Training

At Renaissance Kennels our specialty is working with families. At our classes, students learn why dogs do what they do, and how to communicate with their dog, all in a rewarding and non-stressful environment.

Our classes are prepared with you in mind whether you are considering competing with your dog or need to train your dog to assist you in life's daily tasks.

Our services include -

  • Assessment ($15) – This is required for all programs. A trainer will evaluate your dog and discuss with you what individualized training methods are appropriate for your dog.
  • Hour-long private lessons – A trainer will work one-on-one with you and your dog on obedience, behavior modification, protection, service, therapy, or search and rescue based on the request. Pricing will depend on the assessment.
  • In-home private lessons – A trainer will come to your home to work with you and your dog. Pricing will depend on the assessment.
  • Two week pet boarding with training – During your pet’s stay, he/she will have their own indoor/outdoor run. They will learn to wait at doors, heel on a 6’ leash, sit, down, and stay. Pricing will depend on the assessment.
  • Two week pet in-home training – During your pet’s stay, they will live with one of our trainers. They will learn everything listed above, and additionally will be house-trained and will receive any special training requested. Pricing will depend on the assessment.
  • Two week working-dog training – Whether you are training your dog for protection, service, therapy, or search and rescue; your dog will be trained according to appropriate methods. Pricing will depend on the assessment.
  • One month pet boarding with training – A stay of this length is typically used with severe behavioral issues. During this time, your pet will be rehabilitated and will receive the basic training listed in the two week pet boarding with training. Pricing will depend on the assessment.

All classes, seminars and events are held at -

Renaissance Kennels

32950 Old Hempstead Highway

Magnolia, Texas, 77355

Schutzhund training

Renaissance Kennels has a Schutzhund club specializes in Schutzhund training (Tracking, Obedience, and Protection). Our Training is based on a well-rounded dog that will protect the home and family as well as competing at top levels in Schutzhund. Our club consists of very dedicated members who compete in Regional and National events each year.

Schutzhund is a German word meaning "protection dog". It refers to a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating those traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. Schutzhund work concentrates on three parts. Many are familiar with the obedience work of the American Kennel Club's affiliates and will recognize the first two parts, tracking and obedience. The Schutzhund standards for the third part, protection work, are similar to those for dogs in police work.

While dogs of other breeds are also actively involved in the sport of Schutzhund and often follow similar criteria for breeding purposes, this breed evaluation test was developed specifically for the German Shepherd Dog. Schutzhund is intended to demonstrate the dog's intelligence and utility. As a working trial, Schutzhund measures the dog's mental stability, endurance, structural efficiencies, ability to scent, willingness to work, courage, and trainability.

This working dog sport offers an opportunity for dog owners to train their dog and compete with each other for recognition of both the handler's ability to train and the dog's ability to perform as required. It is a sport enjoyed by persons of varied professions, who join together in a camaraderie born of their common interest in working with their dogs. Persons of all ages and conditions of life, even those with significant disabilities, enjoy Schutzhund as a sport. Often, it is a family sport.

German Shepherd Puppy Training

You don't have to be a task master to get your German Shepherd puppy to behave. But with proper obedience training-frequent short, playful sessions that emphasize communication and interaction-you can teach your German Shepherd pup to listen and learn.

As you probably noticed when you brought your little spitfire home, German Shepherd puppies don't come equipped with house manners. It's up to you to teach them.

Fortunately, your youngster is like a little sponge, ready to soak up the knowledge that will give him the confidence and security he needs to mature into a well-behaved adult who's a joy to live with. Training starts as soon as the German Shepherd puppy comes home. Training is communication, not the mechanical execution of commands. Every time you interact with you dog, you're training him.

It's never too early for German Shepherd puppies to learn the basic commands, but you have to remember that they have very short attention spans. Use short, playful training sessions of about 10 minutes each. You may also want to use motivational tools with your German Shepherd puppy. Rewards like food, toys and praise all make training a fun learning experience for puppies.

