Need training advice

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sindelina's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-03

Hi everyone.  I am new here, so if this has already been discussed, sorry in advance.  I am planning on getting a Doberman puppy in the spring, and am doing TONS of research ahead of time.  I am very confused on training methods.  There are SO many out there that all claim to be the best that it's mind boggling.  I live in a small town with only a few trainers around.  Most do the clicker method, which I'm not a fan of, or they want to keep the puppy for several weeks without me, and I don't like that idea.  Then you have Cesar Millan, Don Sullivan, and many many more experts that all seem to have a lot of success.  I'm just really confused right now.  I want to be consistent with him when he comes home, just like I am with my kids, but I want to do it the correct way.  All advice would be really appreciated :) ???

Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

Hello Sindelina:

There are tons of training methods out there and I will not pick one over another.  I am not a dog trainer but there are some universal  pieces in all dog training. 
1.  Be consistent (you can't expect your dog to learn if you change things up on it)
2.  Be the (pack)  leader (I have found this to be key with my dobie, with respect comes obedience)
3.  Socialization (especially when a puppy, this can avoid so many problems later down the line)

I have never done clicker training so I don't know much about it. (maybe someone else on the site can help you) But what worked well for me was attending a puppy class.  They do some basic obedience training and then you get a bit of puppy play time.  She learned some basics sit, stay, leave it, down, come and they introduced how to crate train.  in my opinion, As a puppy, physical corrections (leash tug) are not appropriate or necessary.  I found re-directing and verbal commands more than enough to get her attention.  But start teaching what is acceptable immediately and what will not be... such a can the dog be on the furniture?  I personally love snuggling up with my 85lb dobie on my lap but not everyone likes this.  I found the best thing to think about is even if its cute now what will it be like when my dobie is full grown.. 80+ lbs. Good Luck!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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That's not just your opinion Soleil - it's a hard fact. Physical correction before six months of age is ineffective and damaging.

"Training Methods" can be confusing indeed! There are hundreds. But really, most are similar. Your approach to training you dog will depend on his/her personality. If you remember the things Soleil outlined, and remember this: Training is teaching your dog how to get what he needs and wants in the best way for him; you'll be way ahead.

Take a simple example, jumping up. There are numerous approaches to things, but look at what the dog is trying to get. He wants your affection. Instinctively he wants to express his love and submission, and instinctively dogs do this by licking their superior's mouth. This is what he's essentially trying to do.

So - he needs a better way. The way I teach a better way is to teach the SIT command. When the puppy jumps, I give him the exact opposite - I ignore and turn away from him. When I give the sit command, and he sits, I give him affection. A Doberman puppy will tie this together in no time, and instead of jumping-up, he'll run toward you as crazy as usual, but instead of punching you in the groin  :o he'll sticks his little butt to the ground and stares anxiously awaiting some pats on the head.

sindelina's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-03

Thank you both so much.  I feel much better now knowing that there really isn't one training method better than another.  My biggest goal is to remain consistent and have a happy, healthy love bug for me and my family.  I am sure this isn't the last time I will be posting on here...and i'm really glad I found this place!  ;D  Thanks again, Amy

This is a great topic so I decided to post to it in case other people are looking for ways to start a puppy. I'm going to add a link from the DPCA website article and it is titled super dogs are made not born. The reason I really like this article it goes through all stages of puppy hood and gives you ideas what to do and what not to do. For example there are certain fear periods that a owner needs to be aware of so not to cause negative effects later down the road. For anyone wanting to the best thing for your puppy it is a great place to start. http://www.dpca.org/BreedEd/superpuppy.htm

OmegaWolf's picture
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Joined: 2009-04-11

That is genius!  A erudite, scholarly article well worth reading for anyone with an interest in their pup's development into a happy well-adjusted member of the canine community.

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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Hey thanks very much for that link. I really enjoyed reading it and makes me think im heading on the right track. :)

It is a fantastic article for those wanting to make the very best "Super dogs" I refer back to it everytime I have a new litter.

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^,^'s picture
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Joined: 2010-04-13

rnddobermans wrote:

This is a great topic so I decided to post to it in case other people are looking for ways to start a puppy. I'm going to add a link from the DPCA website article and it is titled super dogs are made not born. The reason I really like this article it goes through all stages of puppy hood and gives you ideas what to do and what not to do. For example there are certain fear periods that a owner needs to be aware of so not to cause negative effects later down the road. For anyone wanting to the best thing for your puppy it is a great place to start. http://www.dpca.org/BreedEd/superpuppy.htm

This link is dead now!

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^,^'s picture
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Joined: 2010-04-13

I got this book for Mothers Day. And I find it boring and difficult to understand for some reason.
I don't know what it is... I can read any word and if I happen to not know the meaning I'll look it up...maybe later the book gets better.

Anyone else have a hard time reading it?

ridethatbike's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25
newtodogs's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-27

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Thank you, ridethatbike, for link update!