Communicating with your dog is not just about commands.

People have all kinds of misconceptions about dogs and their intelligence, their ability to communicate. It is not simply a cumulative sum of all the commands you can teach your dog. Granted, German Shepherds are extremely smart, maybe the smartest dogs out there. But you don’t want to raise a robot, do you? it’s much better to establish a real bond between you and your pet. Getting the communication aspect of this right is critical.

If you’re not really confident in your skills to train the dog, do not worry. It’s not rocket science, really. And getting your dog to, at the very least, try to learn something from you and to respond to your attempts at training, can be achieved relatively easy. 

Now that's real understanding! By @cutenessNow that’s real understanding! By @cuteness

Don’t be too loose on your dog

Dogs have this element of ‘pack’ mentality in them. It is argued that they are direct descendants of wolves, so that kind of explains it, right? It is important to understand the communication and dynamics that such animals have. There’s a strong sense of hierarchy and leadership. You don’t want to make your dog feel like they own the place. You need to become the Alpha-dog of your pack.

Without respect and belief in you, the dog will disobey commands or simply become unresponsive. Any attempt of training at this point will fail. Even if you try to teach the dog to sit on command or roll over, or any other simple trick. As long as they don’t recognize you you be the leader, they’ve no intent to obey you.

A German Shepherd alpha dog in the house is trouble.

Remember, dogs don’t actually understand English, Spanish or any other language. They merely understand to associate the sound of the word you’re saying with an activity or object. This is why a dog will frequently respond to a command that’s easy to remember. For the same reason, a dog will frequently NOT respond to a command that’s said in a tone, accent or volume that’s unfamiliar to him.

So whenever you select a command for the dog, be certain to use brief words which have an extremely distinctive sound to them. Communication with your dog begins with making him give you his complete attention, so you have to call out his name before giving out a command.

These small tricks can really make the difference

There’s no magic in training your dog or having a great relationship with your pet. But it is all based on communications. When the dog is giving you their full attention, when your pet is not scared of you and does not feel superior you have a good chance of teaching them anything. 

More than that, being able to bond with the dog will improve your friendship. Most certainly, you’re not looking for a mere puppet that will respond to some number of commands. You really want someone who gets you! Dogs are our best friends not because they know how to do a lot of stuff, but because they’re so good at becoming real friends.

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