Your new German shepherd pup is smart, energetic, and needs to keep busy. The best way that you can accomplish this is a little German Shepherd puppy training. Of course we will want to do things in order so in this article we will focus first on potty training your German shepherd dog and then follow it up with some easy tricks that you keep your little one busy learning as you slowly develop your bond. Without further ado, lets discuss German Shepherd training!
German Shepherd Boot camp: Enrollment or homeschool?
While you can always simply enroll your dog in a German Shepherd training school, home options are often the way to go if you can. The advantage of ‘home schooling’ is that it can help to create your bond with the pup more quickly at the same time that it is saving you money, so it is something worth considering. So, how do we tackle the first hurdle of potty training?
German Shepherd training camp: Potty training
When potty training your German Shepherd pup, a good way to start is going to be crate training. To do this, get a hold of a wooden crate and place the following items inside:
- A small water bowl
- Some toys to keep your pup busy
- A pee pad or faux-grass mat for ‘accidents’
- A puppy bed or nice pillow to sleep on
German Shepherd training: Crate training (continued)
The crate that we have just set up is going to be your puppy’s new sleeping spot. After the last walk of the night then you will want to place your puppy inside the crate. Ignore any whining, as you don’t want your dog to think that you will always come running, and over time they will get used to the crate. Next, first thing in the morning (bright and early) you will want to get up and promptly walk the dog. When they go to the bathroom outside then you should immediately give them a treat as positive reinforcement of this behavior.
We should note that at young ages (such as 8 to 10 weeks) your puppy can only ‘hold it’ for 2 to 3 hours at a time. With this in mind you will want to make an aggressive walking schedule in order to minimize accidents. If accidents DO happen in the house, you will want to clean them up immediately and thoroughly, as any lingering scents can tempt your dog into using this location for a potty break again and we want to discourage this. Once your dog learns that they will be going out on a regular basis then they will be better inclined to wait. The only exception to your schedule is going to be after eating, in these cases you should take your puppy out about 10 minutes after every meal as they have fast metabolisms and will need a potty break.
German Shepherd training: Dance
Now that we have discussed potty training, let’s go into our first trick. If you have already taught your Shepherd some of the basics like ‘sit’ and ‘lay down’ then ‘Dance’ is a fun trick you can move on to. To do this, start by holding a treat above your dog, just out of reach, to encourage them up on their hind legs. When they do this, give them some praise and the treat. Once they get good at it then you will want to start moving the treat in a slow circle. When your dog hops around in a circle then you will want to say ‘Dance!’ and give them the treat. Repeat this process and after awhile you will have a dancing German Shepherd!
German Shepherd training: High 5
If your dog already knows the ‘Shake’ command then there is a variation you can teach them quite easily. Try holding your hand out and when the dog puts their paw onto it then say ‘High 5!’ and give them a treat. Slowly start raising your hand up higher to see how high they can go, giving them a treat and the ‘High 5!’ command each time until they learn the association. This is one trick they can learn very quickly and it’s lots of fun so give it a try some time.
German Shepherd training: Speak and Hush
This trick is much easier to teach if your dog is already vocal. Tell your dog to ‘sit’ and then hold a treat in front of them until they whine or otherwise make a sound. When
“When they make a sound, say ‘Speak!'”
they make a sound, say ‘Speak!’ and give them the treat. Once they start to figure it out then you will want to teach them to ‘Hush!’ as well. Do this by telling them to sit again and once they quiet down you say ‘Hush!’ and give them the treat. It’s two command so this will take a little longer to teach them but it really is a fun and useful set.
Where can I find German Shepherd dog training near me?
If your work schedule means that you don’t have a lot of time for training then you can always use the services of a third party. To find the best trainers we recommend using Yelp.com for your searches. Breeders, trainers, and other experts are easy to find with this online service and it is completely free for you to use. Best of all, these experts are rated by those who have used their services so this can help you to avoid any disreputable trainers for your furry friend.
In this article we have discussed training your German Shepherd pup. We’d like to take this moment to advise patience and to remind you that your German Shepherd is both smart and energetic and so you will want to keep them very busy. Learning tricks is a great way to do this if you have the time and your little one will surely impress you. Just be patient and firm and you’ll see!