Basic Commands

Command 1 - "Sit"

Of all the basic commands, sit is job one, the building block command for most other commands. If your German Shepherd puppy know how to sit, it's the beginning of learning how to wait for you to put food on the floor, wait for you to put on leash, for a walk and sit to greet strangers rather than jumping all over them. If your German Shepherd puppy learns fight from the start that sitting is amply rewarded, it will want to repeat that behavior as often as possible. When teaching sit using a food lure remember that when you are teaching any new behavior you need to reward every time the German Shepherd puppy performs that behavior so it know exactly what you want, and there is no mistake in the puppy's mind.

Choose a treat that truly motivates your dog. It needs to be something a little more intriguing to compete with the other interesting sounds, smells, sights and movements in the environment. Try little pieces of hot dog, freeze-dried liver treats, smoky chewy puppy treats or small pieces of cheese.

To to get your German Shepherd puppy to perform behaviors on their own, rather than being pushed, pulled or guided into various positions. Hands-off. The more the puppy does things by itself, the faster it will learn. Pocket your treats so they are easily accessible, then take one in hand. You are ready to begin. Take the treat in your hand and let your German Shepherd puppy sniff at it, keeping it tight in front of the puppy's nose at nose level.

Slowly move the treat back over the puppy's head. If the German Shepherd puppy is interested in the treat, it will want to follow the treat and it will have to sit to do so. When your German Shepherd puppy sits, say "sit" then give your German Shepherd puppy the treat, in an enthusiastic voice say "good sit". Don't pull your hand up and down in front of your German Shepherd puppy's face for it will want to jump up. If he jumps up just use your food in hand to help him put his feet back on the floor and say "sit" again and reward.

Once your German Shepherd puppy knows sit, get the whole family involved, so he will sit every time for all of them too. After your German Shepherd puppy is sitting you want to release him by saying something like "free" in a high motivated voice with a slight touch to him with your hand. If he releases before you can release him don't worry as he gets more intent on you. Always repeat the sit 3-4 times for they learn with repetitions.

Command 2 - "Down"

Teach down much the same way you teach sit by luring your German Shepherd puppy into positions, then rewarding. This can be done from a sit or stand. Sit is best to start with and then try from a stand after he gets the picture.

First, have your German Shepherd puppy sit. Hold the treat in front of your German Shepherd puppy's nose and let your puppy sniff at the treat to get interest. Slowly guide the treat down in between your German Shepherd puppy's front feet. Your puppy should follow the treat down to the floor. Make sure your hand is all the way down on the floor so he goes all the way down. When your puppy is down, give him the food and say "good down".

Be sure to lower the treat straight down, rather than down and out, remember "nose to toes". Lowering the treat down and outward encourages the dog to crawl along in a half-down crouch toward the treat rather than actually going all the way to the floor. Once the treat is on the ground directly below your German Shepherd puppy's nose, you can slowly inch it forward. Go slowly and not too far in front. Six inches is usually too far. Same as the sit try to touch the dog and say free" before he gets up. If he stays down give him another piece of food and say “good down" and then "free" him again. Start over again and do it 3-4 times in a row.

Comand 3 - "Here" or "Come"

If any obedience command will ever save your German Shepherd puppy's life, chances are it will be the Here/Come or recall command. One of the most common complaints that dog owners have is that their dog does not come when called. This is a very frustrating experience for an owner and can lead to a dangerous situation for your German Shepherd dog. Dogs tail to respond to the word Here/Come for several reasons.

First of all, owners tend to call their German Shepherd to come when the dog is doing something it enjoys. Why would your German Shepherd want to come if it means it has to leave the dog park? Secondly the frustration owners feels often results in an angry tone of voice. If you call your German Shepherd to come and then when he comes you do something negative, like yell, the dog learns that it isn't rewarding to come.

