Hello German shepherd puppies lovers:
In this blog I would like to address some issues about finding a good trainer when your German shepherd puppy is ready.
First, many people ask at what age you start training your dog. I say that you should start immediately upon receipt, but that the training is different until they are of the age of responsibility for their actions, or when they know what they are to do and understand the expected response to a command.
From about 8 weeks until that point, the training is mainly motivational without any coercion except for limited undesirable behavior (relieving themselves in the wrong place, aggressiveness, biting on expensive furniture, things that a threatening to their lives, etc). One should always be in training mode. At this age, they are “learning to learn”. When you pet them, for example, work on excessive licking (sign of dominance) and jumping up. When eating, they must sit and wait for the food. When walking, on the left side. When walking out a door, you first.
Word to the wise: From the day you get your pup, always be in training mode, always be confirming pack order.
As they get older, training becomes more demanding, using both tools of punishment and praise as a normal part of overall training. Now, if there is not an immediate response to a command, there should follow an immediate correction. One of the hardest things to correct is slow reaction, delayed reaction to commands, which can denigrate into outright disobedience. ALWAYS BE IN TRAINING MODE. Even when they are with you in the house lounging around. Don’t relent. If they are to lay in a certain area, don’t let them change that location themselves. Make your relationship be one of pack leader to pack member, all the time. Leave no room for question. Sure, you must be kind. But the best parents are those that care about their children’s behavior and stick to a regimen.
When you are looking for a trainer/facility here are some pointers.
1. First, for show line dogs, stay away from most, though not all, k-9 handlers who deal exclusively with working dogs. They take normally take too hard an approach and can put your dog into avoidance. Their approach is effective with working lines, but can be counter-productive with show lines, which may need more coaxing. They can be impatient with show line dogs. Actually it takes more expertise to train a lower drive show line dog.
2. Go to the training facility and watch the trainer’s personal dog. Does it slink in fear next to him/her? Does it wince when they yell or raise their hands. Or is it head up, tail wagging, prancing and enjoying it? This is what you want, a dog enjoying serving.
3. Do they use shock collars? Does everyone have on a prong collar?
4. Is the attitude about showing whose dog is tougher or bites harder?
5. Does everyone give lip service to obedience, or is this treated as the most essential part?
6. When a dog doesn’t release from a bite on command, do they brag about it? If so they have what I call the “tough man” complex and don’t realize it is never good for a dog to disobey, especially when biting.
7. During an average training day do they rely on shock collars, physical corrections, and overuse of prongs?
8. Do they offer to take your dog for you for a few days and forbid your participation, to train your dog? I would never leave or send my personal companion dog to anyone to be trained. Understand their motivation is to get paid and therefore they will do what they can to get it done. This can have long-term deleterious effects on your dog’s personality.
9. Before they launch into training, do they take time to observe your dog? Each dog is very different. As people have different learning styles, dogs also need a tailored approach.
10. Are the people friendly and helpful?
Any of our customers can call us anytime for advice about trainers. We will look at websites and help you out. This is part of our “Lifetime Support Guarantee”.
I hope this is a help to you. Visit our German Shepherd K9 University by clicking on “GSD K9 U“.