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German Training System for Guard Dogs

What is the German training system for guard dogs? How effect is the German training system? Well, you can read on to find out.

Virtually all dogs have an innate instinct to guard and protect their owners. But for them to exhibit this potential excellently, they need to be trained extensively. This training fine-tunes their guarding abilities and prepares them for all kinds of security challenges. The German training system (or Schutzhund training) is one of the best and most popular techniques for training guard dogs. This technique simply entails training your dog to become an effective personal or home security guard using special German commands and a number of training tactics.

Before now, only the German shepherd breed was groomed for security duty using the German training system. But the system has now become very popular and is now used for many other dog breeds (other than the German Shepherd), such as the Rottweiler, Boxer, Doberman pinscher, American bulldog, Caucasian shepherd, Dutch shepherd, Giant Schnauzer, Airedale terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Black Russian terrier, Belgian Malinois, and many others.

Advantages of the German Training System

The German training system help dogs develop certain traits required for their ever-demanding security duties. These traits include courage, intelligence, zeal to work, protective instinct, obedience, loyalty, trainability, and endurance. The training system also enhances physical traits such as strength, agility, and ability to quickly sense (by sighting, smelling, or feeling) looming danger.

However, it is important you note that this post is not intended to share advanced Schutzhund training techniques. It only discusses some basic German training commands that you can familiarize your dog with. If you need detailed resources on Schutzhund training, join an online Schutzhund club or get a copy of any of these books:

  • Training the Behavior by Gary Patterson, 2006
  • Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods by Susan Barwig and Stewart Hilliard
  • Schutzhund Obedience: Training in Drive with Gottfried Dildei, by Sheila Booth, 1992

Now, let us discuss some of the basic commands adopted in the German training system for guard dogs. Of course, the commands are German words, and this has one advantage: your dog won’t listen to commands from someone else except that person understands German or knows the commands, too. So without wasting your time, here’s the list of basic German commands:

A List of the Basic German Commands for Guard Dogs

  • Ablegen (pronounced “ab-leg-hen“) – Lie down and lie still
  • Auf (pronounced “auwf”) – Up i.e. Rise up
  • Achtung (pronunced “ahh-tuunk“) – Watch. Be at alert
  • Aus (pronounced “aus“) – Out, let go
  • Bleibsitzen (pronounced “blieb-zit-zen) – Stay
  • Daun (pronounced “down“) – Down
  • Fass (pronunced “faa”) – Attack
  • Fuss (pronounced “fuus“) – Heel
  • Gib laut (pronounced “gib-laout“) – Speak, Bark
  • Hier (pronounced “here“) – Come
  • Gut (pronounced “guut“) – Good (used to commend the dog)
  • Gradaus (pronounced “graud-ous“) – Forward
  • Hopp (pronounced “hup”) – Go over, Climb up
  • Kriech (pronounced “creekh”) – Crawl
  • Legen (pronounced “leeg-en”) – Lie down
  • Lass (pronounced “laass”) – Let go
  • Nein (pronounced “nyne”) – No (used to show disapproval)
  • Nimm (pronounced “nin“) – Take it
  • Pass auf (pronounced “paas ouwf“) – Watch out
  • Such (pronounced “zukh“) – Seek
  • Vorwarts (pronounced “forr vehrts“) – Go ahead
  • Zurr spur (pronounced ” tsuhr-shpur“) – Trail
  • Sitz (pronounced “sits“) – Sit
  • Gib fuss (pronounced “gipp foos“) – Shake hands
  • Voraus (pronounced “for-owss“) – Go

You need to know how to pronounce these words correctly so that you won’t confuse your dog while familiarizing it with the commands. Of these commands, the most basic five are: Sit, down, stay, come, and heel. It is best to train your dog with these commands right from its puppyhood so that they become well ingrained in its memory. Remember that dogs have less complex memories than humans do. So, don’t overwhelm your dog by introducing too many commands at once. Rather start with the basic five commands, and then introduce subsequent commands gradually. Teaching 3-5 new commands per week is okay.

Also, keep in mind that some dogs prefer to be independent. If your dog is anything like such, you will have a hard time training it. But you will succeed if you are patient and very friendly with it. Never hit or spank your dog when it fails to carry out your desired instruction. This will dampen its interest in the training and would affect it emotionally (dogs also have feelings, if you don’t know). Worse, the dog may attack you in retaliation.

Training a dog based on the German training system requires lots of time and patience. So, you must be ready to spare these if you really want to train your dog by yourself. But if you think you don’t have what it takes, hire the services of a dog training expert.


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