demeanor with your pet, then you’ll have an amazing pet on your hands.