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I've decided there is too much information out there as far as puppy training and advice. Millions of books at the library, all giving the same general stuff, yet all different. Whose advice is generally considered to be current and works well? Ian Dunbar? The Monks of New Skete? Sarah Hodgson? I'd like to just pick one and stick with it, but wondering who?
 

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Like with anything with dog/pup training. Nothing is certain. One method does NOT work on every dog. Your best bet is read all that you can and pick and choose what you want to to use for YOUR puppy. Many people on here will recommend positive training for a puppy with lots of socialization.
 

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You really don't need to limit yourself! Read as much as you can, get a variety of opinions, and see what makes sense to you. But as far as raising a puppy you really can't go wrong with Ian Dunbar. He founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, as well as Sirius Puppy Training, early off leash classes using positive reinforcement, back in the 80's when it was unheard of to train puppies that young. His credentials are impeccable, as a trainer, veterinarian and animal behaviorist. I took Sirius Puppy classes with my two dogs, and Dunbar's book After You Get Your Puppy was used as the textbook for the class. I highly recommend that book in particular.

Additionally, some good trainer/authors are Jean Donaldson, Sheila Booth, Jan Fennel, Pat Miller, Patricia McConnell, and Suzanne Clothier.
 

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Quote:Whose advice is generally considered to be current and works well?
This: Read everything you can get your hands on. Peruse forums like this one. Watch videos. Go to training classes and watch trainers and trainees in action. Visit clubs. NEVER think you've learned enough because you must always be learning. Have your eyes and ears open and always keep an open mind. Learn the methods that have been pushed aside in favor of newer tactics (but don't necessarily use them). See what handlers with really well trained and happily obedient dogs have trained with. Learn about all the available tools even though you may not use half of them. Get opinions from many people. Draw on what you've read to discern potentially good opinions from potentially bad ones. Keep the bad ones in the back of your mind just in case. KNOW YOUR DOG. Know how your dog behaves, what its drives are, its thresholds for pain/discomfort, what works well for your dog in training, what does not. Ultimately, your dog will tell you what it needs and you must be ready. Does it sound overwhelming? YES! But it's sooooo much fun to learn all this and when it comes time to put it all into practice you will be thrilled to have your knowledge base to lean on. As was said, there is no tool nor one method that will work great on all dogs. We can pick a general method, but in time we all develop our own "mini-methods" as we learn what works well with our dogs and what we can push aside.

Find a good trainer. You will likely need TONS of classes, not because you'll have a hard time learning but because they'll be so darn useful. A good trainer that jives with what you've learned, one that you have already seen in action in classes and enjoy is worth their weight in gold.


I like the list of trainers/authors Cassidy's Mom gave. I do like Cesar Millan but he cannot be relied on by himself. I would add him to the list after learning from the above.
 

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Good Lord Diana, you certainly make it sound like a full time job and kind of scary all at once.


You are getting a pup to be a companion, is that correct? You want a well behaved dog that can be part of your life?

Go to a couple of your local puppy classes and ask if you can watch a class to get a feel of how they teach. I prefer classes that emphasize positive teaching, especially with pups.

Almost all of the experts and better yet happy pet owners will agree that socialization is the key to so much. As soon as my pups receive their shots I like taking them out and about as much as possible, exposing them to new sights and sounds.

Really, it's not that hard, you and your pup will learn togather!
 

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Quote:Almost all of the experts and better yet happy pet owners will agree that socialization is the key to so much.
Here's a happy pet owner that agrees with that statement.

IMO, creative, well-rounded socialization is just as important as formal training to having a happy companion dog. A well socialized puppy that knows come, drop it, sit, down, and wait--if you can accomplish that much, you'll have a better behaved pet than 95% of Americans.
 

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Quote:Good Lord Diana, you certainly make it sound like a full time job and kind of scary all at once.
Hah I do, don't I?! I just think it's so good to be well-informed and to be READY! No, not knowing everything, but having a little background is better than nothing so when some problem slaps you upside the head, the light bulb will go off and you'll know that you have to proceed THIS way as opposed to THAT way. I guess it's better to do lots of research before it becomes a frantic necessity! Or maybe I'm just too much of a bookworm for my own good.
 

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Super question. When I got my GSD, about two years ago the contradictory advice just drove me nuts. I read tons of books from the Monks to Pat M, to the Ed Frawley stuff, and many others.

The most balanced and best advice came from this site and my breeder.

My advice is stick with this board, the communcation is great and the advice will prove to be very helpful. When 90 percent of the folks on this board give you advice, it tends to be right on.

Obviously,some of the books provide great advice, but then in the same book you will read something you disagree with.

Again, my suggestion, save you $$$ and use this board.
 

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Super question. When I got my GSD, about two years ago the contradictory advice just drove me nuts. I read tons of books from the Monks to Pat M, to the Ed Frawley stuff, and many others.

The most balanced and best advice came from this site and my breeder.

My advice is stick with this board, the communcation is great and the advice will prove to be very helpful. When 90 percent of the folks on this board give you advice, it tends to be right on.

Obviously,some of the books provide great advice, but then in the same book you will read something you disagree with.

Again, my suggestion, save you $$$ and use this board.
 

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Find a friend with a well behaved dog, a club or a trainer and watch and learn.

'Book learning' alone isn't enough.

Just like children, use common sense, consistency and kindness.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for everyone's comments. I, too, am a complete bookworm, Diana, so I guess that's why I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I've read about 30 books over the last 3-4 weeks! I guess the main thing we need to be working on right now is finding a trainer locally that we have good chemistry with as far as being gentle with puppies, and who we can work with and trust.

I can see that these forums are going to be a huge help. Thanks, everyone!
 
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