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  #11  
Old 01-21-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Sorry I forgot about this! I'm still really interested.

Oh and definitely PM me this:
Will do! Just as soon as I find it again...


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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
That is good for what I want. I've only met a couple shelties that were in the realm of what I am looking for with my next dog and most are just a lot too calm for my tastes. Any of my shelties would have not worked for what I want in this next dog.
Yeah I have met a lot of Shelties and some are really cool dogs but they don't tend to be wild enough for me


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Thanks again! I really am wanting another very Mia-like dog. I find I need a dog like her and with the kind of energy she has. I am not sure what it is about it but the rest of my family thinks she's insane, and I love it. My past dogs do not compare and I'm worried my next dog won't have the same kind of energy that I enjoy. She is the most spastic papillon I've ever met.
LOL everyone thinks Savvy is insane! Hyperactive seems to be part of the PyrShep charm

I have shown Savvy in conformation a couple times and he has a point. We'll see how he does this year and determine if a CH is something I really want to pursue with him or not. At his last show, he had way too much fun jumping on and off of the table every time he got near it. Circus dog! Amused the judge at least.

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I've already got socialization planned for future puppy. I think it will be similar with what I did with Mia although hopefully I will get said pup early. I think most of Mia's issues stem from the fact I didn't get her until she was 16 weeks and I missed out on the major socialization period. She still ended up very stable though around people that don't try to interact with her. People that do try to interact with her make her a bit afraid. It's something I can deal with though but would rather not in the next dog. However, I really do NOT want another Trey that cannot function around strangers because he's so spooky. Then again, we got him at a year old so who knows what we could have done with socialization.
It can be hard getting adult herding breeds who haven't been socialized. I tend to try to get mypuppies at 10 weeks or younger. Savvy was 12 weeks but had already been really well socialized - he was at the National being carried around and played with by countless people at 9 weeks, was exposed to sheep and had been on long car trips. He was very confident and bold when I got him, so I just had to work towards maintaining that. He has occasionally gotten barky at certain people and certainly was barky at environmental things as a young puppy. He alerted to everything that caught his attention - bireds, leaves blwoing, people walking down the next stress over, clouds covering the sun. That isn't so much the case as he's maturing though. Most often, he's overly friendly and trying to fling himself at people when I take him to class or shows. He's not all that barky now either, except at things that many dogs bark at - people coming to the door, things out of the ordinary in the yard, etc. He will carry on quite a bit if I crate or confine him and work another dog though. Course, he's no worse about that than the Corgi.

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I am sure I will have both a border collie and a pyr shep or something similar in the future. The question is which breed first! I've wanted both for a long time now and keep coming back to them over others, so I think that definitely means something.
That sounds like me!

I had always wanted a BC...since before I had Belgians even. Timing never seemed right for me to get one but I had always planned to get one someday. Then PyrSheps caught my attention and I started looking at them. I debated a lot about a PyrShep or a BC. I considered and looked into a lot of other oddball herding breeds too - Mudi, Picardys, Pumi, Entlebuchers, etc. But I kept going back to wanting a PyrShep. I tried to talk myself out of it too, since they have such a bad reputation. But I still really wanted one! And couldn't really find another breed that compared to them in terms of althletic ability and well...hyperactivity LOL PyrSheps seem to naturally love bouncing, climbing, perching, leaping and attempts at defying gravity. They are really surefooted, more so than any other breed I have been around but even when Savvy fails to defy gravity, it never putshim off of giving it another try.

Now it's funny because after having Savvy, I'm just not that interested in BCs. They seem so...ordinary and almost...calm

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What does Savvy think about water?
He loves swimming and splashing and playing in puddles and getting really muddy. He hates baths.

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Originally Posted by manymuddypaws View Post
Having a dog who will only work for one person is different than having a dog who is untrusting, and afraid of people. Not all Pyr Sheps are fearful of course, but quite a few of them are. It requires constant maintenance and training- loads of socializing...forever. A Pyr Shep is a far cry from a dog who doesn't like someone. Their "one person love" goes deeper than that. He doesn't trust people in his circle. And it takes a long time to get in his circle. Finding someone to look after him if I go away is hard. I would never board him as the stress of that would crush him. .
To be fair though, your PyrShep was owned for the first 3 or so years (?) of his life by people who didn't seem to like him, made comments on forums like "PyrSheps are the stupidest of all herding breeds" and then unloaded him onto an unknowing person when they didn't want to deal with him any more. I certainly have no idea what they did or did not do socialization wise but it seemed like a far from an ideal upbringing. One thing is for sure though, he really lucked out landing with you!

