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German Shepherd Dog Training

You should never begin serious obedience training before your dog is seven or eight months old. While your dog is still in his puppyhood, concentrate on winning his confidence so he will love and admire you. Basic Training can be started at the early age of three or four months. He should be taught to walk nicely on a leash, sit and lie down on command, and come when he is called.


Teaching Basic Commands

Training To Sit

Training your dog to sit should be fairly easy. Stand him on your leaft side, holding the leash fairly short, and command him to :Sit". As you give the verbal command, pull up slightly with the leash and push his hindquarters down. Do not let him lie down or stand up. If he does lie down, snap up on the leash until he rises to a sitting position again. If he is slow to respond, tug more sharply until he has done what you want him to. Keep him in a sitting position for a moment, then release the pressure on the leash and praise him. Constantly repeat the command as you hold him in a sitting position, thus fitting the word to the action in his mind. If he moves at all, immediately repeat the command and press him him into a sitting position. After a time he will begin to get the idea and will sit without having to push his hindquarters down. When he reaches that stage, insist that he sit on command. Praise him often, always rewarding a correct action with your praise and affection.

Teaching the "Down" Command

Don't start training to lie down until your German Shepherd puppy is almost letter-perfect in sitting on command. Place the puppy in a sit, and kneel before him. With both hands, reach forward to his legs and take one front leg in each hand, thumbs up, holding just above the lebows. Lift his legs slightly off the ground and pull them somewhat out in front of him. Simultaneously, give the command "Down" and lower his front legs to the ground.

Hold the puppy down and stroke him to let him know that staying down is what you want him to do. This method is far better than forcing a young dog down. Using force can cause him to become very frightened and he will begin to dislike any training. Always talk to your puppy and let him know that you are very pleased with him, and soon you will find that you have a happy working dog.

After he begins to get the idea, slide the leash under your left foot and give the command "Down". At the same time, pull the leash. This will help get the puppy down. Meanwhile, raise your hand in the down signal - your hand raised in front of you, palm down. Don't expect to accomplish all this in one session. Be patient and work with the dog. He'll cooperate if you show him just what you expect him to do.

Teaching the "Stay" Command

To begin with the sit-Stay, place your dog in a sitting position beside you. Holding the leash in one hand (most trainers prefer the left), take a long step forward and turn to face him holding your free hand open, palm toward him, fingers pointing downward, in front of his nose and speak the command "stay". if he offers to follow you, as it would be natural for him to do so since this has been his ready position for heel, snap up on the leash to return him to the sit, put your hand in front of his face and repeat the command firmly once more. Allow him to remain sitting for a few seconds before going through the procedure again. Each time he successfully performs, praise him profusely and show him you are pleased with him.

repeat the procedure until your dog bbehaves as if he understands what is expected of him. When he has mastered this preocedure, step away to the right of him, then behind, then a few steps froward, a few steps to the side, and so on, until you have gone the full length of the leash. anytime your puppy offers to follow you, snap upward on the leash, extending your arm palm forward to him and repeat the command sharply. When he has demonstrated a willingness to remain in the correct position while you walk the full extent of the leash, you are ready to train him to remain in position using a linger length of cord, about 25 to 30 feet, and finally the sit-stay off the leash.

Once the Sit-Stay is learned, you can teach the down-Stay by beginning with the Down command, then apply approximately the same methods as in the Sit-Stay.

German Commands

Ablegen [ab-leg-hen] Lie down and lie still!
Achtung [ahh-tuunk] Look out! Watch! On guard!
Apport [ah-port]Fetch!
Auf[auwf] Up! (when the dog is lying)
Aus [aous]Out! Let go!
Bleibsitzen [blieb-zit-zen]Stay! Keep sitting!
Bring [brink]Fetch!
Daun [down]Down! Drop! (when dog off leash is to be halted at a distance from trainer)
Fass [faas]Attack! Take it!
Fuss [fuus]Heel!
Gib laut [gib-laout]Speak!
Hier [here]Come!
Gut [guut]Good!
Gradaus [graud-ous]Straight ahead! Forward!!
Hoch [houhh]Up! Over! (command for jumping)
Hopp [hup]Away! Over! (command for jumping)
Komm [come]Come!
Kriech [creekh]Crawl! Creep!
Lass [laass]Let go! Out!
Leg dich [lig-dikh]Lie down!
Legen [leeg-en]Lie down!
Nimm [nim]Take it!
Pass auf [paas-ouwf]Watch out! Alert!
Pfui [pfooee]No! Shame!
Platz [plutz]Down!
Setzen [zet-zen]Sit!
Such [zukh]Seek! Trail!
Such, verloren [zukh fehr-loren] Seek a lost object!
Vorwärts [forr-vehrts] Go ahead!
Zur Spur [tsuhr-shpur] Trail!
Zur Wache [tsuhr-wa-heh]Watch! On guard!





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