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I am looking for some clarification or confirmation on my newest dilemma.

I have 2 American show line GSD one is going on 12 and the other is 8. I am in a wheelchair with pretty much one good arm. Don't think I can't do much because I am outside 90% of the time weather permitting, and no offense guys but I do more than most healthy guys. ;) This is just to give you an idea on my situation.

Now to my main concern. I have been here a few years now and I have learned a lot. In all my reading, emails, and phone calls to members I concluded that I was ready for a WLGSD.

The breeder that I choose is telling me I will only be able to train my WLGSD with a prong collar. She tells me they have a much higher pain tolerance and have higher drive an a unwillingness to listen. I have been in touch with this breeder for the last 2 years.

I have raise only GSD since I was 22 and until now 30 years later I have never used a prong collar nor a shock collar. I use a nylon choke collar and that is only when I am walking or training them otherwise they wear no collar. I have always had fantastic dogs that don't leave their yards and will drop whatever they are doing and come when called. Is it true that most WLGSD require a prong collar and are they that much more of a handful of dog.:confused:

I consider myself a pretty good dog trainer and I have plenty of time. What pet wouldn't want his or her master home with them everyday. :p

Any questions or input would be appreciated. :eek:
 

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If your breeder is breeding dogs that are so drivey and over the top they all need a prong collar, then you may want to 'hear' her and go with another breeder if you aren't comfortable with that.

I will say some dogs never need a prong and some do.
 

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Agree with MLR. I think prong collars are a handy tool but if that is hte only way to control the dog, there is either a training problem, or a dog problem.
 

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Generalizations are exactly that. If you don't have the skill required to work completely without aversive corrections (and yes, it takes immense skill) then you will likely need to resort to aversive corrections at some point. [Yes, I just made a generalization!]

I completely disagree that any dog would require aversive training to teach or correct behavior. I find that weak minded; a good R+ trainer will definitely need to show lots of skill and brain power to find creative solutions- but they should be able to find creative solutions without having to resort to aversive corrections. We'll see how that holds when I get my own WL pup...
 

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Maybe that is what your breeder is producing. Not all working line dogs are bred that way. Generally I think it depends more on the dog. Grim is 100% Czech and has never seen a prong (at least not since I got him) Beau can be a bit hard headed and very strong and does have one though I minimize its use. He is half Czech half West German WL.
 

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We have been involved with WL and Schutzhund for many years. We pretty much phased out the use of prongs about 10 years ago. We just learned other ways to get the response we wanted without it (or an ecollar). I think we still have one or two hanging on a hook somewhere but I can't recall the last time we got it out. We have a few breeders that we like and recommend, so maybe we have just found lines that work best with our style of training.
 

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Time to find another breeder who breeds for more balance.

I have a 1/2 West German, 1/2 Czech dog - from titled parents, lines to top placing WUSV dogs, his sire a retired dual police dog - got him for SchH. His desire to please of over the top. Almost all my training with him was off leash. He is a dream to walk and work with. My Rottie mix rescue is more independent and hard-headed, and still needs a prong for walks.

The breeder that I chose specifically selects for dogs that have the hardness and drives to excel in working venues, but have high pack drive and are people oriented so training and bonding is rewarding and natural.

Find a breeder that has produced dogs with the traits that you would like to see in your new puppy. My guess is "unwillingness to listen" isn't one of them.
 

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We have been involved with WL and Schutzhund for many years. We pretty much phased out the use of prongs about 10 years ago. We just learned other ways to get the response we wanted without it (or an ecollar).
I love this! Thanks so much for sharing...
 

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Generalizations are exactly that. If you don't have the skill required to work completely without aversive corrections (and yes, it takes immense skill) then you will likely need to resort to aversive corrections at some point. [Yes, I just made a generalization!]

I completely disagree that any dog would require aversive training to teach or correct behavior. I find that weak minded; a good R+ trainer will definitely need to show lots of skill and brain power to find creative solutions- but they should be able to find creative solutions without having to resort to aversive corrections. We'll see how that holds when I get my own WL pup...
Great Post, Willy!
 

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Though I certainly wouldn't consider them unwilling to listen, it is true that working lines can be harder (higher pain tolerance) and higher drive than other types of GSDs. Depending on the situation and skill and background of the trainer, this can make training more difficult for some. Then for others of us, those aspects of temperament make training easier. It really depends on the person holding the leash more than it does on the dog. And of course, owners must always be willing to adjust their methods and tools to fit the individual dog, rather than try to shove all dogs into the mold of their preferred methods and tools of training.

