Not sure what it is in Phoenix, but here in NE Ohio, you can get good training, six weeks of puppy or basic obedience or rally or advanced obedience for approximately $115 -- that would be 6 50 minute sessions in a small group of other dogs, usually 5-8 pups/dogs in a class, taught by an AKC obedience/rally judge/CGC evaluator, and helped by an AKC CGC evaluator. This is actually really a bargain with good trainers who are breeders and are very familiar (have owned and worked with) a variety of breeds, including GSDs.
Ten or so miles away you can get 10 sessions of training for your dog and then be trained with your dog for $600. Oh wait, the first session is free, and then you get 10 more. But wait, I think the first session is just a go and get information and have him meet the dog. Whatever, the folks chose that one because the first session was free. I think she said $600, but she might have said $1200. Can't remember now. I was just flabbergasted. Of course I gave the people the name and contact info of the first trainer and am, maybe a little butt-hurt that they did not even consider trying that route.
I suppose wherever you live, you can find training in a variety of price ranges and styles and levels of effectiveness.
I am hoping some folks in your area can suggest some good ones.
What is important for you is to have realistic expectations for your puppy. German Shepherd puppies can be really, really good at obedience, so good in fact that we can over do it so easily. Then when our pup doesn't get something or fails to do something we were sure he knew a week ago, we can quickly become irritated with them. When this happens, sometimes our wonderful, biddable, dogs will shut down, for fear of doing the wrong thing, and we generally see it as stubbornness, and we retaliate and you can see how this spiral is going.
Please, before you get your puppy, learn what to expect from puppies at 8 weeks of age, and at 12 and 16, etc. A good trainer will help you recognize puppy behavior, but how do you know you have a good trainer? There are so many bad ones out there. And they will not have to live with the consequences of their training. You will. It is up to you to educate yourself on how to recognize good training. And what to expect from a pup the age of your puppy. You have to learn how to keep the puppy challenged and engaged, but to quit when the puppy still wants more, and to keep it light and fun.
You are seeing this puppy as a power puppy? It is working lines? I see it is black, but that is not necessarily working lines. Also what puppy you end up getting from this litter -- too early to tell yet what the temperament will be. If you were getting a green dog, about 18 months old, training can be done in a businesslike manner with adult expectations and goals. Keeping it light and fun for both of you may still be the best answer but not nearly as crucial as for a baby like the one you are getting.
GSDs are pretty resilient and you can make mistakes with them. They will bounce back. But they are also sensitive dogs and to make the best of your training, you can start off on the right foot with puppy expectations for both the quality of the performance and the quantity of time and effort you put into the training. Playing with your puppy is probably some of the best training you can give it. Training him to be gentle, to trade you for things, to let you handle his paws and ears, to find and bring you things, to amp up and to calm down, and to get to know you and for you to get to know him.
Congratulations on your new puppy and good luck with him.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.