What will those challenges be? They all stem from one source. She is only 5 months old. About a month younger than I usually recommend starting formal training but after talking to the owner last week it was clear that starting her a little early would be better than waiting. She has absolutely no leash manners to speak of. This lack of leash manners seems to have been inadvertently worsened with the use of a retractable leash. She has learned, up until now, that by pulling on the leash she gets more room to walk. The first thing she tries when pulling softly doesn't work is to lunge forward, assuming the leash is broken or stuck.
Another challenge is her complete lack of an attention span. During our long walk today around the big pasture she was nose to the ground the whole time; bouncing from leaf to leaf to mystery animal scat to slug and back to the leaves. It wasn't until we got to the final stretch of the pasture that I convinced her to walk with her head up. We also worked in the training room which is relatively distraction-free and she did much much better but whenever a water pipe gurgled or a kitty meowed outside, she would get distracted.
However, even with the challenges of training a younger dog, I am happy with the progress we made today. By the end of the second workout she was heeling nicely and sitting when I stopped with just a little bit of help. I have to be careful not to over-correct her OR to over-praise. If I get too happy when she gets something right she comes down with a fit of Wigglebutt syndrome (you Golden Retriever people will know what I mean).
We are going to give her one more workout today and some time with the family. Family time is pretty low key but we will be working on house manners like staying off of furniture and not jumping up on people.
All in all, I love this girl! I am thrilled to get to spend 10 days with one of my all time favorite breeds.