The Critical Training Tool for German Shepherds: THE WALK

Hello German Shepherd puppies lovers:

Walking your dog is one of the most enjoyable and useful bonding AND training experiences you can have together. It cannot be underestimated. It is tool for correction of bad habits, setting pack order, superior exercise, wonderful for developing your relationship, good for socialization. It is so essential for your dog from German shepherd puppies to older dogs, that I would like to elaborate some important facets of the walk.

First, get rid of the flexilead. This can only lead to less than optimal behavior. First, the dog can wander too far from you. Secondly with the variable distance from you they won’t know the limits and can start learning to pull. Thirdly, unless you have your finger ready at the button, your dog can veer into danger or into a fight with another dog. Flexileads can lead to lazy supervision and getting your German shepherd puppy into trouble such as eating other dog’s feces, poisonous plants, etc.

What you need is a good strong 3-5 foot lead (I like 4). Your German shepherd should always be on the left side, his/her right shoulder on your left hip, on a loose lead. When you head out on the walk, allow them to get excited and dash too far forward. Then quickly yank the lead and pivot to your right and say “phooey”. This will set the tone and initialize training mode. As you walk intermittently stop, they sit, start, you walk. When you stop and they sit, it is time for positive reinforcement. Every once in a while have them platz (lie down). Do a number of reverse turns.

When a dog walks by, tell them “look at me”. And when they do obey and switch attention to their two footed bipedal friend (you) you can reward them for their effort. When you stop to talk with someone who has no dog with them, your dog should sit courteously at your side. If the other person has a pet, your shepherd should be disinterested but pay attention to you. It is not cute to have your dog jumping all around and getting your leashes tangled. If dogs fight, this can make it difficult to intervene and you could end up being bitten.

Do not ever let your dog step out ahead and pull. If they do, use this time to set pack order ad address this dominant behavior before they pull you through the mud. When you round the corner home, they will sometimes begin pulling. But the walk is not complete until the kennel door shuts. Be sure to keep them in order, loose lead, by your left side. Please visit our home page links to our litters and our K-9 University. Most of all, make this a time enjoyable and rewarding for your German shepherd.


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