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Categories: Basic Obedience

Q. I have a white GSD. People say we have to train these dogs differently. Can you tell me how we do that?
I adopted a almost two-year-old, White German Shepard Dog from the local Humane Society. He has not been a problem dog as yet. However, after reading much of your site I found that I am in the process of "grooming" him to be a problem dog. I now firmly believe in basic obedience training for all dogs as well as owners. Here are some questions I have before purchasing advice.

1. So many sites claim White German Shepard Dogs are different than regular German Shepard Dogs and need to be trained differently, but don't offer sound advice as to how. I thought that the color gene was the only difference. Is there any truth to this controversy?

2. The odd thing about our dog is, he does not know how to fetch, play tug-of-war, or any form of constructive play. I am a single mother with a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old son. The only time he seems extremely playful is when I'm wrestling with the boys on the floor or when we place chase in the back yard. He tries to pounce on me and jump back then jump forward when I wrestle with the boys, and when we play chase he just runs with us or he starts sprinting around the yard in laps. I know that I will be busy enough working with him on basic obedience, but I want him to have a sport, a job, something he can do to continue using his intelligence once we all understand and enforce obedience. Should I continue to wrestle with him? Will your basic obedience tape give any information on jobs or is there another source you recommend?

3. Since we have owned him (7 weeks) he has been crate trained. Currently we live in an apartment complex, but I have been working on a house for couple of weeks and we plan to move in next week. While I've been working at the house he has been accompanying me. Now that I have a yard (a huge yard) should I continue to crate him when we leave him at home, or make him an outdoor kennel run, or alternate between the two?

Thanks for offering your wisdom. Your site has been the best I've found.

Tiff

A. You ask some very good questions and I will do my best to answer them and then put this email on my web site because the answers will help others.

These people that write that a white GSD needs to be trained differently are full of BS. To begin with they are not dog trainers or they would not make such stupid comments.

To train any breed of dog you either need prey drive (so you can reward with a toy in training) or food drive. Some white German Shepherds have food drive. Food can be used in obedience training but not in protection training. Food can also be used in tracking.

For a dog to be trained in protection work it must have prey drive. You will need to read my site for more information on that because there is no time to rewrite what is already on my site. Without prey drive a dog cannot deal with defensive drive – he has no way to release the stress caused from defensive work. White German Shepherds (most of them) have very little prey drive.

Dogs must also have good nerves. This means that things like loud noises, strange places, strange people make them fearful and untrusting. Most if not all white GSD’s have weak nerves. So combine no prey drive with weak nerves ad these dogs cannot be trained to protect.

Without food drive and without prey drive the only way to train a dog is with compulsion (force) This is a hard way to go and does nothing to improve the relationship between handler and dog. I hate that kind of training. It’s the old “JERK and PRAISE” kind of training. Stupid stuff.

You need to take your dog through an obedience program. My basic obedience tape is where to start. It is an excellent tape.

I would always recommend a dog live in the home. Especially when you have a crate and the dog is crate trained. That’s the perfect way to raise a dog. Playing with him the way you do will not hurt anything.

You should neuter the dog. This always calms a dog and will make him a better pet.
  
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