German Shepherd: Behaviour and Training
Originally bred to help shepherds in shooing away the predators, German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) were supposed to be active and alert for very long durations. Due to the same reason, they always want a job at hand.
The best part is that they are always eager to learn. So, whatever task you give them, they will excel in it. They grasp new skills quickly, which is why their training phase is a smooth sail. In fact, in order to keep their energy directed to good use, you will need consistent and ongoing education. In
short, you will need to keep them engaged in physical and mental activities. The mental activities can include tracking games like “search and rescue” and “find it” where your GSD will have to follow a scent.The lack of proper training can lead to destructive behaviour, which a lot of pet parents complain about.
A common one in this is aggression, where the dog barks and lunges on people, especially strangers. This is because German Shepherd Dogs are protective of their families and territories. To prevent this behaviour, you should train your dog from puppyhood itself. Some things that you can do are- socialise it as much as you can, hold its collar and try to quiet it, use a clicker to train it about when to bark and when to stop and then reward it when it follows the instructions.
Biting and Nipping
Just like any other dog, they like to bite and nip but on people’s arms or legs, especially when they are 6 to 7 months old. With a dog as big as a GSD, it can seem scarier. To prevent this, get your dog some chewing toys and redirect it to them. Whenever it bites or chews anything apart from the toys, tell it it’s not ok.
Please note: With a GSD, force or punishment doesn’t work. They become even more aggressive. Always tell them what is not acceptable through gestures like holding its collar, or speaking in a low authoritative voice.
With GSDs, it is a game of “who is the leader here”. You will need to establish yourself as an
authority, or they will jump in to take charge.
To do this- don’t shower your love on it as soon as you get home, have your meal 30 mins prior,
don’t play with it every time it comes to you.
When they are left alone, they get stressed out because they like to be close to their pack. Remember they are super loyal! They will show this stress through various behaviours like barking, digging holes, urinating, escaping, or chewing. To help them overcome this, get them in the habit of staying alone by leaving them for shorter durations of time, and then gradually increasing it. Give it a toy or chew bone to keep it distracted when you are away, or tire it during the morning workout, so that it sleeps when you are not around.
These are some things that you can train your dog for, only if you train them everyday. To not miss the routine, set up daily training reminders on Sploot app.