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Old 12-26-2011, 11:43 AM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 30,963
Default The pyr shep discussion

Moving over here. I will reply in a minute.

Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
It depends on what you mean by an off switch. He's been conditioned since he was young to be able to happily hang out in an expen (set up in our main living space) when we can't be entertaining him. He will lay in there, chew on his Kongs, unstuff stuffy toys, etc for hours sometimes. He was also conditioned from a young age to lay by the couch while we are watching TV at night and not interacting with him. At work, he can sleep tied to the wall for an hour or so while dogs are being bathed and groomed around him without a problem but he gets agitated if he's crated too much - starts pacing, whining, barking and pulling anything he can into he crate and bunching it up. I don't think he'd do well being crated all day, every day because he is a very high energy dog and a dog who need a lot of interaction and entertainment. But he's also a very good dog who really wants to do what you want him to do.

I have lived short term with BCs (work bred) and have known a ton of them (work, sport and pet bred mostly). I would say Savvy is a more challenging house dog than the average BC because of his energy level and his need for daily interaction. If he doesn't get the exercise and interaction he needs every day, he gets agitated, wakes up early, paces in his ex-pen, etc. Most BCs I have known can go without such things if need be and still be relatively well behaved in the house. BCs IME definitely seem to have a more natural off-switch, much the way most herding breeds I've been around or lived with do. They can be very intense, high drive, high energy dogs in their work and play but dont' mind hanging around the house either. I think PyrSheps tend to have a more frantic energy about them in general than BCs or Shelties. Belgians are prone to be frantic but PyrSheps are sort of a hyper-frantic combo lol. I've never lived with a Sheltie but doing dog stuff, I've known a lot. I think PyrSheps are pretty different from Shelties, although at first they may seem to be more similar to them. On the whole, I'd say the breed seems a bit "tougher" and bolder than the average Sheltie. Physically, they are known to be leaping, bouncing, climbing sorts of dogs. Savvy almost has to be kept safe from what he's willing to attempt physically. At agility class, he tried to fling himself onto the top board of a full sized dogwalk. I doubt he'd have made it (I caught him mid-leap LOL) but if he hadn't, he would have just tried again, even if he hurt himself. He doesn't easily get turned off of jumping onto things because they move or because he fails. Shelties seem a lot more careful in general. And most don't seem as high energy wild as Savvy. But then, most BCs don't either LOL I do think BCs are probably a lot easier in general and certainly Shelties are. I have a really interesting, long post from the PyrShep list about the differences in BCs vs. PyrSheps in herding and it's easy to see how these differences developed a different kind of dog. If you're interested, I can PM it to you.

Socializing him hasn't been hard at all but I super socialize all of my puppies, regardless of breed. I love socializing and training puppies However, I don't tend to have the same opinions about what is "good socialization" as many people do. I don't go to group play type puppy classes, I don't "pass the puppy" in puppy class or really force them to interact with people or other dogs or things. Socialization to me is more about exposure and trust building than forced interaction. So while Savvy does get petted by strangers, it's never been a priority to make strangers feed him or make him interact with them. Usually if I want to reward him for some sort of stranger interaction, say he was extra tolerant of a stranger doing something dumb (like trying to pick him up...yes surprisingly an issue with a 20lb dog :/), I feed him myself. That's not to say no one other than me gives him treats, I just don't ask everyone or even most people we meet to do so. If people ask to pet him, I say "sure if he comes up to you". Usually he's flinging himself onto anyone who looks remotely interested in him but if he doesn't go up to someone for some reason, he doesn't go up to them. If something happens to worry him, I don't spend time trying to convince him it's ok and not scary. I ignore it and go about what I was doing. 9 times out of 10, the next time he encounters it, he doesn't give it a second thought because I made it clear it wasn't a big deal. I take my puppies everywhere possible with me and make a point to have them with me far more often than they are not, so there's lots of exposure, lots of training in different places, lots of different experiences. I approach socialization with the Belgians in a similar manner though, so none of that is PyrShep specific.

Hank CA - (approx. 1 1/2 year old Spotty Dog)
Mia CGC - (6 1/2 year old Papillon)
Summer TG3 TIAD - (11 year old Papillon)
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