German Shepherds Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I've been reading and watching this forum for several weeks now, and have managed to gain quite a bit of valuable information in the process. Within the coming months, I will be getting a German Shepherd puppy (my desired color being black or dark sable), so I thought I'd better hurry up and join to start gaining more knowledge and information before my fuzzy little bundle of energy finally gets here! =)

Because my family will also be relocating from Northeastern Ohio to Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, we thought it would be wise to wait until we were all settled in before purchasing a puppy. (Note: though my family has had a dog before, I was in no way the primary caregiver of the dog because I was too young, but this GS Puppy will be my sole responsibility) However, while I was browsing through some of the topics, I discovered a few threads on Protection Training, as well as one that mentioned Ivan Balabanov. Reflecting on what my Dad suggested once before (that I buy a full-grown protection dog since we're moving to a large city I'm not familiar with, and it'll help me feel safer when I'm home by myself), I was instantly impressed by this guy after I read a few testimonials on his website, watched a couple of videos and basically went to every area of the site that was within my reach. However, I still wanted a puppy, but what I DIDN'T want to do was try and train the dog for protection work by myself – that would be unwise and extremely stupid on my part. And probably detrimental to the poor dog. So I decided that if we were going to do this, then we were going to do it right.

Even though I'm a little upset at the idea of missing a few important stages in the life of my puppy, I think the overall decision is for the best. After browsing through a few breeders that we think could hold quite a bit of promise, and selecting my pup, we will be sending him to Ivan Balabanov to train for protection. :( Though I'm a little depressed by this, I think it'll all work out just fine. I'd rather miss the dog for months on end instead of spend those months getting frustrated and messing up the poor dog. Though this protection training idea is subject to change, I'm pretty sure the fact that I'm getting a German Shepherd Dog isn't. =) But I still have a few questions I want to ask you all.

o__O I guess since this is part of my...uh...welcome/introduction message, I don't need to make a separate thread for my questions? ^^”” I'm sure someone will kindly point me in the right direction if I'm in the wrong here.

*Will the temperament of my dog change after it is trained in protection work? (a question my brother wanted to know)

*What do you all think of this idea? How crucial is it that I bond with this dog through puppyhood, considering fully grown dogs from shelters can bond just as well as any puppy (unless I'm incorrect?).

*Has anyone worked with Ivan Balabanov before? (Met him, had him train your dog, etc)

And just a couple of extra information you all might like (or maybe not) to know.

I'm 18 years old, so if I sound young, then it's because I AM young. =P I wish I could be more experienced with dogs in my 18 years of life, but my location has not allowed it to be so. The brother that I spoke of before is in fact my twin, and he will be getting a dog as well (a female doberman puppy) who will undergo the same routine as my GSD. I am also female. My screen-name (Raizo) is the intended name for my dog, but if anyone wishes, they can call me Madeline instead of Raizo. ^^ There's actually a bit of reasoning behind the name Raizo, but I'll get into that later.

The other dog we had was a chocolate lab called Nutmeg.

If you have any questions, than feel free to ask!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forums!

* I don't think the temperament of your dog will change with protection work, but it may change with age.

* My thoughts on this is you bond better if you're with the dog through puppyhood. You can still bond to an adult, but it may not be as strong as a bond with a dog you had through puppyhood to adulthood. It's similar to a child.

*No, never heard of that breeder. But I don't know much about German Shepherd breeders.

Feel free to post in threads around the forum and ask as many questions as you want. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
I wouldn't trade those first puppy days for anything- from the moment I picked them out, visiting until they were old enough to come home, sitting on my lap on the drive, etc. But I also recognize the value of the kind of dog you want coming home. Certainly there are many many people who have the strongest bond possible come with an older pup, adult or senior dog. So it's up to you. Guess I'm no help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello and welcome to the forums!

* I don't think the temperament of your dog will change with protection work, but it may change with age.

* My thoughts on this is you bond better if you're with the dog through puppyhood. You can still bond to an adult, but it may not be as strong as a bond with a dog you had through puppyhood to adulthood. It's similar to a child.

*No, never heard of that breeder. But I don't know much about German Shepherd breeders.

