Zapping the Confidence Out of a German Shepherd

Z to A in May Challenge

Raise a confident GSD
There is a difference between training a dog and dominating a dog. A dog can have a dominant personality and still be well trained, just as a submissive dog can. Some breeds like German Shepherds are built with confidence in their genetics. Dominating a German Shepherd is a sure way to zap its confidence.

First let’s talk about what dominance is; the state that exists when one person or group has power over another. Clearly we are automatically dominant over our dogs. You don’t need to establish dominance by yelling or charging at a dog. Positive reinforcement for good behavior has been proven to work better than dominance training. It’s likely not dominance you are seeking over your dog, but a better behavior from them.

Address the behavior, not the dog. If the dog is doing something that is natural to their breed you will have to find a replacement activity. For instance, German Shepherds love to herd.  They may occasionally nip at your heels in their working excitement. While biting is not allowed, yelling at the dog may do more harm than good. Instead have the dog herd a large ball, and work on nip training in a different setting.

There is one thing worse than a German Shepherd dog with no training at all and that’s one that is not mentally balanced. If the Shepherd’s confidence has been zapped, it will have to be built back up before you can completely trust the dog again. Fear biting is something of an issue with unbalanced German Shepherds. Practice working on the dog’s confidence and focusing it in the right direction (work) for a well balanced dog.

Last of all, never literally zap a dog. I’m no PETA person, but this is just not necessary for pet owner dog training. The only thing that shocking a dog will do is hurt the dog. Since the sting came from out of nowhere, for no reason, the dog is left with less confidence in general. I’d be a little hesitant and fearful too if something just shocked my socks off every once in a while.

Instead of using harsh dog training methods, try catching your dog doing something right. Learn your dog's personality and what works for them. Work on specific dog training aspects every day until the dog completely understands the command and reaction you want. When he does, reward him with lavish love and affection. Your German Shepherd will gain confidence and trust in you and guard you with his life.

Here is a dog training video for you!

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that a lot of "dog" training is really training the humans that own them.