My IPO prospect is due to be born this week, so I've been thinking extra-intensely about puppy prep as an attempt to keep my mind occupied, lol. My current dog is a 2 year-old female GSD- she was my first German Shepherd, the first dog I owned on my own, and she had some pretty difficult issues to handle as someone new to the breed. We've spent the last two years learning and growing together, and I can honestly say she has made me a better, more patient trainer and handler. We compete in OB and Rally, and we are actually planning on trialing for her BH in a few weeks, as well as IPO Obedience and Tracking titles down the road. She wasn't meant to be anything more than a pet, but she has drive and potential, and we're going to take it as far as we can. However, this new pup is going to be my step up in terms of breeding and competing. He'll be a well bred Czech Working Line, and I want to make sure that I set him up from success from the beginning- something that my female unfortunately didn't have.
SO, tell me about your working puppies. What did you do with them that worked? What would you go back and change if you had the chance? What was most challenging and most rewarding? Was there anything specific you focused on in the early days? I'll take any and all information you guys have for me.