==> Necessary provisions for each dog training approach

Obedience Training and Behavior Training

Requirements of Dog Training Approaches

All you need is love

Okay, so the penultimate MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL showed you the essence of Dog Obedience Training, and the most recent Periodical gave a precise & succinct intro to our proprietary Dog Behavior Training.

Now, this week of course has to follow a short summary of the preconditions of each dog training approach. So to say, that we know where we stand, where to go, and what we need.

Requirements of Obedience Training

In short:

  • Dog owner/trainer must have a STRONG LEASH
  • Dog owner/trainer must be STRONGER THAN THE DOG
  • Dog owner/trainer must be PRESENT!
  • (S)he must enjoy to be DOMINANT - giving commands which others obey
  • (S)he must have some form of ENFORCEMENT (the 3F's: force, fear, foods)

= easy, everyone can do it. Except the weak, the timid, and the old.

Mark that: Everyone can obedience-train their dog - except the weak, the timid, and the old.

  • This is why, for children, strictly obedience-trained dogs are so difficult to handle - and why children get bitten so often! See the incredibly insightful MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL What to do if our dog injured someone.
  • This is why it is primarily the women who (rightfully) issue desperate pleas for help with their "aggressive and non-obedient dog!"
  • This is why old people, once they get a bit fragile, always give up on their dog - at a time when the dog would be their best companion and comfort, and a much better therapy for the old citizen than their own family and the doctor can be!
  • And this is why literally millions of adult dogs end up in shelters, animal pounds and high-kill kennels! And when the owners can be asked why??, they always give as reason: "The dog became too big and too strong to handle! The dog doesn't do as we say! The dog has severe behavior issues!"

Well, "the dog" is an animal. Either this incredibly smart animal trains us, or we train the dog - and do it right!

dog reading paperSometimes I envision that, at night, some dogs quietly get up, walk to the owner's bookshelf, get on their hind feet, and grab with their muzzle whichever of these obedience books they can find. And then they read it - and apply it to their owner! :-)

modern dog walkingFrankly, the majority of dogs we can observe on the street, on TV, and in youtube clips have trained their owner, and thus they drag the oblivious owner on a leash behind.

As a starter, this dog owner (Ben Affleck, yes!)  would clearly need the right Leash Training Guide. Can you tell Ben when you see him? ;-)

Requirements of Behavior Training

Let's now contrast the above with the requirements of Behavior Training:

  • Is a STRONG LEASH required? - NO!
  • Does the dog owner/trainer need to be STRONGER THAN THE DOG? - NO!
  • Does the dog owner/trainer need to be PRESENT for the dog to behave well? - NO!
  • Does (s)he need to enjoy to be DOMINANT, giving commands which others obey? - NO!
  • Does the dog owner/trainer need some form of ENFORCEMENT? - NO!

Uups! Nothing of that?? No.

BUT, Behavior Training does require:

  • that the dog owner/trainer is the accepted Pack leader
  • that the dog owner/trainer has the right mindset: relaxed, benevolent, confident, 'Partner'
  • that (s)he is patient
  • that (s)he is calm
  • that the dog owner/trainer understands dog body language
  • that the dog owner/trainer is self-conscious, being aware of her/his own behavior
  • that (s)he is willing to improve his/her own behavior
  • and that (s)he has a reasonably good memory - how (s)he behaved last
This is what a Top dog expert says:
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!

Uups! So much?? Yes. Indeed, I feel that the requirements of Behavior Training are significant. In short: Behavior Training requires a somewhat 'mature' dog owner/trainer.

For whom is it?

So does the above mean that Dog Behavior Training is only for a few dog owners?

I would argue: No. Quite the opposite: If every dog owner and trainer introduces already their puppy to Dog Obedience Training and Dog Behavior Training at the same time, then:

  • there is little chance for the puppy or adult dog to experience a Pack conflict
  • thus it is unlikely that the dog develops an aggression out of stress
  • there is little chance that the dog later is 'disobedient' and dominates its owner
  • thus it is unlikely that the dog ends up in a shelter, animal pound or high-kill kennel!
  • there is little chance that later the stronger adult dog pulls on the leash, or escapes when off-leash
  • thus it is unlikely that the dog owner feels that (s)he needs a choke collar, pinch collar, or electronic collar to "train the dog" - instead (s)he'll probably get a soft padded genuine leather collar
  • there is little chance that the dog will behave any different when the owner is not present
  • thus it is unlikely that the dog destroys anything when left alone and the dog has free run of the house
  • there is little chance ... - I could go on forever!

