Of course it's only natural
not to think of leash training when we get a dog: The first thing we do when we get a dog or puppy is to CALL it to us, isn't it?!
In fact, with a new
puppy (where it would matter most to start the right way), we typically call it all the time, and give it affection all the time: "Ohh, look my darling, here." - "Ahh, my sweety, what do we have there?" - "Now, this is SPECIALLY for you!" - "Mmmh, isn't this yummy, yummy?!" etc etc. All our attention revolves around our new baby (ahem, puppy).
All this is
natural, yes. - But is it helping the long-term relationship with our dog?
No. Clearly not. So much not, that Dan, the impressive
online video dog trainer, even established one of his five "Golden Rules" just for this! - His Rule No 4: Everything on . your terms
To be frank, my own first thought when I studied his comprehensive dog training approach was: Huuh, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? Almost inhumane, not to allow your dog to
start the attention, the affection, to decide where to go, etc. Never! Really? Yes, Dan recommends to stick to all 5 rules. Everyone in the family. All the time.
The reason why I was a bit skeptic at first: Because, a) GSDs in general are
more attentive, sophisticated, and autonomous than most other dog breeds, and b) specifically, our own GSDs always got a lot of "freedom to decide" and they are treated rather like "partners" than "pets" or "servants", because that's imperative when you have GSDs as Protection Dogs (will feature in a future ). MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERODICAL
However, when we then actually
tried various aspects of his comprehensive dog training approach, we realized that indeed it does make the dogs calmer, more content, and seemingly happier too. It does further improve the relationship with our dogs!
I wouldn't often suggest that you
try Dan's dog training too if I wasn't very happy with it myself. As often said, it's not GSD-specific but since GSDs are dogs as well after all, his dog training videos have been enormously helpful to us - and so it will be helpful to you too when you try it.
Key point #2 for a successful Recall:
Train yourself to
ignore your dog whenever (s)he comes to you without being called
Not in a mean, harsh way. But in the way already the mum does it with the litter pups.
Admittedly, this is the hardest bit of the training for all of us who love our dog! Not only that we actually
like to get unsolicited attention and affection (for once! ), no, we may find it somewhat "cruel" not to give in, right?
However, no matter how much we are
used to treat our GSDs almost like human beings, we must not forget that after all they are animals - with animal-typical traits and needs!
And fact is, no matter how much socialized and how
familiar and close our own GSD is to us, being an animal, dogs, the dog will indeed always try to get the upper hand, to dominate us when we show signs of weakness or indecisiveness. Remember the words: dogs dominate.
And, being a dog, (s)he will always get
confused and stressed when we show inconsistency in our expectations, commands, and behavior.
I'd strongly suggest you read the above paragraph again, as I fear even my highlighting can't fully relay its significance.
Key point #3 for a successful Recall:
clear about what you want from your dog, be decisive, and don't confuse your dog:
with inconsistency between your commands and your body language
or with inconsistency between what you communicate today and what you communicate tomorrow.
these three key points come before you even start with the Recall. Uuups!
If you don't keep this order of
training the Recall, don't be surprised when your GSD may never come reliably when you call your dog. Meaning, sometimes (s)he'll come, but other times (s)he won't. How to train your dog 100% successful Recalls
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Now on to the actual steps of
in a way that almost guarantees you 100% success rate when you call your German Shepherd: training the Recall
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Can you give back a bit today?