Learning to Sit, Stay, and Heel | The German Shepherd
When trying to get your German Shepherd to sit, start by using the “Pavlov's dog” technique – so named for a reason. Say “sit” loudly, firmly, and clearly, as you push your dog's bottom lightly down towards the floor. When he or she is in a seated position, say “good boy!” (or “good girl!”) in a light, happy, cheerful tone, and offer him or her a treat. Do this a few times a day. Next, try “negative reinforcement.” If your German Shepherd does not sit when you say “sit” - say “Bad dog.” Then, push his or her bottom towards the floor and say “good dog” and give him or her a treat. Eventually, your dog will associate the word “sit” and the act sitting with treats, and come to do it on his or her own. You don't have to give your fully trained adult dog a treat every time he or she sits, but for the duration of the training period, you should do so consistently so that your dog learns everything he or she needs to know. You can do this similarly for “down” and “stay” and “heel.” For “heel,” however, negative reinforcement might be more necessary. Consider using “kennel” as a punishment (easier for small dogs) – sending your dog to its cage or some other area for a brief “time out” (no more than five or ten minutes). If your German Shepherd fails to “heel” after the initial training period , you may consider kenneling him or her again.