If every dog owner and trainer introduces already their puppy to Dog Obedience Training and Dog Behavior Training at the same time, then obviously the pup won't get confused by conflicting instructions from the owner (commands vs body language), because then the owner communicates clearly and consistently (mostly show - don't tell).

GSD taking careBy the time the GSD puppy becomes a strong adult German Shepherd, the dog will long have learned all obedience needed. And the relationship between dog and owner will be deeper and more fulfilling - for both!

If you prefer watching over reading (what?!?), and you've ignored all links (or even all emails?!?) in the past, then I can only repeat what I've been arguing more than once: One of the best (if not the best) professional dog trainers to learn from, how you can train your dog yourself (and on the cheap!), is Dan Abdelnoor - or 'Doggy Dan' as he likes to call himself.

This is what a Top dog expert says:
Find out more: Click to save vet cost, training cost, and your nerves!

What a different world would this be for dogs (and their owners!) if all other dog trainers first read my books. Only joking (well, not really here)! Or if they first learned from 'Doggy Daniel', before they offer their services to unsuspecting dog owners, and at premium prices! And then so often leave the owner with a 'present' behind: a dog that has been trained in a way you couldn't observe and you couldn't influence, and that can't be replicated - and often really shouldn't!

[wpsharely id="4431"]

While a really good local trainer certainly can add value, really good local trainers are few and far between (and ex ante you can't know who is one)! Else there wouldn't be so many dog owners seeking our help, and even after (and sometimes because) they had consulted a personal dog trainer! Indeed, it can be difficult and exhausting to try to undo the trainer's 'present' left behind: the problems.

Start Behavior-training your dog today

If you wonder: Does Doggy Dan teach Behavior Training?

Dogs with Doggy Dan

Not verbally, no. But visually - in a lot of his live dog training videos. You will have noticed that he too never uses force or fear. And that he's already much less into food treats and commands than any other dog trainer you may have seen, heard of, read, or booked. Well, any that I know of, for sure.


Checklist * (see note at the bottom)



==> Next edition: Not all is black & white! - But ...<==

Miguel at 28w Can you give back a bit today?



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  10 Site Comments, ZERO SPAM Add one


    I do value the GSD periodicals immensely. I find very useful in doing the best for my own GSDs as well as ones I get to visit in my dog training. Very informative.


    As always Tim shows us more rewarding aspects of GSD 'ownership'. Sometimes, through sheer laziness, I have become angered by Sam's behaviour & rather than use behaviour training to remedy. Then I read Tim's articles again & it reminds me why I spent more time when Sam was a pup using behaviour training. It definitely paid off.
    Tim made mention of Sam (& me) in the last issue on the subject of talking to my GSD in complete sentences. I always have done & yes he understands. He is aware of the difference between past & present tense. When he was about 9 months old & crying to get outside to join us in a game of soccer, I looked at him & said "do you want to come outside?" He looked back at me & began wagging his tail furiously. I said " Well if you want to come outside, open the door (steel screen security door)". To everyone's amazement he jumped up, put his front paw on the handle, pushed it down & opened it! From then on I said the same thing & he repeated the behaviour. At 10 1/2 he looks longingly at the screen door when he is ready to come inside. When I say "well open the door, he makes a half hearted effort with his paw by scratching at the screen. His understanding of complete sentences is in no way a reflection on me. He always has been one of those scarily intelligent GSD's. I have many other uncanny stories relating to his comprehension.
    Anyway I admire Tim's dedication, research & commitment to GSD's & us


    thanks for all of your training information. My GSD responds well to your training guides.


    I really appreciate all of your practical advice on training - beginning with a new pup. I am trying to raise the best pup I can.


    Just another thank you for helping us train a great GSD. Things weren't going too well until we started following your advice. Thanks again for all of your time and effort!


      You are welcome Launa. :-D
      Less than one in a thousand who type a comment after they read a Periodical. Good that we now restrict a lot to the truly interested 8-)


    Thank you again, Tim, for great advice. I have been training my Jordan using your periodicals, and we are coming along quite nicely. A few hiccups here and there, but I am learning too!
    Thanks so much!


      Most welcome Maureen, wishing you and everyone who reads this a healthy happy New Doggie Year 2015!


    Tim, it has been a long crazy summer with the kids and LB Jeffries and I are looking forward to our long walks, just the two of us. Thank you for this reminder that he really needs me to be present for him and his behavior will reward me for it.


    Thanks again Tim, for your dedication to the GSD and to training your readers so they can bring out the best in their beloved canine companions. The best thing you taught me is the "collar freeze," the most effective tool for behavior modification.

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