Attempting to control a dog that has not learned at least the most basic commands is exhausting and frequently nearly impossible.
Getting a German Shepherd is an amazing thing. Not only are you getting a great pet, but one that is super easy to train. It would be silly not to utilize all of the GSDs natural ability to learn. Basic commands are the very least that you have to teach your dog. Why? Well, as we’ve mentioned, it is practically the most straightforward way to control your pet. You don’t want to have a massive German Shepherd doing whatever’s on their mind.
It takes much more than teaching your pet to sit or roll over and whatnot to really be in control with the dog. You have to showcase leadership, ability to command. The dog has to trust you in order for you guys to understand each other. It takes years and years of practice until your dynamics and actions are predictable. Eventually, you and the dog get on the same wavelength, which is an incredible thing.
But you have to start from somewhere
Dogs are just like kids in terms of learning. You don’t want to start off teaching your kid how to order food before you teach them how to use a spoon. Basic commands enable you to start the process of training.
For example, the dog will definitely react to a doorbell ring or a stranger coming it, or even hearing someone being at the door. This is an opportunity for you to really train the “Sit” command. You can start by physically keeping the dog in a sitting position, putting your hand on it’s back and so forth. After a while, the dog will learn to restrain its enthusiasm and will stay seated when someone’s knocking on your door.
Reward the dog with a treat or a pat on the head when they follow through with the command on their own. Repetition is key here. Even though dogs are super intelligent and relatively easy to train, getting some of the basic commands to act as a second nature is very important. Once they react to your commands as a matter of instinct, you’ve done a great job.
Stay is another basic command you need.
While often people train their dogs to do tricks, some commands can be lifesavers. Stay is one of them. You don’t want your dog to be chasing after squirrels, birds, and cats into the traffic or the woods. Getting the dog to stay alongside you is a very useful command. Dogs get extremely excited and can easily get carried away. Literally. Losing your dog is awful in and of itself, but imagine if the reason was that you simply hadn’t taught the dog to ‘Stay’.
You can train this by saying “Stay”, extending your palm towards the dog, so they start associating not only words but gestures with what you’re trying to teach. And after that, once you see that you’ve got the dog’s attention, go behind the dog or out of its vision. If the dog doesn’t move, you’ve done everything right. But don’t worry if it’s not working at first, it really does take a lot of practice to get this one right for the pet.
Move up to advanced commands
You can start using gestures instead of voice commands and see how the dog adjusts. Basically, once you reach a certain proficiency level with your dog, don’t let the process plateau, always keep the dog busy and learning!