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Old 06-14-2012, 10:43 PM
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Default Getting an older dog and competition...

I couldn't think of an appropriate title for this LOL.

Anyway, I may have the opportunity to acquire an almost 6-year-old dog (not a Finnish Spitz, but I don't want to give away the breed in case it doesn't happen - I know a few people on here and don't want anything to spread via Facebook unless it's a definite yes), who has already gotten some titles (AKC CH, HIC, HT, CGC, TDI). I would mainly be getting him to try and put more titles on him (most definitely rally, would love formal obedience, and possibly agility) and just to have another dog/breed to train and gain experience working.

I guess I'm just wondering what others have experienced as far as taking a dog that is older but has had some training and continuing on with them. My two that I've gotten as adults thus far have had no prior training, plus I am not planning on doing any sports with them, so this is a different sort of situation.

Thanks
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:49 PM
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I find that after bonding with a dog they're usually quite happy to work with you. Even if you're behind them in terms of skill level lol.

Like how cops do putting veteran dogs with rookie owners and rookie dogs with the veterans. It's a much better learning experience if one of you already know what the heck they're doing. If you know the dogs commands, it's just a matter of learning the nuances.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:52 PM
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Logan had some SAR, herding and obedience training when I got him. We bonded very quickly (he was whispering sweet nothings in my ear all the way from Seattle to Centralia lol). Two weeks after I brought him home, we did the CGC test and passed. He's been a fantastic dog, and his previous training has done nothing but help him. I have added several titles, and am in NO way done yet! The one thing I really really like is that Logan is and always has been sooooo good at backing up and reverse heeling. I cannot seem to get that concept through to Gavroche, but it's so nice having it on Logan. I have to keep it up so he doesn't lose the skill, but as far as I know it was something he was taught before I ever got him. He's been a really fun dog and has taught me so much.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:54 PM
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If its the dog I'm thinking it is, I say go for it.

If not, I say go for it.

I'm not much help, sorry
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:29 AM
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I believe any dog, no matter the age, can learn anything. Most of this is based on my friend's two dogs that were between 4-6 when they were adopted from the shelter, and are the top dogs for CPE agility.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:39 AM
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I would see the dog work, and get a chance to try to work him before committing. There's titles and then there's "titles."
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:54 AM
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I agree with seeing the dog and watching it work (if you haven't already) before you decide either way. Spend some time working on a skill or two with it to see how you guys match up.

I've seen it work great. I have a friend who got an adult (maybe 2 or 3?) who had his Ch. and I think some obedience or rally titles, and put an ADCH on him and is now working on his MACH. I've also been in a position where I came very close to taking an adult dog, and wound up saying no. The training she'd had up until then would have made things very hard on both of us; no free-shaping plus some corrections. While I'm sure we could have worked through it eventually, it would have meant a long time spent teaching her how to learn the way I teach.

Even things as simple as different handling styles can make things tough. Lots of retraining of either you or the dog to respond in different ways.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:49 AM
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You all bring up some interesting points. Thanks so much for responding.

Yeah, I'm also of the belief that any dog can learn no matter their age. I think the biggest things I'm worried about are not bonding with said dog (though I have bonded with my other two acquired as adults), and the dog not having been trained in the way I would like (lots and lots of shaping LOL). I was also pretty set in getting a puppy for my next (that way I can train them exactly how I want from the get to - basically lots and lots of shaping hahaha), and not for another year or so, so it's weird to think of another adult when I have been of that puppy mindset for a while.

He lives sort of far, so I might only be able to do a trial run in my home for a bit to see how things work. I have never seen him work, but know someone who has worked with him. So yeah, I would be interested to see how he would respond to me. I know that his training has been largely rewards-based, so that's fine - I would just need to teach him how to shape if he doesn't know already, but I'm not sure if I want to have to change how he learns.

I totally have time to figure things out (I think time is needed on both ends actually), but I've been thinking about this dog pretty much straight for the past 24 hours (since I learned about this possibility). GAH.

I need some more money and some more land hahahaha.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:34 PM
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I'd say a dog regardless of age can take up a new sport. The question would be what goals do you have? That you want to put a handful of low level titles, or do you have higher aspirations? If your aspirations are higher, you might want something younger to pick the personality and drive of. I love Smudge, had him since puppyhood. I've now decided I have higher aspirations. My next pup I want more drive. Smudge wants to ply with me. Has agility titles including a master jumpers title. But he's not as competitive as I would like. Taken two dogs and many lessons to figure out what I wanted.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:43 PM
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Yeah, that's sort of where I'm struggling... I have medium aspirations, I suppose LOL. I don't need to put an OTCH or a MACH on a dog, but a CDX, RAE, and maybe some middle of the road agility titles would be good.

I actually think that this dog has a bit more drive than my others (my Finkies really don't have much drive, except for the one I'm working with in agility currently), and is most definitely more biddable. Which would be different from my guys for sure hahaha.

I think I just want to broaden my horizons a bit as far as dog breeds go, and this opportunity sort of just *almost* fell in to my lap, albeit much sooner than I expected!

The other "issue" is that I have the opportunity to maybe take a Buhund puppy (a breed I've sort of fallen for) next year as a performance prospect. This dog would cancel that puppy out. HOWEVER, this dog is a breed that my husband is interested in owning, whereas when I told him about the Buhund, he was NOT impressed hahaha. I also don't think he wants another puppy anytime soon :P
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Thanks meepitsmeagan for the siggy!

Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
Boundless Pawsibilities

Loistava's Jari CGC - 20 months old (M)
Loistava's Kimma RN AX AXJ RATN CGC - 4 years old (F)
AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 7 years old (M)
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