Online courses and books
I am hoping to add an 8 week old male GSD to my dogless life by end of January and wanted to get a head start on learning how to raise him right. This will be my second GSD (first one passed away 6 years ago) and while that may suggest I have some experience with the breed, I will be the first to admit that I did a LOT of stuff wrong. Luckily the dog was smarter than I was and quite forgiving of all my shortcomings. I intend to be much more prepared this time around and give both, the dog and myself, more purpose while creating a strong bond.
I was initially only looking to train in just obedience and tracking as the protection part of Schutzhund seemed overkill since the dog will be a family companion to my wife and I. However, after spending a lot of time reading posts on here, I've come to understand that training in protection doesn't mean I'm arming the dog with a skill that could make him dangerous, but rather I am teaching him to manage his genetic disposition and making sure he has the right temperament. This forum has definitely helped me re-evaluate and zero in on what I'd like to achieve with my new best friend.
I have found an IPO club that isn't too far away from me that I plan to visit soon (before I get my puppy), and it's the only one in my area. It has a good reputation too. Having said that, I was hoping to get some online courses (and/or books) on early training and engagement that I can do before we venture out to the club. Things I should and could be teaching the little fella that will help us bond, keep him mentally stimulated and get him ready to be the best dog he can be.
I would really appreciate any suggestions or advice.