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Hi- I have never had the personality to be a consistent trainer. I am 42 now, so I don't think I will recover from my tendency to be "random." However, I myself am pretty good at following rules once I know what they are . . ..

I am considering sending my pup off to a trainer who works with all kinds of dogs (but specializes in large dogs) for three weeks. Once he returns, he would be trained on and off leash, and then I would be trained on how to keep the learned behavior. This trainer has a great rep with the local humane society and other animal organizations; he also appears to train dogs of Nascar drivers and famous tattoo artists! (Can you tell I'm from NC?) Also, I live in a rural area and ther are no GSD clubs nearby.

He won't take the dog if it appears that the dog is too homesick - and he is not close enough to my home to do private lessons. He suggested that 6 months is the earliest he'd consider boarding training, and that he'd have to meet my pup and I to determine if he would be able to train him (us).

So, I am considering this b/c I have never had a really well trained dog, but I am hesitant to board him for three weeks. The fee is hefty for someone of my means, but the thought of having a well trained dog is well, like a dream! (I managed to housetrain my other dogs, teach them to sit, to come -sometimes, when they feel like it), I know my limitations.

As much as we anthropomorphize dogs, the fact remains that a dog will pretty much adapt to any situation - especially if they are kept fed and given positive attention. However, I still wonder, any opinions on how this might affect the pup "emotionally"?

Any thoughts? Advice?
 

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I wouldn't do it personally.
When you train a dog you grow a bond with him or her.
I would try to find a trainer that will come to your house.

That is what I did. I could never be with out my dog for 1 day never mind 3 weeks.
And it will only take him 3 weeks humm I don't know about that.


Well good luck
 

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The big question is - will the trainer work with you and the dog after the training is complete?
Otherwise the dog will quickly lose its training if you don't know how to keep up with it.

I wouldn't do this with a dog of 6 months. I would only be training motivationally at that age and 3 weeks is just not long enough to do the training positively - the guy must be using corrections and you don't want to put a puppy through that. And what is he proposing the dog learn in three weeks? That is a very short period of time and you can only do so much!

The guy I train with takes in dogs occasionally for boarding and training, but the first couple of weeks are for getting to know the dog and bonding with it - no real training is done right away. He only takes dogs that can handle being boarded while being trained but I can imagine that it would be very traumatic for a lot of dogs.
 

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I agree with the others.

One of the main problems with send away training, is that the dog learns to listen to the TRAINER. This will NOT automatically transfer over to listening to YOU.

I don't care how well trained a dog is, if the owner isn't willing or able to keep working with the dog on a REGULAR and CONSISTANT basis, the "training" will go down the toilet.

I also find it amusing that a 6 month old puppy would be "trained on and OFF leash" in 3 weeks time! (Or any age dog for that matter.)
 

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Quote:I have never had the personality to be a consistent trainer.
So the problem is you, not the dog. If you send the dog away for training you still have the same problem when the dog comes back - you.


Training classes don't have to be GSD specific. Aren't there ANY training places in your area?

And not only do YOU learn how to train your dog and the dog learns how to listen to you - it's also a very valuable bonding experience for owner and dog.
 

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How far would you have to drive for a group obedience class? A private trainer isn't necessary for most people, and would be WAY more expensive than group classes.

When my dogs were young I did a TON of work with them before they entered their first puppy class. But once you get to the "pretty good" stage it's easy to be lazy and not keep it up.

I find that if I'm not in a class I'm not as diligent about training, but with the structure of weekly classes and a clear idea of what I'm supposed to be working on at home during the week, I'm very good about making the time to do it. I just need someone else to set that lesson plan up for me and I'm good to go.

Not to mention the peer pressure of going to class once a week with a bunch of other people and their dogs. It's usually pretty apparent who slacked off on their homework - so much more fun to come in and show how well you and your dog are doing than be the chronic underachievers, lol!
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSDI agree with the others.

One of the main problems with send away training, is that the dog learns to listen to the TRAINER. This will NOT automatically transfer over to listening to YOU.

I don't care how well trained a dog is, if the owner isn't willing or able to keep working with the dog on a REGULAR and CONSISTANT basis, the "training" will go down the toilet.

I also find it amusing that a 6 month old puppy would be "trained on and OFF leash" in 3 weeks time! (Or any age dog for that matter.)
totally agree!!!
 

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I was so so you. I wanted a well trained dog but really have been disapointed in my lack of follow through with most things in life.

I TWICE found places to send my shepherd (first). My husband was both times totally behind my decision. I just couldn't relinquish this control.

I am SO SO SO glad I didn't. Know one cares like you do. Challenge yourself to become the owner your dog deserves. My pup MIGHT be better behaved at this age but I would have missed out on a lot.

My bond is so strong with this dog.

Grow together is my vote.
 

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Don't do it.

Much better for you and the dog to learn TOGETHER. So it takes longer than 3 weeks.

The bond then gained for both of you, and the training YOU will then have for the rest of your dogs life (and for you next dog) will last forever!
 

