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Old 12-16-2013, 12:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How experienced are you?

This might sound silly/strange (I dunno) and I've made a similar thread like this before but there are so many new forum members that I cannnot put tabs on who is an experienced dog owner or who is a newbie/first-time dog owner.

Try to be as unbiased as possible (or not :::giggles:: but tell us how experienced you consider yourself in terms of training, raising, feeding, caring for etc. a dog and back it up with examples...?
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I consider myself to be somewhere between novice and intermediate on all fronts. Though I've had 5 dogs throughout my life, I've only actually OWNED two of them, and of those two, I've only RAISED one. Discoe is my second GSD, and the only one I've raised myself from puppyhood. Reba was 2 when I got her. The others were childhood dogs of the family, and a dog that my parents got while I was in college, so by the time I got home, he was already some months old, and I didn't get to see him much before I had to go back. I've helped raise lots of other dogs, and care for them, and have had a job related to the animal care industry for the last 9 years (vet assistant, supply store assistant, shelter account clerk).
I'm fortunate enough to have my breeder as my mentor and best friend, so I've learned a lot in that respect about training and general care. I've put a CGC on both Reba and Discoe, a TDI on Reba, and a BH, AD and CD on Discoe, both trained myself with no formal classes. I have a personal interest in nutrition, so I spend a lot of time researching food components and diet on my own, as well as illnesses and how diet impacts them.

So, I'm definitely not new to the game, but I still have a whole lot that I can learn, and am willing to learn.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Definitely a newbie, although perhaps with a bit of knowledge under my belt. I'm on my first dog, my first German Shepherd, and I have no experience in sport or working dogs aside from what I've read and seen a couple of times on the field. I have not titled my dog, we only teach the most basic of commands, and I know nothing about raw feeding or general health or hips/elbows.

That said, I do read a great deal and keep an open and curious mind when it comes to almost everything GSD, so I can contribute to a discussion. The dog I currently own may be my first, but he was not an easy dog and has taught me a lot about the good and bad and exceptional when it comes to the breed. I've been lucky enough to have him to teach me, along with many other incredible members on the board and the GSD/working dog owners that I have met and gotten to know in person.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm pretty experienced. I've always , my whole life had a dog. I have never not had a dog, most of the time mutiple dogs. I've worked at a couple vets and just recently started fostering. I have evolved with the food I feed them. I also switched over to crate training. Obedience training has always stayed the same. I've changed the vaccinations they get too. I thought they were over vaccinated for many years. I still prefer to spay/neuter, that won't ever change. I think any dog I get is treated well and loved dearly.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm no expert. It's odd because the more classes that I take, the more dogs that I know the more I realize how little I know. I have much more respect for dogs than I used to and am far more cautious with them. I think that I've gotten pretty good at reading dogs and hence understand when they are stressed.

I grew up with dogs even though my dad was very uncomfortable with them. As an adult, I've had dogs for the last twenty years. I was a certified dog trainer for a brief time and did foster work as well. So I guess that I'm an experienced amateur.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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.

Good thread.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Training- amatuer, I get what I need and leave it at that. Well mannered dogs are all I crave at the moment.

Dogs needs- I'm good at this. I have ridiculously happy dogs. I strive for stress free, bouncy happy mutts. Gifted amatuer I'd hazard.

When friends visit, my dogs shine. They are such engaging and happy dogs that people cannot keep their hands off them. Banjo was an ambassador extraordinaire, he was a mutant giant of a GSD and he helped several people overcome their fear of big scary dogs. It's hard to deny a 90 pound, gazelle legged GSD that mumbles and groans with pleasure as he burrows into your abdomen. he killed with kindness.

I think GSDs make being a great owner easy. They are so tractable and eager to interact. Intelligent dogs find a way to communicate and make it a pleasure to do so.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am a newbie as well. I never had a dog as a kid, and my two dogs are my first (we got them as puppies almost five years ago, which shows you how much we knew about raising dogs).

I would like to think that I have learned a few things about raising a puppy as far as house training, promoting good house manners and off leash behavior. I have also dealt with joint issues and have learned about HD and treatments for it with Rosa. My dogs have taken some agility and nosework classes, but I do not know enough on those topics to be helpful.

My male GSD has had a lot of training to help us control his reactivity and build his confidence. I have done a great deal of research about dog behavior and how to shape it. I generally only give advice in areas that I have personally dealt with successfully. Which is why I don't post here very often.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am a newbie.

My male German Shepherd, Sinister, is my longest personal dog that I have owned. He will be 5 years old in March and I have had him since he was 11 weeks old. After getting Sinister I failed trying to add a 2nd pack number with 3 different dogs that I had in my possession ranging from 4 weeks to almost 8 months before getting my current puppy is a male Dalmatian named Draco.

From what I hear from others, I have done a good job raising and training both Sinister and Draco. I get a lot of compliments on how well behaved they are. I get a lot of "He is one of the best behaved dogs I have ever met" and "He is one of the smartest dogs I have ever met" with Sinister. Little do they know he can be a complete dodo some days!

I can teach basic commands, I feel I am somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to dog food, I believe I have good mental stimulation ideas. Between my job, friends and family they always ask me for dog advice. If I don't have the answer then I help them find the answer.
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Last edited by LaRen616; 12-16-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am a newbie GSD owner, i am an intermediate Border Collie owner. I understand my collie, but i have so many many many questions about my GSD, i love this forum and the people who have answered my threads have been lovely.
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