I have a 13 week old gsd that is very eager to learn, but I have no idea what I'm supposed to be teaching him besides the basics like come, sit, down, stand, heel, and stay. I know he could be learning more, and I don't want to waste this critical time. Any ideas?
You can start leash training and a tip when you get almost home tell him "on the lawn" . It will help him learn the property line or where you want him to be. It will make it pretty simple to lawn train him.
If he's getting Sit Down and Stay you can use that to teach him not to step out of the car until you release him. Open his door and tell him to Stay. Treat if he stays then release and treat again.
3+ months is a good age for a lot of practical training. Things that will help you as he grows. One of the first things I like my dogs to learn is "watch me", you want eye contact . This way he'll look to you for direction, and you'll be able to distract and redirect if you see a possible "situation" you'd like to avoid. Another is "speak". Then teach them to speak at the door when they have to go potty. This way you'll know for sure when they need to go out. Dogs that just give the look or wait by the door when they have to go out often get overlooked by busy family members. That's how "accidents" happen and can set you back in your potty training. Another extremely good thing to work on is nail clipping and handling the feet and toes and all around. Don't wait til he has an injury to start trying to look at his feet. And it's much easier to have him lay still for nail clipping than try to wrestle a strong full grown GSD. Actually it's good to desensitize every part of their body. "Open" mouth, is good, to give them pills, brush their teeth, or retrieve objects. My. Dog still at 8 months walks around picking things up like a toddler. Only now he can reach higher. There are so many things you can teach at this age. Just throughout the day. Oh maybe most important, work on getting a really solid recall. That could be the one thing he learns that could save his life. Theres so many more things, if you need any tips, just ask. Good luck. Enjoy your pup...they grow up SO FAST!
Imo two of the most important exercises to teach and perfect are recall and focus (looking at you).
These 2 are essential when you need to call your dog to you or have your dog concentrate on you in times of danger or when you need to distract him.
Yep and the leash video is a start (I know a pup not going to be dragging you down the street) but the basics are there.
And use a long line and "never" allow him off it until he has rock solid recall!
I didn't think to mention this a moment age, "OFF", "No touch " or "leave it". Very important to stop from getting into to or picking up something dangerous or as simple as touching something you don't want him too. "Drop it" is good. Especially if he's not right within your reach. I'm sure I'll think of more. Ha -ha! Hope it helps.