My first GSD was a mix and as a teenager the only class open to me used a choke chain so I did too. We use what we are taught to use. When I got a purebred and found myself in a treat only class, I didn’t know what I was doing. Eventually the treat only instructor put the dog into a prong collar and it was like night and day. If I had been more experienced with drive, I could have used a regular collar to train her with treats and praise. She had a strong herding drive and wanted to herd anything that moved. I didn’t realize she was herding until long after that class. The instructor didn’t care, she just wanted the disruptions to stop.I think inexperienced owners all have to start with positive only and motivational training, which does not mean inconsistent by the way, and learn to understand and connect with their young dog first with help of their body language, voice, timing, play, observation. How can one properly correct their dog without understanding the impact of the correction on their dog?
It’s absolutely possible to hurt your dogs feelings and erode trust. Why is this surprising? Not all dogs are hard headed, not all are forgiving either.