I waited for years and years for a Czech puppy. I was in love with Grim before I ever got him to my home. He was (and is) everything I wanted. However, I made a mistake. I am writing this so that others don't make the same mistakes. Maybe it's just me because I misunderstood some things that were told to me, I don't know. I tried all the suggestions for the biting when he was younger, and nothing worked. I just waited it out. He was always very head strong. I should have laid down the law and put some rules in place from day one. It's not like I wasn't told to do this by his breeder, I was. It was my fault because I didn't do that. I thought "let him be a puppy" meant less rules and restrictions. He got away with a lot. I never corrected him. (Well, I scruffed him for biting a couple times, but that's it) That was a HUGE mistake!! I tried bribing him with treats when he was doing something he shouldn't. He didn't really get into anything because I followed him all over the house when he was out of his kennel. I enjoyed his antics, but raised him differently than previous shepherds.
Then, one day he found his 'voice'. I tried to think of 'why' he was barking because he'd never done that before. Instead of trying to figure out 'why' I should have just corrected him for it. Every time we've gone for a walk, he's been so full of excitement that I can barely handle him for the first few minutes. I didn't correct him for that, either. I just let him do it. So we go to class... and my unruly, un-corrected pup starts barking and acting like a maniac. Why? Who knows? Because he can is the most likely answer. I tried to distract him instead of correcting him. Took him out to other places after that, and see none of that behavior when we go into the building. Back to class... same behavior. I FINALLY corrected him, but I don't think it was 'enough' of a correction, because he just got more wound up.
So now, I have a 7 month old young dog who has NO manners. It's not his fault, it's mine. I'm not going to blame this forum or anyone on it. I've learned a lot, met some REALLY great people, heard some opinions and thoughts on things that gave me something to think about and new things to try. However, I think that I listened to too many people and didn't ask enough specifics about what they meant. Again, MY fault.
I won't say I've 'ruined' my dog, because I don't believe that's true. However, I lost time that I could have used to train him to behave. It was MY choice to do it this way, even though I had reservations about it. My gut was telling me that it was wrong, especially for him and who he is. We're going to be working really hard on manners now. We're going to be working really hard on when I say something, I mean it and he needs to listen to what I have to say. I think this will improve our relationship in the long run. I don't think "let him be a puppy" meant what I thought it did. I don't know what that really means, I guess.
I've read a lot on that thread I started about him being 'kicked out' of obedience class. I read through the entire thread more than twice. After I was over being angry and mortified. I never blamed the trainer. I really, really like how she trains. I'm still going to go and finish the class. She didn't know that I'd let Grim basically run wild at home. How could she? She had no idea why he was acting like that. I'm sure most people would think he was being 'reactive' but I'm with him all the time, and I can tell you that's not the case. He simply had little rules. He wasn't corrected for that behavior, so he had no idea it was wrong. I failed miserably as his handler. Not because I'm incompetent, not because he's "too much dog for me" but because I deviated from my 'normal' path of raising a pup to try something new. It probably would have been fine had I understood what was meant. So please don't blame the trainer. I would certainly recommend her to others. I already learned a lot. I hope that after Grim is re-trained to have some manners and some respect he can continue on with classes to get the foundation he needs to get his titles. Sometimes I don't realize how much my brain has changed from my illness. I think I understand something, and I don't. I usually run things by my wife when I'm confused about something to see if she sees something I don't. I didn't do that. I thought I 'got it'. Again, my fault. Grim has paid the price, though. I can do this. I just have to listen to myself first. I have to ask questions, and I need to just raise him how I've been raising shepherds for 2 decades.
My point is this. If you're trying something new, ask questions. If your dog isn't doing well with it, ask more questions. Take advice, but think on it before you put it into action. Don't let your puppies grow up with no rules. Correct when needed. No correction doesn't help the pup. Then people think you have an uncontrollable maniac, because they assume that you've been correcting them all along. I am really ashamed to post this. However, I don't want anyone else to do what I did. Things will be fine with Grim. He's a good boy with a great temperament and great nerves. He's a brat because I allowed him to be. Thank you for everyone's input. I will still ask questions, but I will think before I just start doing something with him that's different than what I've done before. That's all. I just hated for anyone to blame the trainer or think Grim is not a good boy. It's not his fault, it's mine.