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  #11  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:19 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
Being active in that sport would help a ton (I have no clue if you are or not). I know when a rescue says agility prospect, I tend to think hobby-level agility prospect unless I know the foster and know they were able to evaluate the dog properly.

Also, sport prospect is a generic term. A disc person isn't looking for the same things as an agility person, or flyball. Yes, there are dogs that excel in all of those things but generally they are better at one versus another.

I lucked out, I found Zuma. She was not advertised as a sport dog at all, but there's no way she would have been happy in a pet home. I saw her video and took a gamble meeting her and she was exactly what I needed.
Yup, in theory every dog can do "sports" but my desires for sporting are not the same as my neighbors. Be more descriptive!

ETA, have you considered videos, starting foundations? Getting X-rays of the joints?
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:20 PM
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I do see a difference at the hobby 'just for fun' level and the competition level. And even moreso at nationals (tho Those were Akc nationals- so probably very purebred swayed. There were only 25 all Americans of the thousands of entries). In the class I was in for a year+ all the dogs other than mine were rescued mixes. In my current class there is one other non rescue. So easily 50+% are rescues but most aren't competing.

I do think people not involved in agility get the wrong idea of what a dog needs to be good at agility. And even less to be really good. I hear a lot of 'my dog loves to run and jump so he's be great!' There's a lot more than that so I think having fosters like the BC rescue does who are competitive does help.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:40 PM
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The dog that just won the 22" National championship for AAC is a rescued BC
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I do see a difference at the hobby 'just for fun' level and the competition level. And even moreso at nationals (tho Those were Akc nationals- so probably very purebred swayed. There were only 25 all Americans of the thousands of entries). In the class I was in for a year+ all the dogs other than mine were rescued mixes. In my current class there is one other non rescue. So easily 50+% are rescues but most aren't competing.

I do think people not involved in agility get the wrong idea of what a dog needs to be good at agility. And even less to be really good. I hear a lot of 'my dog loves to run and jump so he's be great!' There's a lot more than that so I think having fosters like the BC rescue does who are competitive does help.
Regarding the bolded part:

For what it's worth, though, 2013 NAC had 1,023 entries. Of those, 548 were BCs or Shelties. There were 104 breeds entered, with All-Americans counting as a breed. So if you take out the top two breeds, leaving 475 dogs of 102 breeds, that's an average of 4.7 dogs/breed for non-BC/Shelties.

By that measure, 25 All-Americans is actually pretty high.

If you continue down the top breed list (#3 Goldens with 100, #4 Aussies with 80, #5 Poodles with 63, #6 Papillons with 57...), 25 really is nothing to sneeze at. Especially when one won his height class .
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2013, 06:51 PM
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In about two years, I've placed 22 rescue dogs into very active, performance homes. Most have been placed here in Georgia, with only three going out of state. Like other people have suggested, people have to see the dogs to get interested. I only foster one at a time because I take my dogs, plus the foster dog, to every agility trial. I'm actively playing, tugging, walking the foster dog around to make sure people know that he/she is there and available. I do not advocate impulse decisions so people can't adopt at a trial and have to go home and discuss with significant others, family, etc. first.

The only "advertising" I do is posting pictures and videos of fosters on Facebook and agility trials. In order to successfully place rescue sport dogs, you do have to know what your network is looking for. People will fight over driven Border Collies. I don't know about anywhere else but in the south, people prefer females over males. I only do x-rays for dogs at the potential adopter's request and expense. For puppies, I allow them to go on a spay/neuter contract, as I would not want my young dog altered if I wanted a long career for them.

It is not always the easiest to place a performance dog and from what I have gathered, if sport people are going to rescue, they want purebreds (or very close to it). My agility dog is a big Hound mix dog but the people who you see with mutts generally adopted the dog and then decided to do agility or whatever sport after the fact. I don't know anyone who has actively sought out a mixed breed for competition sports. Frisbee people are the only "faction" of sport people that take in all sorts of dogs - drive is what matters most. I have placed a couple disc dogs and they were purebreds, but it wouldn't have mattered to their owners even if they weren't - all of them had over the top disc drive.

Start taking your foster dog to local trials and really trying to push the word out. I've seen people make flyers and the trial secretaries will let them leave it on the table where course maps are. I have always started foundation work with my fosters and if people see a driven dog eager to work, it's hard to ignore.

