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Teaching German Sherpards their commands in German is a common practice among owners of the breed. These commands are often used for police dogs and dogs trained in home protection. You might also teach your German Shepard german commands for agility competitions or to ensure that he pays attention to you without distraction.
You might think training your German Shepard German commands is a difficult endeavor, but with patience and consistency, it won't take too long before your dog will "sprechen sie Deutsch." In fact, you may find that it takes you longer to remember the new phrases than your dog. Whatever your reason for wanting to use a different language, consistency and patience will be key to success.
German is a common language for dog training, and you may find many German Shepard breeders and trainers use German exclusively with their puppies. If your dog already knows his commands in English, you need to make sure you help him with the transition to German. If you start asking him to perform commands immediately, he may end up confused and frustrated.
If you have a puppy and you'd like to begin his training using German, the training won't differ too much from training in English. The most important factor is to know what which words you are going to use and stick to them. You may need to carry a list with you as a reminder, and make sure everyone interacting with your puppy knows these commands.
Training your German Shepard German commands is fairly simple, but you will need to be prepared with a few items to ensure your success. Before you begin, make sure you have a plan that you can follow and keep these items at the ready.
- A list of German commands
- High-value treats like cheese or sliced hot dogs
- A leash
The hardest part will be patience and consistency as your dog is making the transition. Below are three methods that will help you stick to your goals. Read through them and pick the best one for you and your dog.
The First Command Method
Choose your words
This method works best for puppies or dogs who don't know any commands yet. Begin by making a list of the German commands you want to teach your dog. Keep this on the fridge or easily accessible.
The first command
Start with teaching 'sit'. Take a treat and show your dog, then move it over his head to lure him into a sitting position. As soon as he sits say "setzen" and give him a treat.
Continue practicing and be consistent with the German command. Make sure anyone else working with the puppy uses the same command.
Move to the next
When your dog is sitting each time you say "setzen," choose your next command. It could be "platz" for 'down' or "bliebe" for 'stay'. Teach these skills with any method, but replace the English commands for the German ones.
Take it outside
When your dog is regularly reacting to your German commands, test him with more distractions. Take him outside and practice, making sure to reward him heavily when he listens.
The Association Method
Choose your cue
Begin by choosing the first command you want to transition to German. 'Sit' is often a good choice. The German version is very close: "setzen."
Ask for a 'sit'
Start by asking your dog to sit. Before you give him the English command, say the command in German.
Treat the right behavior
When he sits, give him a treat.Keep practicing by saying the German word and then the English.
Take away the English
Once you see him start to sit as you give the German command, remove the English command. Only give him a treat when he sits for the new German command.
Try another command
Once has successfully transitioned to "setzen." try another command like "platz" for 'down'. Follow the same steps for all your commands.
Test your skills outside
After your dog is now listening attentively to German in the house, try these new commands in areas where he is more distracted, like at the dog park. Each time he responds, give him a good treat.
The Key Commands Method
Define your commands
This method is for anyone who only wants their dog to know a few German words for competition or home protection. First, choose the words and commands you want to teach.
Start training the commands inside with little distraction. For example, you may want to teach your dog the agility command to jump, "hopp." Start indoors without the distraction of other commands or people.
Work the command
Work with the new command until your dog is responding to the German command each time.
Practice with friends
Before heading out to the agility course, start by asking friends to try and distract your dog. Have them say the English version of your command. Your dog should only respond to your German command to get the reward.
Real world trial
When you are confident your dog is cued into the German command, test your cues out in the real world. Whether in the dog park or on the agility course, those German commands should be an immediate cue for your dog.
By Katie Smith
Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021