Training activities for rescued German Shepherds include potty training, promoting obedience, minimizing barking, walking on leashes, showing restraint around guests and in vehicles, and ensuring safety around children. Professional trainers are helpful for some dogs, but owners can take steps at home to train their dogs.
Offering praise is an important part of almost any training activity, but it must be timed correctly and provide the German Shepherd the proper reward. Using a soft-toned voice with simple words of affirmation, such as "yes," is the preferred method for praise. This lets the dog know that it has done something correctly without elevating its energy too much, as more vigorous praise might do. Additionally, these simple types of praise encourage the German Shepherd to continue working hard for praise, since it is not given too freely. Small treats can be used as rewards, but this should be spaced out over time so that the dog does not come to expect them every time it does something correctly.
German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, affection and protectiveness as adults, but proper guidance is necessary to get to that point. In some cases, group training, such as obedience school sessions, is advantageous. This allows the German Shepherd to build socializing skills among other dogs during its training.