Do your SAR people have shepherds? If not, then to non-shepherd people, a five month old puppy may be perceived as much older. Also, people get German Shepherd in their heads, and think that they arrive in the world obedience trained and mature.
I like a dog that listens to me and is easily managed, and I get that. But I also like dogs that have personality and spirit. Sometimes, I think people expect way too much out of their youngsters and push them too far, too fast.
I shudder at the photo of a line of young puppies -- eight or ten weeks old, with gentle leader on them, all in down stays in a row. Their marketing ploy is to say, we ship them trained. Trained? At eight or ten weeks? Maybe, but at what cost?
Yes, it's five shepherds and two labs
Its some people from Germany that think I should turn it more into a ritual to give him security. I agree that rituals are important but I highly disagree with turning him into a small robot and overwhelm him by demanding too much too early.
i agree with you. Basic work is important. Sometimes I look at the obedience videos from Schutzhund people and I am not sure if I should be amazed or feel sorry for the pups that seem to heel almost perfectly at four months already.
Lately I've even heard that they are kept crated to build the drive and are only taken out to work. No play, no fun...just work. Crating to make them look high drive dogs? Crazy!