AgileGSD With a young puppy, if you want a willing partner for agility (or just every day life) it is important to encourage a willing attitude from the start. That means, training should be highly rewarding and fun for your puppy. Your puppy should want to work with you, not work with you because you force them to obey. The "dominance theory" (you need to got through doors first, eat first, make your dog walk behind you, etc) is based on outdated ideas about dog behavior, which were based on very outdated ideas on wolf behavior. Things like loose leash walking and greeting behavior are manners and you should train for what you want the dog to do. However, dogs who pull on lead and dogs who jump up to greet aren't "dominant", they are just dogs doing what they find reinforcing in absence of being taught to do a behavior humans find more desirable. This is the position statement of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior regarding dominance theory: http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonli...0statement.pdf
I highly recommend Silvia Trkman's site, blog and videos (she's the one in the video posted above). Her training is not in anyway based on being "alpha" to the dog and her dogs are some of the most successful agility dogs in the world. And before someone says that her little PyrSheps are too different from GSDs - have you ever been around PyrSheps?
One of the biggest breeders in the country described them to me as "semi-feral" LOL They aren't an easy or docile breed and IME a lot of people who have them don't get the sort of performance out of them consistently that Silvia gets with hers.
Silvia's website (be sure to check out the training section and videos):
And her blog:
LoLaBu Land Experience
And for info about teaching manners, housetraining and socialization, I recommend Dog Star Daily's online Guide to Raising A Puppy: Raising A Puppy | Dog Star Daily
Not only can puppies be exercised but they should
be. Exercise is required for normal development of bones and joints. In any study of mammals development, it is found that bones and muscles develop better when the animal has real exercise on a regular basis. Puppies should run and play all they want. They can and should go on walks and hikes with you, although you should be willing to stop and rest whenever the puppy wishes to. Agility prospects should do puppy appropriate obstacles - low boards/contacts depending on age and coordination, walking over a ladder on the ground, tunnels, perch work, appropriate jumps (rule of thumb is under 6 months jumps no higher than wrist, under 15 months jumps no higher than elbow), etc.