Training your german shepherd in 2019 has never been more easy. The vast amounts of information at your fingertips should help you get things going super fast right? Being able to type into youtube "How to train your german shepherd" should find your results to help you out but instead what you find is a huge contradiction between videos on what you should and shouldn't do. So lets just take a moment and fully consider what it is we are wanting to achieve with our dogs. If you are like most people you are wanting a well adjusted, behaved dog that is full of character and not a robot. So here is the good news. Im going to give you some simple tips to get you started off properly.
I want to introduce you to Rori a german shepherd that has come into our board and train program. He came to us because he will not stop being reactive to dog and people and constantly barking. So here is what im doing with him.
1 Build desire to work with my by picking up the food bowl and throwing it out. So instead of using his food bowl and wasting that opportunity ill be using all his daily feeding into a few session. This will give him the chance to work for his food while at the same time building value to work with with.
2 Teaching him to work on a treadmill is really fun for me and fun for the dogs once they learn and get confident walking on a moving floor. Any time you start to teach them how to walk you need to take it slowly. Here is a video you can watch on how i start dogs off. CLICK HERE TO WATCH. Using a treadmill is a great way to exercise but in a structured way. Remember you are not looking to actually make them run fast on this but only at a steady pace for a gradually longer time. I start of as little as 2 mins and then build up to 20 mins.
3. leash skills this is simply i teach the dogs to respond to direction work with the lead. So when i pull towards the right and the dog is on my left i want them to go with it and follow along. I can then mark and reward that decision to follow it along. Teaching dogs to respond to direction changed by small amounts of lead direction pressure works wonders for teaching loose lead walking.
4 We use lots of place work with dogs. Place work is teaching a dog to go onto a dog bed and then teaching them to stay on it in a laying position until we let them off. Simply this starts to show the dog that once on the bed its time to relax.
5 Threshold are any doorway, opening that leads into what could be a dangerous area such as the road out the front. This could be in your home, office or even your car. So teaching your dog to WAIT and waiting for permission from you to invite them past is the best way to go about this. To create this you can use simple leash pressure pop backwards when the dog stops you can mark and reward. wait a moment.. you step outside and wait a little longer then invite them through every now and then.
So to recap use your dogs food to teach new behaviours and a way you can do lots of repetitions of what ever it is you want to teach. Give yourself and the dog the gift of daily practice. This will build good habits and a bond you will see the fruits of every time you go out.. You know why??? well its because YOU have become rewarding. Another way is for you to become fun to be around. Run away a little and have them chase you. Give them a pat, some food or toss the ball.. But all good things come from you. Add structure into your daily routine such as leash walking (With not leash pulling from them), use treadmills and place boards (Raised dog bed). Have patience and have some fun.
To find out more about our programs you can visit https://caninerevolution.com.au/programs/
Watch Rori on the treadmill for the first time 🙂