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We'll be picking up our new GSD pup in late June and I've started looking for trainers in my area. I emailed the company at www.TrainedFamilyDog.com and asked her training philosophy. Your opinions, please.

My philosophy... I am a praise-correction trainer. That means I use a simple physical touch as a correction to redirect the attention of a dog and then I use praise when the dog does what I want him to do. My motto is do no harm. I would never do anything to a dog that I wouldn't do to me first. Use of treats is encouraged, although not for everything. I have seen that create a food aggression in some dogs. I am a big believer in the pack mentality, as well. Check out my wesbite (URL below) - there's more info there, too.
 

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Looking at the site, I think she channels Cesar a bit much. The 'pack mentality' buzzword is so overused!

Go and see if you can sit in on a few of her classes(beginner and advanced).

Food rewards during training seldom if ever creates food aggression.

What plans do you have for your puppy? If you are going into some type of sport, I'd get with that group now and you'd be getting a headstart thru their recommmendations.
 

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If your dog is a people pleaser I think it would work, but until you have the dog and see what drives him I dont know that you will be able to pick a trainer based on their philosophy. What if you get the dog and he could care less if you are proud of him or pet him? What if he is completely toy driven and could care less about food / treats. What if he likes those things when there is not something better to be exploring or doing or barking at. I think knowing your dog a little better would help you pick the correct trainer. When I was interviewing trainers last weekend. I asked each of them to handle my GSD in the situation which we were struggling the most. I picked my trainer based on his assessment of the issue at hand and how they handled it with him what kind of solution they offered. Now not everyone has an issue but I feel like if we did not have an issue I would of still asked them to handle him briefly so I could see what their method was. I also asked for a demo (with one of their dogs) on what to expect out of my training experience from them (only 2 were able to comply)
 

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If your dog is a people pleaser I think it would work, but until you have the dog and see what drives him I dont know that you will be able to pick a trainer based on their philosophy. What if you get the dog and he could care less if you are proud of him or pet him? What if he is completely toy driven and could care less about food / treats. What if he likes those things when there is not something better to be exploring or doing or barking at. I think knowing your dog a little better would help you pick the correct trainer.
I disagree. Any good trainer will know that motivation changes depending on the dog and environment. While food can be highly motivating in one scenario, it may not be as motivating as play in another. Find a trainer that doesn't spout of buzz words but can intelligently discuss their training and reasons for using the techniques that they do.
 

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I think her classes look great. ESPECIALLY with a new puppy. Positive training and treats will only be great for a young pup. Much later on if you want some other dog sport or training, you may (or may not) feel you need to go somewhere else.

Sign up for her Puppy Kindergarten class!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is pup we might pick. Teal collar is 2 1/2 weeks in this pic.

She has invited me this Saturday to view a beginner class with mostly 4-month olds. If the pups are anything like the mom and other dogs at the breeder's house, they will definitely love the praise and the pettings!

I'm looking basically for socialization right now. We used Petsmart for our last GSD (14 years ago) and it was ok. I'm hoping for a more long-term relationship with someone who will be there for me.

Why we are getting a GSD: companionship. I don't really like to compete (gets me stressed out), so we won't be doing that. We want a dog to walk with, take to the park, play fetch, and bark at bad guys.

My major training goal:Emergency stop. Our last GSD was a forever leash dog because he failed "recall" class -- several times. :blush:

(I do not like Cesar, Onyx'girl. Ever since the episode he chased a farm dog into his dog house with a badminton racket.)
 

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You see, the celebrated GSD, the majority of them, is such a dog, that it is not you who adjust him to your plans and ideas, but you adjust yourself to your dog. My Lucy who is 2 and 7 now, was a "fire starter" among other puppies when she was younger, it wa her the most playful, engaging and welcome. Now she wants to clear the field from all her old friends for our bally play, she wants only me as a companion for her games, and we have to stay away from the group because she bites them in irritation. She was admired by young children and seemingly she loved them herself, especially boys as the boys are brave. She hates any stranger stretching his/her hand towards her from now on and will allow to touch her only if I told her. She is from the working line and will suffer without daily physical and intellectual loading. But, all GSDs are like that, some less, some more...
 
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