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I completely understand that the thought of a well behaved dog with little to no work on your part is an attractive thing, especially since you are aware of your "failures" in the past, BUT for all the reasons above, and for all the reasons below, I wouldn't...

I'd be too afraid to leave my puppy with someone else. Granted this person is well recommended, but who knows what goes on behind the scenes, and what other dogs they have boarded and what behaviors can get imprinted in the dog along with the training. Maybe it's the control freak/ worrier in me, but I don't know... I'd be worried she'd have some sort of traumatic or negative experience or something.

Also, I agree with Dawn- theres no way i could last 3 weeks without her!!!

Try to see your past training experiences as accomplishments instead of failures. (They DO sit, don't they?) and try to build on them. See it as a challenge to yourself... see if you can figure out what you can do better! It's part of the "fun" of having a puppy after all ! =P
 

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My trainer does board and trains. And she often does follow ups. And more follow ups. Why? Because many owners aren't consistent enough at home to continue what was started with the B&T, even if they took all the appropriate private lessons.

Then again, she has consistent owners go right into obedience classes and do what everyone else is suggesting anyhow. Which is what most of us did, and I did.

If I had to be out of town, or I was sick, or I for some other reason could not be with my dog for an extended period of time, I'd leave my 10 week old puppy (or my two year old dog) with my trainer for a board and train. But that's the only time. And it's not about bonding so much for me. I know my dogs, even the pup, are bonded to me, and even if they bond to the trainer, they won't stop being bonded to me. My GSD adores some of the trainers I've had, but he knows I'm his "mom". In the end, it comes back to the fact that dog training is 90% about training the human and 10% about training the dog.

Here's why: dogs are situationally obedient. They learn what they can do under what circumstances.

My GSD is pretty much perfect at our training facility. He's 99% perfect with me there; he's about 95% with my husband there (they take classes together too). He IS 100% perfect with any of the professional trainers there. (One of the trainers actually uses the word "perfect" to describe him, and she takes him on field trips away from there to work on other skills).

I get him home? Good, but not so perfect. I take him in to public, perfect again, except at the pool, where he's always been rather a maniac because he get so crazy excited that he loses his brains entirely (since he was tiny).

Our dogs learn situational obedience. Where they are, who they're with, what they think is expected of them affects their behavior each and every time. If you're not consistent, you're not going to get a consistently behaved dog.

You can drop a ton of money into a B&T, and still end up with a dog that doesn't listen to you at all, or only listens to you when the trainer is around, or only listens to you when it's breezy, sunny, and it's Tuesday.

Obedience training is about training you to be consistent; you'll learn that your dog needs to experience the same command successfully in at least 10-15 different locations and situations (with different distractions) before he really learns the command; and you'll learn all sort of other handy tricks of the trade. It's a lot of work. But it's a lot of fun. You meet different dog people. Your dog socializes with different dogs. And in a year or two, you'll be here giving out training advice!
 

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I happen to know this trainer, and he is a great guy. Loves his animals and works closely with local humane society as well. He does go to peoples homes to train as well as do the board and train. His follow up is to train the owner for as long as they need it. He has said the exact same thing about the owner needing the training, not the dog. The dog is the easy part, the owner needs to learn how to give commands. He works with Belgian Malinois personally, but loves the big breeds. I've seen him work with a little spaniel too. If she can go to him or have him come to her it would be better, but I would trust my dog to him. He is extremely motivational and uses methods that work for the dog, not just one kind of training. Very well rounded and positive training. He always says, catch your dog doing something right and reward them, praise praise praise.
 

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I just wanted to add. That the commitment to the dog does not end when his training is done, his training is never done, every day you have to reinforce everything he is learning. You need to learn to be a consistent and fair leader. If you cannot be a leader, then your dog will go back to only listening when they want. The biggest thing you need to remember is never give a command you cannot back up. If you are not prepared to ensure the dog minds, dont give the command. So, I would start working on your own consitency and dedicating at least 20 minutes every day on obedience. There is a ton of great information on here. But I agree that you should challenge yourself to set aside daily time just for training.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all of the advice. I agree that training must go on all of the time. I probably was a bit hard on myself in the statement that I was too random to be consistent. I am not a newbie at dog ownership, but my last well-trained dog was a lab, and she was sooo easy to train (I was young and had the energy to train!)

Betsy, thanks for your vote of confidence in the trainer - I have spoken to him and he seems to be a very sincere, capable person. He can't come to my house (too far - I am in Morganton.)

My main issue is the pup's homesickness and my "pupsickness" and its effect on his personality.

Thanks all -
Catherine
 

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Your welcome Catherine, I sent you a PM if you want some additional info about the trainer. You should see it in your "My Stuff" drop down menu (you should see a star or something there)
 

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No problem!! I'm training a 5 month old GSD myself... I can totally understand where you are coming from
good luck and keep us posted on your decision/ progress. I am glad someone gave the trainer a positive vote- that should help with your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Betsy-
Not sure why, but your message hasn't posted to my "My stuff" yet. I'll keep looking. I am really interested in your info!
thanks again-
Catherine
 
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