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Hello,

We are planning to get a puppy next year and Witmer-Tyson Imports is very close to us and hear good things about them. I contacted them by email and they said the pup need good training with a professional trainer. Is this required? I had dogs before but I don't really understand what she met. Thank you.
 

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If it is in the contract, it is required. My first purchased dog had a requirement that I take her to at least CD level with AKC. I basically plan on training all my dogs at least for obedience competition. Yes, requiring training is a good move on the part of the breeder.
 

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What do they mean by professional training? Do they require the dog to be left at a facility? Or do them mean you need to take private lessons with a professional? Or group classes?
 

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If it is in the contract, it is required. My first purchased dog had a requirement that I take her to at least CD level with AKC. I basically plan on training all my dogs at least for obedience competition. Yes, requiring training is a good move on the part of the breeder.
Interesting! I didn't know people put that stuff in contracts. I could see that being smart, though, as long as there was some flexibility in when and how.

I was strongly encouraged to take my dog to a puppy class and a basic obedience class, but that was really up to me, and anything beyond basic is up to me. I looked at the training as kind of a "soft requirement" - not in the contract but something that needed to happen in order for the placement to be successful.
 

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One of the questions on the application we filled out was,
Where will you take your puppy for training?
But training wasn't a requirement.
 

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Here's the thing. The reason so many dogs end up in shelters, usually between 1 and 3 years old, is because people do not bother to train their dogs.

You can't train a dog in a vacuum. Sorry, you can train your dog on your own, but that will not make him easy to handle around strange dogs and strange people. Training classes are, in my opinion, a must for dogs that are large and formidable. It is probably a must for all dogs, but owners of GSDs and other breeds that have reputations, have been bred for working, guarding, herding, protection, etc, these dogs need training. They need to be manageable around other dogs and people. Can people do that on their own? Yes, but what is the likelihood that you, stranger, will be able to do it on your own?

If it is my pup, and I have two buyers, and one says they will be taking it to classes, and the other says they train their dogs themselves at home, I am going to sell to the one who is going to take the dog to classes, pretty much every time.

On the other hand, the breeder may be saying this pup will require training because of the lines, the amount of drive the pup has, the temperament of the puppy individually. A novice owner might want to stay away from this puppy. Best to ask the person who knows, the breeder/importer and ask if this is something they require of all purchasers or is it specific to this puppy.
 

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I think it's a good move on any placement of any dog--rescue or from a breeder. I usually do 3-6 classes per dog and then drop ins. I can probably do the classes with my eyes closed, but I still do them for the sake of the dog. It's good for bonding and socialization.
 

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What I think some people - and not here, but in my offline life - miss is that training is FUN. Get a good instructor and hit a good stride, and it is really a great time. I spend my Friday nights training and love it. My dog loves it. She gets excited when I ask her if she's ready to go to school. I still consider us pretty low level, but that's okay - it's really cool to see how well the more advanced dogs do, and that helps me form goals.

My breeder presented training as something that was really important for the same reasons you've mentioned, selzer (and as a first time owner especially, I took that to heart), but it was also emphasized that training is something enjoyable that you can do with your dog.
 

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What I think some people - and not here, but in my offline life - miss is that training is FUN. Get a good instructor and hit a good stride, and it is really a great time. I spend my Friday nights training and love it. My dog loves it. She gets excited when I ask her if she's ready to go to school. I still consider us pretty low level, but that's okay - it's really cool to see how well the more advanced dogs do, and that helps me form goals.

My breeder presented training as something that was really important for the same reasons you've mentioned, selzer (and as a first time owner especially, I took that to heart), but it was also emphasized that training is something enjoyable that you can do with your dog.

Definitely! I think that is why I do not require it. I strongly suggest it. I have a page about training and classes in the book that I provide with the puppy. But if I required it, I think some people would get off on the wrong foot. They would see it as a burden, something they agreed to do, but don't want to. Anyway, it isn't something I can enforce.

I gave a dog to my brother. I paid for the puppy classes -- he missed the first one, and made it to 4 of them. Then he gave me the puppy back. The reason I know he went was because I was in the same class. But, most of the time, you aren't going to be checking up on people to make sure they took the dog to classes, and even if they didn't, how are you going to force them to honor their part of the contract -- too much. The people will not have fun if they are forced. So, I talk to people and ask their plans with the puppy, we talk about classes, I get a feel for what they expect, I try to tell them how we have a good time, and the dog LOVES going to classes. In fact, if you aren't having fun, then quit. It isn't good training. Not for little puppies. And as they get bigger, it should still be fun.
 

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Yes, a breeder can require in a contract that a dog be professionally trained but not all do. I know a breeder that insisted on buying a dog back because it was not being trained per contract and did buy the dog back. Don't assume what she means, contact her and find out so you are both on the same page. Training is so important with GSDs. It is also great fun and will help in the bonding process. Good luck! :)
 

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No, after the second set of shots, 11-12 weeks old.
 

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I had dogs before but I don't really understand what she meant.
The best way to know what she meant is to ask her. My guess would be that she wants her puppy buyers to either take obedience classes or find a good private trainer to help them, rather than attempting to do all the training on their own, without professional assistance. I think this is a good idea.
 

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Definitely! I think that is why I do not require it. I strongly suggest it. I have a page about training and classes in the book that I provide with the puppy. But if I required it, I think some people would get off on the wrong foot. They would see it as a burden, something they agreed to do, but don't want to. Anyway, it isn't something I can enforce.

I gave a dog to my brother. I paid for the puppy classes -- he missed the first one, and made it to 4 of them. Then he gave me the puppy back. The reason I know he went was because I was in the same class. But, most of the time, you aren't going to be checking up on people to make sure they took the dog to classes, and even if they didn't, how are you going to force them to honor their part of the contract -- too much. The people will not have fun if they are forced. So, I talk to people and ask their plans with the puppy, we talk about classes, I get a feel for what they expect, I try to tell them how we have a good time, and the dog LOVES going to classes. In fact, if you aren't having fun, then quit. It isn't good training. Not for little puppies. And as they get bigger, it should still be fun.
I think the bolded is probably true. One of the things I love most about my breeder was the enthusiasm for all of the things these dogs can do, and the enthusiastic introduction to the breed club and training. It was really contagious, and while I took it seriously because I take everything way too seriously, we have had such a great time with those classes and found training to be so worthwhile. When possible, my breeder will come to class to watch, and that's always really fun too. I thought that was a great way to approach it with people, and all of the puppies in our cohort (so to speak) went at least through basic and several of us are still training.

As you say, you can't enforce it - but you can encourage and I think it's really cool that you're right there in classes with your own puppy.
 

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MythicMut...Would you mind sharing who that breeder might be?....I admire someone that cares that much about their pups and upbringing.
 
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