Everything You Need To Know About Training Your German Shepherd For Beginners

How to make your dog truly intelligent 😮

So you have a German Shepherd, It may be a puppy or a rescue, but whatever the case there’s a new addition to the family and you already love your fur baby. Training Your German Shepherd For Beginners.

Only thing is now you are realizing that you need to not only train your new pup but it also demands a lot of attention. Which is OK because it’s so adorable.

  1. Find Out What Motivates the Dog.

Dogs can be motivated by many things. So the first thing you want to do is to determine what motivates your dog. Many dogs are motivated by multiple stimulants introduced into the environment. Some of the most common motivators are treats and or toys. Training treats are the most common motivator used when training dogs.

Zoey loves toys and treats
Zoey is motivated by toys and treats

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2. Treats / Toys

In our experience treats and or toys are the best motivator for your furry little friend. One of our dogs is motivated by toys and the other goes crazy for treat. This makes the training techniques vary a bit.

Puppy training ball
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3. Teach “Look At Me” First

The very first command you should teach your German Shepherd puppy is “Look At Me” or “Here” or any word you want to use for this action completely. This command is possibly the most important command you can teach your dog. Getting your German shepherd to follow this command is very useful as a pretext for other commands. This command is to get your German Shepherd’s attention. When you have their attention they’ll be much more attentive to other commands. You teach your German shepherd this command by repeating the “Here” command and then rewarding them with a treat once they make direct eye contact. You’ll see yourself using this command a lot as your German Shepherd will begin to interpret it as “Ok you have my attention, I am awaiting commands.”.

Look At Me

4. Teach Sit

Yup you guessed it, the next command is ‘sit’. Some people like to use different words or sounds in place of the actual command. This one is fairly easy to teach and just takes a little consistency. All you need is about 3-5 minutes of training on this daily. The first thing you want to do is have your motivator ready (treats / toys).

Now the real test

Say the sit command and if the dog sits give them a good dog vocally and the treat or toy. If your dog doesn’t understand the command right away you can urge them to sit by lifting the motivator over their head further back and then reward once they sit. If that is still a challenge for your german shepherd you can gently tap them on the rear while repeating the command. Once your german shepherd sits reward them. I wouldn’t recommend getting in the habit of tapping on the rear end as the dog will learn the tap as opposed to the command.

5. Teach Lay Down

The next thing we’ll teach your German Shepherd to lay down. This is fairly easy to teach once they have ”Look At Me” at ”Sit” mastered. From the sitting position say the “Lay Down” command. If your german shepherd lays down reward them with a ”Good Dog” and the motivator. If they don’t get it right away you can guide them with the motivator (treat / toy). Once your dog lays down give them the reward. If that doesn’t work you can try tapping on the ground in front of the dog. However, don’t make a habit of tapping the ground or your furry friend will learn the gesture instead of the actual command. Then you’ll have to tap on the ground to get them to lay down all of the time.

Lay down

6. Teach Stay

Now that your german shepherd knows ”Look At Me”, “Sit”, and ”LayDown” you should be quite impressed with your skills as a dog trainer. But most importantly you’ve got to be really proud of your dog. Next we’ll teach ”Stay”. I’ll be honest this one may take a little more repetition, consistency, and variation than the others. I like to start with either the ”Sit” or ”Laydown” command. Once your german shepherd is in position give the ”Stay” command. Try to take one step backwards.

Now the real test

If your dog moves correct them with a no but if your dog doesn’t move reward them. Repeat a few times and then increase to two steps – reward, then three steps – reward. That’s it! Just keep adding distance and rewarding. To be more variable and make sure your german shepherd truly understands you can walk in circles around them and stand still for moments at a time between moving around.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips.

Next time we’ll be going over leash training and other commands.