Feel free to post in threads around the forum and ask as many questions as you want. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
^^ I took into consideration of what you said about the bond formed during puppyhood, and my Father has agreed that we can keep the puppies for a few months to build a bond with them before getting them trained. =) I'll try to make the few months of puppyhood I have with them as memorable and positive as possible! (I also promise to post pictures)

I really like the idea of being able to visit the puppy before it's ready to be brought home, and if I can find a reputable breeder close enough to my family's current location, you can definitely count of me visiting them at LEAST once or twice a week until I can take them home. It's been 8+ years since I've had a dog, and I must tell you, I am soooooooo excited!

To Stosh:

^^ I understand the meaning and importance of bonding with a puppy for the first few days, and I appreciate your input nonetheless! If Anyone happens to be in the Northeastern Ohio area, I would appreciate any suggested breeders close to where I live currently. (Conneaut, OH)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
You're very wise to do so much research ahead of time, and since you're giving so much thought and consideration into this I'm sure you'll make the best decision. There's a soldier on this forum who's in Iraq and has already bought a pup and is having it trained now since he won't be home until Christmas. All he has seen is pictures of his dog, and I'm sure they'll be the best of friends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,338 Posts
Have you already contacted Ivan? I would start there, he may have suggestions on the breeder to go with.

But, the training for the dog is as important as the training for YOU. You need to learn how to work and handle the dog, and it would be best to have a good club work with you from the pups foundation thru maturity.

I'm sure you can find a local GSD club, OH has several SchH clubs(this is the route I would go vs finding someone to train my dog in protection) as does PA...
Here is a list of clubs in both states, click on the region, maybe visit one or two and get a feel for the training.
http://germanshepherddog.com/clubs/index.htm
Though Schutzhund isn't personal protection training, you will get a feel for training and see that the GSD doesn't need to go thru a send away to be a good protector!
GSD's are protective by nature, if they are of good temperament and have the right foundation. It is very time consuming and the commitment to train properly is important. The bond you form with your dog is the most important, there is nothing better than having that, and having someone else train your pup will not give you that.
Personal protection training is not something you can just send a dog away for and hope in 6 or 8 weeks to have a sound stable dog that will be good with all the family members yet protect from strangers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To Stosh: Thank you for your kind words! A soldier? Really? I thought I was the only one who was training their dog this way! It's good to hear that someone else is giving this a shot, not just me!

To Onyx'girl: Thank you for your insight! It sounds as though I've been grossly underestimating the bond that needs to be formed between a GSD and it's owner. Ivan is going to be contacted tomorrow afternoon, so the picture isn't exactly crystal clear on how we're going to do things. I have thought about Schultzhund training before, in fact, it crossed my mind before the personal protection training did. I would STILL like to have the dog trained for personal protection, but I'd like to be able to be THERE, to watch, learn and hopefully reinforce those ideas and methods when I get home. Though sending me to Florida with my puppy is NOT something my parents are okay with, if I could find a reputable, remarkable PPD trainer in my area, I would choose that road in a heartbeat. However, Ivan's credibility and skill with dogs keeps pulling me back towards the -sending my dog away for training- idea.

Anyone else have any input on this? I can't really think of anything else to share with you all until we've talked with Ivan. Ah, I do have one question;

My father wanted to go the easy route and just BUY one of Ivan's protection dogs, already trained and ready to go to a family that adores them. What are your thoughts on that, and a person's ability to bond with an already-trained dog. The dog will obviously have more of an attachment to it's trainers, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,338 Posts
I would ask a mod to have this moved to the right forum, change the title of your thread/the intro one won't get opinions on what you are asking...many times the intro's get overlooked. By the way~welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,338 Posts
I see you already started a thread...hope you'll get some replies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
To Stosh: Thank you for your kind words! A soldier? Really? I thought I was the only one who was training their dog this way! It's good to hear that someone else is giving this a shot, not just me!

