When you've just bought a German shepherd puppy for your family, it's important to know two things about this breed of dog — it's extremely intelligent, and it's full of energy. To this end, it's important to give your German shepherd puppy plenty of exercise and to also get busy training it. One of the first things that you'll commonly teach your dog is to come to you when you call. It's important to have a dog that will respond to your commands in this way, especially if you plan to occasionally have the pet off its leash outdoors. Here are some ways to reward your puppy when it comes.

Verbal Acknowledgement

One of the simplest ways to recognize a German shepherd puppy that has come to you is to give it verbal praise. Dogs frequently enjoy getting this sort of acknowledgment from their owners, and a smart breed such as a German shepherd will quickly learn that such praise will occur every time it heeds your commands. Telling the dog simple statements such as "good girl" or "good boy" in a friendly voice can serve as an effective reward for its obedience.

Physical Touch

Most dogs enjoy the touch of their owners, and German shepherds are no exception. You'll often find that this dog responds well to having your hands on it, so be sure to use this reward each time the puppy comes to you. Give the dog a scratch behind the ears, along the length of its back, or in another area that the dog shows signs of enjoying. It's often useful to pair a positive physical touch with verbal acknowledgment. Together, these behaviors serve as an effective reward for your dog when it comes to you.

Treats And Toys

Of course, it's also useful to reward your dog's responsive nature by giving it a treat. You want to be wary of doing so too often, however. If you're training the dog and get it to come to you 10 times a session, you don't want to give the animal 10 treats, as this could lead to unhealthy weight gain. Give treats to complement your other reward methods on occasion, while also giving the dog a toy to play with. For example, when the dog comes to you, introduce it to a toy that it can play with as a reward — a bone, a squeak toy, or something similar.

For more information, contact a breeder who has AKC-registered German shepherd puppies for sale.