Terms for commands - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Terms for commands

Hi everyone. I've just got a 10 week old GSD puppy for my family (my wife and i and our three kids, ages 6, 4, and 3)and I am going to train him in basic obedience. The problem I have is finding terms for all the basic commands that my children don't know yet so they won't say them to him constantly no matter if he obeys or not. They are already telling him to sit all the time and he has no idea what they are asking of him. I have told them to stop and they are getting better but it is taking a little time. Also I don't know if a dog can be taught to only obey commands from certain people or if they will know who to obey. If they can great, but I don't want anyone to be able to steal our dog or to break into my house, tell the dog to sit and then load up all my stuff. I have read that many police dogs are trained with German commands for that reason. So should I just pick some words for each command and after he understands and obeys really well, I could share them with my kids once they are mature enough? Any help would be great.

Thanks, Chris
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 AM
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I use commands that are natural things for me to say so if I'm in a hurry to give a command I dont' have to think about what I'm saying.
I wouldn't worry about someone breaking in and telling the dog to sit and make off with your stuff, the dog will know the guy doesn't belong there, and not to obey the bad guy
Depending on how your kids are I would start letting them "help" you train the pup, I've worked with my own kids and kids in 4H some as young as 4 in dog obedience and you would be surprised what they can do even at that age.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 08:13 AM
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Teach him to obey you in German. GSDs are smart enough to know the commands in two languages. The man that does the helper work at our SchH club does his commands "when he means it" in German, and when he is just hangin out and obeying is alittle more voluntary he gives them in English. That way we she hears it in German, she knows she must obey immediately...

Anyway, here is a list of German commands and their translation and use. Unless your kids speak German of course...

Aus: "Out" means to let go
Fuss: "Heel"
Gut "Good"
Heir "Here"
Komm "Come"
Nein "No"
Pfui "Bad" used when reprimanding
Platz "Lay"
Sitz "Sit"
Such "Search"

Thats the ones I am working with now. I'm sure someone more experienced can come along and give you a more complete list.

Rob


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 08:50 AM
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BR gave a pretty good list. Fuss is pronounced "Foos", not that it matters, you can use any word you want when teaching a command.

Using German to teach your dog is a good idea: I agree that trying to teach something that the kids repeat a zillion times a day and that your pup can ignore is not recommended. Good plan on finding different words.


One potential problem is that some of the German words are very close to the English words, so it could be confusing, like Sitz, for sit, and steh, for stay, and Heir for here. So I would find some different sounding words for those commands.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:39 AM
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In one of our obedience classes we played a game that showed how much our voice and body and motions means as opposed to words. We said carrot for come, spinach for sit, stuff like that and most of the dogs knew exactly what we meant. My point is that your dog will get what you want him to do regardless of the word. You can also teach hand signals so you can give commands that even the kids can do.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great advice folks. I want to clarify a couple of things though. 1 is that I absolutely want my children to enjoy and participate in as many of Spookys activities as possible. The whole point in getting him now was so my kids can grow up with him. 2 I want my kids to know the commands once they are ready and Spooky has them down solid. Im thinking of making the commands semi military so they are easy to remember but no stranger would ever think to say. Things like "at ease" for sit, "rest" for lay down, and "dismissed" for go play or to release from other commands. I appreciate any opinions. Thanks again for all the advice.

P.S. The name Spooky came because he is black gray and brown and we got him on Halloween. I thought about going with German but I honestly don't know how well I would remember them, much less my kids, and my wife can't go to the kitchen for a coke and remember what she is after so I'm gonna at least keep it in English.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:09 PM
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you, your wife and the trainer train your dog.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 11:49 AM
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My only suggestion regarding your above post. Keep the commands to short/sharp words. That is one reason why German commands work well...they way they sound to the dog.
While "at ease" will work, it's a "soft" drawn out phrase. If you just want coomands for around the house it should be fine, but if you plan on doing any type of competition in the future, you'll want commands that are easy & quick to say.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 12:07 PM
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German Shepherds have a knack of only listening to their masters. My dog doesn't listen to anyone else but me and the immediate family. Once in a while if you're holding a treat he might oblige you just so he can get the treat. If you want him to listen to everyone in your family make sure they are working with him throughout his puppyhood not just after he is 100% (plus that will probably take at least a year). The reason that police dogs are trained in German is so that no one is somehow able to say the command and for some strange reason the dog will listen, but they will almost never listen to anyone but their handler. They also use a very hard to pronounce word for the "attack" or "bring down" command so that way it is not just said in regular conversation and the dog accidentally goes into that mode.

I agree with the short commands, the more sylables you add the harder it is for the dog to understand. Thats why in English, "down" is used instead of "lay down." Dismissed is definately one that is unnecessary. He will start moving on the "dis" and it will be really hard to train him to listen to the second part of the word. They start picking up on tendencies and anticipating commands really quickly so the shorter the better. I can see the same thing happening with "at ease."
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
German Shepherds have a knack of only listening to their masters. My dog doesn't listen to anyone else but me and the immediate family. Once in a while if you're holding a treat he might oblige you just so he can get the treat. If you want him to listen to everyone in your family make sure they are working with him throughout his puppyhood not just after he is 100%
This is absolutely true. My dog listens to and obeys me (most of the time, he's a teenager now!) because I'm the one who trains and works with him. Listening to my husband is hit-or-miss because my husband doesn't work with him. Listening to anyone besides me or my husband is pretty much nonexistent unless, as Martemchik said, they're in an indulgent mood or the person has cheese.

The dog needs to learn to respect your kids for sure, but if your kids don't train with the dog on a regular basis, don't expect him to consistently obey them.


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