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Is obedience training for the dog...or the owner?

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I'm planning on taking mine in a few weeks to a six week class. She'll be 9 months old by then. She's a German shepherd and she's been spayed. Will it be too late to benefit us? She's a little bit wild and has lots of personality. I admit I encourage it a little bit because, well, its entertaining. But I don't want anyone to ever get hurt, even unintentionally. She has a golden retriever brother to get rough with and shes great with my kids, 6 and 8.

I just want her to have good manners. Will I get that from obedience class when she's already 9 months old? I've already raised and mourned a German shepherd/husky mix who was also "spirited" but never hurt anyone.
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by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Replies (21-28):
by Thatwoman on Feb. 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM
1 mom liked this

There are puppy classes and adult dog classes. Puppies, like babies, have a limited ability to learn much.

You need to be 'trained' to handle and train your dog. One of the realities of dogs is that they need to be continually trained (socialized, if you like) to remain acceptable to life with humans. 

by Platinum Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 9:05 PM


Quoting iggwhipped72:

Hmm I rather like when they "clean up" the floor for me but I see your point! My mix would not take treats from any strangers, even the mail lady, whom she loved!

Quoting meriana:

Obedience training is great for both dog and owner. The dog learns manners and how to behave and the owner learns the best way to give commands/signals in order that the dog does behave. Kinda like with one's kids. They don't come with instructions but as you live with them, you learn to deal with them in certain ways to get the desired responses. Might I suggest that you ask the trainer whether or not they teach their pupils to leave things like food on the ground alone. The trainer I took my Dane to did this and I'm not kidding, I could put steak down on the floor in front of him, tell him to leave it and he wouldn't touch it untill I said he could...even if I left the room. He wouldn't eat random food off the ground or take food/water from strangers either. It keeps them from being accidentally (or otherwise) poisoned.

 At the time there had been a few cases where someone had thrown poisoned meat into people's yards. It was a few miles from us but we didn't want to take any chances and a nice side result was that he never got into the garbage either.

by Platinum Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM

So the obedience classes wont give you much information about that. They'll teach you strategies you can use to curb behaviors like jumping up, and some parlor tricks which is helpful without a doubt, but its only half the story.

Cesar Milan has a good book about developing a good relationship with your puppy. It's made a huge difference for our family.

Quoting iggwhipped72:

That's just it. I need someone to train me to know how to command respect.

Quoting UpSheRises:

If a dog respects you it behaves how you ask it to behave no matter how old it is. A 6 week course will give you some pointers but your dog will need direction from you for the rest of it's life.

That's the mistake a lot of people make with dogs. They go to puppy-K and expect their dog to be "trained" when the class is over. It doesn't work like that, just like it wouldn't with a child.

by Silver Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:03 PM

It is for both.  Pets and the pet parent.  It is NEVER too late to start taking class. If anything, it is a great way to bond with a pet.

by Silver Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM

She's still a pup. I think if you aren't experienced with proper training it will most certainly help.

by Nari Trickster on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:06 PM

It is never too late. I am a certified dog trainer and My teacher has helped trained dogs upwards of 9 and 10 years old. 

I have two shelter dogs and my lab mix is very well behaved.. (my husband's dog.. however.. lol)

by Ruby Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Chances are if it's a group class, you'll be in with a bunch of younger pups...12 weeks, etc. She may find their exuberance a bit much for her to be able to focus. When we train, we don't start any younger than 16 weeks. We train one-on-one, and request that the whole family be present, so all are on the same page. We do 5-6 classes for an hour or more each. Although the attention span is at most 20 minutes, it does require alot of communications, explanation, etc to the owners. We do some, show them how, then they do it, we correct them if necessary. We ask that they continue doing this a couple times each day. Each week is progressive. (I'm talking basic obedience). But at the end of the 5-6 week they can certainly call us back for a refresher.

There are times when people will ask that we keep the dog and deliver a fully trained dog. That we can do in 14 days or less. Then we have to spend a couple hours with the owner, to train them in what we've done with the dog.

If you have a connection with your dog...are able to 'speak' to them, and read them, it's easy. We're able to see at the first lesson who will be successful and who will not follow through.

by Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM
We took our female German Shepherd to training at 9 months old. It was her first formal training. We actually thought it would be more beneficial if she was a bit older (we worked with basics on our own when she was younger). The results were amazing. She is so well trained. It was a pretty intensive "boot camp" where they actually kept her for 2 weeks and then we attended private sessions with her and the trainers to learn everything she had learned. She is now just over a year and listens so well. Our kids did not attend any of the training, just me and my husband.
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