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The German shepherd is a noble breed. Adjectives like “courageous, loyal, intelligent, confident” have been traditionally attached to this athletic pedigree of the dog. Ever since 1899, when the German Shepherd breed came into existence, his high energy levels and need for activity have been noted to be dominant.
He is by nature, very intelligent and playful. They are prone to become troublemakers and hard to control, unless trained well with commands and in basic etiquettes as puppies or young dogs.
Bred as a working dog, he is a favorite for training as police dogs and service dogs. Training GSDs must incorporate creative and productive activities to channel their intelligence. For well-rounded training, especially for police activities or guiding disabled people, it is important that this handsome dog’s keen sense of sight and smell are exercised appropriately. It is also important to note that certain activities may not be conducive to your German Shepherd, owing to his propensity to develop hip/elbow dysplasia and other such skeletal deformities.
Training tools are excellent aids for you, as a pet owner, to build up your GSD’s strength and dexterity as a working-class dog. This is because they are made to hone his senses, increasing the complexity of the training routine. Many great training tools are available today that address all your concerns for training a GSD.
With an average Height between 22-26 inches and weight between 50-90 pounds, the GSD is a heavyset breed. Thus, training tools must be durable and robust enough to withstand his heavy momentum and forceful biting.
7 Useful Tools For Training Your German Shepherd
1. Leash and Collar
At 3 to 9 months of age, your German Shepherd pup should be trained in house habits and obedience training, recall impulse control. You should also be aware that GSDs, if not trained properly, can go and chase practically everything. Thus, to teach your canine the limits of his self-control, a dog collar and leash can be effective.
Use a long line for loose leash walking. Obedience training for GSDs may involve aversive training, i.e. unpleasant stimuli to stop him from doing an undesirable action. Suppose your dog wanders off too far, you may tug on the line and recall him.
Collars are great tools for socializing training. Your German Shepherd remembers stimuli and commands very well. A training collar comes with sensors that detect pulling, excessive barking, aggressiveness, or any undesirable antics. Stimuli like vibrations, sounds, tiny shocks are remotely generated and act as automatic deterrents for your dog to stop what they are doing.
2. Puller Training Rings
Puller training rings consist of 2 rings, that you can include in various athletic training routines: jumping, fetching, and tug-of-war sessions of higher intensity, for all such activities. Since it’s Lightweight, you can handle this set of rings with ease, even if the session is physically intense. These are some of the many ways that you can employ to train:
RUNNING: First, throw rings one by one. Allow your GSD to retrieve one ring, then show him the other ring and throw it. Repeat the exercise. The exercise trains a dog retrieval of items, helping to develop speed and dexterity.
JUMPING: You throw the rings, and your dog catches one of them. Once a dog grabs the ring, give the other one instead. Your GSD should release the first ring and jump after the second. This exercise is useful to train his attention and reaction skills.
PULLING: Hold the rings in your hands and let your German shepherd tug at them. Once in a while, let go of the rings to boost his morale. Use 2 rings at a time to train him to give back an item. The exercise aids in improving his strength and stamina.
SWIMMING: This exercise trains all muscle groups, while also acting as a therapeutic break from hot, sweaty regimens. The rings float in water, so you can combine all other activities and replicate them in water for the break-in monotony.
3. HDP 18-Ft Dog Training Tunnel
A dog training tunnel kit is made of a High-Density Polymer (plastic) material with a collapsible wireframe that’s easy to set up and store. This setup is a classic essential for agility training your German shepherd.
Since the wireframe is flexible and collapsible, you can actually expand the size of the tunnel up to a maximum of 18 ft and mold it in a variety of routes or shapes. Gradually extend its length and modify the orientation from straight to a curved tunnel that will test its limits.
You can even keep his favorite treats ready when he emerges from the other end. To avoid anxiety and panic of being for too long in an enclosed space, it‘s a good idea to keep other toys nearby, as the experience of being in a tunnel can lead to some anxiety initially.
4. Behavioural Training Clicker
Clicker training is a really good positive reinforcement training method. It can help you to command your German shepherd to sit, walk, stop barking, stay, or correct poor behavior.
The clicker is clicked every time your pupper does something desirable, such as following a voice command correctly. When you add a treat to reward him, you can actually expand the range of skills that you can train him, including fixed-point excretion, shaking hands, tumbling, retrieval, etc.
5. Dog Whistle
Communicating with your GSD can be a challenging task, especially if you do not know the language to reach out to him.
The erect ears of the GSD have an optimal auditory range of 45,000 Hz to 65,000 Hz. This is way above the human auditory frequency range of 18,000 Hz. This capacity may be impaired with age and other health-related issues.
The shrill, high-pitch sound produced by a dog whistle is in the range of 35,000 Hz, which is inaudible to the human ear but very much audible to your dog. This can be used to signal to your GSD to stop doing an activity that is not asked by the trainer.
A Pavlovian conditioning is created when you associate dog whistles with voice commands or such stimuli, for command training even if your dog is far away. The training should be carried out in a place without disturbance or distraction.
6. Nero Ball Classic K9 Ball on a Rope
If you want to give your dog a tantalizing toy to entice him to jump, tug, or chase, this natural rubber ball on nylon rope is the tool for you!
The bright orange color pops out to your German Shepherd, so it makes for a good game of hide and seek as well. Tie it up on a height, and give it a slight oscillation. This is enough to invite your furry friend to come jumping at it. Adjust the height gradually to improve his leap strength.
Being slightly larger than a regular tennis ball, its outer surface has projections on it that give him a familiar mouthfeel when chewing on it.
7. Flyer durable flying disc
While tennis balls and sticks are good for fetching and throwing catch, frisbees are fun because of the dual advantage: longer flying range and the time in-air.
This is a great toy to nurture his aerial skills and seek hidden items. This is also floatable in water, so it can help you exercise your pooch’s legs in the water’s resistance.
Remember to be patient and consistent throughout the process. Hone the skills of your German Shepherd one step at a time. They are primarily on high levels of energy and want to utilize all of it. If trained well, German Shepherds can channelize their intelligence and become less of troublemakers and more of fierce guardians.