To Onyx'girl: Thank you for your insight! It sounds as though I've been grossly underestimating the bond that needs to be formed between a GSD and it's owner. Ivan is going to be contacted tomorrow afternoon, so the picture isn't exactly crystal clear on how we're going to do things. I have thought about Schultzhund training before, in fact, it crossed my mind before the personal protection training did. I would STILL like to have the dog trained for personal protection, but I'd like to be able to be THERE, to watch, learn and hopefully reinforce those ideas and methods when I get home. Though sending me to Florida with my puppy is NOT something my parents are okay with, if I could find a reputable, remarkable PPD trainer in my area, I would choose that road in a heartbeat. However, Ivan's credibility and skill with dogs keeps pulling me back towards the -sending my dog away for training- idea.

Anyone else have any input on this? I can't really think of anything else to share with you all until we've talked with Ivan. Ah, I do have one question;

My father wanted to go the easy route and just BUY one of Ivan's protection dogs, already trained and ready to go to a family that adores them. What are your thoughts on that, and a person's ability to bond with an already-trained dog. The dog will obviously have more of an attachment to it's trainers, right?

in regards to your question, yes you would form a stronger bond if you're there WITH your pup from the start. As far as already buying a fully trained dog, you would still be able to form a strong bond with the dog. They respond to love just like a pet quality dog. Think of it like rescuing, only instead of going to a shelter, you're getting a dog that is essentially a K9 that could very easily be on a police force. Also keep in mind that these dogs, no matter what route you take, will need continuous reinforcement training and bonding time. The more time you spend with your dog doing training and other fun things (yes the dog will consider the training to be a blast!), just cuddling up on the couch is also bonding. Without even the slightest bond, the dog will question you. Plus, if you get one already trained.... no messy housetraining and no obedience training has to be done on your part. You just have to do the training required to understand what you can expect of the dog and what the dog can expect from you. Good luck in whatever you decide and either way... We LOVE pictures!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,002 Posts
I am no expert on protection training but this is just something to think about.

There is no greater reward than training your pup and watching him learn. I would call Ivan and talk to him. I would also look up the Schutzhund clubs where you will be living and meet some people. There maybe member that know a trainer closer for protection that you can work with yourself.

Either way you go I am sure you will make the right choice. By starting your research and asking questions now you are well on your way.

And welcome to the group!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update:

My father called Ivan this afternoon around 12:30, but the trainers were out/unavailable at the time, so our name and number were given and they will call us back (eventually). =P Though I understand we picked a bad day to call, I am a little disappointed that we couldn't talk to anyone just yet. I had my list of questions all printed out and ready to go! Lol, but I can wait. Patience is a virtue, I'm told. And with a few more days, I can probably add on another three-to-four questions I hadn't thought of before.

To KZoppa and Vat:

=) Don't worry, I fully intend not to view my dog as a tool brought to my house just because I asked for it, but as a living, breathing animal that deserves as much love and attention as I can give them. It'll be like taking care of a younger sibling -- if I'm busy and they need me for something, then you compromise and make time. I don't see any other way to handle it. I'm really digging the idea of creating such a strong bond with a dog -- the old dog I had, the lab, Nutmeg, she was a real terror (because we had no idea what we were doing, and both my brother and I were too young to really take responsibility for her), but I did feel a small attachment to her. I have a feeling that the feeling I got with a dog I hadn't picked out, hadn't named and hadn't trained at all is simply the tip of the iceberg, and won't quite compare to the bond between an owner who's trained, raised, loved and named their own little bundle of fur.

=P and even then, raising it isn't always a necessity to get that strong bond, if I'm reading and understanding these posts correctly.

I was VERY interested in the Schultzhund work after watching a few nifty videos on youtube, and plan to purchase a few books, ask a few more questions and even contact a few nearby clubs to learn more about it. If I can train the dog myself to build the bond, then even better. I have ideas for physical exercise (I've located dog-friendly hiking trails, dog parks, local dog-friendly events), but not for any sort of mental stimulation. I'll need to work on that over the next few months, I think.

It must feel so good to know that your dog has done well in a competition, and that you made it to the winners' circle because you did it TOGETHER. =P and it's always nice to have bragging rights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
^^ I took into consideration of what you said about the bond formed during puppyhood, and my Father has agreed that we can keep the puppies for a few months to build a bond with them before getting them trained. =) I'll try to make the few months of puppyhood I have with them as memorable and positive as possible! (I also promise to post pictures)
Are you getting more than one?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top