I can and have easily left Savvy with numerous people. It's been part of his upbringing from the start, as it is with my Belgians. I am big on teaching weird herding breeds to be adaptable through sleep overs, trips and what not. He has had a really good time staying with one of my dog friends for a and playing wild games with her Mal. He has been looked after while I go out by my co-workers on a regular basis and has been shown without me around by one of my 4Hers. Would he rather be with me 24/7? Of course Is he incapable of being left with other people without a lot of concerns as to how he will react? Not remotely.

I have been a round a lot of PyrSheps. And yes, some are Fearsheps. But plenty are not too. I think their reputation is a bit exaggerated to be honest, as I have known planty of freaky BCs and Shelties but I don't hear performance people say that you can't do anything with those breeds because of fear/reactivity/sensitivity issues. There is a BC in my area right now who likely will never be able to compete in agility because he's so noise phobic he can't even be in a building with a dog doing a teeter. I have seen an overall improvement in Sheltie temperaments with agility becoming so popular but I still see a lot of very soft, easily shut down, noise/sight/touch sensitive Shelties too. As with the PyrSheps, I'm sure some of it is genetics and some of it is due to improper training/socialization/management when issues occur.

I'm not in any way saying everyone should get a PyrShep. Most people probably wouldn't want or enjoy one and there are lots of reason for that. I only have one and he's young still but I adore him. He is bold, confident, drivey, funny, crazy and super smart.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2012, 12:01 AM
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I get the feeling that a lot of the people I've talked to that don't like pyr sheps are BC people and they were expecting a dog that was a border collie but in a smaller package. I wonder how much things would be different if the person was not expecting the dog to act like a BC.

I've heard tons of horror stories about shelties and have had one that was extremely fearful. I wouldn't want that again but I could deal with it. I still enjoyed Trey as a pet even if he was touched in the head. However, I think that socializing him and handling him would have made a big difference. My other shelties we raised from pups were MUCh more well rounded. I don't want to downplay the fearshep thing because it does concern me some, but I am fairly sure I could work with it. I've also known some real nutball border collies too. I think reactivity and fearfulness is common in herding breeds.

Barking is not a problem at all. When I get the third dog, I'll be out of the duplex and not sharing a wall. I don't care about barking at all. My shelties were typical vocal shelties and Mia is a yappy and screamy dog.

Next dog is likely the last till Summer's gone (sans fosters, I would like to foster with the BC rescue I'm volunteering with once I'm not renting).I want a more challenging dog than my past dogs (shelties and the papillons). Mia was a tough puppy but she's grown into an easy dog. I like that, don't get me wrong, but I'd like a dog that is maybe a bit more challenging in temperament especially compared to Summer or the shelties. Mia's a little sharp, a little reactive, and very active and that's really not a bad fit for me. Really easy to handle, love everyone dogs are not my cup of tea. Extensive socializing and training is not a problem at all.

I do like hyperactivity in dogs as well. I know that sounds strange but I find very calm dogs kind of dull (no offense Summer). Mia does have an off switch now at nearly 3 years but it took work to get there and she's still busy and fast paced. I like it and find it fun to work with.

It's been about 4-5 years I've looked into them off and on and they still seem like a potentially good fit to me. Still a lot to think about though. I feel like the rest of my family would absolutely hate a pyr shep, lol.

One more question- how is Savvy off leash? (with training of course)
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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I get the feeling that a lot of the people I've talked to that don't like pyr sheps are BC people and they were expecting a dog that was a border collie but in a smaller package. I wonder how much things would be different if the person was not expecting the dog to act like a BC.
I do think that there are people who get them and expect them to be like BCs. Or expect them to instantly be like Silvia Trkman's dogs. Or want an easy dog for agility to make them look like super trainers. I think there is also an element of "OMG I should have listened to everyone. This dog will never be any good at performance. This dog is doing to have issues!" any time the dog does something less than desirable. People get paranoid and if their peers have all told them that PyrSheps are freaky, can't be trained, can't be trialed, etc there is very likely to be an element of "I told you so" if the dog does anything remotely weird. But most puppies do things that are weird. Herding breeds especially, even the soundest can go through developmental phases of being weird about stuff. I think that tends to make people obsess over the undesirable behavior, which often makes it worse. And the worse it gets, the more others say "see told you so!" and the more the owner obsesses over fixing it. And the worse it gets.

