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  #41  
Old 05-14-2011, 07:57 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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I do have an ACD mix in SchH - he's doing decently in all three phases (nice track, pretty obedience, annnd almost finished setting up his bark and hold today at practice ).

I am very lucky and have a SchH club that is very accepting of anyone who will put the time in and has a dog that can do the work (our TD's motto is "if it'll bite, I'll train it" LOL). Very few clubs are as welcoming from what I hear. Our club has a number of American Bulldogs, several pit bulls, rotties, dobies, GSD, malinois, a dutch shepherd, a few giant schnauzers, a Cane Corso, and my cattle dog mix.

Our TD also is flexible when it comes to training methods, so I rarely see corrections that make me cringe, unlike in some more traditional clubs I'm sure. He does use a clicker and is happy to let me try things my way (limited corrections, lots of shaping, etc.) - I keep it respectful and am learning a ton from him in the process.

In addition to temperament being key, and having a dog that has a genetically good bite (Kes' is full and hard naturally, but he works in prey vs. defense), there are some limitations when it comes to size: in obedience *all* dogs must clear a 1 meter jump and retrieve the same size dumbbells (650g, 1000g, 2000g). Kestrel is 21" and thus a meter jump is quite a jump, though he can do it. The dumbbells aren't an issue for him though.

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  #42  
Old 05-14-2011, 08:31 PM
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  #43  
Old 05-14-2011, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
They don't herd, but they can be very intense (hence the bc on crack term) Yes they retrieve. Though the few I know well retreve instincutally had to be taught to be gentle.
It is my understanding that almost all field trial dogs and a lot of hunting dogs are force fetched, regardless of their natural abilities. It's just the way it's done. Given the methods commonly used in field training, I'd expect most working bred sporting breeds are pretty resilient.

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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Sch isn't real protection, any more than hunt tests are hunting, or earth dog trials are earth work. Any dog with good drive should be able to learn those things. (earth dog will be limited to dogs who fit down those tunnels, but they are big. Cockers fit down them)

ETA there are more than a few BC doing sch work. And they are not bred to latch on at all.
I question if you have much experience with SchH or other protection sports? A lot of dogs wash out of SchH, even some who were bred for. I can see where lots of dogs can play earth dog, just like lots of dogs can play lure coursing as that is pure prey drive. SchH is a much more complex sport. Yes there are other breeds who have done SchH, some have even been titled but they tend to be the exception rather than the norm. If it was truly a sport that just any dog could be trained to do, we'd see far better representation of different breeds. If it was purely an issue of prey drive, we'd see a lot more BCs doing it

It is good to know about the Earthdog tunnels. There is a flyer for a Earthdog fun day at the training club and I have been wondering if Ziggy would fit in the tunnels. I think he would!

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Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
I am very lucky and have a SchH club that is very accepting of anyone who will put the time in and has a dog that can do the work (our TD's motto is "if it'll bite, I'll train it" LOL). Very few clubs are as welcoming from what I hear. Our club has a number of American Bulldogs, several pit bulls, rotties, dobies, GSD, malinois, a dutch shepherd, a few giant schnauzers, a Cane Corso, and my cattle dog mix.
The clubs around here are like that too. I get the idea a lot of clubs are more open to different breeds than people think. I've personally gone to two that were more than welcoming of anyone who wanted to try it and know at least two more in the area which are as well. While I was taking Jagger, someone was taking a rather shy BC mix, a Standard Poodle and an APBT mix.

I don't hold it against clubs who aren't as welcoming though, as there could be good reasons for it. I think it does take a more talented helper to bring out the best in the non-traditional breeds, so I think it's preferable to not take such dogs if they are uncomfortable working them. Also if training time is limited for a club, I think it's understandable they only want people serious about the sport to join, which is unlikely to be someone with a sporting breed or small dog.

I saw far better obedience training at the SchH clubs than at our local AKC clubs. They want a very "up" attitude for obedience and were using very motivational methods to get it. I'm not saying that they don't use correction or that some people weren't harsher with their dogs than I would be but the teaching phase was all motivational. And I see people at the AKC training club all the time who are harsher than I would be.
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  #44  
Old 05-15-2011, 01:29 AM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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Yes, almost ALL working or trial retrievers are force fetched now. It is a problem. You can't even go onto a retriever board to ask about anything without hearing "its because you didn't force fetch it right." Any bird dog should have a natural mouth that wont crush things, but its not being bred for. Its probably worse for Tollers because they're beginning to be very popular as sport dogs.