Just to use myself as an example, I have all working lines and 99% of their training is motivational. I do not however believe that one can have a completely reliable dog without some form of adversive being introduced in the form of corrections. When I get to the point in training where it is time to proof things with corrections, I do tend to prefer the pinch collar because it gets the message across in the quickest and easiest manner, one that doesn't require a lot of umph from me (so there is less likelihood of my own emotion or physical movements muddling things) and makes things very clear to the dog. It is just a tool that helps me accomplish that last step in training.

I certainly wouldn't say that a working line can't be trained without a pinch collar. That is absurd. However if someone does tend to rely on lots of physical corrections in training, then I would agree that a pinch collar would be preferable to many other forms of corrections. And it is very true that a harder dog, especially if in drive, wouldn't even notice a correction with a flat collar or choke collar so a pinch may be required. Likewise, if someone is physically weak or uncoordinated, they may be incapable of giving an effective correction with a flat collar, even on a softer dog. Then on the other hand, if the person doesn't use any collar corrections in training, then it doesn't make any difference what collar the dog is wearing.

None of that translates to "only those who use pinch collars need apply" for a working line dog.

Frankly, if you like this breeder and their dogs, I would talk with them in more detail to make sure you're really understanding one another.
 

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Yeah if you like the dogs then I wouldn't get too worked up about it. None of the breeders I've bought from or considered buying from train *just* like I do. Most times I don't really get into these details with a breeder. Either their dogs fit what I'm looking for or not. How I train my dogs is my business.
 

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Yeah if you like the dogs then I wouldn't get too worked up about it. None of the breeders I've bought from or considered buying from train *just* like I do. Most times I don't really get into these details with a breeder. Either their dogs fit what I'm looking for or not. How I train my dogs is my business.
I have to agree with this. :). ^^^
 

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There is a guy named Jason who is in a wheelchair and he's got lots of videos on YouTube, he's done A LOT with his dogs in schutzhund. Here is one of the videos, maybe you can get in touch with him for some tips?

 

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Though I certainly wouldn't consider them unwilling to listen, it is true that working lines can be harder (higher pain tolerance) and higher drive than other types of GSDs. Depending on the situation and skill and background of the trainer, this can make training more difficult for some. Then for others of us, those aspects of temperament make training easier. It really depends on the person holding the leash more than it does on the dog. And of course, owners must always be willing to adjust their methods and tools to fit the individual dog, rather than try to shove all dogs into the mold of their preferred methods and tools of training.

Just to use myself as an example, I have all working lines and 99% of their training is motivational. I do not however believe that one can have a completely reliable dog without some form of adversive being introduced in the form of corrections. When I get to the point in training where it is time to proof things with corrections, I do tend to prefer the pinch collar because it gets the message across in the quickest and easiest manner, one that doesn't require a lot of umph from me (so there is less likelihood of my own emotion or physical movements muddling things) and makes things very clear to the dog. It is just a tool that helps me accomplish that last step in training.

I certainly wouldn't say that a working line can't be trained without a pinch collar. That is absurd. However if someone does tend to rely on lots of physical corrections in training, then I would agree that a pinch collar would be preferable to many other forms of corrections. And it is very true that a harder dog, especially if in drive, wouldn't even notice a correction with a flat collar or choke collar so a pinch may be required. Likewise, if someone is physically weak or uncoordinated, they may be incapable of giving an effective correction with a flat collar, even on a softer dog. Then on the other hand, if the person doesn't use any collar corrections in training, then it doesn't make any difference what collar the dog is wearing.
Thank you for taking the time to type out exactly what I was thinking, on all points. :)
 

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The breeder that I choose is telling me I will only be able to train my WLGSD with a prong collar. She tells me they have a much higher pain tolerance and have higher drive and a unwillingness to listen.
You've already got lots of great responses, but I just wanted to mention that the dog with the highest pain tolerance in my household is my WGSL boy Keefer. We're still looking for his pain threshold, lol! He must have one, right?!?!? :laugh:

Higher drive doesn't necessarily mean an unwillingness to listen, and I certainly wouldn't get a dog from a breeder who describes their dogs that way because I want an easily motivated dog. I've found that my WGWL girl can be quite drivey, but she works for food or toys or the sheer joy of working, so it's not at all difficult to engage her and I often get comments on her focus.
 

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I would not consider my working line boy to be unwilling to listen, per se. However, you do have to prove to him that you are worth listening to. That said, he's never had on a prong collar - I haven't needed one.
Once I found his motivation (very high toy drive) he is a fast learner and very precise.
 
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