You don’t have to own a German shepherd to teach your dog commands in German! Heck, no. In fact, if your family is relocating to Germany, what better way to start getting into the spirit of things than with a little language instruction? That will help you learn new words, and training of any kind is one of the best bonding experiences for you and your dog.
Besides, some canine behavior experts suggest that foreign language commands work better because your dog won’t confuse them with everyday conversation he hears from you. In German, your commands will be just for him.
What commands can you teach?
It’s always good to start with the basics – sit, down, stay, come. For commands your dog already knows in English, use that as your starting point. Say “sit,” then say the German command (which, in this case, is helpfully close to the English). Keep practicing that way, gradually switching to German-only. Good dog!
Neuman K-9 Academy recommends these nine commands to start:
Sit Sitz (zit-zen)
Down Platz (plah-tz)
Stand Steh (sh-tay)
Stay Bleib (blibe)
Heel Fuss (foos)
Come Hier (heee-a)
Speak Gib Laut (gib-lout)
Jump Hopp (hup)
Fetch Bring (bring)
Go Out Voraus (ver-ous)
Guard Alert Pass Auf (pass-owf)
Search Voran (fo-rahn)
Track Such (soo-kh)
Out/Let Go Aus (owss)
No Pfui or Nein (foo-ee or nine)
Once you’ve master these commands, you can dig deeper. For example, this site will teach you 35 different German dog commands.
Using your new language skills
Organizing your dog’s move to Germany, especially getting all the details exactly right, takes effort. But once you arrive you can start settling in. You can relax and start to explore.
Test the beers as well as the countryside, with your dear dog by your side in all things. Well, not quite all things, because dogs aren’t allowed in grocery stores. However, when you want to eat out Fido is welcome to dine with you. Dogs truly rank as Man’s Best Friend in Germany, so they are welcome all sorts of places they can’t visit in the US. So, let the fun begin!
You and your pup can have even more fun, now that you’re learning the language. Of course, you want to learn other details that dictate good citizenship in Germany – doggie and owner petiquette, if you will – so you don’t make any missteps. Germans are rather well-known for their appreciation of (and, usually, adherence to) rules. It’s also good to know that each German state (they are officially known as Lands) has its own requirements for dogs.
But, back to the having fun part. Teaching your pooch some German commands will surely help both of you fit right in and feel comfortable even sooner. You can practice for real and expand your language skills by hooking up with a social dog walking group or two. Participating in the events organized by these local groups is a fabulous way to make new friends and get some great exercise, too.
Big cities and smaller towns all over Germany have social dog walking groups. But, if for some reason there isn’t one where you are, you can start a group yourself. Make it all about learning new German dog commands!
Continuing education, the German way
Why stop with a few common (or not-so-common) dog commands? Once you get settled into your new home in Germany, you and your pooch can take advantage of all sorts of advanced canine education. For example:
- If you’re located in Berlin, you could look into Hundeschule.
- In Gewerbepark your pup may want to enroll in Campus4Dogs.
- You’ll be living in Munich? Check out The Dog’s Academy Training School.
Wherever you go in Germany and whatever kinds of activities you and your dog dig into, you’ll be happy you learned some basic German dog commands.