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mowens's avatar

What are some good resources to teach me to train a German Shepherd?

Asked by mowens (8350points) June 21st, 2011

As per my previous question, I am getting a German Shepherd. I want to be as prepared as possible. What should I read?

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8 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

These books are an excellent resource. If you’re getting a puppy, start crate-training right away, it will seriously enhance your life with your new dog!

mowens's avatar

@JilltheTooth I was thinking about confinement training as opposed to crate training. It seemed less cruel. Or perhaps a really big cage? Why do you think it is better?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I have always crate-trained my dogs. Don’t think of it as a “cage”, think of it as the dog’s “room”. It’s a safe place for them to be, their own little den or cave. My dogs have always loved their crates, often going into the crate when the door is open just to sleep or hang with the toys. A tiny treat every time you put the dog in will help make it a desired location. In the very beginning, the dog will object, as he wants to be glued to you, but as a little time passes, he will probably like it. Also, if you are housebreaking a puppy, a crate at night keeps them from finding a secret place to pee. You’ll still have to get up often to deal with that tiny little bladder, but dogs hate to mess where they sleep, so the house-breaking process goes much quicker. After they’re fully housebroken you can have them out at night if you want, but always leave the door open to the crate so they have the option of sleeping there.

Blueroses's avatar

What @JilltheTooth said. Crates are not cruel at all. It’s all about comfort and security for the dog. Mine sleep in crates in my bedroom and they race into their beds every time I open my door. There was one time my 80 lb dog couldn’t get into his crate during a thunderstorm so he crammed his body into the 15 lb dog’s crate. I don’t know how he did it, but the little dog was very put out about the situation.
this crate in the large size is perfect for a GSD adult. My retriever has tons of room for a bed and toys in this crate.

Look in your area for group socialization/basic obedience classes for puppies. It makes a huge difference to get the basic training in a class with other dogs. It’s a lot of fun and it reinforces commands with distractions. Just be sure your pup has had at least 3 DA2PP vaccinations before socializing with other dogs.

crisw's avatar

Crate training is not cruel. Dogs are den animals. They actually prefer little, enclosed spaces. Dogs will choose to curl up under your desk rather than be out in the open.

mowens's avatar

That makes sense. But what if they wanted to stretch their legs? Wouldnt a sectioned off room with a crate in it be more desirable?

Blueroses's avatar

@mowens Watch a dog for a day. They spend a lot of time sleeping. Make sure the crate is large enough for him to stand and turn around comfortably and don’t leave him alone in there for more than 4 hours (except at night, once house-trained). Never use the crate as punishment and give him plenty of play time and exercise when you’re around.
A sectioned off room is ok if you have to leave him for more than 6 hours at a time but you will be amazed at what a bored puppy will destroy in a room.

Meego's avatar

@mowens I have 2 dogs my labXshep was crate trained. Really he loved his crate. My lab was not crate trained.
When we moved into our first small house, there was not room for two crates we had to think of something else. We did what you asked we basically blocked all bedrooms with gates.
The great thing they respect the gate.
Years later my husband passed away I moved out of the house into an apartment. I did the same an put a gate at the hallway entrance. The funny part is the gate is rated for small dogs and is a step over gate about 12 inches high. My dogs stand and look over it constantly but they do not jump.
They have the entire family room and I also put things on my furniture so they stay off. They are well adjusted, I do not own a crate. My dogs are room trained :)

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