If you are searching for a dog that has the capacity for learning obedience quickly and efficiently, look no further than the popular German shepherd. Known for being some of the most intelligent, loyal, and obedient companions in the dog world, German shepherds have held some impressive titles in the past and present, including positions in the police forces, military, and even personal protection. They’re chosen for their ability to learn and comprehend tasks given with little resistance. They are eager-to-please dogs and make great family pets.
However, it’s important to begin training your German shepherd from an early age in order to establish a foundation for that excellent behavior later on. There are several methods that trainers utilize in order to begin training a German shepherd puppy, but one of the more popular ones is a method known as clicker training.
Clicker training utilizes a small device that makes a prominent and recognizable clicking sound when pressed, used to mark certain behaviors that a dog may give in order to reward and reinforce them later on. Clickers take away the need for verbal marks like ‘yes’ or ‘good’ early on and act as an easy way to catch your dog’s behavior as it happens. Puppies especially need reinforcement immediately after the behavior is performed and a clicker is fast enough to provide this without issue. Clickers are used in tandem with treats very often, as using the treats helps to build a good association with the clicker. Trainers and owners can also use toys or affection, depending on what motivates your German shepherd better.
Once your German shepherd puppy is about eight weeks old, he is ready to begin obedience training. Training should happen frequently several times a day for short bursts of time to prevent overwhelming him or burnout. Balancing clicker training with lots of treats, toys, and playtime can help your puppy build a fantastic training foundation.
Before anything else, you’ll need to get a clicker! Clickers come in many different colors, styles, and sizes, but all have the same main function: they click! No matter what sort of clicker you find, it will serve to start the beginning of your dog’s journey into proper obedience. Consider purchasing a clicker with an attachment to wear around your wrist for easy transport.
Once you obtain a clicker, then you’ll need to find a treat or toy that can serve as a reward. Small treats work best, as clicker training tends to go fast and playtime with a toy can put a hard pause on your training session until you can find a time to retrieve it. But depending on your German shepherd’s behavior and preferences, use what excites him the most.