Welcome to RTF! I grew up in Burnsville, back in the day.
I am/was totally green when I got my pup about 2 yrs ago, and I found both Hillmann and Mertens useful. I followed Hillmann, but Mertens explains stuff that Hillmann I guess assumed I knew so it helped me fill in some gaps. And Mertens covers stuff that Hillmann does not, such as how to teach pup to kennel. I'm glad I got them both.