Man, Bane is a popular name right now :-). I am also about to get a pup that I will be doing bitework with. I am working closely with my training director and club to ensure that I don't mess him up (even though I'm sure I will mess up a ton lol). The biggest thing we've been discussing is not to inhibit any drives...not much obedience, never chasing the dog down to take something away, no corrections, setting the pup up for success, etc...Outside of not inhibiting the bite, the most important (it seems at this age) is to maintain a conflict-free relationship with the puppy. This is why I will be, as onyx-girl pointed out, only setting the puppy up for success. If he gets something in his mouth I'll call him over, say things like "whatchu got?! That's nice, brav"etc and try and get the dog to hold it while I pet him etc...this is supposed to nurture the dog's relationship with me...I've made the mistake of doing the typical chase down, and take whatever it is away, and it leads to conflict between the dog and I when I step into the picture in bitework (crummy grip, spitting the sleeve, chewing, etc). If it's something he really can't have I run away from him yelling, "what do you have??" Excitedly and trade him for food when he gets to me.
I have a one year old rottie that I am working until I get my pup. I've implemented all these things I was told and it's really improved everything for us. Although she's older and we're doing obedience now. I guess the biggest advice I'd give is, make sure you have a good Training director/club/trainer that you are working closely with. There is a lot of simple things that "normal" people do with their dogs, that can screw up and cause problems in the pup later on when you ask it to do bitework. Your wife really needs to be on board with this too, otherwise I would suggest crating the pup while your at work and just have the wife let him out for potty/food breaks....but little interaction. Bitework/protection work is serious work. The dogs can be house dogs...but there are more rules (or less, depending on how you look at it lol) and things to watch out for.
Who's your breeder? Is he from lines that do well in bitework? Good luck! And we love puppy pics around here!
Last edited by DaniFani; 11-17-2013 at 11:56 AM.