Questions For Koehler Trainers

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2011-06-21

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I've been trying to do a little research on the Koehler method of dog training with the intention of possibly eventually trying it myself. I'm trying to find out more about it to determine if I'd like to try it. Google has not been very helpful in answering the questions I have, so I thought I'd get my answers sraight from the horse's mouth.

Question One: How exactly does Koehler teach a command, as in, at what point is the dog corrected, & at what point is the dog praised? A sample command from the book would be super helpful, if anyone has one.

Question Two: What equipment does Koehler reccommend? A choke chain, obviously, but what else would be needed?

If I ever used the Koehler method, I'd do some modifications (use less correction, more praise, incorporate the occasional treat, etc) to take out some of what I've been told is the "harsh edge". Anyways, pretty much ANY info at all would be helpful, but please don't tell me, "Oh, the Koehler method is waaay too harsh, you're better off not using it at all." I'm looking for unbiased information, please.



sweetpea's picture
Joined: 2010-10-25

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The best way to learn more about his methods are to get ahold of some of his material.  You can buy used copies of his books fairly cheap on amazon.  I think there is only one thread on this site about his methods; in the year or so that I've been a member here I haven't seen anyone mention that they use them.  Dobermans tend to shut down and become unresponsive to harsh corrections, they do much better with methods that engage their brains and teach good behaviour by enhancing their drives and getting them to work for something. 

KevinK's picture
Joined: 2010-07-15

Pet Profiles

Well, the Koehler method is very dated, and I haven't heard too many succesful people that use it in the doberman world.  I don't think you'll find info here, or any of the other doberman forums.  I've never heard of someone using it with their dobermans.  If you're looking for info on the method, I would try some work-specific forums, but probably won't get that much help there either.  Odds are much higher you'll at least find people that have used it and are familiar.

If you want to look at good trainers for your dog, check out Micheal Ellis and Ed from Leerburg.  Both are working dog trainers who get excellent results, both are highly respected trainers, and it's more about setting your dog up for success as opposed to teaching him not to fail.

Joined: 2011-06-21

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I absolutely love Ed Frawley, the guy is amaz-azing (I made that word up). I suppose i'll be purchasing his basic obedience video after all! Thanks for the help everybody. No Koehler method.

19071907's picture
Joined: 2011-12-04

This thread is sort of old, but I wanted to add a few comments as I have had some experience with the Koehler method, although not used with Dobies. To answer the question about corrections and when they are appropriate, the answer is simple; only after you are sure your dog understands what you are asking him to do. As for equipment, you would use a 'choke chain', a 6 ft leash,  a long training line, and a couple of chainettes (read the book). A couple of additional items might be a tab for the collar and another long line made of an extremely light weight material, such as fishing line, used in perfecting the recall command.

The Koehler method isn't for everyone. There is a lot of misinformation about it, so you have to read and  understand the method or you can do more harm than good. Used properly it is a lot less about corrections and much more about being in a position to out think your dog. I found it to be very effective on the two dogs I worked with.


Dave H.