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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had this book recommended to me by someone who has raised GSDs for 30+ years.

Amazon.com: Family Dog: A Simple and Time-Proven Method (9780525944720): Richard A. Wolters: Books

Family Dog
by Richard Wolters

Has anyone used this method? It's an old book. I think it was first published in the 60's. Most of the people who reviewed the book on Amazon absolutely rave about it, but there's a few people who were completely disgusted by his methods.

Regardless, the first chapter is fascinating about how puppies mature.
 

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Cava, floofy supermodel
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Wow, I skipped past all the glowing reviews to some of the negative ones and it amazes me how anyone could think this was a great book. :( Although that first chapter is supposed to be good, (even some of the people who did not like the rest of the book commented on this) he suggests pushing your dog down the stairs if it tries to go past you? Closing a door or gate on a dog's neck if it tries to go out a door (I DO close the door in my dogs' face but not ON it! :mad:), spanking a dog to teach it that "you mean business", and to prevent dognapping you should have a stranger entice your dog into a car and then throw it to the ground and hit it?!?! Yikes! :angryfire:
 

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Wow, I did not even read the reviews but Cassidy's Mom's post and YIKES! Sounds like a good way to promote animal abuse.
 

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Oh my gosh!!!! Thats all I can say!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I don't agree with the negative reinforcement AT ALL, but I've been reading the first chapter and it's very interesting. Maybe I'll transcribe some of it and post it here. I'm wondering if some of those people ignored the corporal punishment and only used the other parts of the method...
 

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I'm wondering if some of those people ignored the corporal punishment and only used the other parts of the method...
Either that or they didn't know much about dog training. :shrug: The methods in general are very outdated, which is to be expected from a book written back in the 60's. If you can take some good from the book and leave the rest, that's fine. It is alarming though that so many people are raving about this book, several of the positive reviews are within the last year.
 

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I think I used to know someone who had that book. He had the most scared GSD I'd ever met in my life. In fact, I remember him mentioning it. I couldn't call animal control on him because they really didn't exist in our area then, I seriously wanted to steal both his dogs after I saw the way they were being treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
This is the part that interested me most...

Family Dog by Richard A. Wolters "Scientific study showed that there are five critical periods of a pup's life, five phases of his mental development. The shocking thing is that they all take place before the dog is sixteen weeks old. By this time the brain has reached its adult form and size but, of course, without adult experience."
The book talks about a study by Dr. J. Paul Scott, Director of the Animal Behavior Laboratory at Hamilton Station of the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Maine. The study was derived while helping Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., in their dog training program.

The first three critical periods are pretty standard, from 0-49 days of age, but the fourth critical period is the most interesting one.

According to the book, the 49th day to the 84th day are the most critical between the puppy and the owner.

Family Dog by Richard A. Wolters "The trainer and the dog should start to get to know each other now, not a week later or a week earlier. Dr. Scott's research has shown that this, the 49th day, is the best time in a dog's life to establish the dog-human relationship. The person who's going to train the dog will, in effect, now take the place of the pup's mother. Through feeding, playing, and general care of the dog at this age - seven to twelve weeks - a bond will be established that will have a permanent effect on the dog. At no later time in the dog's life will the pup have the ability to achieve as strong a bond or rapport with humans as at this age."
Either way, very interesting stuff. There's quite a bit more, but this was the part that grabbed my attention the most. Thoughts?
 

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I think that the business of not being able to bond well with a human after the 84th day is pure bunk. I've seen waaaaaaay too many adopted dogs bond just as tightly with their owners as dogs that were acquired as puppies. My dog that I got as a pup isn't bonded to me any more closely than the one I got at a year old was.
 
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