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I've been talking to some German SAR people and one person looked at Judges video. He complained he's jumping around and not sitting like a little robot next to me before I send him to the helper. He said "He's five months old, he should respect you as the leader and know that already."

Isn't it important to get them all excited and build the drive before you go over to have them sit next to you and actually make it a ritual?

It was his second training day. Give that puppy a break! I am not sure but I believe that it would actually be counterproductive to make him submit, sit next to me and then release him without getting him excited at first. He needs a reason to go to the helper to learn where to go, right?

So what do you think?
 

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I let puppies be puppies. I take them to classes, but at five months, it is all about fun and praise, some treats, and I am not expecting the puppy to be perfect. I am not in any hurry to get them from here to there, I kind of enjoy the process.
 

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Same here. Yes, we do obedience and he knows, sitz, platz and heel but to expect him to sit quietly next to me before I release him to the helper... it's a puppy... and I don't want to overwhelm him either.
 

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Do your SAR people have shepherds? If not, then to non-shepherd people, a five month old puppy may be perceived as much older. Also, people get German Shepherd in their heads, and think that they arrive in the world obedience trained and mature.

I like a dog that listens to me and is easily managed, and I get that. But I also like dogs that have personality and spirit. Sometimes, I think people expect way too much out of their youngsters and push them too far, too fast.

I shudder at the photo of a line of young puppies -- eight or ten weeks old, with gentle leader on them, all in down stays in a row. Their marketing ploy is to say, we ship them trained. Trained? At eight or ten weeks? Maybe, but at what cost?
 

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Absolutely keep him excited. I don't even care about the age, keep him excited the entire time you are doing this. SAR is hard, long, grueling work and they need to really, truly enjoy it to be able to stick out the tough scenarios. As long as he listens to you (which it sounds as though he does) and does the basics fine, don't worry about his excitement level for finding - that is fantastic - don't squash it, encourage it!! I personally do not think the breed matters - if you have a dog that does the work and loves it, keep pushing for that - I thought he looked absolutely great in the video - especially for the second time ever doing it!! :D You've got a great pup there :)
 

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He looks fine. Very happy that's what you want. Too much obedience, even motivational stuff, can result in a dog that is too handler dependant to really range out and search and also blow you off when you are being stupid.

You DON"T want a dog looking to you for every decision. You DO want an independant working dog. Basic manners, walking on a loose lead, coming when called, drop on recall for safety sake, being able to be handled by strangers, not jumping up all over people

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Actually though, it can be counterproductive to ramp up a high drive dog before work. I learned for my cadaver dog to actually sit him, talk quietly, and whisper his command as it would ramp him up too much when I was jazzing him up and it would take him longer to focus.........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do your SAR people have shepherds? If not, then to non-shepherd people, a five month old puppy may be perceived as much older. Also, people get German Shepherd in their heads, and think that they arrive in the world obedience trained and mature.

I like a dog that listens to me and is easily managed, and I get that. But I also like dogs that have personality and spirit. Sometimes, I think people expect way too much out of their youngsters and push them too far, too fast.

I shudder at the photo of a line of young puppies -- eight or ten weeks old, with gentle leader on them, all in down stays in a row. Their marketing ploy is to say, we ship them trained. Trained? At eight or ten weeks? Maybe, but at what cost?
Yes, it's five shepherds and two labs :D

Its some people from Germany that think I should turn it more into a ritual to give him security. I agree that rituals are important but I highly disagree with turning him into a small robot and overwhelm him by demanding too much too early.

i agree with you. Basic work is important. Sometimes I look at the obedience videos from Schutzhund people and I am not sure if I should be amazed or feel sorry for the pups that seem to heel almost perfectly at four months already.
Lately I've even heard that they are kept crated to build the drive and are only taken out to work. No play, no fun...just work. Crating to make them look high drive dogs? Crazy!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
He looks fine. Very happy that's what you want. Too much obedience, even motivational stuff, can result in a dog that is too handler dependant to really range out and search and also blow you off when you are being stupid.

You DON"T want a dog looking to you for every decision. You DO want an independant working dog. Basic manners, walking on a loose lead, coming when called, drop on recall for safety sake, being able to be handled by strangers, not jumping up all over people

------

Actually though, it can be counterproductive to ramp up a high drive dog before work. I learned for my cadaver dog to actually sit him, talk quietly, and whisper his command as it would ramp him up too much when I was jazzing him up and it would take him longer to focus.........
With Indra, yes I do that too. I have to keep her calm and focused. She's got so much drive that if I get her too excited all won't focus. So I have to calm her down. But Judge is different. He has a different drive than Indra and I can already tell.
Indra has lots of prey-drive and lower food-drive while Judge has a very high food-drive. Right now, all he's interested in is food. Give him the choice between food and a ball and he'll go for food. At his age Indra already went for the ball. She could care less about food.

I'd love to do Cadaver work with Judge but I have no idea where to go at all.
 
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