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-   -   Training yourself vs going to classes... (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/427802-training-yourself-vs-going-classes.html)

Serbrider 03-21-2014 10:34 PM

Training yourself vs going to classes...
 
Just wondering what people's thoughts were.

I'm talking about basic to intermediate obedience and simple behavioral stuff. Not problem dogs or necessarily even sport type stuff.

boomer11 03-21-2014 10:40 PM

I'd train myself. I find common sense and an open mind gets you basic obedience.

Harry and Lola 03-21-2014 10:43 PM

I do basic to intermediate OB myself all the time, however I think it is far beneficial for your dog to be in a training environment with other dogs present, all doing the same thing, as this does help your dog learn to be near other dogs, ignore other dogs and assist in building a trust/bond relationship with you. Plus if you intend to trial, your dog will need to be used to being around other dogs.

I also like being trained as the trainer will pick up little things I am doing wrong, things I don't realise I'm doing, so for me classes help both me and my dog.

Chip18 03-21-2014 11:02 PM

I won't disagree with any of the above. I thought the exposure to other dogs was the really important part of dog obedience training, then found myself avoiding other dogs and training my dogs to ignore other dogs anyway.

Just a regular pet guy and my first dog attended puppy class where I found out he was an A hole but we made it through, then my other dogs no formal training. I knew what I wanted in my guys and have had few problems getting there.

My GSD was the one exception people issues that was new to me. But I did the Leerburgh "Who pets my puppy" and he turned out great. Did not do that with my Boxer and save for other training she would have happily driven/rode off with a stranger!

My first dog convinced me to avoid dog parks with him and I think in the long run that's been a blessing my guys have not had any issues that needed addressing. So I guess I'm happy going it alone.

But you have to start somewhere with your "first" dog. :)

ZoeD1217 03-21-2014 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip18 (Post 5246242)
I won't disagree with any of the above. I thought the exposure to other dogs was the really important part of dog obedience training, then found myself avoiding other dogs and training my dogs to ignore other dogs anyway.

Just a regular pet guy and my first dog attend puppy class where I found out he was an A hole but we made it through, then my other dogs no formal training. I knew what I wanted in my guys and have had few problems getting there.

My GSD was the one exception people issues that was new to me. But I did the Leerburgh "Who pets my puppy" and he turned out great. Did not do that with my Boxer and save for other training she would have happily driven/rode off with a stranger!

So you don't socialize your dog's with any other dogs? At all? I know I've seen you mention it before. I will never be the type to take my pup to the dog park or for doggie play dates. I am torn on group puppy class. I see socialization thrown around all the time and I certainly don't want to cause problems by under socializing her but I also wonder how much that is needed if I know for a fact we aren't going to go romp around with other dogs. I just want her to be able to walk around the neighborhood on a leash without being a nutjob.

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selzer 03-21-2014 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harry and Lola (Post 5246122)
I do basic to intermediate OB myself all the time, however I think it is far beneficial for your dog to be in a training environment with other dogs present, all doing the same thing, as this does help your dog learn to be near other dogs, ignore other dogs and assist in building a trust/bond relationship with you. Plus if you intend to trial, your dog will need to be used to being around other dogs.

I also like being trained as the trainer will pick up little things I am doing wrong, things I don't realise I'm doing, so for me classes help both me and my dog.

This pretty much sums up my feelings about dog classes. I've been to so many, with so many dogs, that I can almost recite the opening spiel, but I keep going because I haven't with this dog yet. And training them around other dogs and their owners, is great socialization, training around distractions, and I have friends there -- we can commiserate about everything, dog related and not dog related.

boomer11 03-21-2014 11:16 PM

My 10 month old pup has never been to any classes. He's only played with a couple of my friends dogs. I can walk him off leash around the neighborhood and he ignores all dogs. Even ones tied up in the yard barking it's head off. Of course he looks but he doesn't care. I can train him in the front yard with the dog watching across the street and a little pomeranian barking behind a glass door. I want my dog to see and experience dogs big and small but I don't want him playing with them. I want him playing with me. I'm fun. They are not so there is no reason for him to want to run up to them.

