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Should You House Train or Hire a Dog Trainer?

Hi German Shepherd Training Academy readers!

The topic for discussion in this post is: Should you house train your German Shepherd or should you hire a dog trainer?

First things first, it is important to note that German Shepherd training requires patience, hard work and can sometimes be difficult which can be especially frustrating for new dog owners. If you’re a new dog owner and you feel this way, don’t worry, dog training does require time. I know this because a few years, my family adopted a rescue dog named Sammy who according to one of the rescuers, had been abused by his previous owner. Sammy, like almost any other dog is a social animal and often tends to interact with us, but whenever we tried to approach him by getting closer to him, he would quickly withdraw and hide. Sammy would even be nervous to go on walks around the neighborhood (which is probably the favorite thing for any dog to do!). It has taken a few months for Sammy to finally slowly open up to us and although he is still nervous and timid, he has certainly gotten better with love and attention from the family. As you can probably guess , it is extremely challenging to train Sammy who has had bad experiences with different human individuals.

House Train or Hire a Dog Trainer

This is just one example of owning a dog which can be difficult to train. If you have recently just owned a dog (not a puppy), and have difficulties trying to train your dog, it would be helpful, if possible, to find out more about your dog. Things such as who is the previous owner, why did he/she decide to give up taking care of your dog and if your dog is a a rescue dog, where was your dog found when it was rescued are important facts that can be used to better understand your dog. With that knowledge, you are able to avoid actions that can cause your dog to be nervous; hence making the dog training process an easier and smoother one.

So, the question now is, if you find it really challenging to train your German Shepherd, should you hire a dog trainer to train your German Shepherd? This topic is definitely debatable and the simple answer is that there is no right or wrong answer. It’s in a grey area for most dog owners and its entirely up to the dog owners to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Let us now dive right in to each option and go over some of the characteristics! We hope you like the infographic we created for this post!

House Trained

1) Ability to spend valuable time with your dog  can strengthen your bonds. Remember Sammy? It took alot of effort and tries on our end before he began to slowly trust us (i.e. not run and hide whenever we tried to go near him). Only then we were able to slowly train him.

2) You are able to truly experience your task as a dog trainer! This can be fun especially if you have kids!

3) All you need is patience and time (and its free!). Though if you’re working 8 am – 5pm, this can be somewhat challenging considering you might end up being too tired when you get home from work to play your role as a dog trainer.

4) Studies have shown that owning a pet and spending time with it can relieve stress. And what better way to spend time with your German Shepherd by training it?

Dog Trainer

1) You don’t have to worry about how you should train your German Shepherd. Let the dog trainer handle it.

Is this true? Can you really expect that by sending your dog to training for a month and expect it to come back home well-behaved? This is true for a short period of time, however, once your German Shepherd learns (remember German Shepherd are of herding breed and are therefore intelligent!) that the authoritative dog trainer figure is no longer present, your German Shepherd might revert to its old behaviors. As the saying goes, learning is a lifelong process, be it for humans or your German Shepherd.

2) Stubborn dogs can perhaps be better trained by a professional dog trainer.

3) Contrary to what dog owners might want to believe, as stated in point #1, training is a lifelong process and therefore even after your dog has returned from being trained, you’ll need to ensure that those dog training methods and principles are applied at home as well.

4) If you decide to send your German Shepherd to a training camp for dogs, your dog can also be trained on how to socialize with other dogs! Certainly you can just take your German Shepherd dog or puppy to a dog park for socializing with other dogs; but what if your dog had a similar experience as Sammy? This can make it very challenging and requires alot of effort.



5) German Shepherd Training can be costly! A quick Google on “How expensive is dog training?” will show that hiring a dog trainer can cost anywhere between several hundreds to several thousands of dollars.

These are some points to consider when you decide if you should be house training your German Shepherd or hiring a dog trainer. Again, there is no right or wrong choice, it all depends on you as the dog owner to weigh in on the pros and cons of each option and what you believe will meet your expectations. It is however important to note that this decision should ideally be made prior to starting your German Shepherd training sessions.

So what do you think? We’d love to hear what were your previous experiences, what worked, what didn’t and why?

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