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Hey everyone, first post here and first time German Shepherd owner. I have a 7 month old male German Shepherd. Current commands he knows are sit, down, stay, wait, come, leave it, towel (gets on the towel when coming inside). He does all of these pretty flawlessly with zero distractions and even does them the majority of the time with distraction. Leash walking is good (he stays beside me majority of the time and doesn’t pull ahead), and I’m about to teach him heel, which I should have a long time ago. My question is, where do I go from here? Are there any other major commands I’m missing? Or just any other tips are appreciated. He’s the first dog I’ve ever seriously had on my own and trained myself. I’m blown away at how smart he is and how quickly he caught on to all these commands, and I just want to be able to unlock his full potential. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, he follows these commands with strictly hand signals as well. And he stays in training mode until I give the release word.
 

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First off, awesome work. It is much easier to do things right the first time instead of having to ask "My dog is a mess. Help!"

That said the question of what are all the things to train a german shepherd pup is pretty open ended. I'm going to suggest this youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJDSFaLJsLt2yHEKp3JM4_g

Robert Cabral does Schutzhund training, private training, and rescue dog rehabilitation and I like his balanced approach. There are of course many other trainers and methods.
 

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I would keep training the same commands, but in different locations and situations while increasing the distractions. It takes a ton of repetitions for a dog to become reliable and 7 months is a very young age.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First off, awesome work. It is much easier to do things right the first time instead of having to ask "My dog is a mess. Help!"

That said the question of what are all the things to train a german shepherd pup is pretty open ended. I'm going to suggest this youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJDSFaLJsLt2yHEKp3JM4_g

Robert Cabral does Schutzhund training, private training, and rescue dog rehabilitation and I like his balanced approach. There are of course many other trainers and methods.
Thank you! I will check that out! I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. I would love to have been able to afford a trainer, because it’s been a lot of work, but it’s totally been worth it! I feel like it’s made the bond between us even stronger.
 

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I would keep training the same commands, but in different locations and situations while increasing the distractions. It takes a ton of repetitions for a dog to become reliable and 7 months is a very young age.
Thank you! Yes 7 months is very young so I’m definitely not going to stop the current commands. That is what I’ve slowly been trying to work on is increasing distractions and public places.
 

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I'd keep up the work and hone in on those basic commands. You're about to hit adolescence where he'll forget everything you taught him just to test you.

If you want to add new stuff:

Maybe add "Up" to your repertoire. As in, "Jump up and stand on the thing I'm pointing at". Another might be "Jump" as in "Jump over the thing I'm leading you towards/pointing at."

You could start teaching him to do those basic commands in some really odd places. With "Up", you can make him jump up on benches then sit/down on them for comedic effect. Same with stumps. Or transformers. Or any other raised, flat surface. Add and chain any of the major commands you've taught him. Sit, stay, down, sit, come. Or whatever you like.

Same with jump. Make him jump over anything you like. Then you can combine it with "Up" using benches and trees. Jump over the bench, turn, up on the bench, sit, etc. etc.

All of this becomes a game and is kind of like low-tech, everyday-object agility. Plus it's absolutely funny to see people react to what you're doing. It allows you to add obedience training into every moment of your day without it obviously being a training session. It's fun because it amuses you and thus amuses the dog, which makes training and obedience easier in the long run.

That kind of approach seems to work with stubborn adolescents. You've outsmarted them into training when they think they're playing a game.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, he follows these commands with strictly hand signals as well. And he stays in training mode until I give the release word.
Nice work on the training. Does your boy know understand the verbal commands as well, without use of hands signals?
Yes, should’ve clarified that he does both verbal commands and hand signals.
 

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I'd keep up the work and hone in on those basic commands. You're about to hit adolescence where he'll forget everything you taught him just to test you.

If you want to add new stuff:

Maybe add "Up" to your repertoire. As in, "Jump up and stand on the thing I'm pointing at". Another might be "Jump" as in "Jump over the thing I'm leading you towards/pointing at."

You could start teaching him to do those basic commands in some really odd places. With "Up", you can make him jump up on benches then sit/down on them for comedic effect. Same with stumps. Or transformers. Or any other raised, flat surface. Add and chain any of the major commands you've taught him. Sit, stay, down, sit, come. Or whatever you like.

Same with jump. Make him jump over anything you like. Then you can combine it with "Up" using benches and trees. Jump over the bench, turn, up on the bench, sit, etc. etc.

All of this becomes a game and is kind of like low-tech, everyday-object agility. Plus it's absolutely funny to see people react to what you're doing. It allows you to add obedience training into every moment of your day without it obviously being a training session. It's fun because it amuses you and thus amuses the dog, which makes training and obedience easier in the long run.

That kind of approach seems to work with stubborn adolescents. You've outsmarted them into training when they think they're playing a game.
That’s a great idea! Thank you!
 
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