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Old 11-19-2012, 10:56 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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Default Small Dogs and Sports

Just mildly curious for the far off future. I'd like to kind of get an idea of how you...work with? the size difference in dog sports? I have a hard time envisioning myself doing it, but I think at the point where I want to add a small dog, I might go for something that would be happy doing sports with me. I'm thinking a Crested...but is there a point where a small dog would be too small?

For those that do sports with small dogs...have you done them with larger dogs as well? Do you find it more or less challenging? Similar? I don't know what the point of this thread is...just trying to get a feel.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:03 PM
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I would love a small dog eventually, I think small like a border terrier would be ideal but any smaller would be a too small for us.

I do like paps though and they sport very well, even being tiny.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:12 PM
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I think it depends on what sports you want to do. Rally and agility? Sure! Or things like IPO? Herding? Maybe not so much.

The paps are very small. They're 7 and 8 lbs each. They're fine in agility. More than fine, they're the best in their classes and the breed typically is one of the better agility breeds. Mia's uncle is a 2x worlds team dog. So they can go very far with the right handler/dog combo. I love them as agility dogs, I think they're a great breed for it. I have heard that the teeter doesn't tip less than 3 or 4 lbs though, so a really tiny chi might not be a good choice. But agility is really great for small dogs. A crestie would be a fine agility dog. I love watching them run.

Rally is another that they can do (theoretically- not saying mine are good). There's also a pap on the flyball team here now who is < 10 lbs. Not ideal but he still gets out and has fun. Mia's also got a flyball relative.

Mia and I are doing nosework and our trainer runs a chihuahua in it. It's probably harder with a small dog since some finds are pretty high up but so far Mia's been fine and is already alerting to things that are up 2-3 feet.

We've also played with treibball and they have different sized balls for little dogs.

And of course obedience.

I also know a lady that does freestyle with papillons (actually I've met 3 freestyle people with paps!)

Big downside is having to bend down all. the. freaking. time. Plus though is that I can carry two dogs and two crates at once.

Small dogs are a lot of fun in sports, imo. We always get chuckles because my guys are so small but so into everything we do. There's plenty of sports options for little dogs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:19 PM
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I think it would also depend on what you want to get out of a sport. Do you want to be highly competitive in X sport, or just play to have fun?

I do agility with one of my schnauzers, and have started with my toy poodle. While not the fastest, they have no problem coming in under course time. They are not the breeds I would have chosen for a "sport dog", but since we do sports for fun it's fine for us.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:26 PM
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There are some really competitive toy dogs out there though in agility. Yeah the bigger dog classes tend to be more competitive but there's some fast little dogs.

I love this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgQYMXjSzL8
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:30 PM
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I have done some with the whippets, JRTs of all sizes and worked (though not shown) the BC.

Small dogs have challenges. Say in obedience.. their little noses are so close to the ground its easy for them to get distracted. Also its harder to reward with out bending over and getting crippled. Small dogs often have an innate fear of being stepped on vs large dogs.

However small dogs are more manoeuvrable. Every ring is SOO much bigger. Obedience and Rally is so much less cramped with a tiny dog. Agility its good and bad. You have more strides to handle things between obstacles, and you can cut tighter corners. However those distance skills can be harder as the dog has to run away from you with more strides. Ie a BC can be carried off to the gamble line just by a stride or two.. where as a tiny dog has to be willing to keep going it alone for up to 4 or 5 strides.

All in all I love the little dogs. Not for the competition issues. But for their portability surrounding competitions. They are easier to fit in a car, their paraphernalia is smaller. Crates lighter etc etc.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:34 AM
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I got Arson 2 months ago, crested. Big for a crested but not unheard of. They can be 6 or less pounders to 15 or more pounders easily which is a lot of variation. He learns fast, wants to please.

I know a 4 pound pap that has issues making the teeter tip even though her default behaviour is to surf it at the end..
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:45 AM
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I have friends that breed and run Cavaliers in agility. They have their own challenges, of course, just like the big dogs do. However they have MACHs and ADCHs, have been to USDAA Nationals, made it to the semifinals, and been in the top ten for the year.

For something like agility, I don't think small vs big makes it harder or easier - just different challenges.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:19 PM
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With my little foster dude (mini aussie, we think mixed with BC... he's tiny though!), he is the type of dog thats very biddable and really wants to do be doing something. So needless to say I'm really happy he's in an agility home!

I did discover that I'm sooo not a small dog person. I like dogs I don't have to bend over for and that I don't feel like I'm going to accidentally crush, lol.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:27 PM
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I think Jackson is a perfect size, he's about 16lbs, and just big enough that I don't really worry about injuries really, he's very agile and able to do large equipment fine. The only thing I notice can be difficult is he's kind of out of peripheral vision, LOL, so it's hard to know exactly where he is, because he's kind of low to the ground and feeding treats kind of sucks (bending over). But it's really not a huge issue.
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