I'm having a bit of trouble getting the info I need for the pup we will be getting here in a couple of weeks.
My family and I began our search for a pup at the beginning of this year, and finally settled on a breeder in April. The pups of a couple different litters were born in May, and our pup will be ready to come home the first week of July. We are super excited.
I have a tendency to ramble a lot, so I'll try to keep this as brief as possible. I have extensive experience with GSDs, obedience, etc., but this will be my first Schutzhund dog. High Plains Schutzhund is about three hours from us and is the club I think I'd like to become involved with when our pup is ready for training, since I've heard many good things about them. However, because of the distance involved, and the fact that we only have one car, driving down there very often won't be feasible, which means I'll have to do as much of the work as I can at home.
I've contacted them by email, and they let me know when they have "open" days for visitors to come see them, and once we have our pup, I do plan on making a trip to do just that. However, I've asked multiple times what sorts of things I can do at home when we first get the pup to help get him ready for his future training, and I'm not getting ANY info, and I'm getting a bit frustrated. I'm not asking them to tell me extensively how to train, or anything. Just a few tips on making sure I don't inadvertently kill his drive, what sort of basic equipment (balls, tugs, etc.) I can use with him as a baby, etc. Every time I ask, the lady I speak with just tells me to get a flat collar and a leash. Well, no kidding.
I've seen videos, pictures, etc. of people working with pups to get them ready for Schutzhund, and I've seen things like balls attached to ropes that people have the pups jump up for (I'm assuming to improve the pup's grip) and other pieces of equipment of the like. I'd like to get a few things that might help, or at least get pointed in the right direction of what to do so I don't start our boy out wrong. For instance, the breeder told me that confinement will help develop drive, and teasing a LOT with a ball before throwing it will help do the same, so I'll use those tips for sure. I just don't know how MUCH to confine him, and I've also been told that sometimes, "pet" homes inadvertently kill the drive in a promising pup by treating the pup too much like ... well ... a pet. I don't want to make those mistakes, so I'm looking for some guidance, but I don't know where to get it.
Again, I'd like to make it clear I'm not looking for someone to give me extensive training "over the internet". I do know that I will need to be in close contact with the Schutzhund club when I begin training; however, I'm pretty sure that actual Schutzhund training doesn't begin at 8 weeks when I bring the pup home (even though I'll be starting basic obedience immediately, of course). I'm just wanting to know what types of equipment I'll need to start him right, along with the correct
types of play to make sure I enhance his drive, and not kill it.
Can anyone point me in the right direction to get this information, or will I really need to get even such basic info in person from the Schutzhund club I join, rather than getting some tips via email before I'm able to make the long drive to visit them?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.