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Training suggestions for my 9.5 week old german shepherd girl

May 28th, 2009, 05:30 PM
I am in a dilema. I hear very often that socialization is important for german shepherds especially. I was wondering if I should enroll her in something like a Petsmart training class for puppies or wait for 4 months and instead invest in obedience training. If I go with the obedience training I will try and take her to as many places as possible and get her to experience new things and sounds as possible. I also intend to do training at home in small intervals - not so much treat based but using a leash correction, praise and love...

I think giving a treat can be something after every lesson instead of luring a dog to sit and stand by mving the food around which is pure temptation.

I am in need of suggestions. :confused:

May 28th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Wait till Shadow has all her puppy shots then enroll her in a puppy class, they are alot of fun and a great way to meet other puppies, also once she has had her shots take her to parks. When I got my boys, within a couple days we had a whole pack of doggie friends. It was great for all the dogs to get together and play.
Use LOTS of praise and snuggles for training, it can go miles!! Be consistant and patient and you'll do great!!
Don't forget we want Shadow Pics!!!!!!! :crazy: Good luck

May 28th, 2009, 05:53 PM
No offense but I would not be considering a leash correction on a puppy that young. Don't knock the treats, a teenie tiny little bit goes a darn long way in keeping them focused and on the task at hand. Training should be fun for the dog, not a yank on the neck every time you wish it to do something. That's my :2cents: worth and I have completely trained 130 & 150 lb dogs that listen to a whisper and a hand signal or voice command so I must have done something right with the treats and never a leash correction.

May 28th, 2009, 07:11 PM
I vote for puppy classes (although do some research on which one, I don't know if PetSmart is the best choice). The benefits of socializing your dog as early as possible will have immense life-long benefits. Here is a super article on the why/how/who and when of puppy classes:

I also agree with BMDLuver about the leash corrections. There really is no need in a pup so young. Training should be fun and easy and pleasurable for both of you, if it isn't, you're doing something wrong. Dr. Ian Dunbar has a fabulous site with lots of training info that I highly recommend you read through:

And food treats shouldn't be used as a bribe in the manner that you're describing them, but as a reward for having performed a behaviour you approve of.’s-deal-food-bribes

May 28th, 2009, 07:53 PM
what would you correct puppy for? A baby wouldn't know what it did wrong, that is not fair, and can break trust. You can make a dog do what u want by being forceful, but there wont be a strong bond with unconditional love. I really disagree. You can use food, it is not a bribe but a reward, w way of saying you did it right, you can also use praise and love, or a toy, they will all work, at that age is is most important thing is creating a bond based on trust, you can establish yourself as leader using only positive methods.

Find a class when your pup is ready with a trainer that shares your ides and goals, it will be the best way to ensure you both have a positive experience. Good luck!

Remember at that age your pup is just a wee baby, also being a large dog make sure you dont do much too early, like running or jumping, just work on the very basics and get to know each other for a couple weeks.

May 28th, 2009, 08:23 PM
Thanks for everyone's feedback. I will focus on socialization and basic training at home and then get her into obedience training when older.

May 29th, 2009, 12:19 AM
I agree with the others. Treat training is not bribery or temptation especially when you are talking about a young puppy. Treats can be a fabulous positive training tool that helps both the trainer and the pup to recognize when the behaviour is correct. Tiny bits of tasty stuff works best for teaching new stuff but don't be afraid as well to use a portion of your dogs meals to run through and reinforce the learned commands.

Corrections should only come into play much, much later when the behaviours are completely solid and the dog is just blowing you off instead. Rewards can also be playing with a favourite toy, lots of praise and just some fun playtime. Mix it up a lot so the pup doesn't always expect the same thing and instead learns that training means good stuff happens :).

Dr. Ian Dunbar is recognized as one of the pioneers of positive training methods and early training for puppies. He has a fabulous website with lots of great information.

I would also suggest meeting up with friends or family that have dogs to help with socializing until you can attend an obedience class. I loved the puppy classes we took with Riley and would definately recommend them to anyone. The pups get to learn different body languages/play styles and you get lots of help with the terrible puppy times :D.

Good luck :goodvibes:.

May 29th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Please don't bring her out until she has had all rounds of her shots. This includes petsmart..etc. Outside should only be in your yard where no other dog's have been. If you want to socialize her, have friends and family bring over dogs you KNOW are fully vetted.

Also..bring over some children to play. Get her socialized with people and the way little kids act. Children are unpredictable and some dogs end up not liking them because of the fast movements, loudness and unpredictability of way to avoid socialize socialize socialize.

Good Luck!