Tips for training first SD

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

(Page 2 of 2: Viewing entries 11 to 18)  
1  2  
~Missy~SD~CG- N

~Passed my CGN- test June 17th- 2012~
Barked: Tue Jun 25, '13 8:35pm PST 
I as well have trained my own PSD for my PTSD, anxiety and depression.

It took me two years, 6 sets of 10 classes and a few months with a private trainer, we passed both our CGN and PAT test.

If you have any questions or would like me to direct you to some helpful sites PM me.

Tina and Missy
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Wed Jun 26, '13 11:06am PST 
If you try training your own dog you really need a trainer. I made the mistake of not getting a trainer right away with Chaplin and we're resolving some errors I made when he was growing up. Another problem was that I was hospitalized several times in the first 9 months of having him so that too hindered some training things considering my mom doesn't know much about working with a dog. If I had, had a private trainer I'm sure they could have worked him when I was in the hospital.

It's tough, and a lot of dogs wash out. Chaplin may even have to wash out and he was the puppy prodigy of his litter and if he does it's on me. So please, please, get a trainer and also go to classes. Chaplin for a while (after I was finally healthy again) had his private once a week and a class once a week and he shaped up pretty quickly. But start super early and make sure you get the dog knowing what is an isn't acceptable they're still in their 'learning faze'.

It's really tough work, do not underestimate it. I figured we'd be fine getting a puppy and boy... things definitely don't always work out the way you expect them to. So put a lot of thought into it, you may be better of getting a program dog.

I am in the midst of looking through programs because if Chaplin does wash I'm not sure I have it in me to do it all over again, especially if that dogs washes too confusedfrown

Edited by author Wed Jun 26, '13 11:08am PST

Thor CGC

God of Thunder
Barked: Wed Jun 26, '13 11:37am PST 
Welcome smile

My first bit of advice, you NEED to see a professional trainer. You have picked a breed that isn't recommended to a novice, and definitely not a first time handler. If you don't seek professional help I can pretty much guarantee that your pup will wash out. GSDs are a very intelligent, but a protective breed.

Second bit of advice is to make sure you have a GREAT breeder. With the GSD being so popular there are a lot of bad breeders. There tends to be a lot of anxiety and weak nerves in the breed, which is the opposite of what you want for a SD. Make sure they do health testing as there are many health problems in this breed.

Third, have fun with your puppy! Give the puppy time to adjust instead of starting training immediately. If you do too much too fast your dog will burn out.

Fourth bit of advice. Know when to wash your dog out. I had this issue with my first dog. If your dog shows any sort or reactivity, aggression, or just plain doesn't enjoy the job, wash them out. Of course have an experienced trainer evaluate the dog, as some sorts or reactivity can be overcome. It isn't fair to you, your dog, or the public to work a dog that isn't fit for the job.


Barked: Fri Jun 28, '13 1:14am PST 
Nova, of course I didn't mean get a guide dog puppy manual and you will have a perfect service dog. I think you took my suggestion far too seriously. It was like if I had suggested a book or other resource to help.
Help.. that's all.

And I'm sure every school is different. I just didn't know which one pops up first on google. Jeez. shrug

Edited by author Fri Jun 28, '13 1:20am PST


Lolly girl
Barked: Fri Jun 28, '13 12:34pm PST 
My first owner trained SD washed out at 18 months..I tried to train him on my own with just some regular obedience classes first and then found a trainer that was supposed to have SD training cert..but not so good as a trainer, had some strange ideas..like if you pet your dogs neck that is a sexual thing to the dog, weird.

I had also trained dogs since I was 10, did 4-H and always trained my pet dogs..and they were very good dogs. But the SD training was different. I found a good program with an owner trainer class and got a pup from the person that donated her pups to the program..much better and I learned A LOT.
Polly is still going strong. I have been thinking of getting a program dog next time, I might have to wait on a list but I don't know if I will be up to training a pup myself again. Good luck, one step at a time and just remember if your dog needs to be washed out be strong and start over. smile

What ever runs- must be chased!
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 7:17pm PST 
I thank everyone for your posts. I am currently looking for a professional trainer to help me. I did contact one but he charges $100 an hour which is not feasible in my current financial situation.

I picked up Felix my German Shepherd puppy on Sunday. He has adjusted very quickly to his new home. I am currently working on potty training and socialization with different people and animals. We are starting a puppy class tomorrow I hope it goes well. Thanks again for all the advice.

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 7:50pm PST 
I sent you a paw mail. Just check our account. And huge congrats on the new puppy.

What ever runs- must be chased!
Barked: Sat Feb 1, '14 1:25pm PST 
Since I read that this site is closing March 3rd I thought I would give you guys an update before it closes. Felix is now 8 months old and is currently doing well in an intermediate obedience class. I am hoping he will be ready to take the CGC test this spring but will not rush him if he is not ready by then.

I have just in the last month found a trainer with experience training SD who is will to do private lessons with me. I had almost given up hope in finding one since I have had lots of unanswered emails and an SD organization who said I wasn't qualified for their owner training program.

I sad to hear that dogster will be closing. Though I don't post much I do visit the site almost everyday to read what others have posted. Thanks everyone for your initial advice applause
  (Page 2 of 2: Viewing entries 11 to 18)  
1  2