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Hey all,

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.
 

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Hey all,

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.
Let the puppy be a puppy. There is no rush. Everything is positive and fun.
Dont get overwhelmed. Utilize a crate, and bring the puppy everywhere for exposure
 

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What I learned is to take it easy and not over-exercise them, no leashed walks the first few months besides short social trips in town, not too much focus on obedience but teaching them some rules of course. Lots of free movement in play but also downtime in their crate to install the off button and to allow them rest and growth. They have a lifetime of learning ahead of them. I am focused on showing him the world and have fun with him because next year he is a full size dog. And keeping them lean.
 

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What I learned is to take it easy and not over-exercise them, no leashed walks the first few months besides short social trips in town, not too much focus on obedience but teaching them some rules of course. Lots of free movement in play but also downtime in their crate to install the off button and to allow them rest and growth. They have a lifetime of learning ahead of them. I am focused on showing him the world and have fun with him because next year he is a full size dog. And keeping them lean.
I disagree with the bolded. I think puppies should be a little softer due to the extreme growth spurts their bodies go through.
 

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I disagree with the bolded. I think puppies should be a little softer due to the extreme growth spurts their bodies go through.
I agree but they should not be too fat. I kept mine too thin, not intentionally, and ended up switching to a better food. He filled out nicely. There is a good weight for puppies. We have to find the right balance for each of our dogs.
 

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You picked a great breeder. Be ready for a real powerhouse pup. I would go to Leerburg.com and watch their free puppy videos, articles and Cindy's Q&A section. Maybe get some of Micheal Ellis's DVDs. I am on my 5th working puppy, 7th working dogs total. I still go to Leerburg for answers and own quit q few of Ellis's DVDs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You picked a great breeder. Be ready for a real powerhouse pup. I would go to Leerburg.com and watch their free puppy videos, articles and Cindy's Q&A section. Maybe get some of Micheal Ellis's DVDs. I am on my 5th working puppy, 7th working dogs total. I still go to Leerburg for answers and own quit q few of Ellis's DVDs.
Thank you! I've spent the past year researching and planning, so I'm so excited to finally be so close to my dream dog. I actually just finished watching Michael Ellis's Working Puppy DVD! Leerburg is such a wonderful resource to have.
 

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I agree but they should not be too fat. I kept mine too thin, not intentionally, and ended up switching to a better food. He filled out nicely. There is a good weight for puppies. We have to find the right balance for each of our dogs.
The bolded text was unintentional. With lean I don't mean too thin. But Griff is now about 4 months old and is trim and fit. The 8 week roly-poly-days are over.
It would be nice to post a picture of a pup that age at an appropriate weight. As soon as I have my new phone I'll show Griff for critique of his weight.
 

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The bolded text was unintentional. With lean I don't mean too thin. But Griff is now about 4 months old and is trim and fit. The 8 week roly-poly-days are over.
It would be nice to post a picture of a pup that age at an appropriate weight. As soon as I have my new phone I'll show Griff for critique of his weight.
Different lines have different normal weights. ASL dogs tend to be very thin until they are fully mature. My WL is a very solid dog, so he almost looked fat to some people next to an ASL male the same age until they realized it was all muscle and normal structure.
 

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Wolfydog not sure why u say this
(no leashed walks the first few months)
Can you explain why? Just curious.
I do teach leash walking for the sake of teaching, not going for walks. Pavement is hard on these young bones. I had a dog that developed OCD and I am still not sure what caused it. I did go for walks when he was young though. I am sticking with the breeder's and vet's advice; free movement on natural soil. I do take him to town for socialization purposes, maybe once a week and then not longer than 10 minutes but even then, no continuous walking. Griff is heavy boned so this is a crucial time at 4 months.
 
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