If you’re ever curious or frustrated as to why your German Shepherd is not obedient, this is the right article for you! We’ll first be going over why your German Shepherd may not be listening to your instructions and what you can do now to help avoid this in the future. To see how this article fits into the overall German Shepherd training picture, head on over to The Ultimate Guide to German Shepherd Training.
First off, try to recall a time when you were young, say 8 or 9 and you are in a toy shop with your parents. If you were like me when I was a kid, your trip to your favorite toy store would probably end up in you (as a kid) throwing a fit, demanding your parents to buy you another model from your favorite toy series despite having already selected one as your birthday present. And, you would often end up leaving the toy store disappointed having only been able to select one item. At that time, you probably felt angry and did not want to talk to your parents because you felt that there was nothing wrong with your actions.
Yes, this has nothing (yet) to do with your German Shepherd’s actions, but the reason I am writing about this is so that you can have a better understanding as to how your dog may feel in similar situations. As loving as dogs are, it is often easy for us to forget that they are a completely different species! Hence, like an 8 or 9 year old kid, dogs do not think or learn in the same manner as we do. Furthermore, from the above analogy, untrained dogs are unaware that their actions are inappropriate in the human perspective. An example would be your German Shepherd chewing up your newly bought pair of sneakers; this is because your dog is not aware of the value of the sneaker you just bought and how long you had been saving up for those sneakers. Dogs through their experience and through trial and error, discover what actions work and what don’t. In other words, dogs learn to reduce or increase the frequency of an action depending on the results of those actions.
Now that you have a better understanding as to why your German Shepherd is doing what he/she is doing, let us go over you can do now to overcome this. In a nutshell, all it really takes is some patience and what I call German Shepherd Training if your German Shepherd is not being obedient. But more importantly, before you actually begin your journey to train your German Shepherd, understand that German Shepherd training is a learning adventure for both you and your dog. This means that you should take some time to list down things that your German Shepherd should be more obedient about (not chewing on shoes!) and try to understand factors or circumstances which cause them to behave the way they do. As an example, you could come up with a list as follows:
What can my German Shepherd Improve On Why is He/She Not Obedient
Chewing on shoes / furniture Distressed when there are ongoing parties in neighbor’s house
Note that this is only an example and to determine the “why” factor, you’ll need to pay close attention to your German Shepherd and the environment or circumstances that trigger certain actions.
By doing this, you are essentially targeting factors that triggers your German Shepherd to do certain undesirable actions and therefore be able to better understand your German Shepherd. With this skill, you are then more equipped to move onto the next step, which is training your German Shepherd!