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Discussion Starter #1
Don't have a pup yet but hopefully I will in six months. however I've been waiting 2 and a half years and counting to have the right circumstances and breeder for my pup. Anywho, I've had plenty of time to learn about the craft of dog training and have actually been able to put my knowledge to the test with my friends dog and he's seen great results. Now I'm not a professional that does behavior modification or anything like that but have enough knowledge to be able to raise a perfectly balanced and obedient dog. So I can establish rules, teach commands, walk a dog properly and that sort. However I'd like to to still hire a trainer when I get my pup to be able to perfect my ability and adress any areas were I may not have the knowledge to know what to do. Such as for example off leash e collar work. So just curious as to how much training I should pay a trainer for. I'd prefer to just pay for one for some assistance during the puppy stage and when the dog is older just to do off leash e collar work and just that. I Don't feel the need to pay for other additional work I feel I can handle such as loose leash walking and such. Just some specifics. I welcome any feedback any experienced dobe owner can offer!
 

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Your second post hit the point I was going to make. Even when you feel confident about your own training ability, it is good to go to training classes with a good trainer, just to give the pup a chance to see all kinds of different people and other dogs in a controlled environment to help in his socialization.
 

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The most important aspect is applying, and continuing to apply and practice what you learn at training. I've heard so many people say stuff like "but he's trained! We took an 8-week puppy class!" But they slacked off after it was over and now their dog is out of control.

The commands and techniques I learned in a formal training environment have become my way of communicating with my dog everywhere at all times. Because of this, he's extremely reliable off-leash even with heavy distraction.

I would conclude, for us at least, that training, practicing, and learning is lifelong. We use our training every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh yes of course! I'm personally very strict and picky with my training I always do my absolute best to apply it at all times and not be permissive of behaviors.
 

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I when to a puppy class with my last puppy. The class for training wish was pointless but for other areas it was priceless. My puppy was a lot farther then all the other dogs in the class and he was one of the youngest. I did run into a few problems along the way and when back to the trainer for one on one classes to help out with them. Also took the puppy to a lot of places to train. I did that to get him use to doing the stuff he learn at home and away from the house.
 

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I hired a personal trainer and that was great! I still go to him for more one on one work but my training classes have been awesome! We love going and it's great to get input from other owners and trainers. In fact, I go back once a week or so to practice sessions just because we both enjoy it.

One thing that was emphasized to me and that greatly improved our in-home training sessions (which are always short, like 5-15min max) is to make it fun! Fun for you and the dog. There will be times when your dog just doesn't get it and because of this you will get frustrated. When that happens go back to a few commands that they do know and give them lots of praise and treats so that your session ALWAYS ends on a high note! Yes, treats are great but dogs can sense your frustration and they get frustrated as well so end with something they know so you both feel successful at the end. Once I was given this advice our training sessions did a 180 for the both of us and I've never looked back!

Good luck!
 

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It really kind of depends on your definition of "enough". Some people are happy with "don't potty in the house and don't pull my arm off on a walk". Other people want a 199+ HIT HC on a consistent basis.

If you can find a good, positive trainer, that's great, take group classes from them. If all you can find is an old school crank and yank trainer, you'd be better off training on your own.

As for "off leash e collar work", you need to teach the dog what you want it to do in the first place, and work with a trainer who really knows what they are doing. I'm not a fan of what a lot of people call "off-leash" training where the dog has to learn what it needs to do to "turn off" the stim. I more of the belief that an e-collar should be used to remind the dog "hey, I told you to do something you already know how to do"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In terms of e collar use I agree that the dog has to know the command in the first place. As far as all positive training I have no interest in doing that for its not my preferred method I am comfortable with and just isn't for me in general for other reasons.
 

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In terms of e collar use I agree that the dog has to know the command in the first place. As far as all positive training I have no interest in doing that for its not my preferred method I am comfortable with and just isn't for me in general for other reasons.
There really is no such thing as 100% positive training. Even trainers who use positive methods have consequences for a dog doing something incorrectly. Thoughts on Punishment | Denise Fenzi
 
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How much training is "enough"?

