Speaking strictly from my own personal experience...I'm not one of the people who thinks raising a GSD puppy is like raising any other dog. I truly believe they are especially challenging because of their extraordinary attributes. With that said, Mac was extremely easy to pottie train and he learned basic obediance commands very quickly. He caught on much faster than the other puppies in puppy class
I believe its that same intelligence that challenged me later. My advice to you is practice NILF from day 1. Be patient, dilligent, repetive and consistent.