You can begin teaching your German Shepherd puppy to come right away as long as you disguise the lessons as play. It is essential that your German Shepherd puppy form a positive association with the word Here/Come. You can start this with the dog’s food, when you get ready to feed your German Shepherd puppy start to call him with a high happy voice with Here/Come several times and then feed him. You can also give him a piece of his food for a treat for coming before you give him his bowl. You can also start asking him to sit for his food bowl once he gets this down.

From a few feet away say your puppy’s name in a happy voice. As soon as your German Shepherd puppy looks at you, either squat down or run backwards and say "Here! Come." As soon as your German Shepherd puppy starts coming toward you, say “good" or "yes". If you are backing up, squat down before your German Shepherd puppy gets to you, keeping j your upper torso straight because dogs feel insecure or intimidated if a person bends over them. Keep in your hand the treat close to your body so that as your German Shepherd puppy approaches you and does not try to grab the treat from an outstretched hand and run with it. Begin teaching come in a low distraction environment, such as a quiet room in the house. This way the owner will be more interesting than anything else. As your German Shepherd puppy gets reliable 100% of the time you can now increased distances and you can gradually add distractions.

If your German Shepherd puppy stops responding to your commands, as in any training, back up and go back to a less distracting area. Have a family member hold your German Shepherd puppy on leash and you say his name and run backwards, when at a distance call the puppy “Here! Come” in a high voice. Once he is coming say the command again, squat down and give him a treat close to your body and let him jump up on you for lots of praise. This can be done with the whole family so he will come to all. You can also make a circle and everyone can take turns calling him, but all the other people have to be quit while the person is calling. You can do this in the house or outside. Also, play hide and seek games with the recall.

Command 4 - "Stay"

Once you've taught your German Shepherd puppy to sit and down, you can add stay to his repertoire. Have your German Shepherd puppy sit or stay at your side, then pivot around and face him and say the command "Stay” and signal with your open hand in front of his face, but not to close. Take a step away from your German Shepherd puppy and after just a few seconds, step back to him and reward with a treat for staying. To release him, use your release word such as “Free" and praise him enthusiastically.

Gradually you increase the distance between you and your German Shepherd puppy and the amount of time you ask your German Shepherd puppy to stay. When your German Shepherd puppy's stay is getting solid, you can then add distractions to the mix. If your German Shepherd puppy gets up while in a stay just simply walk back to him and silently and calmly put him back into position, flash the hand signal and say “stay". If your German Shepherd puppy is repeatedly breaking the stay you're increasing the time and or distance too quickly.

Most people start seriously training their German Shepherd puppy when they are much too young. It is most important to develop a positive relationship and trust with your German Shepherd puppy. Let your puppy be a puppy! You can guide your German Shepherd puppy into different positions with treats if you keep it fun. Once you've formed a solid, trusting and positive relationship with your German Shepherd puppy can then start with more serious training. Your German Shepherd puppy will be more motivated to please you and work with you if you've cemented that relationship.

Command 5 - "Heel" or "Fuss"

Once you get your German Shepherd puppy attention you can start heeling, by putting your hand in front of his nose with a piece of food and moving forward and at the same time say `heel or fuss". Only go a few steps (2-4) and then release with your "free" and lots of praise. Or bring your hand up to a sit and then release into a free. As time goes on ask for more and more steps, if you lose his attention you have done too much.

Command 6 - "Retrieve"

I like to use 2 tennis baits on strings. I use 2bafls so I can trade one for the other. The reason most German Shepherd puppy don't bring the ball back to you is because you take them away. So if we trade one ball for another or for food they will be more willing to bring the ball back to you. You first have to make them have lots of drive for the ball by rolling the ball around and just letting them chase and catch them, pull tug and let him have it.

Once he really wants the ball then throw it a short distance for him to go get. When he picks it up use the command "bring" or “here” or a noise to get him to look back (with the ball in his mouth) and start moving the second ball on the ground. It has to be more interesting than the one in his mouth. When he comes to you he may not drop the ball in his mouth so you have to take your time and keep moving the second ball till he drops the one in his mouth. Throw the second ball and repeat.