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I think reactivity and fearfulness is common in herding breeds.
It is common in many of them for sure.

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One more question- how is Savvy off leash? (with training of course)
He's been pretty naturally good for the most part, like my Belgians. By that I mean, he naturally wants to stay within a reasonable distance of me and go the direction I want him to go. I take at least him and Whim to play off leash a couple times a week at a local fairgrounds. The only issues I have had with him off leash is wanting to chase cars and bikes. I have been able to call him off of that stuff and he ignores such things around the house (he can go from the car to the door off leash) but if he's wound up playing, he sometimes still thinks it'd be fun to chase them. So I don't take him off leash in places there are cars he can get to, although I tend to take that precaution with my dogs anyway. Of course, we work on recalls too







In this picture, he's chasing cars on the high that runs by the fairgrounds. The cars are really far away and he can't get to them but this is what makes me cautious about the car thing.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:57 PM
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I do think that there are people who get them and expect them to be like BCs. Or expect them to instantly be like Silvia Trkman's dogs. Or want an easy dog for agility to make them look like super trainers. I think there is also an element of "OMG I should have listened to everyone. This dog will never be any good at performance. This dog is doing to have issues!" any time the dog does something less than desirable. People get paranoid and if their peers have all told them that PyrSheps are freaky, can't be trained, can't be trialed, etc there is very likely to be an element of "I told you so" if the dog does anything remotely weird. But most puppies do things that are weird. Herding breeds especially, even the soundest can go through developmental phases of being weird about stuff. I think that tends to make people obsess over the undesirable behavior, which often makes it worse. And the worse it gets, the more others say "see told you so!" and the more the owner obsesses over fixing it. And the worse it gets.
I've seen that in BCs and shelties quite a bit as well. The sheltie forum seems like a lot of people just encourage the behavior or accept it because it's just 'how they are'. Spinning and barking and nipping, etc. I've seen a lot of these dogs in classes that I personally feel would be a lot better if people didn't micro-manage them so much. A particular sporter collie is coming to mind right now...


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It is common in many of them for sure.



He's been pretty naturally good for the most part, like my Belgians. By that I mean, he naturally wants to stay within a reasonable distance of me and go the direction I want him to go. I take at least him and Whim to play off leash a couple times a week at a local fairgrounds. The only issues I have had with him off leash is wanting to chase cars and bikes. I have been able to call him off of that stuff and he ignores such things around the house (he can go from the car to the door off leash) but if he's wound up playing, he sometimes still thinks it'd be fun to chase them. So I don't take him off leash in places there are cars he can get to, although I tend to take that precaution with my dogs anyway. Of course, we work on recalls too







In this picture, he's chasing cars on the high that runs by the fairgrounds. The cars are really far away and he can't get to them but this is what makes me cautious about the car thing.
So fluffy! Definitely sounds workable. I definitely expect some chasing behavior in a herding breed. So definitely not a problem.

I'd typ=e more but I told my two that we would go to the park and Summer keeps jumping on my keyboard.

Anything else you think I need to hear?
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:47 PM
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This thread is making me super interested in the breed.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:15 AM
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I was on a waiting list to get a puppy from La Brise in the spring. While I still adore the breed and plan on getting one in the future it turned out not to be the right time for me. The biggest thing that every owner I talked to emphasized was that they either take a long time to be trial ready or they run into unexpected challenges even once they are already trialing. Patricia herself told me that even Ashley makes Luka and his new pup Dash take several months off of agility quite often just to work on their bond and to prevent trialing issues. Every owner (other than Aleron) has told me that they are very glad they have other dogs to train and trial with their pyrshep otherwise they'd be sitting around twiddling their thumbs and getting frustrated to the point of possibly rushing their dog and damaging their relationships.

The other thing is that this breed is specifically bred to be wary and more aware of their environment than pretty much any breed out there because of their history. That wariness brings up challenges in training, especially in the trial environment where everything is constantly changing. While not all pyrsheps are going to have an issue, it is necessary to know this going into the breed and socialize the pants off that puppy. The ones I've heard that have been success have been at trials pretty much every weekend since they were brought home. Even then, one of the agility trainers that is local to me has a difficult time trialing hers.

Right now, I have one spot to fill in my household and I decided to give it to a dog that I have a better chance of trialing and being successful in the activities that I pursue.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:02 PM
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What breed did you settle on? I'm still pretty sure the next pup will be the border collie. I'm honestly not looking for a trial superstar or anything like that but just a do everything kind of dog and I think a BC would be the better choice at this point.

