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If you could give one piece of advice to a first time GSD owner, what would it be? I find myself browsing this forum a lot to see which posts apply to me and my pup, and soaking up whatever tips and information I can, but I thought it would make for some fun reading to put this question out there and see what everyone has to say!
 

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I think the one piece of advice many new owners need to hear is "lighten up!". People get their new puppy, and these freaking puppies are wicked smart, so everyone is happy...until the puppy starts acting like a puppy LOL! Raising a puppy takes lots of time and patience, but it is a marathon, not a race. And there WILL be some hurdles...but somewhere in all the rush to have a well behaved dog, people often lose sight of the fact that training and spending time with your new bundle of trouble should be FUN, not work! Laugh, play, and thoroughly enjoy your puppy!
 

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Tim said it best.

It's a marathon, not a race.

There is no hurry to get from there to here.

Let the puppy be a puppy.

More play, less obey.

Discover your pup's likes and strengths, play to them -- don't be so set on obedience that you try to stuff a nose-work dog into an obedience mold.

Relax with your puppy. Enjoy your puppy. Love your puppy.

Sometimes the things we learn a little at a time stick with us the longest, why should it not be so with dogs?

Keep the training a game, up-beat and fun. If it isn't fun, there is something wrong on the human end of the leash.

Oh, and don't try to make GSD owners obey simple instructions, like 1 piece of advice...
 

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Tackle your battles one at a time step by step keep at a minimum. Everything you both enjoy embrace fill your time with it.
 

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Discover your pup's likes and strengths, play to them -- don't be so set on obedience that you try to stuff a nose-work dog into an obedience mold.

This! I know too many people that are for the SPORT and not the DOG. That was the number one thing my breeder and I discussed.


"What will you do with dog?"


My response: "What SHE enjoys most."
I'm not concerned enough about the points or the title to force a dog to do something they aren't going to excel in.


My advise would echo Selzer's - keep your mind open for different sports. Don't be afraid to try new things. It's about having fun and learning along the way.
 

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I like Tim and Selzer's responses but just want to add to the notion of "more play, less obey"....my thought is play IS obey....when they are little goofballs I try to make them think everything we are doing is a fun game and they don't even know they are learning to do what I want half the time
 

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You've got some great advice here so far,,,,,I can't give just one piece of advice.....the time spent playing and just having fun with the pup is the most important -it's through the play/fun that the pup becomes attached and bonds to you....IMO it's the "bond" that makes them much much easier to work with during serious training...once they're attached to you they want to "work" for and please you...that's in their nature...as they grow and mature some of these guys will push boundaries you "thought" you'd already set-doesn't mean you've failed the pups just growing into an adult....be consistent when you correct the pup ...you must NOT let him get away with something some times and then "correct" them the next--again be consistent with corrections--you'll end up with a well trained adult....don't base where your pup is training wise on where someone else dog is at that age....train the dog sitting in front of you.


I think a big mistake new owners make..... based on threads in this forum is they wait way to long to find a solution for a behavior(any behavior)and correct it because they believe the pup will outgrow it...by the time they realize that's not true the bad behavior has become a habit--the pups ingrained response to certain situations...the earlier you catch and fix a problem in a growing pup...whether from advice here or a trainer.... the easier it will be for you and your dog....that's my two cents worth.
 
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