Hmm, I've never really thought about this. I guess I would consider myself a responsible intermediate amature. I've always been around dogs. I've been around Shepherds all my life. Currently this is the longest I have been without a dog, roughly 7 months. I've always done my own training and our dogs have always had good manners. Friends come to me for advice or call me when there is an emergency. I've made plenty of mistakes and will again.