German Shepherd Training Tips

Obedience Training - Part 2

The second part of the dog's obedience training will cover teaching your German Shepherd to fetch, come when called and lying down on command.

Lying Down

The best time to start practicing the command "lie down" is after an extensive walk when your dog is already tired. Put it on the leash, tell it to "sit” and then gradually pull its front legs forward, pushing down on its shoulders, and say "lie down," or simply "down." Put your foot on the leash to keep it from getting back on its feet. The first few times let your dog lie there for about one minute. When it can do that, extend the time a little longer.

Start walking away slowly from your dog, but keep an eye on it, and as soon as it starts getting up, tell it to "lie down" again. This exercise can be used often as it is useful if you have friends over and the dog keeps on pestering them.

Retrieving (Fetch)

Most dogs enjoy retrieving and fetch things even without being told to do so. They see it as a game and they will enjoy the attention and praise when they are carrying the object in their mouths. You can teach your dog fetch by throwing a ball or stick when your dog stands next to you, and call out "fetch."

The dog will go after the object and should return to you with it. Now you command "sit," and then "let go." The proper response is for the dog to place the object in your hand without dropping it. If it drops the object on the ground, you must put the ball back in its mouth, then remove it again while saying "let go." If your dog shows no inclination to return with the object you have thrown, repeat the lesson with a rope (or laundry line) about 9 or 10 meters long to pull the dog towards you so you can take the object from it.

Coming When Called

German Shepherd coming when called

German Shepherd coming when called.

Training continues with the command "come here," or simply "here."
Some pointers that you can use if you run into problems:
Move slowly away from the dog, walking backward. If it follows  when you call "here," praise it. If it shows no interest in coming, wait a while before going up to it and taking it by the collar. This is no time for punishment. Even though it failed to obey, you have to praise it because it must always be a pleasant experience for your dog to come to you.

If your dog refuses to respond to the command "here," put it on a long rope. Let it wander off, and then slowly pull it toward you while calling "come here." Shower it with praise, and repeat the exercise until it obeys the command correctly on the rope. Then try without the rope. Here again, praise helps to reinforce success. Responding properly to the command "come here" can serve the dog's own safety, among other things. If it returns to you promptly when called, some threatening confrontations with other dogs can be avoided.

Your German shepherd dog will become a reliable companion even in heavy traffic only if you practise the correct response to the command "come here" by using a long and hard tone. Eventually it will become second nature, and it will enjoy coming on cue.

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