Of course if only I could find more classes in the sports I want to play at the times I want to play them, then Mia and I would be doing more...
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:53 PM
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Anything else you think I need to hear?
I guess mostly that, like some of the other "complicated" herding breeds, PyrSheps seem to need to be developed through drive building, interaction, training, socialization and building a relationship. I love that stuff, so they are a good breed for me. Belgians also have those needs, so I'm used to it. I suspect though, that like Belgians there is a risk of PyrSheps developing problems if their drive and energy isn't properly channeled. By problems, I mean self reinforcing undesirable behavior patterns, obsessions and becoming easily distracted by their environment...unable to focus on what you want them to focus on. This stuff can usually be overcome but it's better to not let it start in the first place. IOWs Don't let obsessive herding dogs practice behaviors that you don't want them to perfect

Going back to the FearShep article, I get the feeling this is sort of what Silvia Trkman is talking about with the distractability and barkyness issues people have complained about with PyrSheps:

"Iíve seen many, many PyrSheps all around the world since anywhere I go for the seminar, all the PyrSheps fanciers from all around will come, Iíve also done seminars for breed clubs and I also visited many breeders when searching for La, so I sure did see many dogs of this breed. Based on my experience, my answer to a question is: NO, fearfulness is NOT a problem in the breed. Lack of drive is.

I have had many, many people explain to me that their PyrShep is just too worried about the surroundings to be able to workÖ And in every dog that Iíve seen with such a diagnosis, I saw something completely different: I saw a dog that was not having enough fun while working and was looking around for the excuses, barking at people, things and shadows. So my advice was always to stop worrying about their fears and do some serious work on their drive and try to make agility way more fun to them. "


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Every owner (other than Aleron) has told me that they are very glad they have other dogs to train and trial with their pyrshep otherwise they'd be sitting around twiddling their thumbs and getting frustrated to the point of possibly rushing their dog and damaging their relationships.
If Savvy was my only dog...wow, he'd be really, really outstanding. And very happy! Of course, that's true of all of my dogs But I like having multiple dogs and no one's going anywhere, so I guess they'll just have to make do with splitting my time between them

If people are that focused with having to trial their young dog by a certain age, they may be missing the whole point. These are just games we play with our dogs. Games shouldn't matter so much that you get mad at your dog for not being at a certain point by a certain age. At every trial I go to I see dogs of all different breeds who are having stress issues or just aren't having fun doing agility. I know so many people who get a new puppy/dog and are so eager to trial them, the dogs aren't near as trained as they should be. The dogs sometimes do well at first and some are stuck at the Novice level a long time. At some point though, many of these dogs end up having some major issues that take a lot of time to work through. Issues which could have been prevented through proper foundation work and training the dog to be really, undoubtedly ready to trial before entering.


I do think PyrSheps do better with people who have a more...I don't know...relationship based (?) idea of training though. I think many performance people jumped into them after seeing videos of Silvia Trkman's dogs especially La. They expected instant agility stars and were surprised that, hey these dogs aren't really much like BCs. As for Silvia Trkman, I believe her dogs are trialed early and often for most of their lives. La is still trialing at the highest levels at I think 10 years old. But I don't get the idea she'd sit around twiddling her thumbs and getting frustrated at her dog for not being where she wanted them to be in their training. I think she takes an extremely relationship based, it's all for fun approach to the dogs.

They aren't for everyone for sure but I'm sure enjoying mine
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:28 PM
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I do get that feeling too that many people got into the breed seeing La and then Ashley and Luka and then wanted a BC in a small package.

Any dog I get, I don't really expect performance to be the main reason I get them. If that works out then great, if not then that's great too. My plans with Mia certainly haven't panned out the way I intended.

Aleron, you don't know a pyr shep named Sting do you? He's young fawn rough coat. I would be very interested in talking with his owners as they have a pap from Mia's breeder.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:43 PM
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Aleron, you don't know a pyr shep named Sting do you? He's young fawn rough coat. I would be very interested in talking with his owners as they have a pap from Mia's breeder.
I don't know Sting. Most of the PyrSheps I know are the ones that are local to me.

Have to say I just watched Silvia Trkman's two trick DVDs and her PyrSheps make me laugh. Definitely see similarities in them and Savvy behavior wise. Funny, crazy little dogs
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