However, like any breed, German Shepherds can develop the bad habit of pulling while on leashed walks. While this trait is annoying and frustrating for the dog owner, it can also be hindering to a dog's journey to becoming a well-behaved, obedient companion.
Dogs pull on their leashes because they're anxious to get to something that interests them--a squirrel, a person, another dog. Often, dogs will become frustrated or even more anxious when they find that the leash is restraining them and keeping them from moving freely. It wouldn't be a welcomed feeling for any of us, but especially for an animal that's driven by its hyperactive senses.
German Shepherds, if they have gained the habit of pulling, may be especially difficult to teach once they're full grown. As a large breed, we may feel they could easily topple us over if they pulled hard enough. That's why this task is best taught at an early age, but, of course, doesn't mean a fully-grown Shepherd couldn't learn, it would just require some strong, secure footing.
This task is all about teaching your German Shep restraint and obedience. These qualities are first introduced to them with the following commands:'Sit'
Sit is one of the first tasks dogs will learn. It will come in handy with a leash-puller as it requests that they regain composure and sit instead of attempting to run or jump at something out of their reach.'Come here!' or 'This way!'
These are simple commands that many of us will automatically say to our walking companion to lead them in our desired direction. Repeat these if you choose to change directions. Repeating words helps your pet to recognize and follow them, making you the alpha dog.
Try not to become discouraged if your pet does excellent one day, not pulling at all and minding your every request, but seems to forget everything they ever learned the next. We can't see into our dogs' minds; there are a million factors that could be causing them to act up. You have to trust that these aren't setbacks as much as they are coincidences.
That being said, some may vouch for choking or shocking collars. These are neither necessary or humane, and what's more, you'll find they won't bring the desired outcome. An animal that's given the right amount of attention and effort will learn. However, you may choose to invest in a vest or chest harness that attaches around the chest instead of the neck; these are recommended to any dog owner but may be especially useful to owners of larger breeds, such as a German Shepherd. No fancy gadgets are required for this training guide and a lot of these you should already own:
He pulls so hard on the leash no matter what I do. I've tried walking him in the back yard, on a trail, in a field. He simply doesn't like a leash, but if I take his leash off he stays right next to me and doesn't run off.
Hello Katelyn, Check out the article and video I have linked below. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo I suspect two things may also be happening. One: your attention and body language toward pup may be different with pup on leash vs. off and pup responding to you differently on vs. on leash. Often when a dog is off leash and heeling, we are watching them, reacting quickly, calm, assertive, but more relaxed. Two: some dogs will pull more on leash because its a natural response to the tension they feel on leash. Think about sled dogs leaning into their harnesses and pulling against. Dogs have that natural desire to go the opposite way as something holding them back - this is far more true with back clip harnesses than other collars or harnesses - so if you are using a back clip harness, I suggest switching to something different. Even if you aren't using a back clip harness, when you work on walking pup, give a lot of slack in the leash, so that you are keeping pup with you using your body language with changes in speed and direction to keep pup with you (like the turns method I included above). In your case, pup should only feel the pressure of the leash when you turn and pup doesn't stay with you. If pup starts getting ahead of you, turn at a 90 degree or 180 degree angle so pup has to adjust and catch up, and pay better attention to where you are next time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?
Rosco pulls when being walked and jumps when people come to the house
Hello Sheena, Check out the Turns method from the article below for teaching Heel. Turns method for heeling: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Check out the second article I have linked below for the jumping. Jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?