When my husband and I got our 1st GSD, Cheyenne, about 18 yrs ago, I had previously used a local trainer for my Doberman years before. I don't remember all the details of his training methods but basically he was yank & crank type trainer. Good old chain choker collar. Well when Cheyenne was about a yr old my husband went to take a bone from him and he growled. So we figured we'd better get professional help so I used the local guy I knew. I had trained Cheyenne, to the best of my ability, he was socialized & trusted off leash and used to go out with me on the trails loose with my horses every day. Anyway the trainer came to evaluate him and set him up & hung him by his neck for what seemed to be a very long time. This is what we were told to do when he exhibited that type of behavior. Needless to say my husband and I really didn't want to hang our dog and did not continue with that trainer. That was the same trainer who suggested we take one of his females. She was about 6, probably spent her whole life in a cage and she was TERRIFIED of my husband for no other reason than he was a male. I didn't know how to help her and we returned her.
Years later when I got Apache, it was in my contract to go to puppy classes. My trainer is a reward based trainer but she also believes in a correction when needed. Not by hanging but more of a "hey, pay attention" tug tug to me "look here, oh very good". I only learned about clicker training last year when I got Lakota. Let me tell you I was amazed on how easy marking with the clicker and a reward got the results. I remember trying to teach Apache & Kiya to "look" I hated spitting the treat. With Lakota I used the clicker and it took no time at all.
I also think (know) I caused my 2 older dogs to become reactive to other dogs a few years ago when we would get barked at and dogs we passed by would charge thier fences at us. By me correcting my dogs for barking the association was created that when you see another dog bark because moms gonna yell. Now I have tried to reverse that by doing little things I have learned like walking in an arch, getting my dog to focus on me before the situation escalated.
I use a prong collar when out on our daily run, it's just easier. My dogs just don't pull on the prong. Verbal corrections are really all I have to do if I don't have them on a leash. When on leash I find the simple tug tug to get thier attention back if verbal didn't get them.
Lakota - WGSD 1/13/10
Wolfen - WGSD 12/31/14
Bull -WGSD 2-10-10
Apache - Shiloh Shepherd 12/15/02 - 6/9/15
Kiya - Shiloh Shepherd 5/15/04 -12/19/25