German shepherd puppies can usually start learning commands around six weeks, though some owners like to wait until they are three months or older to start regular training sessions.
At about four months, training your German shepherd should become a priority. This not only makes your dog into a good citizen of the world, it also helps to establish your role as the alpha in the pack and to create a bond between you and your dog, wherein he will want to please you and do as you ask and you know you can trust him and rely on him to do what is asked of him.
“Wait” or “stay” is one of the most basic training commands that any young dog can learn and should be standard in obedience training for German shepherds, after he has learned to sit and lie down. Here’s how to teach your German shepherd to wait.
- Ask your dog to sit and reward him for sitting. Use both food and praise for this reward, so he knows he has done exactly what you want him to do.
- Have another treat in your hand and while he is sitting, show it to your dog. Let him lick and nibble on it as you move from your dog’s right side to standing right in front him, while saying “stay” or “wait” or whatever command you want to use for this action.
- As soon as your return to standing on the dog’s right side, give him the treat and praise.
- Start moving farther away, each time you use the command. Make sure the treat is still in your hand, where he can see it, but not touching his nose. Each time he performs correctly (staying where you want him to stay, even if you move away), give him the treat and verbal praise. Each time he does not do what is asked of him, simply reset and start again. Don’t call him a “bad dog” or “stupid,” as he won’t understand what he’s done wrong.
- Once he can wait with you more than a yard away for about a minute, start moving farther away each time. Eventually, you will want to start moving out of sight and increasing the amount of time he is asked to “wait.”
Now get outside and train!