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: