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Old 09-11-2013, 03:02 AM
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Default Speaking of Koolies

I didn't want to hijack the other question thread.

Every time I narrow down my future dogs, the Koolie seems to come along and snag my attention. On paper they look pretty perfect for what I want, but I have actually met a Lagotto Romagnolo, and really like them. And they seem pretty quiet.

I am 100% set on having a Lundehund some day and getting deep into the research/recovery efforts with them, but may hold off on that for nextdog. It's hard to say, as it will be a while before I get my next dog anyhow (hopefully a long while, since it won't be while I have Zoe.)

So like I said, I think I have future breeds figured out, then Koolies keep showing up and stealing the spotlight. But I've never met one and am trying to get a better idea of them.

1) How are they with non dog-critters? I've read they tend to be good with other dogs, but I have a cat that thinks dogs are her personal hot water bottles, and paws are nice to bat at sometimes... and I have a cockatoo that likes to hang out with me as much as possible. Ideally I won't have to separate out species anymore than I already do (no Poe out with cat, no little birds out with anyone else.)

2) Is there a difference in temperament between the sexes? When I get a Lundehund, it will likely be a male and left intact if he is healthy. I have to figure this into any other dog plans.

3) How big are everyone's Koolies? Sex/height/weight/girth? My dog apparently has a big chest for her size, and I weirdly judge dog size by girth for some reason. I like the smaller build of the females, but there seems to be a wide range of sizes/builds for the more natural breeds like this. I am looking into smaller sizes because iIt seems better for getting around on technical hikes? Or at least easier to pack them out if injured. And I'd like a dog just under a cut-off for agility rather than just over to go easier on the joints.

4) Just how bad is the barking? Like how often/in what circumstances?

5) Do they have any obsessive quirks like some BCs? Can they handle getting through an agility course without SPINNING AROUND LIKE MAD LIKE THEY ARE ATTACHED TO THEIR HANDLER WITH STRING? lol, so many herders going crazy at the last local trials... but then again, lots of labs there did this too.

6) Could a Koolie do Schutzhund? I've recently become interested in this sport, but I can't see a Lagotto or a Lundy making the cut. I know that would generally be the bigger dogs into that, but hypothetically do Koolies seem like they'd fit the sport?

Thanks so much, everyone. I am looking for future dog to be a hiking, running and biking partner, and want to get into agility, rally, and who knows what else.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
5) Do they have any obsessive quirks like some BCs? Can they handle getting through an agility course without SPINNING AROUND LIKE MAD LIKE THEY ARE ATTACHED TO THEIR HANDLER WITH STRING? lol, so many herders going crazy at the last local trials... but then again, lots of labs there did this too.
I think that's mostly dogs that are amped up pretty high and a handler not giving out cues fast enough so the dog has no idea where to go next. At least in my experience the spinning dogs are generally frustrated and are usually operating at several steps faster than the handler. Frustration like that can come out in various different ways.

Other than that I am no help.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:18 AM
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Any breed could do Schutzhund, you need the right club to help, good drives, and patience. If you want a competitive trial dog I wouldn't seek an off breed, if you want to live with an off breed and play in Schutzhund go for it.

Schutzhund requires food drive, prey drive, stable temperaments, work ethic, and a happy dog. Beyond that, ability to handle pressure, patience, determination, speed, and so forth are for competitive teams.

The rest of the answers I will leave for koolie owners. We've talked and would like to plan on one but it will likely be a companion/obed/agility dog as our desires in IPO (shutzhund) would not be met by a koolie.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:35 AM
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Ok, I want it to be understood most of my experience comes from one kennel. While I do speak to lots of owners of Koolies from all different kennels, the people I'm closest too also have dogs from that kennel or the lines go back to the same kennel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
1) How are they with non dog-critters? I've read they tend to be good with other dogs, but I have a cat that thinks dogs are her personal hot water bottles, and paws are nice to bat at sometimes... and I have a cockatoo that likes to hang out with me as much as possible. Ideally I won't have to separate out species anymore than I already do (no Poe out with cat, no little birds out with anyone else.)

