German Shepherd Training Information


Well, let me start off right now with this disclaimer: I’m not a professional trainer! I’m just a dog owner who happens to find German Shepherd training to be very interesting, fulfilling, as well as beneficial to the dog.

What you’ll find here is my experiences “Training a Working Dog for Dummies”. I’m going to chronicle my German Shepherd Training Information of my GSD’s, who’ve included the previous and current dogs, Sable, Schatzie, and Zero – and so I invite you to come on in and join the ride.


Training Your Dog Not To Jump Up On You


    I get asked that question allot, and my first question to them is, “Well, what do you do currently to stop this behavior?” Even before asking about the age of their dog, or what circumstances this bad behavior is most occurring in, I have found that this one question will lead to a better response from me. “Well, I tell him no most of the time…but he is just so cute when he does it, I mean, this is how he shows me he loves me!”

    My answer? “Enjoy your jumping dog…” Because with a dog, either training a bad behavior out of him, or training a cool, neat trick into him, is all dependent on your perspective. You see, that dog owner can try different approaches to handling a dog jumping up problem that will stop the bad conduct, but until they become consistent in their training, the poor dog will be the one to suffer.

    For example, when the new puppy comes home, and it’s all about excitement and playtime – jumping up on his new owners is “cute”. And that behavior goes on until he’s about, oh let’s say, 6 months. Now that 12 lbs puppy is 50 lbs now, and his jumping up is knocking down the kids! So as you can see, adjusting bad behaviors as soon as possible is the best route to take, and the most “fairest” for our dogs.


    Once a dog understands that he is being disobedient, that is the time for corrections, not before! Please remember that when you first begin to start the “no jumping” training. After all, let’s be honest…who’s fault is it that our 12lbs-puppy-turned-90lbs+full-grown-German-Shepherd jumps up on us? Did we lay a foundation from the beginning that jumping was not EVER allowed? Not even once, when it was still considered “cute”? So to correct a bad behavior before our dogs know 100% that is is unacceptable is unfair. You can train that way (old school trainers call it, “Yank and Crank”), giving either verbal or physical corrections to get the desired behavior, but if your dog has a soft or medium temperament, your relationship and his obedience will be based on fear, and not on a willingness to please. And along with that, once your dog does understand a command and fails to do it, now is to time for a verbal or leash correction. Definitely.

    Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get into our training!

    No Jumping!

    There are many ways to train this, and you can Google for them all day, but I’ll cover just some of the techniques I personally use, which are used depend on the dogs (age, temperament, etc.).

    DISCLAIMER: These – and any other training techniques – are much more difficult if your dog is an outside dog. In an ideal world, we all would have our dogs indoors because that allows for a much closer relationship between them and their “pack”. And that greatly enhances their willingness to train with us as well. So in doing these or any other training techniques, remember to practice much more patience with our outdoor living pals.

Ok, so your dog jumps up on you. With a soft/medium temperament dog, a strong verbal correction such as “NEIN!” (German for “No!”), or “NO JUMPING!” immediately followed by moving your body to face opposite of the dog will be sufficient. Once the dog is on all fours, or sitting down, then praise him exuberantly with, “Yes, good dog!!!” If he jumps up again, repeat the technique. Maintain this training – making sure the rest of your family is consistent with it as well – until the behavior stops. Since our dogs are so willing to please us, they will learn that the best and only place for them to receive our attention and praise is when they are sitting or standing next to us, and not on top of us!

For a hard temperament dog, one that is stubborn/hard-headed/wants his own way all the time, you will be adding a physical correction to this technique. Some people pinch in-between the toes of the paw, while others knee the dog in the stomach. While these ways do work, I personally do not recommend them. What I do recommend is pushing the dog down by the shoulder immediately after the verbal correction. So:

Dog jumps up. You give command, “NEIN!”, immediately followed by placing your hand on his shoulder and pushing him down. Once on all fours or sitting give exuberant praise, “Good Dog!”

The common denominator with these physical corrections is making the dog uncomfortable with what he is doing. Now once the dog is 100% trained not to jump up on you, your family, the mailman, the neighbor, or your elementary school principle, and does the bad dead of jumping up again – make sure your verbal and physical correction are quick and sharp. Disobedience should not be allowed.

Remember that every technique we use in training has to be modified somewhat to “fit” our dogs. So let’s please be fair and consistent with our dogs, and in return, they will be loving and obedient for us!

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