A well-trained Shepherd is a pride and joy of its owner but an ignored or neglected dog will probably not show many desirous traits. Unless you are experienced at training dogs it is highly recommended that you enroll both yourself and your dog in an obedience program. If the individual puppy meets all of your criteria either sex will make an outstanding companion.
There are many sources that offer purebred German Shepherd puppies, but finding the best source takes time and study. Puppies in pet stores are mostly from puppy mills or the occasional backyard breeder whose main objective is producing puppies for profit. When potential German Shepherd owners select a badly bred puppy, they will be faced with a lifetime of problems which can include temperament issues aggression, reactivity, poor nerves, fearful, etc.
When a potential German Shepherd owner selects a reputable, responsible breeder they drastically reduce the chances of having a dog with such issues. You want to make sure both the dam and sire have desirable temperaments, are in good health and are in a clean environment. This can tell you so much about what you can expect from your pup in the future and a clean environment means house training will be easier. Decide if you want a male or female. Males are larger and heavier inches at the highest point of the shoulders and 65 to 90 lbs.
Females are somewhat smaller and lighter in weight inches in height at the top of the shoulders and lbs. Secondary sex characteristics should be pronounced for males and females, e. Do not select a shy puppy. You do not want a puppy who is afraid of you, or runs and hides. This type of puppy is afraid of people, places and things. Do not feel guilty for not picking the runt or the anti-social puppy in the corner.
A good breeder wants the very best available home for their puppies. Expect them to ask you questions about your lifestyle and the home you will be providing it. Unfortunately, some German Shepherd Dogs will find themselves in a situation where they need a new home. The first reason for giving up a GSD puppy is because of a behavioral problem. Change is inevitable. The loss of a job, divorce, death, birth of a baby, a diagnosis of a severe medical problem, responsibility for the care of elderly parents can all lead to a person being unable to continue to care for their dog and he winds up in a shelter or German Shepherd rescue.
When you invite a rescue dog to join your family you MUST establish a good German Shepherd training routine establishing yourself as the leader. It is not necessary to do this with force but it is absolutely necessary that the owner be committed to providing appropriate attention, exercise and consistent, positive reinforcement, and realize that they may be a lot more work; but the payoff can be worth it. They have been bred to be emotionally and intellectually connected to their trainer so that they can be efficient dogs for police, military and other K9 training.
They need mental stimulation and positive reinforcement. Learn more about the breed here. As such, traditional basic obedience and correction based training can completely emotionally shut down, over stimulate, or create fear in this breed. Meaning, German Shepherd training with leash corrections will make some German Shepherds afraid of training and making mistakes; and it can make others with stronger personalities lash out in aggressive behaviors trying to bite their owner for using the leash incorrectly or introducing pain.
Consistency and positive reinforcement, reward based training will yield excellent results. He is happiest when he lives with his family. Taking a new GSD puppy to obedience classes before training them at home will not work.
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It is your responsibility to teach your dog obedience and impulse control in a boring and undistracted environment. Cheese with his friends and expecting him to sit down and learn a new math concept. The excitement level pushes the puppy WAY over his threshold and he ends up frustrated and you end up angry.
Even if you can get some basic focus, this environment is not conducive to learning, much less fair. There are many benefits to obedience training, including building a closer, positive relationship with your dog, teaching your dog life and social skills, and helping to prevent your dog from developing unwanted behaviors. A dog that will come when called may help avoid life threatning situations, such as being hit by a car or having a bad encounter with another animal.
Though obedience training has many benefits, is it enough for your German Shepherd training? I have had friends, whose dogs have won obedience titles and trophies that look AMAZING on the field, but who would steal food off the table and knee cap you going down stairs. Most of us want a good companion. They get too impulsive or too excited and have a hard time controlling themselves. So, we are going to show you a SNEAKY little game that your German Shepherd Puppy needs to learn in order to begin containing his excitement when faced with any of the situations in the above list!
I KNOW the biting, first hand. I understand that these breeds have a serious lack of impulse control genetically. These genetics, help the German Shepherd Dog be amazing police dogs but make it miserable to live with a puppy that lacks bite inhibition! And we have created a game to help stop your German Shepherd puppy from snatching things from your hands. And, the good news is, that if you are consistent you will see immediate results. You will hear this time and time again, when it comes to German Shepherd socialization, the earlier the better! Your puppy is only young once. You have a limited amount of time to expose him to the world while he is learning to freely accept the things around him.
Skittish German Shepherds are abundant, and no one wants a 90 pound dog that lacks socialization that can lead to aggression. But, you need to take the steps to give your puppy the training to achieve that confidence. Go to the park, to as many dog-friendly stores as possible, take your dog on errands with you, go on car rides together, etc. German Shepherd socialization will occur whenever your puppy is introduced to new situations, new people and animals, and new places. They need to actively participate in socialization for it to really work — that means you must let them safely interact with new people, places and things.
