While deciding that you want to train your German Shepherd dog (or puppy) is indeed a huge decision as it requires lots of patience, time and effort, it is also essential that you, as a dog owner set up clear and specific goals on what you would like your dog to achieve once you’ve considered him “trained.” In other words, when you think of a well “trained” German Shepherd, what do you envision it to be? Setting up these goals can do two main things for you:
1) Define expectations. The purpose of having expectations is so that you won’t feel upset when something happens unexpectedly. By defining what you like your German Shepherd to be once it is “trained,” you can create a checklist of what actions are acceptable and what actions are not. This is important because dog training is subjective and different dog owners may have different standards or preferences for their dogs. For example, some dog owners are very strict about making sure that their dogs interact and behave properly when there are house guests around while other dog owners may not care so much. As another example, in different households, dogs may or may not be allowed to get onto furniture as it is difficult to remove dog fur from the furniture. Having your own expectations allow you to better define what actions are “dos” and which ones are “don’ts” for your dog.
2) Training for specific tasks. Once you have your German Shepherd training goals set up, you are able to better define the training your dog requires to achieve those goals. You might have a goal of registering your dog to take part in agility, obedience, dock jumping or flying discs competitions. Each category of competition, as you would expect, requires different skill sets before your dog can be considered an “expert” in that particular category. Setting up goals allow dog owners to focus and pinpoint certain types of training for their dogs.
Regardless of what your goals are for your “trained” German Shepherd, the task of guiding and training your dog towards those goals are your sole responsibility. Luckily, if you employ the right training strategy, your dog will not only achieve the goals you’ve set, but your dog will also achieve the three pillars of dog training.
So the next time you say you want to have a well “trained” German Shepherd, ask yourself, what is it you really mean.
In the next post, we’ll go over some tips on how you can determine and set up your goals. Stay tuned!
Notice the quotation marks for the word trained? This is because being trained as well as learning for your dog is a lifelong process; that is, you need to stay committed to the process and continuously train your dog rather than just setting a fixed training period for your dog.
Thanks for reading!