German Shepherd Dog 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


Question of a young dog's nervous temperament.

Question:  My young dog is now seven months old.  Although is is quite big and strong, he is very nervous.  He is scared of strangers and backs away when they approach.   Do you think that he will grow out of this nervousness and is there I can do to help him?  He was very friendly as a pup but recently seems to have changed in temperament.  I am not sure what the reason is.

Answer:  Whether your young dog will out -grow  his present nervous disposition depends to a large extent on the way you handle and train him over the next few months.  By training I don't  necessarily  mean serious obedience training, which might help but on the other hand may be counter- productive

Another thing which will help you in your handling of the young dog is to find  more about the the temperament of his parents. If they are bold and confident adults there is every likelihood of your pup growing up to act in this way. His problem may simply be due to the stage through which is going through at present.  In this case you need not worry unnecessarily about the handling and training.  But a certain amount  training is always an advantage with a young animal.

If however, you find out that his parents were not as brave as you  thought when you bought the pup, then you will have to be extra-careful in handling him.

First   make sure that he carefully handled when you leash train  him.  You will find details about leash training on this site.  When you have managed to have him walking comfortably on your left side, take  him with you on leash to various  strange places as often as you can.  

If he does show any sign of nervousness, handle him gently but firmly.  Do not try and re-assure him with soft, baby talk.  Act in a matter of fact manner as if there is nothing for him to be concerned about..

Make a point of playing with him quite boisterously - not roughly but fairly vigorously.  Make a fuss of him and encourage him when he joins in your playful treatment

When you take him for a walk make a point of meeting up with friends. Stop and talk to them. It is a good idea to have  small piece of food that he fancies with you.  Hand them friends to give to him.  Encourage him to take the food and make a fuss of him when he does so.

With gently but firm handling your dog will outgrow  what appearance to be an adolescent lack of confidence.