Originally Posted By: LiesjeI thought of another example: One person told me that besides training and proofing sitz, platz, and rewarding heeling when it's offered, he doesn't really do obedience until the dog is a year old. Then I go somewhere else and am told that obedience is the MOST important thing and I should focus on that.
Having started an older dog who had NO training until she was over a year old, and now bringing along a pup, I'm in the second school of thought. There is reason and theory behind both peoples' belief, and the best thing is to talk to a number of people who have trained dogs to see what they think, and see what makes sense to you.
The waiting until the dog is a year old is pretty out-dated thinking. Yet in Schutzhund, there is a risk of doing too much obedience with a young dog at an early age, and thus inhibiting their natural drive and exhuberance, as they are afraid that they will get in trouble if they pull on the line, bark, move away from the handler, etc. . .
With a puppy, I think more of shaping behaviours, more than actually training obedience. Rewarding behaviours that I wanted when offered (like looking at me, walking by my side, sitting by the door), rather than demanding them and correcting for them. It took a long time, but Falkor will now move into a Foos position from anywhere, and even remember to push in his butt to be straight! I did not do what I would call "formal" ob with him until he was six or seven months, so maybe a compromise between the "early OB a must" school of thought, and the "no formal OB until a year old" school of thought.
So in response to your example above, MY view is that there is a golden middle - I think that having some background as to how and why people have different theories, and hearing stories or seeing how too much OB in one dog at an early age has inhibited their drives on the field (won't leave the handlers side to move towards the helper because their OB training has ingrained the behaviour to not leave the handler's side from a very early age), to seeing dogs that are hectic and difficult to control because the OB foundations were not laid at the right time - not Keeta, but it is easier to set a good foundation early), can go a long way in helping you unravel much of the confusion.
For me, training is for fun, and learning, and I enjoy seeing and understanding all the little stray strands of work we do come together into a cohesive whole, and have AHA! momments along the way. But since you have clear goals of titling, I can understand that the contradictory info seems to take you further away from your goals rather than closer. Still, I know you have Nikon and Kenya and are working them because you enjoy working them. So when contradictory info comes along, the "why" behind it helps to clear things up.