Outdoor Obedience Training
Before we get into the differences between indoor and outdoor training, please read my foundational article, “Basic Dog Training“. It covers the pack leader(ship) role that you must take with your canines.
Ok, let me ask you all a quick question…does your dog listen and obey very well indoors? Like when you tell him to “Platz” (“down” in German) while in your kitchen, does he do so with a quickness? That’s great! Now, take that same obedient dog outside (with all the distractions around) and tell him to platz. What? Why is he not platzing? The reason is simple…with the added distractions of outdoor life, your dog will have to be trained those same commands – starting from scratch. They will have to be trained as new commands. Simply put, your dog will require your patience and consistency in these “new” commands.
As far fetched as it sounds, those outdoor distractions will work your dog’s perceptions into thinking he’s never heard the command “platz”. BUT…once you train the platz outdoors, he will be close to 100% obedient in it – because of the indoor foundations.
So remember, every command you’ve worked into your German Shepherd girl, you will have to train – as new commands – to her outside. Step through them one by one until each is learned properly. For example, tell her “Sitz” (German for “sit”), and mark it with, “YES!” Keep the time-frame short, and gradually add time. Once you can get a 30 second sitz, add distance to the command.
Remember, fair and constant pack leadership does not show anger to your dog when training outside.