German Shepherd Training Series – Let’s Go For a Walk!
Welcome to the German Shepherd Training Academy Blog!
Today’s post will be our last post in this series which will be covering some basic commands to train your German Shepherd dog or puppy. Before we start, a quick recap. We have thus far in this training series went over the following simple dog commands:
We know that German Shepherd training and teaching your dog all of these commands can take an immense amount of time and patience. Yes, sometimes it can be frustrating; however if you put your mind to it, and be consistent towards setting aside time out of your schedule to train your dog, you and your dog are well on your way towards achieving your goals. What’s more, once you’ve met some of the goals you’ve set for your German Shepherd training, you’ll feel more motivated and may even add more goals to your bucket list!
For now, lets get started at today’s training series! Today’s command is primarily used in walking your dog.
I still vividly remember the times when our family had our first dog after a long long time. Sure, it was fun for my dog when we took her out on walks around the neighborhood with a leash, but it wasn’t all that fun for whoever that was walking the dog. In other words, we were having a leash-straining walk; a situation where your dog is so excited on a walk that he is always in front of you, sniffing, and playing. By teaching your dog “let’s go” and by executing it wisely, both parties on either side of the leash will surely be able to have a more enjoyable experience.
You can start by making word associations during your walk. For example, using what you’ve learnt about the command “Okay,” you can give your dog some slack on the leash and when he starts to walk away from you, say “Okay,” and begin to follow your dog. This reinforces the idea that whenever you say the command “Okay,” your dog is “free.” Therefore, in future walks, if your dog doesn’t hear the command “Okay,” he’ll know that he is not being released.
What’s important is to ensure that you keep control of the leash and do not allow your dog to drag you. You need to set the pace even when your dog is given the turn to being the leader. To keep control of the leash, you should stop and standstill whenever your dog starts to pull on the leash. This should be done until there is some slack in the leash as this teaches your dog that his actions of pulling on a leash is unacceptable to you.
Now, when there is some slack in the leash, use the command “let’s go,” turn, and walk off. When your dog follows you, mark this behavior with a bright sound of “Good!” After this point, you could also slow down, squat down and allow your dog to catch up to you and mark this with a positive reinforcement. You should repeat this several times for your dog to get a hang of things.
Aside from using the command “let’s go” at the appropriate time, one of the other secrets to proper dog walking is to ensure that your dog is attentive to you during the walk. Dog experts suggest that you do not allow any sniffing, playing or pulling during your time as a leader on the walk. Instead, have streaks in which you are the leader, controlling the walk, and at times during the walk, reward your dog by walking without any control. It is important that dog owners should not mix up the commands “let’s go” and “okay.” More about the command “okay” can be found here.
I wish my family would had spent more time to train our first dog. It would certainly have made our dog walks more enjoyable than it was. Well, now that you know these training tips, be sure to incorporate them into your future dog walks! Give yourself a pat on the back for having gone through all of the basic dog commands in the German Shepherd Training series as you’ve gone through a big chunk of the training your German Shepherd.