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I am in the process of getting a GSD puppy who I will be training as my mobility assistance service dog. I trained my last partner (who I lost in October) and I am looking forward to a whole new adventure with this new dog. But there are definitely some things I will do differently, and some things I will avoid entirely.

Right now I think my top two are starting from day one, since I didn't know right away that Declan would be a service dog and avoiding contact with dogs with bad habits. I let Declan have contact with a garbage dog and after a year and a half of no clue, suddenly he thought garbage was grand.

Those of you who owner train, do you have any thoughts on things you would do differently or avoid if you had it to do over again?

Cheerfully,

Xanateria
 

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Those of you who owner train, do you have any thoughts on things you would do differently or avoid if you had it to do over again?
I can't think of anything I'd avoid, but I know I'd make socialization my number one priority. We adopted our dog when she was about 6 months old and from the first day we realized she'd already developed a lot of reactive impulses towards other dogs.
 

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All that comes to mind is socialization like mentioned above.
After many debates in forums about dog parks, I came to realize the merit in those opposed to them.
Once I was able to recognize the problems that were arising from my dog park, I changed the opportunities for socializing my dog, and was able to find other options.
It has not been an easy road in fixing some of the habits learned by unruly dogs, but we are both much happier with our situation now. I have invited a few responsible dog owners and dogs to play at a more private place and we have all seen the difference in our dogs behaviors.
 
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