Solving Common German Shepherd Obedience Problems
We’ve all been there; our dogs do not obey our commands. Problems with your German Shepherd obedience can often be solve through simple steps that you can take as a dog owner. Let’s go over some common ones!
To prevent your German Shepherd from jumping, everyone who interacts with your dog must send a consistent message. If one person allows your dog to jump, your dog is going to have a hard time understanding how he’s supposed to behave.
The best way to stop jumping is to simply turn your back and ignore him. Once he stops jumping, slowly pet him and give him attention. Your dog will eventually learn that you won’t interact with him when he jumps.
You also should have your dog sit every time you interact with him. Dogs naturally jump during greetings, so you really need to be consistent if you want him to greet you another way. You can easily teach your dog to sit when he greets you as long as you send him a consistent message.
Just as you should have your dog sit when he greets you, you should also have him sit when others come to the door. Keep some treats near the door so that you can reward him, which will reinforce this good behavior. It also might be a good idea to have your guest give your dog a treat, while your guest greets him with a sit. Having a leash handy will physically prevent your dog from jumping on people at the door. Stand on the leash so there is only enough room to sit. If he gets up, have him sit again and reward the proper behavior.
Chewing is a difficult problem to fix, since it is natural and “necessary” for puppies to chew. Dogs do not have hands like we do to investigate new and mysterious things. The only way they can examine new objects is by smelling them and putting them in their mouth!
Plus, just like children, puppies lose their “baby teeth” and grow new adult ones. They need to chew during this time and there is no way to really stop them. The best thing to do is to get your dog some toys that he can chew on.
Most dogs dig out of boredom. Often tiring your dog out with a good game of fetch will “prevent” your dog from digging and partaking in other destructive behavior.
Hint: Play fetch with two balls. If your dog won’t drop the ball you just threw, show him the second ball and he’ll usually drop the first one. Some dogs dig holes to stay cool on warm days. Make sure your dog has plenty of shade to rest in when he is outside. He should have plenty of cool water and, if it’s too hot, bring him inside.
Probably the biggest mistake an owner can make when housebreaking a dog is reprimanding him after the fact. Unless you catch him in the act, he is unlikely to know what he is being punished for. Plus, punishment often doesn’t stop the dog from going in the house, it just makes him do it in less noticeable areas. If you catch him in the middle of the act, tell him “no” and take him right outside. Wait till he goes and praise him afterwards. You also should keep in mind that a puppy doesn’t have a fully developed bladder and cannot physically hold it in for eight hours while you’re out.
If this sounds like your situation, you might want to consider hiring someone or asking a friend to let your dog out while you’re gone. Another consideration is that a dog normally has to eliminate about an hour after eating. So you probably should feed your dog early before you go out, allowing enough time for the food to digest and to take him out. It is also very important to praise your dog when he goes where you want him to.
Lastly, German Shepherd obedience problems are so common among new/inexperienced dog owners. Don’t feel guilty if your German Shepherd has obedience problems and remember that all it takes is some patience and effort to help fix these problems.
This post is written by the first guest poster on the German Shepherd Training Academy! Thomas Hoffmann have trained five different German Shepherds, and have made every mistake in the book. He shares his experiences to help the first or second timers throughout the process; his advice and tips will save you a lot of hours.
Looking for more tips from Thomas? Head on over to Thomas’ blog: www.germanshepherdtraininginfo.com for everything you need to know when owning a German Shepherd.