Mine live in a house with cats, ferrets and a Sun Conure. They interact pretty well with all of them. We've got super weird cats that like to set the dogs off but it's never a worry. Sometimes Didgie wants them to play with her but a "knock it off" works fine.

The ferrets play with them, or did when they were younger. Overall, interested but not obsessed.

Traveler stares at our conure when he's out a lot, doesn't chase or jump at him and doesn't stalk but does fixedly stare. That's a more recent development though and we've been working on it and he's gotten better. But, I can easily have the dogs and the bird out while I'm in the room supervising.

I think most none dog animals are fine with Koolies, especially if you have them when the puppy comes.


2) Is there a difference in temperament between the sexes? When I get a Lundehund, it will likely be a male and left intact if he is healthy. I have to figure this into any other dog plans.

*Speaking in generalities*

Most Koolie owners who do sport or work seem to prefer females for it. They are more serious (about working, not serious as in "Super Serious dog", Koolies overall look at life like one big game) and turned on from the get go. Boys tend to be more empathetic and latch on to how your feeling.

I only have one of each so a lot is probably based on their own personal temperament and how I raised each but I'll share what I can!

Traveler: He's in love with me. Pure and simple. He works for me and would work for a smile from me. He's very in tune with how I'm feeling and because of that a little softer. Sometimes it can be frustrating because when I'm frustrated he feels it. But he also feeds off me being happy. But, he's not soft about environmental stuff, just me.

He can get overstimulated rather fast in some crazy new environments like a new training club with lots of smells. But, I think a decent part of that is him coming out of adolescent male dogism. He's been to a few Disc Dog comps lately and while he is more distracted than Didgie at the get go he's improved leaps and bounds. I think if I had had him in those situations early on it wouldn't have been an issue.

He's a big cuddler, tries to crawl into my pocket. Such a little shadow. He has a "Life is FUN!" attitude and thinks people were put on this earth to love him.

Didgie: She's just fun. She's such a little spunky girl. She doesn't work for me so much as because it's fun, I'm fun and working is fun. She works for the reward more so than me but is very easy to reward with anything be it verbally, toys, food, anything. She's got a lot of...fight to her. Throws herself into things full steam ahead. But, more of a thinker than Traveler. He acts, she plots.

She's less people loving. She loves to be pet but is much more focused on me when out and about and not distracted by people. At the disc comps you wouldn't have known there was anyone else but her and me there.

She is my shadow too but more in a "Hey, we doing fun things now?" way. But she is the best cuddler and I haven't had a night go by where she wasn't sprawled across me.

I would say overall she is more self assured and harder than Traveler. But really, I think they both bring awesome qualities to the table and can't say I prefer one more than the other at this point.


3) How big are everyone's Koolies? Sex/height/weight/girth? My dog apparently has a big chest for her size, and I weirdly judge dog size by girth for some reason. I like the smaller build of the females, but there seems to be a wide range of sizes/builds for the more natural breeds like this. I am looking into smaller sizes because iIt seems better for getting around on technical hikes? Or at least easier to pack them out if injured. And I'd like a dog just under a cut-off for agility rather than just over to go easier on the joints.

Traveler is 22 inches at the shoulder and 40 lb.

Didgie is 33 lb and 20 inches at the shoulder

There is a large variety in size in Koolies from dogs in the 20's-50's pound wise.


4) Just how bad is the barking? Like how often/in what circumstances?

I'm not the right person to ask this too. I've been made for loud animals. I don't mind it, don't hear it and do very little to stop it.

They are frustration barkers in my experience. They also make a lot of noises (that I don't mind) such as groaning, moaning, whining and so on during play, petting, stretching etc.

Traveler isn't as barky as Didgie, he does it when he gets worked up when someone comes home, when we're training and he's stumped or when he's just super excited.

Didgie is her bark. She voices any and all things through it though she's gotten better as she's gotten older she's still louder.

At the second Disc Dog comp they've been to though both were silent in their crates the whole time. Which was awesome.

But again, I don't mind it. I think if you stayed on it from day one and worked against it you would have relatively quiet dogs. But they are still a herding breed and they are never going to be silent.