A lot of dogs wash out as trial dogs too. Sch isn't directly the same as police work in the same way that trials aren't the same as hunting or herding. Sch places the minimum bar pretty high where a retriever trial or test sets the bar fairly low- to start. Entire breeds are nearly washed out of competitive retriever trials (FCR, Curlies, even Goldens and Chessies don't title anywhere nearly as many dogs as Labs)
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  #45  
Old 05-15-2011, 09:52 AM
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I question if you have much experience with SchH or other protection sports? A lot of dogs wash out of SchH, even some who were bred for.
Dogs wash out of a lot of things. I gathered that the OP wanted a dog to play around with, vs be super competitive with. I am not saying go out and grab any dog. But any dog with a hard temperament and high drive should be able to play at sch. Not saying the dog would be super competative. But there is no reason that a hard mouthed resilliant retriever couldn't do it. The physical aspects aren't THAT hard for an athletic breed. Would it be easier to do it with a working bred GSD? likely.

Agility is easy with a BC, but loads of people do it with pugs, and hounds, and all sorts of breeds that aren't 'easy'. Surprisingly many people wash out (give up) on agility with their dogs too. In the end if you want a dog you can live with.
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  #46  
Old 05-15-2011, 11:30 AM
UniquityBelgians UniquityBelgians is offline
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Duh, all black, longer-haired, prick eared dogs are Belgian Sheepdogs. The ones with drop ears are Flat Coated Retrievers.
You have no idea how many times I've been asked if my Belgians are flat coated retrievers. "My friend's/sister's/boyfriend's dog looks IDENTICAL! Are you sure your's arent flatcoated retrievers?" Um yeah, I'm pretty sure..
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  #47  
Old 05-15-2011, 03:24 PM
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Duh, all black, longer-haired, prick eared dogs are Belgian Sheepdogs. The ones with drop ears are Flat Coated Retrievers.
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Originally Posted by UniquityBelgians View Post
You have no idea how many times I've been asked if my Belgians are flat coated retrievers. "My friend's/sister's/boyfriend's dog looks IDENTICAL! Are you sure your's arent flatcoated retrievers?" Um yeah, I'm pretty sure..
I can't even tell you how many people come up to me with their BC-mixes, Lab-mixes, etc. (either little bushy black dogs with snippy faces or chunky big black dogs that happen to carry more coat) and start getting all lovey-dovey over how we both have Flat-Coats. Irritates the heck out of me. It's not an anti-mix breed thing, it's just anti-people making up nonsense.




Anyway to the Sch thing and retrievers...yeah maybe there are some of those super sharp clamp-down types out there but there shouldn't be. And I would have a really hard time supporting a breeder who was producing them. The force fetching, as mentioned, is another issue...the use of e-collars in field training has IMO gotten rather out of control and in many cases seems to mask the instinct and biddability of a lot of the dogs. Mira (my FCR) has drive out the wazoo but she's retrieved a baby robin to me without harming it...and without being asked to do so or taught to do so. That's how I want my retrievers.

Semi-off topic but the point is I would not recommend getting a retriever if what you are looking for is in fact not a retriever.
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  #48  
Old 05-15-2011, 03:47 PM
UniquityBelgians UniquityBelgians is offline
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I can't even tell you how many people come up to me with their BC-mixes, Lab-mixes, etc. (either little bushy black dogs with snippy faces or chunky big black dogs that happen to carry more coat) and start getting all lovey-dovey over how we both have Flat-Coats. Irritates the heck out of me. It's not an anti-mix breed thing, it's just anti-people making up nonsense.
I have a client with a heinz-57 that looks nothing like a flatcoat (aside from the fact that it's got black hair). It's about 25 lb, 19-20 inches or so, got medium length very wavy hair, a gay tail, very fine bone, huge round feet, button ears, and a dish face (looks very spaniel-like). Looks like a cocker/toller and probably a mix of a few other things. She tells everyone it's a flat-coat because "mixed breeds that look like this are just called flat coated retrievers," and the worst part about it is that she told me her vet told her this.

I can probably count on my hand the number of times someone has correctly guessed that I have Belgians! I've even said "Belgian shepherd" and people will say "Oh I have a shepherd too!"
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  #49  
Old 05-15-2011, 04:06 PM
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Semi-off topic but the point is I would not recommend getting a retriever if what you are looking for is in fact not a retriever.
OT still.. but do you think bite force when playing tug or fighting is directly related to bite force when retrieving? I only know a few retrievers who have naturally soft mouths (that I know for sure) but who can clamp on to a tug toy like no other... (lol two of them are flatcoats!)
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  #50  
Old 05-15-2011, 06:09 PM
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A Hungarian Vizsla sounds almost perfect for you. High drive, medium size dog who isn't the most recognize dog in the block.
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