Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas!
No opinion on playfully bopping the sides of his face. I know many people do this (though I personally do not) and their dogs seem to have great fun with it.
I do have an opinion of correcting him physically, especially with your hand and his FACE. I am of the mindset that a dog should not equate hands with punishment, certainly not as the normal way you choose to dissuade. him from his behaviors you don't like. IMO, a dog who is smacked/bopped in an aversive manner will learn to avoid those hands. Now, shepherds are so loyal, he may be the kind of dog that YOU could absolutely horrifically abuse and he would never curl a lip at you. Maybe he isn't, but my belief is that it makes a dog more apt to bite someone who may be simply trying to pet them. If a dog doesn't know if a hand is going to offer a treat, a pet, or a slap? He may well decide the slap isn't worth it and he's going to let that hand have it (even if it meant well.)
Always tread with extreme caution when using physical punishment. Do you do NILIF with your dog? (Nothing in life is free) if not, you may want to start it. It is a totally hands off (literally speaking) approach that really helps a dog learn to be respectful of your wishes. If you are having a hard time moving him from place to place, let him drag a short leash around the house. Tell him, "Ghost, off!" or "down!" or whatever word you use, and if he doesn't, use the lead to make him get off. Then reward! He will pick it up quick.