Heavy handed???? I need help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Heavy handed???? I need help!

i visited a local trainer today with my 6 month old working line GSD. he trains police dogs for local k-9 units as well as state police, he's been doing it for 26 years. he wants us to go there for 8weeks for $1000 for obedience and we would "have to" get a prong collar. the guy seemed a little heavy handed with his corrections with the prong collar on the dogs at the class. he put a prong collar on my dog and made him sit from like 20 feet away...wolf barely sits for me from a foot away lol but this guy was like an enforcer. anytime he went near wolf, wolf would hang his head, put his ears back, and seem scared, which he's never done before...is this normal for training a GSD??? i was very uneasy about it, but i'm a big softy and totally baby my dog lol. the guy kept telling me it was ok, my dog was fine, and "if i train POLICE dogs like this, it's definitely not illegal and it's not hurting them."
my main goal is to work on obedience with wolf and eventually get into schutzhund....but i was just wondering if this is normal in training a GSD? am i just being over protective? are there other methods that are equally as effective? o0oh and the part that really bothered me was he kept trying to get me to leave my dog there with him for a week! he said he'd have my dog fully trained in that week. i told him no way! i could never part from my baby for a week lol let alone with a stranger! i'm conflicted...he had so many awards, certificates, testimonials, champion wins, etc, so this guy obviously gets results...but i don't want my dog to be broken or become afraid of me either. help???
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 02:44 PM
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$1000 seems pretty pricey for 8 weeks, for someone just getting into it all, is it group or private training sessions?

As to the heavy handed part, you know it's hard to say. I started Schutzhund with my dog early last summer.

At first it did seem a bit heavy handed then what I was used to....at first. I wasn't used to using a prong collar on a dog and was worried about it. With proper guidance from the trainer he showed us that there is a balance. It depends on what you're working on, the drive, the individual dog's temperament and of course lot's of positive praise too, when the dog gives us the behaviour we want.

Having said that, my dog is rather soft with her handler. My trainer is big man, powerful presence but when he senses he's being a bit too much for her he softens himself a bit. In other words she really doesn't cower when he's handling her.

It's so hard to make a judgement call when you're new at this and I'm sure some more experienced folks will be along to help but I thought a beginner's view point would help you too.

In the meantime why not check out other trainers/clubs to get a better feel for it all? Watch the dogs and how they react.


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Originally Posted by LissG View Post
i visited a local trainer today with my 6 month old working line GSD. he trains police dogs for local k-9 units as well as state police, he's been doing it for 26 years. he wants us to go there for 8weeks for $1000 for obedience and we would "have to" get a prong collar. the guy seemed a little heavy handed with his corrections with the prong collar on the dogs at the class. he put a prong collar on my dog and made him sit from like 20 feet away...wolf barely sits for me from a foot away lol but this guy was like an enforcer. anytime he went near wolf, wolf would hang his head, put his ears back, and seem scared, which he's never done before...is this normal for training a GSD??? i was very uneasy about it, but i'm a big softy and totally baby my dog lol. the guy kept telling me it was ok, my dog was fine, and "if i train POLICE dogs like this, it's definitely not illegal and it's not hurting them."
my main goal is to work on obedience with wolf and eventually get into schutzhund....but i was just wondering if this is normal in training a GSD? am i just being over protective? are there other methods that are equally as effective? o0oh and the part that really bothered me was he kept trying to get me to leave my dog there with him for a week! he said he'd have my dog fully trained in that week. i told him no way! i could never part from my baby for a week lol let alone with a stranger! i'm conflicted...he had so many awards, certificates, testimonials, champion wins, etc, so this guy obviously gets results...but i don't want my dog to be broken or become afraid of me either. help???

Last edited by Gwenhwyfair; 11-26-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 02:52 PM
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if you want to get into schutzhund why not find a club near you and take him there?


I doubt I'd pay 1000 bucks for 8 lessons myself. You don't have to scare your dog into making him obedient, but you can't baby him either.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LissG View Post
anytime he went near wolf, wolf would hang his head, put his ears back, and seem scared, which he's never done before..
No way in hades would I take my dog to someone who had that effect on him.

I want learning to be a fun, motivating, enjoyable experience for my dog, a way for us to bond with each other and to become partners. Not a joyless, soul-killing experience in which he learns to obey like a fearful robot.


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 03:17 PM
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Killian gets corrected at training for some dominate behavior, he gets all sad looking and pathetic, but the trainer develops a relationship with the dog. Just like Parent and Child, you reprimand your kids when they do wrong, they get all sad looking and sometimes they say, I hate you mom, I know I did when I was a teenager, but the difference is our trainer gives him positive reward interaction so he isn't scared of him, for every bad, they need a good. You can't baby the crap out of him. However, if you don't like it, leave. YOU have to be comfortable. If you feel like your baby'ing your dog, get a veteran dog owners opinion. Usually they can tell you if you are....

PS: I would never pay a grand for an 8 weeks course. My suggestion is finding a ScHh club near you! Good Luck!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 03:30 PM
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I have a feeling I know who you went to see.
But no...I wouldn't let someone treat my dog like that, I would find a different place to train. What are you looking to do with your dog? Basic ob or schh or...? Maybe we can give you some other suggestions.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 04:18 PM
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No this does not seem the norm for SchH training. First off, 6 months is still just a baby. Now I'm no national competitor (would like to be with my up and coming dog) but at 6 months my Schutzhund dogs were just playing with food and toys. If Schutzhund is your goal I would join a Schutzhund club; police dog training is not Schutzhund training. When I take obedience, rally, or agility at our local club (not SchH) I pay $100 for 6 weeks. Also I do not let anyone train my dog much less try to correct them for me. My dog, my training.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 06:11 PM
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Wow, that's a lot of $.
My trainer is also a police k9 trainer. He was a K9 cop for 30 years and head of the K9 dept. He travels the country training the police academy trainers. He's called in to K9 depts when they have problems. He does training on the side when he has time and he only charged $500 for 6 sessions.

His training was nothing like you described. And I personally would never have left Gunner to be trained without me.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely did NOT leave Wolf there! I'd never leave him with anyone! I told the trainer that right now all I'm lookin to do is get the obedience down pat. Eventually I'd like to get into Sch, but he's just a baby.
GSDGunner-can you PM me the name/number of your trainer?? I didn't feel comfortable there at all, the price seemed high but the real thing that's stearing me away is the way he treated my dog... I know I can't baby him, but I don't want him to fear me, or anyone. I don't want him to cower. I want it to be a relationship building experience.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LissG View Post
I definitely did NOT leave Wolf there! I'd never leave him with anyone! I told the trainer that right now all I'm lookin to do is get the obedience down pat. Eventually I'd like to get into Sch, but he's just a baby.
GSDGunner-can you PM me the name/number of your trainer?? I didn't feel comfortable there at all, the price seemed high but the real thing that's stearing me away is the way he treated my dog... I know I can't baby him, but I don't want him to fear me, or anyone. I don't want him to cower. I want it to be a relationship building experience.
Done!
I love my trainer. He really knows this breed so well. Gunner loved him too. He's a great man.

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