As many of you know, I have a German Shepherd named Bomber, he was born in September of 2015 and we brought him home in November that same year, at about 9 weeks old. You can read my blog posts about him HERE and HERE.
Now, I won’t say that I am in now way an expert at German Shepherd training – but I would like to share my experience as a first time German Shepherd owner! German Shepherds are fiercely loyal, smart, stubborn and full of energy! One day, you will get the GSD that people think of – the docile, watchful dog that is calm but empowering, but that takes years of training! First, you need to get through the puppy stage and train them to be the dog you are hoping for!
When it comes to training a GSD, you cannot slack off in any way, because smart dogs like this will try and find loop holes to get exactly what they want. Make sure you are consistent on the leash rules, which furniture they are allowed on and most importantly – do not slack on training them how you expect them to play with you, children and others. If you want a “no teeth” rule, that needs to be the rule 100% of the time. You do not want your GSD getting carried away and someone getting hurt by accident. They will learn and respect the rules, but you have to be consistent while teaching them.
GSDs can become destructive when bored, so a good rule of thumb is “a tired dog is a good dog”, so make sure you take the time for quality exercise with your dog. Whether it be a walk/hike (that’s appropriate for your pup), mental stimulating games/training or a hard play at a dog park or your yard! We have a flirt pole that we LOVE to use for energy blasting and training! They are so easy to make!
Learning new skills and tricks are what a German Shepherd LIVES for! They love to please their owners by completing tasks properly – you can teach your GSD all sorts of fun tricks, and it will blast through their energy and get their mind working, which is always a good thing with this breed of dog! I plan on one day making a mini agility course in our yard, because I feel as if it will be super beneficial to our Bomber!
Capitalize on your pup’s natural instinct to explore and climb to teach them commands!
Depending on your goals of having a GSD, don’t forget to expose them to new things and include them in your activities! They are pack animals, and guess what – you are their pack! They will LOVE being with you! It will also help with your training, because they need to learn how it is appropriate to be their natural, protective self. Barking at everything that moves isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but training them to be observant and listen to your commands are best learned when out and about in different scenarios!
And of course, they are your family! Treat them as such! Include them in stuff going on in the house (it will stress them out less and it’s their house too), and with time and training, you will get a big furry protector who loves their family over everyone else, and they will be a companion that will be irreplaceable.
- Feed a high protein diet (if you can afford raw, amazing! We feed our Bomber Orijin)
- Brushing is a MUST! We do a triple brush system with a brush and a rake (links below).
- Talk to your vet about your GSD’s growth and size/age appropriate exercise – GSD’s are susceptible to elbow and hip displasia, and the likelihood can be reduced with proper exercise and growth time. Also talk to them on when they think is a good time to spay/neuter your GSD and keeping up to date with vaccinations and necessary medications to keep you GSD as healthy as possible for as long as possible!
My post about preparing your dog for baby can be found HERE.
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