If you have time and money of course take training classes. It definitely can't hurt but the reason your dog will be obedient is all the time spent training outside of class. Your dog isn't going to learn much during that one hour. That hour is there to teach you how to, it's on you to go home and do.

Serbrider 03-21-2014 11:37 PM

I have an 11 week old girl who is getting pretty far in her basic obedience training... and I did it all myself, with the distraction of a cat and my older dog (who has manners, but will slowly inch her way over in front of the puppy while sitting pretty and wanting a treat). I don't have the money to take training classes. I plan on doing some workshops or something to get involved in some sort of sport (meaning agility or competitive obedience or something, not necessarily schutzhund or bitework type stuff) and in our primary goal right now, which is getting her Canine Good Citizenship and her approved and registered as a working therapy dog.
This is my first puppy that I get to raise all by myself the way I want to though (I'm only 21, got my first dog when I was 12, still have her, trained her mostly myself, but it's far from perfect). Apart from the neighbor's constantly loose dogs, she hasn't had a lot of training related socialization. Though, we are at the point where if I call her attention and ask her to "sit" or "down" or even a tiny bit of "stay" with the neighbor's dog vying for her attention, she will mostly listen to me and do so. Still needs more of that time working with those distractions (she just wants to see the world, so especially if we're going to a new place, distractions are a big deal to her, but slow and steadily working on that. And every day we improve).


As I said, this will be my first puppy I get to raise exactly how I want. So, while not every dog is the same, I'm interested in seeing how she turns out based on my training methods, diet, etc. I've worked with friend's dogs before (who all lost everything when I stopped working with them because their owners didn't keep up with it), but yeah.


I'm just asking the question because I had contacted my local evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, asking her what sorts of conditioning and training she recommended, and if there were any workshops or classes I should definitely take before we start the testing process. Her answer was to get my pup in obedience classes once she's 6 months old. Now, apart from basic temperament, breed, and age, I hadn't said anything about my dog. So understandable that she would suggest classes... but yeah. Sorta got me to thinking... since I've always just read books, watched youtube videos from trainers, and just worked with a bunch of dogs (only one of which was mine) in the past... and never been to any actual classes or workshops or anything.

Cassidy's Mom 03-21-2014 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boomer11 (Post 5246386)
Your dog isn't going to learn much during that one hour. That hour is there to teach you how to, it's on you to go home and do.

Of course, but that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile hour. :) Since most of us are not dog training experts, no matter how long we've owned and trained dogs, there's always more to learn.

Classes serve many purposes - the eye of an experienced trainer to point out what you're doing right or wrong or what you could be doing better, training your dog in a novel environment around new people and other dogs, and giving you a plan each week of what to work on.

I personally like the structure of having a plan (and yes, I realize I COULD do this myself, I'm just less likely to do so if I don't need to go back to class each week and demonstrate that I have actually worked on those particular skills), it helps keep me focused so I don't try to do too much at once and get overwhelmed when I don't have anywhere near enough time to work on everything I want to get done each week!

Cassidy's Mom 03-21-2014 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Serbrider (Post 5246490)
I'm just asking the question because I had contacted my local evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, asking her what sorts of conditioning and training she recommended, and if there were any workshops or classes I should definitely take before we start the testing process. Her answer was to get my pup in obedience classes once she's 6 months old. Now, apart from basic temperament, breed, and age, I hadn't said anything about my dog. So understandable that she would suggest classes... but yeah. Sorta got me to thinking... since I've always just read books, watched youtube videos from trainers, and just worked with a bunch of dogs (only one of which was mine) in the past... and never been to any actual classes or workshops or anything.

The thing is, you don't know what you don't know. And you may be doing a fantastic job on your own, but still - you're just 21 years old. That's absolutely NOT a diss on your age, it's just that your experience training dogs is by definition limited, as it would be with any other young person. Being able to demonstrate that you've passed certain classes shows someone who knows nothing else about you that you've trained a dog or dogs to a particular level.


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