I really need advice! My GSD is a wonderful dog. Her really only bad behaviour is she started chewing on furniture legs (more on that later). I got a new trainer who has trained dogs for the Israeli miltiary, etc. He has much experience. BUT, his advice to me has me panicked! My GSD he feels is about 12 months old, pure bred, and a wonderful dog. But the schedule is overwhelming! The dog gets walked 6 times a day at specific times, gets 45 minutes free time in house after walk,, then goes into kennel until next walk. Water is given 4 times a day, 4 cups, last water around 6PM when she is fed. Water is offered before and after the first four walks, then removed.
In order to make her do her business, I must take her to one or two spots, ad walk back and forth with her, even if it takes an hour, until she goes in the AM! What if she does not have to go? Usually they urinate, but she often does that after I "walk" her. An hour back and forth? My word to her is "hurry up", but I am not sure she understands the connection.
I have had her for several months, she was a rescue, and I got her from a breeder. I have ALWAYS used German commands with her, although she understands English ones too. He himself uses different languages with his own dogs, but tells me I can only use English, that using German is "pretentious". I can use German if I insist, but MUCH later after he feels she is totally obedient. What is wrong with using German?????
He wants me to switch her from ProPlan to very expensive foods like Orijen and Instinct. She has grown very well on ProPlan, I know there is a big movement now toward "natural" foods without grains, but are they really better? They are very expensive, I am willing to switch IF those foods truly are better!
Her chewing the furniture legs started a a few weeks ago, Bitter Apple does not seem to work, so he told me to get rid of a lot of my furniture! Of course I am not going to get rid of my furniture! He said she has to be watched very carefully and corrected every time I catch her doing that.
That and wanting to chase squirrels are her only bad habits.
I am in a state of panic over the rigidity of the schedule, the walking back and forth for an hour until she goes (what if she does not), I live in NYC near the park and also have a private park for my building with a small area where dogs are allowed to "go". I do not take her into the park AM because the dogs are off leash, she is not yet ready to go "off leash", and that only makes her want to chase them.
Please, forum members, your opinions? This trainer is VERY experienced, but I am overwhelmed by his "plan" for the dog training. His pointers on getting her to heel perfectly were good, and being very authoritative, which I believe I am, and working with the dog. But his other ideas seem overwhelming to me! I would like her to be a working dog, so she must learn perfect obedience.
She goes to doggie day care 3 times a week, for socialization, and I have a dog walker twice a day PM for some of the other days because I am self employed and can't always be home to take her out. ALso, being in the kennel between walks escept for 45 minutes....isn't that a lot? I THINK she stays out of the kennel after her 7 PM walk until her bedtime walk, but I am not sure.
Your opinions are really needed! He is expensive, and I want to know if his approach is correct. Help!