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Old 08-24-2013, 03:52 PM
casey82 casey82 is offline
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Default For those that do Dog Sports

For people who do agility, obedience, flyball or frisbee sports, what do you look for in a sports dog? I know drive and intrest in food and toys but what else do you look for?
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:22 PM
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Honestly? I look for a dog that I find adorable; one that I will happily live with in my home. One that fits nicely into my life outside of sports, who enjoys the things I enjoy (hiking, swimming, trail riding, and sometimes just laying on the couch watching TV). There are physical things that matter to me (medium sized erring a bit small, short coat, athletic build), but they matter as much in regards to my life as in regards to sports.

I'm pretty heavily into agility. I have two dogs right now, one who has earned her retirement and will be allowed to do so as soon as she tells me she wants it; the other a baby dog who is just starting his competition career. I work with the baby dog on agility most days (weekly class, online class with regular homework, club practice weekly, trials). Even with all that, I'd be shocked if I spend six hours a week on agility (not counting trial days). There 162 other hours in the week where I have to live with my dogs. A dog who is phenomenal for those six hours isn't worth it if I don't love living with them the other 162.

If I woke up tomorrow and couldn't run agility any more with either dog, they would still be the most wonderful partners for me in whatever else we chose to do - even if it was just as pet dogs.

Although I don't think I'll ever get a black agility dog again. Holy cow is Gusto hard to keep cool.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:59 PM
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I want a dog to have a clear head, social confidence, handler focus, dog tolerance, and respect for boundaries.

Drive is a given but drive can be built. Energy and stamina, as well.

Lastly I look for specific things depending on the sport, an ideal IPO dog may not be the perfect agility dog and vice versa.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Honestly? I look for a dog that I find adorable; one that I will happily live with in my home. One that fits nicely into my life outside of sports, who enjoys the things I enjoy (hiking, swimming, trail riding, and sometimes just laying on the couch watching TV). There are physical things that matter to me (medium sized erring a bit small, short coat, athletic build), but they matter as much in regards to my life as in regards to sports.

I'm pretty heavily into agility. I have two dogs right now, one who has earned her retirement and will be allowed to do so as soon as she tells me she wants it; the other a baby dog who is just starting his competition career. I work with the baby dog on agility most days (weekly class, online class with regular homework, club practice weekly, trials). Even with all that, I'd be shocked if I spend six hours a week on agility (not counting trial days). There 162 other hours in the week where I have to live with my dogs. A dog who is phenomenal for those six hours isn't worth it if I don't love living with them the other 162.

If I woke up tomorrow and couldn't run agility any more with either dog, they would still be the most wonderful partners for me in whatever else we chose to do - even if it was just as pet dogs.

Although I don't think I'll ever get a black agility dog again. Holy cow is Gusto hard to keep cool.
Pretty much that although I am not as into agility as you by a long shot. We play a few times a week.

I like dogs that are fun, energetic but turn off (work full time), funny, handler oriented, affectionate, kind of wacky, like to play ball or frisbee, small to mdium in size... Biddable is good. For sports specifically a dog like Summer who is unflappable temperament. In real life I like both weirdos like Mia and social butterflies like Summer.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:13 PM
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In my case what I like in a sports dog and what I like in my "just a pet" dog are exactly the same so it works well

Work focus, human oriented, socially stable, lots of natural drive, the body to handle hard work and high speed over a lifetime, quick recovery time, problem-solving intelligence (this one can bite ya in sports sometimes though haha), the ability to think while in drive, natural athleticism...

I like a dog that I can take swimming, hiking, to a family reunion, and burn up an agility course all in one day and they are eager to do more, but who can settle or constructively amuse him/herself when there's nothing going on. One that is confident and focused enough on the task that lessons learned one place do not need to be re-learned for every possible environmental variant...easy generalization. And a dog that wants to work with me/hang out with me such that we can go off lead hiking or s/he can hangout while I'm working outside or we can go some place crowded and it's not a constant battle of focus.

I've overcome the lack of many of those in one dog or another...but I'd rather not have to :P
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:33 PM
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The only thing I'm worried about in my next agility dog is good structure. Everything else can be worked through/with.

For me personally, nextdog must have soft, fluffy, cuddly fur that you can bury your face in and enjoy snuggling with me. They should love people and other dogs, enjoy sleeping in on the weekends, and make me laugh with silly antics.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:31 AM
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I think herding dogs make fantastic pets and performance dogs. It just depends on YOU and what you're ready for and what your idea of a good pet is.

High drive, active, intelligent dogs are challenging to live with and train if you are not prepared for them.

But, if you are a glutton for punishment like I am, then that's what you go for lol

So, I think maybe you should figure out for yourself what traits you're looking for...my girl, Miz Naughty, is really too fast for me in regards to agility.

I just cannot keep up with her the way I need to for us to be a successful team. She bounces off the walls and can get *very* sharp when I'm too slow for her.

She's really not a good dog for such a novice handler as I am, but we work on it and through the years we've gotten better.

At home, she's only slightly more mellow although there is a distinctive off switch. No matter whether she's in drive or not, she's always very active and busy.

If you're new to agility, I'd say it's better to learn on a slow dog that's easy to live with. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:50 PM
casey82 casey82 is offline
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See, this is the thing. I love the herding breeds. However, I think the gun dogs and sporting dogs are easier for me to live with. They are just a better match for my personality. I definately at least want my next dog to either be a Spaniel (including papillon) or some type of gun dog or retriever. I guess I'm really not 100% sure exactly what I'm looking for in Next dog. I know I want more enery and drive in my next dog. I know I want to do agility and obedience. I'm not sure what else is important to me yet. I've been thinking about it, but just don't know. I guess it's good I have some time right?
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:24 PM
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
However, I think the gun dogs and sporting dogs are easier for me to live with.
Then you should look in that group Don't let anyone tell you that you need a herding dog because you want drive and you want to do agility and obedience. It's complete bull.

There are phenomenal sport dogs out there from the spaniels, gundogs, and retrievers.
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