Dog Obedience Training.
by Dennis Fisher


This article is one of a great many articles written by Dennis Fisher about a very wide variety of subjects concerning different  dogs, such as obedience training, breeding, showing, health matters, training problems and other subjects.  All these articles appear on Dennis Fisher's websites.   Visit the site that has been set up specifically for German Shepherd Dog enthusiasts, or  if you interested in a breed   other than German Shepherd Dogs





The old adage ďAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boyĒ is just as true with dogs as it is with humans.  Itís important for dogs to enjoy a definite period devoted solely to play.  They will certainly work more enthusiastically if they know that at some stage they are going to be rewarded with play.  And play should be treated as a reward.


If you have access to an open field where there are no other dogs around, it is a good idea to release the choker chain collar as well as the lead.  Let the dog that it can run loose.  You can use a happy command likeĒ ďO.K. BOY, LETS GO!Ē as you take off the collar.


Depending on the temperament of the dog, you can intersperse the periods of play with the training periods or you can play with the dog you have finished the training.  If you find that it interferes with the dogís concentration in training, it is probably better to play with the dog when you have finished training, but whatever you do donít ignore the play period.


Probably the best  method of  play, is to allow the dog  to enjoy a tug of war.  Use a strong rag, or some other suitable material that does not break easily.  There are a great variety of play objects for this purpose at Pet  shows.  They are specially designed for people who are training their dogs for Schutzhund training.


Tease the dog with the rag and let the dog grab hold of and pull.  Occasionally, after there has been a few minutes of tugging and pulling, let the  dog win by releasing the rag and letting the dog run loose, triumphantly running around with the ďpreyĒ  object in his mouth Ė which is how  the dog views the rag.


Itís a good idea to have a ball at the end of string.  Tease the dog with the ball for a few minutes and then throw it.  Here again there are a great variety of balls available from Pet shops that specialize in this type of training equipment.  The balls they have available, fixed to a cord, are far more suitable than tennis balls.  Itís a good idea to have one these.


Depending on the size, strength and temperament of the dog it an  also be a good idea to play with the dog in a roughhouse sort of fashion; pushing it  on itís side, patting it vigorously with both hands on either side of the head.


 If you do decide to play in this way donít let this type of game get out of hand.  Let the dog know immediately that there are strict boundaries.  The dog will enjoy this immensely but it is up to you to see that the game does not get too rough. Check anything that sounds like aggressive growling immediately and firmly.


Put the training collar back and let the do heel for a few minutes  with firm sit and down commands.


Itís important to remember that the dog must be aware by your voice and your body language, when it is play time and when itís work time.  As you go on to the training field, let the dog be quite certain that the training has begun. 


When you begin the training period you donít have to be too stern or severe in your attitude, but let the dog that this definitely is training time.  When itís play time, make it quite clear to the dog that work is now over.