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Hi there, my hubby and I have a 13 week old GS named Willa. I know some people involved in Schutzhund and love the bond they have with their dog, so it seems natural to pursue it with Willa as well.

I have been in contact with my local club, and am looking forward to viewing some training sessions. At the moment, Willa is enrolled in just a general puppy obedience class, more for the socialization, and is doing wonderfully with her clicker training.

I was just wondering, is there anything I can incorporate into her life, training, play, etc., at this point that would benefit her training later on? Any specific equipment, toys, etc., that are good to get from the beginning? Any specific steps beyond contacting my club to get involved?

I have asked some of my friends and have their opinions, but am always happy for more advice, so thanks!!

~~ Kait and Willa
 

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I would wait until you visit the club because they may have specific ideas about how they like to do things. Most people do end up with either a ball on a rope or a good tug for obedience and will recommend you work on building drive IF it is something your pup needs.
 

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Yeah, we won't do anything before we meet with the trainer and see a class or two (we are headed out tomorrow), but I just like to hear everyone's opinions!


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Read the current thread on protection training. In order to have a dog you can do 'anything" with you must socialize the dog when it is young. If the dog is well socialized, you can change your mind at anytime and go from obedience to tracking, agility, SAR, herding, almost anythiing you might want. The basic socialization will make your dog not only a good citizen but fearless when learning new things and working with new people. A dog with poor socialization hangs back from strangers, barks at strange people and dogs, barks at livestock, is afraid of loud noises, and on and on. Your options are very limited with a poorly socialized dog. Start now and introduce your pup to every single person who will stand still for it. Take him everywhere possible, slowly and carefully show him things like cattle, sheep, other dogs, cats. He needs to get all these experiences into his little brain before he hits the age where he starts to be cautious and fearful.
 
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