I personally use many methods with my dog, as I feel that's the most well-rounded approach. Sticking to only one method seems less reliable to me, since there are so many ways to communicate.
I use verbal cues, hand signals, physical pressure, and both food and toy rewards to keep things interesting and motivate him without creating a dog that will only be obedient under certain circumstances. I use a variety of communication tools as well. This has worked really well for us
 

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How much training is "enough"?

I am always training. Jasmine is 3. I love seeing what she is capable of and teaching her new things. I switch of methods depending on how she responds and what works best for her.

Raising a puppy also depends on your purpose. With my next, dock diving is a main goal. I'll be continuously building on that toy drive as I raise him.
 

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You will probably use A LOT Of different training methods until you find the one that works best for you and your dobie. I have found with my dobie that using mostly treats with a tiny bit of correction works best, plus you can't compete with a prong or an e-collar.

Here's the method that worked best for us:

When training a behavior that the dog does not know: I always use treats, high voice, praise, petting...

When the dog has learned the behavior and shown me over and over again and then decides not to do the behavior I give a warning "no" and then I will use a correction.

When practicing a behavior the dog knows and has had corrections on. I use the slot machine method with treats, meaning she never knows when she's going to get a treat! Therefore she's always WANTING TO WORK to get that treat. You might find your dobie won't work well for corrections.

I have found a mix between positive reinforcement and positive punishment has worked best for us given Gretchen's personality. I do have both a prong collar and an e-collar that I will use on occasion and she has zero aversion to either but they are also my LAST method I go to. Even when I do use them, I still use the treats. I think someone told me on a DT post, ALWAYS HAVE TREATS IN YOUR POCKET!!! And I'm probably not the only one who finds treats in the washer now lol.

PS. I'm also a big fan of keeping the training sessions short, esp. as young puppies because they have the attention span of a gnat, maybe 5 min. Even now, as I'm trying to teach her stacking and showing the mouth/bite. I'll stack a few times, take a break for 30min-hour, work on showing her mouth/bite a few times, take a break...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I understand that having a balanced approach can have it's benefits. I will however try to avoid being a human treat dispenser. I think that when you make your dog work for your approval,his food,etc. It builds a good drive where YOU are the reward and they are content with that. Afterall Dobermans are working dogs and wish to please.
 

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My girl has no food motivation. Treats were useless basically for her. I do all training with a toy.
 

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Treats don't work for everyone. And I don't always do treats sometimes we have tiny praise parties too. I think as long as the trainings are fun and positive and challenging is what really matters. And everyone goes about it differently and that's what makes it fun to discuss.
 

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You don't need to be a "human treat dispenser". Yes, in the beginning, when you first start training, you need to use a high rate of reinforcement, which with puppies is usually means lots of treats. There are other rewards beside food, though.

This is an excellent class. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - FE101: Relationship Building Through Play
 

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Training never stops. Whether you intend to or not, you are always reinforcing your dog's behavior, whether that behavior is something you like or dislike.

For me, working with and training my dog is FUN, and it's my hobby. Building my relationship with my dog is very enjoyable, and we enjoy learning and playing together, so I don't thinking "training" is ever something I will stop doing. We participate in a variety of activities together, and take two formal training classes a week (right now that is agility and nosework) and do informal sessions at home. I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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Treats don't work for everyone. And I don't always do treats sometimes we have tiny praise parties too. I think as long as the trainings are fun and positive and challenging is what really matters. And everyone goes about it differently and that's what makes it fun to discuss.
To be kind of honest, I thought the same until I introduced my girl to beef liver. Sometimes it is hard to find the right treat.

That said, I typically use toys as her "main" reward. A high-value treat makes a good lure. However, her main reward is definitely play/praise, which she reacts better to.

I think Beaumont has talked about this a lot, and I agree with him - the easiest way to train puppies is through play, and I think it does enforce certain behaviors to be more "natural.
 
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