German Shepherd Training Tips

Obedience Training - Part 3

The third part of the dog's obedience training will cover teaching your German Shepherd to remaining in place, running ahead (Advanced Training) and to jumping over hurdles (Advanced Training).

Remaining in Place

If you and your dog are having fun working together, you can continue the lessons with the command "stay."

This exercise teaches your dog to stay in place when you call the command. How to train your dog to remain in place:

Get your dog to stop when it is walking on the leash on your left. Your obedient companion will probably first respond by sitting or lying down, but this is not satisfactory. It is not what you asked for. Hold the dog by the leash with your right hand, place your left under its abdomen to prevent it from sitting down, and at the same time say "stay." When it stands there without moving, let go of the leash and go away from it a few steps backward.

This way you keep the dog in sight and can remind it to "stay" if it tries to follow you or sit or lie down. The dog has mastered this lesson completely when it stops instantly while running free next to you as soon as you call out "stay." The command must be obeyed even if you keep walking or change direction. It is not allowed to follow until you give it the signal "here" or "come here."

Running Ahead (Advanced Training)

Learning to obey the command "run ahead" is somewhat more difficult for a dog than the previous lessons. This type of training is considered as advance and so if you dog does not grasp the concept it is understandable. When walking faster than usual, tell your dog, who is not on a leash, to "heel." Then urge it on with the command "run ahead." It won't understand right away what is expected of it. Run up behind it and shove it forward. When it is running ahead of you, slow down a little. Then, when he obeys the command, stop it by calling "sit," "lie down," "stay," or "come here." This way old commands are reviewed.

Only when your dog obeys "run ahead" reliably, even in the midst of traffic noise or near playing children or romping dogs, can you consider this lesson thoroughly learned.

Jumping over Hurdles (Advanced Training)

German Shepherd jumping over hurdles

German Shepherd jumping over a set of hurdles.

Most dogs like to jump, and all they have to learn is how to do it when they hear the appropriate command. Tell your dog to "sit" in front of a small pile of boards. Then place yourself on the opposite side of the obstacle and call "jump." If the dog walks around the obstacle you have to take it back and start all over. When your dog clears the hurdle on command, you can gradually build it up. But don't overdo it, especially with a young dog that is still growing.

Once your dog has learned to respond to the command "jump" properly, you can incorporate this skill into the retrieving exercise. Tell your dog to "sit" next to you. The object it is supposed to retrieve is on the other side of the obstacle. Now tell the dog to "jump" and "fetch." Your dog should leap over the hurdle, pick up the ball or piece of wood, and jump back with it.
Tell it to "sit" again. Take the ball or whatever out of its mouth while saying "let go." then praise it. These exercises are advanced and so they should not be used if your dog is not able to completely master the basic obedience training methods.

Not all dogs will be able to grasp the concepts of the advance training and German Shepherds are no different. If your German Shepherd cannot perform these steps, then do not worry. You should instead respect your dog and love him/her just as much, maybe even more.

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