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Old 01-20-2013, 05:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do I have to use german for commands?

The formal training class I am taking suggests informal and formal commands. Informal being english and largely because people have ruined the words and desensitized the dog by the time they enroll in the class by saying it too much and not enforcing it. So english would be casual, informal and used when hanging out. Formal commands are used for working mode or in public, etc. when the dog is expected to obey, every time. This can be any other language and I'm not sure which language I should choose.

If I want to go into Schutzhund, IPO or personal protection or any other training sport, do I have to use German? What are the PROS of using german and the CONS? I.E. more people know it so it'll be easier to transfer handlers when working in certain situations? I dont know..


The thing I absolutely want is the ability for my dog to not take commands from strangers. I have 4 immediate family members and they are the only ones to give commands. And out of the 4, only me and one other family member will have access to all full formal commands. No one else will learn them. I absolutely hate when friends or family or strangers come over and tell my dog to "sit sit sit! sit! bad dog, sit! why doesn't your dog sit?" and then when the dog sits, their timing is so bad they start saying "sit sit sit" and the dog gets restless and wanders off. I don't want my dog listening to anyone but me and my family. I don't know if this is trainable or if I should just choose a language that is not very common.

I also thought about making up my own words. I know police departments make up weird sounding noises and words that have no meaning for their k9 attack dogs. I remember one which was "Fooooooolboy!" said just like how it's written. I saw it on cops or some documentary.

What language should I train my dog's commands in? What language did you choose?

I'm leaning towards German only because that seems to be the alternative language of choice particularly for German shepherds and possible candidates for sports training. But I'm wondering if it's TOO commonplace now.


I have class tomorrow so I doubt I'll get any responses before then (gotta choose a language and look up all the words before class starts) but if anyone has suggestions, let me know.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use both English and German but we only use German for schutzhund. ATM I'm the only at home that uses the German commands but anyone can look them up online, it's not required to use German during a trial you just have to use the same language the whole time. There's a thread in the schutzhund section about that.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Its all personal preference, there is not PROs or CONs on choosing a language... I personally am training my 10 week old GSD in both German and English, as my family has no interest in giving commands to the dog in German... And really.. of your friends who would be in contact with your dog, and any given stranger.. the chances of them knowing the german commands is still not likely, its more common place for sport dog owners, breeders, ect... I doubt you'll have a problem, infact you might get asked what language you are speaking to the dog! Has happened to me on several occasions now Hope this helps, and best of luck
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Formal and informal commands are a great idea. My informal commands are in english and my formal in german. As far as I know for schH the commands must be in german or your native language (double check that). For other sports it doesn't seem to matter.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
Formal and informal commands are a great idea. My informal commands are in english and my formal in german. As far as I know for schH the commands must be in german or your native language (double check that). For other sports it doesn't seem to matter.
Hmm interesting. I guess I shouldn't go with a more obscure language like French or Russian or some south African language. (I'm not any of those 3 so it wouldn't be native for me). If German is somewhat "the standard" and it may come up later in sports, then I may just stick to it. I already know fuss and platz haha
Guess I wont be making up my own words though

Last edited by pancake; 01-20-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am not sure whether it technically matters in SchH, what language you use.

I like using German commands for formal obedience. I use English for informal communication.

For example, "Go lie down" means "pick a spot, lie down, and get comfortable". "Platz" means "hit the deck NOW right where you are!!"

"C'mere" means, "come my direction". "Hier!" has a totally different inflection and it means "Get to me quickly and sit in front".

Having a set of formal German commands also gets the dog in the right frame of mind for training, trialing or working. The same can be said of English, however--by simply using a different inflection and emphasis than that of everyday speech.

I do find that English commands can confuse a dog if they are used too frequently in everyday chatter. I never use the word "Okay" for training, for this very reason. I use "Free" as a release word.

I do use the word "No", but it doesn't have the same intent, meaning, or impact as "NEIN!!" "No" means "try again". And you know what NEIN!! means!
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For schutzhund, you can use any language as long as you are consistent, ie always use the same language.
I use german for schutzhund for 3 reasons.
1 German commands are always happy usage and require an immediate response. Versus English commands I use when I want the dog to do something they may not want to do, like get out of the kitchen, or no begging.
2 my german commands require 100% compliance
3 german commands travel better over long distance. For example, platz at 50 yards, carries better than down.

A lot of the german commands are very like the English counterparts, sit - sitz, stay - shtey, Aus - out, hup - hup, here - heir and so on, so I don't think the language will prevent the dog from recognizing commands from strangers (Plus you will probably teach commands in both languages)

If you bond with your dog the chances are that the dog will only listen to you. Thatís the way my girl is, she only listens to me and will completely ignore others, including family members.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not to derail the original thread, but does anyone know if pak (attack) command is no longer allowed in schutzhund?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfitzpa1 View Post
For schutzhund, you can use any language as long as you are consistent, ie always use the same language.
I use german for schutzhund for 3 reasons.
1 German commands are always happy usage and require an immediate response. Versus English commands I use when I want the dog to do something they may not want to do, like get out of the kitchen, or no begging.
2 my german commands require 100% compliance
3 german commands travel better over long distance. For example, platz at 50 yards, carries better than down.

A lot of the german commands are very like the English counterparts, sit - sitz, stay - shtey, Aus - out, hup - hup, here - heir and so on, so I don't think the language will prevent the dog from recognizing commands from strangers (Plus you will probably teach commands in both languages)

If you bond with your dog the chances are that the dog will only listen to you. Thatís the way my girl is, she only listens to me and will completely ignore others, including family members.
Isn't shtey - stand? Not stay?

But you're right about it carrying and what not. I think I'm going with german.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pancake View Post
Isn't shtey - stand? Not stay?
Not sure, I've only ever used it when the dog was already standing, and the intent was for the dog not to move, so I assumed it meant stay. Stay is implied in platz/sitz. I don't even know if there is a command to bring a dog from a platz/sitz to a stand without handler moving, at least I've never used it. Fuss always implied "stand and heel" with the handler moving.

Edit: I just looked at Google translate,
Steh translates to stand, I always assumed that steh meant stay, interesting.

Last edited by pfitzpa1; 01-20-2013 at 11:07 PM.
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