My dogs have me or no one, so they are out of luck if they don't want me near the puppies. But even the bitch I got from Germany days before whelping, was alright with me handling the pup from birth.
Still, I think bitches who are rescued pregnant, change hands and don't have a chance to build trust might have a tougher time with trusting anyone near their puppies.
Jenna likes to butt her nose into everything I am doing with a puppy. So after I dry the puppy off, and weigh it, I give it back until she is busy working with the second pup. Then I bring that one up, and put a bit of rick-rack on it.
Really, my experience is that GSDs make awesome mothers. (Though I have heard of dams eating their puppies.) Usually it is best that we keep our hands off of them other than maybe weighing them twice a day, checking the rick rack to ensure it is not too tight, and maybe moving them to a back teat.
The big thing is to not upset the bitch.
I like to move the puppies into a small pet bed next to the whelping box when she starts turning around and dripping water, to keep them safe and dry while she is delivering the next pup. Some bitches though will immediately stop what they are doing and get all nosy about what is going on with their puppies. For those bitches, I leave the pups right in the box and they never step on them. Even in pain they are careful with the babies.
Sometimes, they will leave a puppy born, and go back to the other puppies and lick them, In that case, I pick up the new pup and clean it off and try to get it going. Once that pup squeaks, she will be over to me and I will put it down for her to welcome. Otherwise, I let her work on the new pup and I wait for her to be satisfied with him before diverting her with another puppy or simply picking the puppy up, and doing my thing.
If she is stressed, then everything is harder. Less is better if she is stressing.
Your bitch is your first priority, not the puppies, not the people wanting to be a part of the whole thing, not prospective puppy buyers. Chris let Tim take #1 role because that is what the bitch wanted and she is the lady in charge. I have to just say, "I won't hurt your baby, I will give her right back." But I have never yet encountered one that gave me a clear warning to keep away.
What is hard is when you have one that is simply not making it. And the bitch knows that you are getting anxious and she has her nose in there and everything you can do is not enough. If you do have to give up on one, then you have to smuggle it out of there and GSDs can count. But you cannot leave it in there, and you have to try to keep everyone's spirits up, because they pick up on everything. And she needs to get through the rest of the job. So, it's hard.
They are smart though, and if they trust you, they will generally let you handle the puppies from the first, whether or not you had to take one away at some point.
You have experience whelping so you'll probably be fine. No experience is the same though, good luck.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC