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Old 11-05-2012, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When is too late?

We have a beautiful black 5 year old GSD and she is the ultimate protector for our family. She has been slow to warm up to my mother but just the other night finally gave her a taste of why we love her so much. In the midst of a tense situation our wonderful Shadow leaned against my mother and provided protection. She said she had never felt so safe.

Prior to this incident my parents were considering a GSD because of ours. This put her over the edge and they agreed to accept a friends pure bred GSD because he was traveling too much to take care of her.

The new GSD, Ava, is 2 years old and has some behavior issues. It is clear he hasn't provided the love or activity she needs. There is no doubt my parents will overdo it in the love dept but she needs some basic training. Is it too late? If not what type should they seek? The basic skills taught at Pet Smart or look for a serious GSD trainer in our area. I should mention that they want her to be more than a pet but to provide some security around their rural home.

We are in Maryville, TN in the foothills of the smokies. (just outside Knoxville)
Thanks!

Last edited by BrianGT; 11-05-2012 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think it's ever to late! Although I'm not a huge fan of Petsmart training both my two have been through the class and it's a decent foundation to build upon. They do a few days basic OB (sit, down, watch me, drop it, leave it etc) a day of loose leash walking, a day of recall training...etc I can't remember what else. They give you homework. It's nice especially for a fist time doggie owner like me because it teaches you how to train your pup. You also have a little bit of socialization and a nice environment with distraction to work in
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It all depends on what sort of time and effort your parents are realistically willing to put in to the new dog's training. The dog's age doesn't matter; it's all up to your parents and what they want.

If they want some solid training on the dog, they will have to commit to a lot of time and effort to get it, and they will need to find a decent trainer. If they don't really care much if the dog's level of training is really low, then there's fairly minimal time commitment on their part and they could get away with petsmart training.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If they really want to do ANY "protection" training, that is an entirely different matter than simply teaching the dog some general OB training and maybe some good doggy manners.

Doesn't sound like they are really good candidates for any type of dog with protection training.

Maybe just the aura of a solid temperamented GSD would be enough "security"?
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I just IPO1 titled my 5 year old dog that started training at 3.5, so no it's not too late
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think a GSD is by nature protective. I bet Ava will protect the home without protection training. I think obedience training and socialization will make her a great companion and family protector.

I would recommend finding a good private trainer that uses positive reinforcement. By private trainer I mean not a club, but a person who may own a business that offers group and private lessons. I think they have a more vested interest and generally more knowledgeable. Most clubs use volunteer trainers, some good some not.

I do not think there is any limit on age for a dog to be trained. Even this old dog can learn new things!
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayos and Havoc View Post
I think a GSD is by nature protective. I bet Ava will protect the home without protection training. I think obedience training and socialization will make her a great companion and family protector.

I would recommend finding a good private trainer that uses positive reinforcement. By private trainer I mean not a club, but a person who may own a business that offers group and private lessons. I think they have a more vested interest and generally more knowledgeable. Most clubs use volunteer trainers, some good some not.

I do not think there is any limit on age for a dog to be trained. Even this old dog can learn new things!
I don't think that's a fair judgement on clubs. Volunteers have no interest in your money, only the success of the training. With so many trainers popping up, I'm more wary of them.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Definitely go with a private trainer, especially since there are behavior issues involved. Depending on what issues are involved would decide if actual protection training is advisable. This is where locating a trainer who has verifiable experience with GSD and behavior issues is extremely important.

Be sure your parents are aware of the handling and management of this dog may be more then expected and to be honest with themselves if they are able or are willing to handle it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hunterisgreat, I am a member of two training clubs in Tulsa, past officer at one in Washington State (used to live in northeaster Oregon). I love the clubs, taught classes for them and work trials. However, I believe the training is more consistent with a private trainer or organization.

Either way, must do your homework.
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