5) Do they have any obsessive quirks like some BCs? Can they handle getting through an agility course without SPINNING AROUND LIKE MAD LIKE THEY ARE ATTACHED TO THEIR HANDLER WITH STRING? lol, so many herders going crazy at the last local trials... but then again, lots of labs there did this too.

Again, they tend to show their frustration by vocalizing it, at least mine do. So they don't spin, they bark. But one of the big reasons I went with Koolies was overall as a breed they seemed less prone to nerve, reactivity and OCD issues that I saw in some of the other herding breeds.

But, I could see if they weren't worked, trained and exercised things could pop up.


6) Could a Koolie do Schutzhund? I've recently become interested in this sport, but I can't see a Lagotto or a Lundy making the cut. I know that would generally be the bigger dogs into that, but hypothetically do Koolies seem like they'd fit the sport?

I don't do IPO so I can't really answer that but I don't see why they couldn't play at it. They've got drive, they tend to be a nice mix between hard and soft, they are biddable and view life as a game. I don't know how competitive or how far you could go with one but it could be fun!

Thanks so much, everyone. I am looking for future dog to be a hiking, running and biking partner, and want to get into agility, rally, and who knows what else.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:48 AM
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Perhaps you might want to check out some videos? We have a few great koolie owners on the board who post some AWESOME stuff

and when I was looking for a dog I had A LOT of the same pre-qualifiers you did, and koolies totally did cross my mind because on paper, it seemed like they were pretty set on!
as for your barking question, I re-iterate, check out some videos.

I love the koolies of this board! I really do! but I'm very glad their owners took the time to post some videos because even though I am NO STRANGER to barking....I accepted that I AM MUCH MORE sensitive to vocalizations than IMO it takes to own a dog like traveler and company.

This is not a bad thing, this is not a negative breed trait..it's just something you need to make sure meshes up with YOUR personality and what you want in a dog.

Merlin is a very quiet dog (especially for an aussie) and when he gets amped he is more of a spinner than a barker.
but on the rare occassion he does go into an IM SO EXCITED BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
It grates on my nerves so much that I am very happy I took the time to research and watch video and do not have a koolie.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:51 AM
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Ungh people stop talking about Koolies it makes me want.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:59 AM
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You know Fran, I never really thought of my dogs as loud. I really didn't. Kaylee was who I said was loud because she's got this super repetitive alert bark that she does at EVERYTHING. "OH MY GOD A BRANCH MOVED!!! ALIEN!!" and it drives me up a freaking wall.

Didgie and Traveler bark because we're all HAPPY! And things are happening! And we're TRAINING! and that stuff JUST doesn't bother me. Alert barking? God yes. Kill it with FIRE. But life barking? Not so much.

And I don't think Traveler alone was bad (Jes tells me he was though but she hates barking so she doesn't count) but Didgie just really really vocalizes everything she does.

And one of the issues we ran into was she gets loud when frustrated, it serves as an outlet and training creates frustration. So when I was working on stays she would bark during them BUT hold them. So I had to let it go to be able to work her to the point where stays no longer CAUSED the frustration. If that makes sense?

I see it in things like her barking after the disc. She barks at long throws because they aren't in her mouth where they should be. Traveler does the same thing often when swimming, he barks after the toys as he runs at them. I think having two of them lets them feed off of eachother too.

But I know Page has said she stayed on Circus right from the start about not barking and she's gotten really pretty quiet!
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:20 PM
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Didgie and Traveler bark because we're all HAPPY! And things are happening! And we're TRAINING! and that stuff JUST doesn't bother me. Alert barking? God yes. Kill it with FIRE. But life barking? Not so much.
Your description of Didgie reminds me a lot of Cohen. She can be SO LOUD when she's excited and working. And it barely registers with me.

Last time I was at an agility trial someone came up to me afterwards and laughed about how Cohen barked the entire time she was running the course. ...I hadn't even noticed. I was like, "oh, really??"
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:04 AM
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Ungh people stop talking about Koolies it makes me want.
Well we already know Squash goes well with one
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:19 AM
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Im liking all these threads. . That is all.

My family always jokes that I have a knack for picking out the dogs with the most obnoxious barks possible.
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