During this period it is essential that the German Shepherd puppy safely and positively experience as many new things as possible. Some of these experiences will be a little stressful, but you must support your puppy during these times and encourage them throughout the entire critical GSD socialization process. And, remember; with socialization you have a limited amount of time before your German Shepherd Dog is older and less able to socialize without some resistance.
It is crucial to control his social experiences and make them positive.
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This is so important we made an entire course on how to train this process right that you can check out here:. In order to have a well-developed, well socialized and good canine companion, you need a dog that is happy in a crate. I work at a veterinary clinic and occasionally take my dogs to work. My Fury is so comfortable in a crate or cage that she flips upside-down and sleeps. Not a stress in the world. I also crate them when we go to sporting events. Crates also give me more options to travel. Need help crate training, click here. Not Teaching Leash Manners at Home I think people are under the impression that puppies break from the womb with an understanding of leash manners and training.
Usually, the first time they are introduced to a leash is when the person is trying to walk them outside. Some puppies buck and resist the leash. Most German Shepherd puppies, however, are confident and more likely to pull on the leash toward things that excite them. Neither of these behaviors is ideal. One of the most important skills you will need throughout the life of your German Shepherd Dog is appropriate leash manners. Ironically, I worked with a lady, years ago, whose 2 German Shepherds had pulled her down and broke her arm in 2 places.
The best place to learn, new and important behavior is at home! Leash manners and German Shepherd training is no different. When I trained Service Dogs for people with disabilities we would tether those puppies and adult dogs to us in the home. This tether allowed us to keep bad behavior, like stealing items or jumping on the counter, from ever really happening consistently.
Your pup will try to get where he wants to go, even if that means pulling you along with him! He wants to move forward. Our job is to alter that natural instinct and teach them to walk nicely on the leash. It takes time, but patience and practice will reward you with an awesome walking buddy for years to come. Walk slowly and click and treat if he stays at your side, if he begins to pull, stop or change your direction then click and treat when he reaches your side again! As soon as puppy looks at you, click and reward him with a treat, then take a few steps back and engage puppy to follow you through calling his name, taking small bouncy steps and keeping your shoulders relaxed not by pulling the leash;.
Puppy will soon realize that tension on the leash stops forward movement and as soon as he approaches his handler, the tension is released and he gets to move forward again.
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Did you know you can actually create a dog that has possession aggression issues? And, German Shepherd Dogs, like similarly trained Schutzhund dogs are genetically more predisposed to be possessive. The drive to possess an item is actually something that many breeders of the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd pup breeds for, sounds crazy right? I have seen puppies literally wrap their arms around an item and try to swallow it, which is a highly desirable trait in these protection dogs.
So, chances are, your German Shepherd puppy is already predisposed to some of these feelings. Mike also continued to study dogs on his own, but it wasn't until LA that he received the chance to really learn from them again.
The job started slowly, but soon Mike was tossed into the deep end. Over the next two years, Mike learned more about body language, communication, and problem solving than he had anywhere else. Each dog presented a new lesson- the most important through-line of them all being Patience. In , Mike was finally introduced to Happy Puppy's positive reinforcement training- and there has never been anything else that made so much sense. He had the great fortune of shadowing Eric for a year.
It reinforced ideas he already had while showing new pathways to communication. He currently specializes in the Board and Train Program- taking dogs into his home to give a tailored, one-on-one evaluation and training approach.
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Currently having no dogs of his own, Mike is free to adjust his environment to whatever his clients might need. Amos would be proud. Michael Underdown - Trainer. Jose is a biologist and has been passionate about wildlife from a young age. Throughout his course of study, Jose has volunteered, interned, and worked at various institutions educating people and caring for animals. Upon his return back to Southern California, he worked with exotic animals.
This experience allowed him to build a connection with different species of animals as well as expand his knowledge toward providing proper nutrition and enforcing positive enrichment. With his love for animals, Jose is eager to apply his animal care and husbandry experience with different breeds of dogs. Given the opportunity to learn and develop his skills at Happy Puppy, he hopes to foster a relationship with the staff and dogs during his aspiring journey to build a career in animal behavior. He is excited to be a member of the Happy Puppy team!
Jose Diaz - Animal Care Specialist. Eric Wiese -. Hannah is in her third year of undergraduate school at UCLA, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biology. Becoming a Veterinarian has been Hannah's dream since she was very young and she plans on fulfilling this lifelong dream after she graduates. Hannah has grown up with dogs her entire life. She's had professional experience with dogs through shadowing veterinary clinics and study abroad opportunities through UCLA. One of the experiences she has been looking for is learning animal behavior in a hands on environment.
Happy Puppy L. Hannah knows her experience at Happy Puppy will aid her in her endeavor to apply to veterinary school. She looks forward to knowledge she will gain from the staff at Happy Puppy.
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She's also excited to spend time caring for the happy pups! Hannah Schroeder - Animal Care Specialist. Dog Training.
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