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  #11  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:02 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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And I agree if it's agility or rally or obedience you're interested in, start with your current dog (unless there's a health issue there). I am always a fan of starting with the dog you have to test the waters. Dogsports can take up a lot of time and money *looks over at the $150 I spent today on cleanrun* I think it's very easy to say you want a high drive sports dog without any experience without realizing what it can entail.

You don't need toy drive for agility at all either. Food works just about as well and you can always build toy drive.

I honestly got a Mia dog too soon. I had done about 6 months of training with Summer but it was with a not so great trainer with outdated methods. Mia was... a new experience, lol! In better hands, she'd have already been amazing. I'm still fumbling along well behind her. I still often times have more fun training Summer than Mia. It's so nice to have a confident, easy going, happy, fun dog to play with sometimes.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:20 PM
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I agree with Laur. I got Quinn as my first sport dog and in hindsight, it wasn't the best decision BUT I had thought about that and I decided if I was going to take on a dog for the next 10+ years I wanted something I REALLY wanted. A smooth collie or nice GSP would have been "easier" to start with, I've already made so many mistake with Quinn and created problems I didn't need to but I wouldn't change her for the world, she teaches me so much.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:33 PM
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For things like agility and rally and that kind of stuff I'm a firm believer in working with the dog you have (as long as they're physically able to do the job). The bond is there already and really any dog should be able to do those sports. Your current dog will also teach you a lot about the sports and no matter what kind of dog you have now or will get in the future they'll always teach you something valuable that you can carry on to the next one.
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:18 PM
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The dog I can do sports with has no drive AT ALL! She's a great dog, but she HATES water, HATES toys. She's just not an ideal sport dog. I chose the field bred Lab for the drive and fact that I can also do duck hunting with him as well.

I might look into another Beagle again for an agility dog, but I want something bigger with more drive. I'm in the beginning stages of research right now, I used to be die hard MUST have APBT!!!! But the DA, and BSL has turned me off a bit towards them, so I want something different.

Feel free to add more breeds from the gun dog group. That doesn't need much grooming and has great drive. I'm also thinking of maybe even a well bred pointer or GSP.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttkip View Post
The dog I can do sports with has no drive AT ALL! She's a great dog, but she HATES water, HATES toys. She's just not an ideal sport dog. I chose the field bred Lab for the drive and fact that I can also do duck hunting with him as well.
I understand that she doesn't like toys, but does she like food? If she does, you can do plenty in Rally, OB, and agility. I'm not saying you shouldn't get a new dog but while you're waiting, working the dog you have can put you miles ahead for when you do get that perfect puppy. Trust me, you won't regret putting a foundation on the dog you have now. It will be time well spent. Also, read up on building prey/toy drive and start working. Those techniques will be vital when your puppy comes home.

I know sometimes people make it seem like "sport dogs" come with perfect genetics because we spend so much time on selection, but the fact is that even with driviest of dogs, handling is an absolutely enormous part of you success. If you hash out some of these skills on your less than ideal dog, your pup will be set up for success.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:00 PM
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I think labs would make a fantastic first sports dog, if you get one from the right breeder.

Honestly, most true field bred labs are absolutely nuts. (I mean that in an very endearing way). They can be very difficult to work with because they're very hard headed and have a lot going on. They're just a lot of dog. If you're just starting out in dog sports I'd recommend a more balanced lab to start off with. With labs being so common there are a lot of breeders to choose from. My lab, Duke, is probably the best first sports dog I could ask for. I haven't started anything with him yet (money reasons) but I do train him outside of classes/sports and I have to say he can be a lot easier to train than my friends lab McGruff who is high octane. He's more forgiving of mistakes.

I guess it just boils down to what type of dog you want. If you're used to low key dogs and just want a fun companion who is motivated and loves training, go for the more balanced dog. You don't need to get a Ferrari to bring to a hobby race. If you like dogs who go-go-go all the time, get your high energy field lab. With their certain challenges aside, they are awesome dogs to work with.

P.s:
Just cause I love this breeder (I kinda stalk her posts on a lab forum) but check out http://www.windycanyonlabs.com
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily View Post
I understand that she doesn't like toys, but does she like food? If she does, you can do plenty in Rally, OB, and agility. I'm not saying you shouldn't get a new dog but while you're waiting, working the dog you have can put you miles ahead for when you do get that perfect puppy. Trust me, you won't regret putting a foundation on the dog you have now. It will be time well spent. Also, read up on building prey/toy drive and start working. Those techniques will be vital when your puppy comes home.

I know sometimes people make it seem like "sport dogs" come with perfect genetics because we spend so much time on selection, but the fact is that even with driviest of dogs, handling is an absolutely enormous part of you success. If you hash out some of these skills on your less than ideal dog, your pup will be set up for success.
That. A crazy sport bred dog may have drive but it's up to you to be able to build and channel that drive properly and be able to handle it in the sport. My pug didn't have much toy drive but I built it up and now shes a pretty sweet performance dog. It can be done, it just takes some patience and persistence (so does handling a crazy drivey dog though too).
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:03 PM
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Summer hates water and hates toys. You don't need toy drive or a dog that will play in the water for agility or obedience. What exactly do you want to do in sports? What sports are you wanting to play?

You can do so much with just food. I agree, you won't regret working your current dog even if they're not an ideal sports dog. Really, 99.999% of dogs are not 'ideal' sports dogs. There's always something to work through.

And hey, my dog that has not played with a toy in her entire 8+ years was tugging after ONE session of building her toy drive. Not a hard tug, but it's a start.

I'm also watching one of the most timid/nervous dogs really start to blossom in just a month and a half of foundation classes right now. Good instruction and foundation work will really bring out drive like crazy.

Ask BostonBanker about training her dog, Meg. There are a lot of people that start out with less than drivey dogs and end up with solid competitors.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:25 PM
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I wish my toy driven psycho had more food drive but I used to wish Arnold had ANY toy drive. The grass is always greener. LOL
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:26 PM
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+2 or 3 or 4 to the idea that starting with the dog you have is the best possible thing you can do. What have you got to lose anyway...if you're still in the research phase for your next pup you have time. Use it to learn the basic skills needed and train yourself. And all the work you put in to teaching your existing dog to focus, to drive, and to enjoy the work will pay off big time when you start over again with the new pup.

Training yourself while training the dog can be done but it's hard and there is usually fallout. Ask my oldest girl, Kim. She had the potential to really be a rockstar, both physically and drive-wise...still does...but she was saddled with a rookie under extremely poor tutelage early on. Taught me everything I know and more but man do I wish I could go back in time with her!
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