Which philosophy do you use to train your pups? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2017, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Which philosophy do you use to train your pups?

Strict vs Passive. Many trainers say that if you don't let your pups bite you and jump on you then you will kill their drive by correcting them. Others say that it's a completely different scenario between letting them jump and bite on you and them jumping and biting someone in a bite suit. I'm usually a mix of both, I usually don't correct the biting and jumping but I try to mold their behavior using food and toys. If it's something serious like growling at children, then I go with a more harsh approach to completely rid this behavior from the dogs mind.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 09:20 AM
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Here's my understanding of it, and I'm going through it right now so please someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The main thing for a puppy is to recognize the difference between biting and mouthing, for GSD specifically you need to teach them never to bite, but mouthing is part of growing up (not only are they teething in a lot of cases, but they use their mouths to explore the world). I will not allow a hard bite or mouthing on my wife or kids, but I will allow mouthing on me, and of course on toys. I normally train positively with negative punishments, but this is one of the only areas where pup gets a bop on the nose for nipping at the kids or wife. As always, timing is key, if I wasn't there to see it, I can't correct it, which is also why my puppy is basically always tethered to me.

None of this should have any effect down the line on being able to train your dog to attack, since that's a different bite to her. Biting as a puppy is either playing too hard or fear/defensive, the biting you'd be teaching her down the line is protection, they're definitely smart enough to know the difference.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 01:39 PM
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Depends on the dog and the family. I don't think there is any study that says X is better than Y. (if there is I'd like to see it, really. I love learning new things).

I do know that my boy was allowed to play rough with us. We wore heavy leather gloves while he was little. Then we went to tugs when he grip became strong enough to crunch us. He learned on his own that if he tasted bare skin that he needed to back off fast. It still amazes me how quickly he can do that. He hits a bit sleeve hard and really enjoys the work.

My she-pup didn't get to play rough with us (lest the big boy want to get into the game and trample her). She never really learned how to go after a human. At nearly one and a half years old she is learning how to rough house with my hubby. She may or may not want to do protection work for IPO. I don't know if it is her personality that makes the difference or the way we raised her.

By the way, my mom lives with us and is on blood thinners. Both dogs know to never play rough with her. There were some oopsies when my boy was younger but maturity and experience and practice brought better control.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 02:11 PM
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I think it depends on your puppy and the age and pups are all different and need different things. Max was very mouthy pup extremely mouthy. We did much redirecting with toys for quite awhile it was a way of life -lol. When Max was getting a bit bigger and leash corrections were needed. Leash correction and no biting is what worked for the moment. Eventually with much repetition saying just saying no biting would work. Max still jumps on some people - my sister mostly.-not as much but has been corrected often the only thing that stops his jumping if he has a ball in his mouth it helps with the excitement. Luna does not jump and on the rare occasion she did we would just make her sit for kisses and pets. Our puppy does not mouth or teeth on us very rarely if she does -getting up and walking away is all it takes or redirecting works and not need to be repeated a gazillion times. They are all so different. Max is our puppy's pin cushion I think her goal in life for the moment is to take him down -lol! So we got a pass on the new pup's teething.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I guess it all depends on the individual dog. I love Michael Ellis' approach. He just has so much fun with his pups, but he did say that "if you don't want your pup to jump on you then don't let him, jumping on the handler and jumping on a decoy is a completely different scenario to the dog". (something along those lines).
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 04:49 PM
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Never heard of strict v. passive. Between those two choices I choose strict because I don't have a soft dog. I did however start with corrections at too young of an age when she didn't really understand. Fortunately she has a sound temperament and is bold so I didn't crush her, but I did create conflict and didn't teach calm. I'll be more patient if I have another puppy and make sure he understands what I want with tons of positive reinforcement before I start correcting with a pinch or e-collar.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 04:55 PM
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The most gentle technique needed at that very moment.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 12:50 PM
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Every dog is different, the techniques used on a strong willed dog is different than the techniques needed to be used on a very submissive dog.

I always allowed my dog to play rough but I let him know when he was getting too rough. He never initiates rough play so I donít have to worry about him hurting my nephews or my grandpa.

He is a strong willed dog, standard corrections like yelling and spanking wouldnít phase him if he really wanted something, unlike a very submissive dog who might collapse and roll over if yelled at and spanked.

A well bred working dog will not have its drive easily taken from it, I donít personally think thatís possible.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:04 PM
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I agree that it definitely depends on the dog. My WL female was a very strong-willed and stubborn youngster, so while we did a lot of positive reinforcement she also required a bit more strict correction with the prong and e-collar. Once she was doing well on the collars, I stopped training with them and started reinforcing the wanted behaviors with treats and toys. That was the best method with her, and these days she gets nothing but positive reinforcement and doesn't have any behaviors that I would call undesirable.

That said, with the new pup I will wait to get a good sense of his temperament and personality before I start any sort of correction other than positive reinforcement.

MacKenzie - Workling Line Female (In Loving Memory)
Wolfram - West German Showline Male [SG1, CGC, DDN, CN, EN, IN, VN]
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 01:43 PM
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So Julian, did you finally get a puppy from one of these lines you have been asking about so much?
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