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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-17-2013 02:32 AM
Shaolin I would consider myself an experienced amature. If you are talking about owning a dog in general, then yes, I would consider myself pretty experienced. I have a pretty good handle on basic and intermediate training, I feed them with appropriate food. I don't say high quality just because some dogs just can't handle the good stuff. I've had dogs that can't tolerate anything but what many would consider "crap" food and other dogs that need to be fed super high quality stuff.

My mother is/was a professional dog trainer. She taught me all the good stuff. Caring wise, I don't let money stop me in any way. If they need something that I can't provide with a home remedy, they go to the vet. I just paid off almost 3k in vet bills for Abi when she got sick, but when we had to consider her being PTS, it wasn't because we couldn't pay, it was over concern of life quality. I've never not given a dog appropriate medical care due to finances. I've just been extremely lucky.

Any animal I have is loved and cherished. I would willingly go without eating if it meant I could put something in their bowls. I've never considered giving up an animal out of "making it easier" unless there was something that couldn't be managed. The dog my parents have was the dog I picked at 16. I tried to bring him in, but while he got along famously with Cheyenne, the cats were prey and it was something that I couldn't break. If the cats moved normally, he would investigate then ignore, but if they went streaking away or clawed at him, the prey drive kicked in and it wasn't playful, so he went back to live with my parents. The only other dog I gave up was a dog who had severe aggression issues that couldn't be explained medically. He went from kind and loving to full fledged attacking over six months.

Other than that, I am constantly learning and evolving. I'm not perfect and I've made many mistakes along the way, but I believe I'm a step ahead of a novice owner.
12-16-2013 10:31 PM
vicky2200 I consider myself to be pretty experienced with things like: puppy-hood, basic training, tricks, and dog body language. I also say I am pretty good at detecting health abnormalities- partially because I have had dogs my entire life and partially because I am a nurse.

I am inexperienced with specific training (such as agility).
12-16-2013 10:16 PM
gsdsar I have a lot if experience, but I am no expert. I still ask a lot of questions, I still find new ways of doing things. I lean heavily on others for guidance.

To be honest, the more experience I get, the more I realize how little I know. 10 years ago, I felt like I knew a lot. Now, I feel like like I need to learn more.


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12-16-2013 09:47 PM
Colie CVT Every day you can learn something new. I always live for the chance to discover something new about my pets, my career. You can never stop learning, and if you ever think that you've learned it all, you cheat yourself.

I've been working in many aspects of the animal industry since I was 14 years old, ranging from shelter to biomedical research to veterinary medicine. I've worked with all kinds of dogs, in all sorts of environments. I feel fairly confident in my ability to handle most animals that come my way as in being certain that myself and those around me won't get hurt in the process. My two current dogs are my seconds that I've been around of their breeds. Myles, my golden, however is the first dog that I have raised personally and am fully responsible for how he has turned out. My GSD Leia came to me at 3.5 years of age, and she's been quite the learning curve. My first GSD Kenai was a large lesson in how truly wonderful and how sadly congenitally messed up they can be.

I feel an expert in knowing how to love dogs, I know a lot about the medical side of things (CVT in a very high end practice), however there's plenty I can learn about everything to own, live with and work with dogs.
12-16-2013 07:22 PM
PhoenixGuardian I am young and DEFINITELY still learning, but I think I know quite a bit. I've learned a WHOLE lot from my GSD... As many of you know I have had over my life (I'm eighteen) at least thirty dogs, and have had contact with too many for me to count. I have never ever had less than one dog at any time in my life (and that time was only until our Golden retriever was old enough to come away from her breeder). My childhood was spent outside, running with my dogs. I have raised most of these dogs, and trained Gee-Haw lead dogs (doesn't just include Gee-haw, it includes a LOT more than just right and left) as well as my GSD to track (though not nearly as well as many on this site) and many obedience commands and house manners. I think overall, compared with an average person, I have quite a bit of experience, and have been taught by people who have raised working dogs their whole lives. But I am young, and have SOOOOOOOO much more to learn! I learn more every day! As others have said, the more I learn, the less I know.
I know I'll never learn everything there is to know about dogs, but I am going to give it my best shot!
12-16-2013 06:51 PM
huntergreen my father was raised with gsd, i was raised with gsd. the best i can say is "i know some things, but there is much i haven't learned and am still learning".
12-16-2013 06:16 PM
Syaoransbear Probably not very experienced. Chrono is my first dog and first german shepherd. I got him as a puppy. With him I've dealt with leash reactivity, food/toy aggression, and separation anxiety. The first two are completely fixed, the last is now very easily managed. But I've never dealt with anything severe like human aggression.

I have no experience in breeding dogs and don't want any experience in breeding dogs.

As for training, I have zero experience in dog competitions and don't plan on getting experience in them in the future. However, Chrono is adored by vets, and his last vet appointment consistent mostly of the vets and other staff gushing about his perfect behavior than about anything to do with his annual exam.

I have experience with raw, but at the moment I'm not feeding it because we don't have a large freezer anymore. I do plan to feed it again whenever I'm able to. I'm still feeding raw meat, but it's not his main diet.
12-16-2013 05:31 PM
Dudes mom I consider myself an experienced pet owner. I remember my first family dog when I was 5. Our first german shepherd when I was 9. The only time I was without a dog was when I was in the military but I was fortunate enough to live in the same dorm as the k9 handlers so I could play with them . I am on numbers 4 and 5 personal dogs since I have been an adult, I'm 46. I've always had german shepherds.

I've only trained in basic obedience, silly tricks, and house manners. I've been fortunate to have never owned a dog with a dangerous behavior issue, so I have no experience at all with those type of problems. My boys teach me something everyday, and I hope they always will.
12-16-2013 03:12 PM
selzer I have had lots of dogs, and have had dogs all my life, pretty much.

I train them, I've titled, I've done Rally, Obedience, Agility, Conformation, and a tiny bit of Herding. Most of my dogs have had CGCs and I certified one as a therapy dog.

Every dog teaches me more. Some teach me much more, and others are pretty easy, but still manage to show me stuff.

I agree that when I leave off learning about dogs, there won't be much left of me.

I think the challenges that we face are all opportunities for heavy learning. Sometimes it's health, sometimes its training, sometimes behavior.

I am not sure how one determines how much experience they have. I feel pretty confident in how I handle/ what I try with most dogs/puppies myself or others. But then, people have felt very confident yanking and cranking for decades, and I don't know if they are really all that experienced, except maybe in yanking and cranking.

Every time I start to feel like a veteran on health stuff, I read some threads and realize how fortunate I have been so far. And I guess the same is true on behavior issues. Not that mine are perfect, but I haven't dealt with many truly hard/dominant dogs. Even my first GSD, who I describe as a dominant drop-eared disaster, looking back I think was most likely an insecure, fear-reactive dog with a very inexperienced handler.
12-16-2013 03:07 PM
SoCal Rebell I consider myself an advanced owner, got my 1st GSD at 8 and he was a show dog, a champion actually. My dad and I trained him and I actually showed him in the junior class.. I'm on my 4th in succession all my GSDs are obedience trained, agility trained, sheep herding and my latest is SchH trained which I handled. All my Shepherds have/had great temperaments, I had to put my 1st one down at 12 because of hip Dysplasia so I am very picky about their Pedigree.
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