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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3319 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Raising a Working Puppy

Q. Should I keep my 8 month old GSD away from group classes or should we participate even if it means a whole lot of corrections with the prong?
Training question for the 8m GSD puppy: I never ask her to do anything she cannot do, however, our trainer felt it would be good for her to do basic obedience in the class with 3 other puppies. We failed miserably. She was focused on the other puppies. I had a really hard time getting her attention with treats and tug. Am I wrong to think that we should stay away from group classes now or should we participate even if it means a whole lot of corrections with the prong? Also, at what point should we start to practice obedience in the group setting? I'm guessing when I can get her focused despite dog distractions during our walks - right, wrong, sideways? Thanks!

A. I don't use group classes for puppies EXCEPT for working my engagement. And I would not take a puppy to a group class of other puppies. I have taken my pups to an advanced obedience class where all the dogs are focused on their handlers and not looking at me or my pup. I then simply go off to the side and work my engagement with food or toys. I may have to go VERY far away at first, in order to keep my puppy interested in me and I don't actually work on behaviors. Just engagement and food games.

  Response:

Makes sense - thank you! On the side note (and I meant to email this to you a while back): I also wanted to thank you and Ed for the website. In truth, the information on your site is the very reason we finally decided that we are educated enough to handle a relatively high drive GSD puppy. There has been many moments where we simply went on “blind faith” that you guys know best and we need to follow the guidance in your articles and videos. The results (not just the puppy, but me as a handler) have been nothing short of amazing. I also wanted to mention that we buy equipment from your store – the fact that product descriptions very clearly state which ones are right for each phase of puppy/dog development has been extremely helpful. We no longer shop at other venues because it turns into guesswork and then wasted money and time. So thank a bunch!

  Follow-Up Response:

Thank you so much for this. It makes my day!

I think you have good instincts about what's right for your puppy but when you have a question you can always write to me. Have a great day!
  
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