We have always done some sort of "decompression" introduction with new dogs. Some adjust in a couple of days, some take a couple weeks.
I agree that maybe the term "shutdown" is what sets some people off before they even read it, but that is a marketing issue beyond my pay grade
This I believe describes the situation perfectly. For anyone that does not know what the shutdown means, they may well think that it involves complete seperation of the dog, crated for 2 weeks. This is completely not the case.
The "2 week Shut down" is a program designed to cater to people who need step by step instructions on how to handle a dog, it gives you exact rules to follow in order to cater to most owners and thier dogs. The situation this creates, is that all dogs are different and all owners are different. If the two week shut down does not work with you or your dog, then alter it to cater to your needs. You are working with live animals, there is no exact science, if you think that areas of the "2 week shut down" are "harsh" or "cruel", or may not even work with your dog, then create a solution that will accomplish the same thing, in a different manner.
Personally with my dog, I got her at 7 weeks, she had her first injection at 8 weeks, second injection at 10 weeks and was finally allowed to go for walks at 11 weeks, so I was almost forced into a 4 week shut down. I used this period to introduce her to family and friends in a controlled environment, making sure that I only allowed them to greet her when she was calm. When friends came round to visit and she got boisterous, I would crate her. This was never a problem since she loves her crate and toys. I would also kee her leashed a lot of the time, for example, last night we had 10 people coming round, this was extremely exciting for her, so I made sure to keep her leashed the entire night. This was mainly for safety reasons, as we had a lot of wine glasses on low tables. there have been nights when we have had other people round and she has been allowed to stay off leash. the important thing to remember is simply not to overwhelm your dog, especially an adult german shepherd, due to their size and strength, so introduce them to new things gradually, there are many ways to accomplish the results of a stable dog, without adhering to every step of the shut down system, if that is something you dont agree with.
It is important also to remember that a lot of owners who are set against the 2 week shut down, likely have dogs that do not need it (I do not believe my dog needed it) however there are dogs that DO need it, and so this formula should not be discouraged just because someone does not like the methods involved. we have to use whatever methods needed to achieve the result of a well behaved dog, and it is our job as TRAINERS to work out what is the best (and by that I mean what the dog responds to, as well as what is good for the dog. For example, if your dog is doing a negative behaviour, you may quickly discourage this by violently beat it, however this creates psychological problems in your dog that can not quickly be reversed, and gives the dog a miserable life, rather than a happy one. So bear this in mind, when considering training methods) form of training for our SPECIFIC dog.