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  • German Shepherd Training

    Hi all,

    I was thinking of trying to buy a German Shepherd puppy but I want to be able to train it the right way. One of my previous manager recommended 'The Monks of New Skete: The Art of Raising a Puppy.' I've been seeing pretty good reviews on this book but I just wanted to ask you all if you have read this book or what other things are recommended to raising a German Shepherd the right way. I want to know what some owners have read or used to raise their German Shepherds.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    What type of Shep? Schutzhund? They are very smart & not like other dogs.
    The best training is not from a book. You both need to go to classes. (You will find that you need the training, not he dog
    I've had great shepherds...I just had to put my last little boy down due to cancer.
    Do your research before you get one. They are unique!

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    • #3
      Growing up, my family always had German Shepherds. We bought the Monks of New Skeet book once. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember much about it, good or bad. I was probably 12 years old, and we just weren't very good dog trainers. I think we trained that dog to sit and house trained him and that was about it.

      I've had a lot of different dogs, mostly German Shepherds and currently a pitbull mix, and I think I've come to the conclusion that there's no magic dog training system. Just pick something, be consistent, and put in the work. It takes a lot of hours and a lot patience to train a dog.

      My wife had our current dog before we were married. She got him when she was 22 or so, and she didn't have a lot of time or patience for dog training. Fortunately, there was a town nearby that had a sort of Doggy "Boot Camp" training program. You basically drop your dog off for a week and professional trainers train your dog for hours a day. Then when you go to pick up your pooch, the trainers train you for a day or afternoon or whatever on what they trained the dog. In our current dog's case, it worked very well. He is excellent at walking on a leash and he obeys the basic commands under normal circumstances (i.e. sit, lie down, drop it, heal, stay). He has an incredibly strong prey drive that we never broke him of, so we always walk him on a leash.

      But anyway, the key was the hours and hours of training the trainers put into him. For a week he had nothing but training and exercise. It was expensive but worth it. You can easily do the same thing on your own if you have the time and the patience.

      So if you're up for the task, buy the Monks book and set to it. Do the training the same way EVERY single time. And train several times a day.

      Remember you're getting a big dog. I've been able to control my dogs by significantly outweighing them and just using muscle if necessary, but if you have a wife or children, keep in mind that they need to participate in the training. My current dog has practically dragged my wife when he's seen possums or cats.

      Pitbulls have grown on me, but German Shepherds will always be my favorite breed.
      "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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      • #4
        Start here before you even decide to purchase one. You'll spend hours going through the forums. If you still feel like you might want one, but a couple videos to know what you're getting into. And for the official record, it's "German Shepherd Dog" or GSD.

        http://leerburg.com/
        NRA Life Member

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        • #5
          I have a friend who has the most beautiful,well trained,obedient,well taken care of German Shepard Dog I've ever seen. He's a big boy but in very good shape. Very gentle spirited dog,too. I was so taken with him that I talked at length with my friend about his dog. This one was his fifth one since owning his first one at 25 years old. All four had had hip problems,the last having to be put down right after she'd turned three. The others had all passed on before the ages of five. This one he has now just turned nine and is the first one he's had with no hip problems of any kind.

          While being beautiful dogs,they require special owners,IMO,and I don't make the grade.

          After realizing the expense involved in care and the pain from losing your pet again and again,I decided that I wasn't able to handle all that and know I'm not capable of raising one as it should be.
          Last edited by wyofirebirdbaby; 12-24-2011, 03:04 AM. Reason: deletion
          I'm old......that's all.

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          • #6
            ^ That's some SERIOUS bad luck, unless he's just getting all his dogs from the same crappy breeder. Some of our GSDs had bad arthritis and hip problems when they got to be about 12 or so, but I think the shortest any of them lived was 10 years, and that's not bad for a big dog.
            "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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            • #7
              I've read the New Skete book and liked it.... I did breed and train GSD for 10+ years....

              Read the book... get a puppy from a reputable kennel... Check the pups pedigree to see if there is a family history of hip problems.

              Stay away from pet stores. Stay away from Craigslisters. Find a reputable dog trainer who has documentation of their accomplishments with several dogs. Take your time before getting the animal.

              Know there are generally two kinds of GSDs.... Pet quality, which is great for most people... and Working dog quality... Which can be a great pet, but needs to be trained and needs to work. Decide what you want before you get the animal.

              Pet quality dogs are the most common... They can be trained and can be very good companions and watch dogs, etc.

              Good working dogs are only about 5-10% of the dogs out there.... And will be priced accordingly. A good "green" working dog (read minimally trained, 12 - 18 month old GSD, with at least one titled parent) will cost $2k and up. Minimal training is crate trained, basic commands.

              Most people who want a puppy to train are not looking for a working dog. Most people want a good quality companion dog who is smart and loyal. You can find that from some local working dog breeder too....

              Check out http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/

              Good luck in your search.
              Everything rises or falls on leadership. Everything.
              drjayirvin.wordpress.com

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              • #8
                I've got a GSD. Schutzhund lineage and trained. Did it and never kept it up because work took over for me and I left him with my parents. He's the most loving dog I've ever been around. My son literally steps on his tail, rides him like a horse, and beats him. The dogs loves every minute of it and gets depressed every time my little one leaves him. It's crazy.

                You need to know what you want out of a dog before you even buy one.

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                • #9
                  Come to think of it.. reading about GSDs and looking to buy another one is what brought me to this site. There was a post about a GSD in the GA forum. And now you can't get rid of me lol

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