Also, I see the PF ad says she has toy drive. I'd prefer to see a video of her demonstrating her toy drive rather than just seeing the words. Once you make a video of her fetching (in water, jumping over you, etc.), you can send it out to all the sport people you know - and there's a lot of them on Chaz - to help network the dog. You'd be surprised at what kind of interest a great video will drum up.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:45 PM
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Great advice from mfan. I will say that at least in our area, a rescued mix breed probably isn't any harder to place in an agility home than a purebred (except maybe a super BC). If you are in an area with more AKC than other venues, I suspect it may not be the case (AKC trials aren't required to permit mixed breeds). In the north-east, with AKC, CPE, NADAC and USDAA available pretty much every weekend, people are happy to take on a great mixed breed.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:09 PM
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I think the advice you're being given here is good. I do know plenty of people who compete with rescues, though maybe not as many as compete with purpose-bred dogs. The one other reason I can think that a sports person might be reluctant for a rescue is that dog sports people usually have multiple dogs, and blending an adult dog into a pack can be harder. For instance, the friend I placed Eva with (Pirate's sister) had 5 other dogs at the time. Though her oldest 3 are all mixed-breed rescues, she isn't interested in trying to blend in another adult dog. Particularly a bull breed, which she did want, but doesn't tend to be the best dog for groups, but I don't think she really wants any more adults of any breed.

I'd be happy to take a rescue, my first sport dog was an adult rehome/rescue. But I don't think my Tess would take very well to an adult dog in her home. So I'd have to adopt a pup. I was highly tempted a couple years ago by a litter of Plotts that were in a shelter, it's a breed I'm interested in owning someday. But, they naturally mentioned that the pups would be speutered before going to their new homes, and I just don't feel comfortable adopting a largish breed dog that's been altered at 8-9 weeks and trying to make an agility dog out of it. I understand why they have to be altered, it just makes them unsuitable for me.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:16 AM
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When I get my sport dog, I want to know its history. I'm really picky, and have already spent thousands on surgery for genetically bad angles on my non sport rescue dog. There's no way she could have done agility even without her reactivity because of her knees and elbows. For me it's all about the health and temperament history, as well as getting the best "blank slate" (I know there's really no such thing, which is why a well-bred dog is a better risk than a rescue) as possible.

I do want to rescue again some day, and hopefully do sports with that dog as well, but I also want to support a really particular breeder for just the right pup.
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:58 AM
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Up here I would say it is a 50/50 split, rescues are very common in agility and other sports.

I know many dogs that had been rehomed several times from shelters that went on to do amazing in agility once they were placed with the right person.
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by meepitsmeagan View Post
Why don't they seem to go together? A dog that is perfect for dog sports gets no interest other than pet homes that may or may not be suitable.

Toy drive, play drive, tug drive. Handler focus and biddablility. Agile, quick. Good general focus. Pretty confident. Old enough to start right into everything; no waiting for growth plates to close, ect. Really no start to foundations or anything, so basically a clean slate as far as sports go.

Why? Is it because most sport people like to start puppies? Like to keep their dog intact? Like to know there isn't hip/elbow/all other types of health issues?

I'm seriously curious. Maybe I'm just not advertising correctly? There just seems to be no interest (other than BostonBanker, who is maxed out on dogs unfortunately).
There's definitely a very active rescue presence in dog sports. Competition obedience probably less so and flyball and disc probably more so, with agility somewhere in between. However, there's also a lot of rescue dogs to choose from and many sport people still have their breed preferences. So while someone might be very into the idea of having rescue sport dogs, those dogs are always only going to be their breed of choice and often, their breed of choice from a specific rescue.

IME most sport people don't prefer their dogs be intact but as people are becoming more informed about early altering, there's probably less people willing to take a rescue puppy that was altered at 8 weeks old as a sports prospect. It would be awesome if OSS and vasectomies become more common, so rescues could perform those at a young age then allow adopters to decide what to do once the dog is mature - fully alter or stick with a hormonally intact dog who can't reproduce. Another issue is that some sport people are involved in purebred dogs beyond sports, so they may have intact dogs and may even breed dogs. Some of these people would like to have a different breed then the one they are involved in and may be open to a rescue of that breed. However, I personally know a good number of people who were discouraged from trying to get a rescue by widespread blanket policies more and more rescues have about placing dogs in homes with intact dogs or with people who are active in breeding. For every one person who's involved in purebred dogs who has had that happen at least 20 people they know have heard their story and now feel they couldn't adopt from rescue. I honestly wouldn't even try to, unless I knew the rescue because I don't think there's anyway I'd be approved. Unless it was a rescue/shelter that didn't fact check, like the one we got Ziggy from (and we just took a chance there). So if I ever want to get another rescue it would likely be how I got Roo - through an ad on CL or some other, non-official placement where people aren't going to ask questions about if my dogs have balls or not and don't care if and when I plan to alter the dog I'm getting from them.

A lot of performance people do like to raise their own puppies but I think some of that depends on the sport too. In agility, I think you tend to see more people oriented towards getting a new puppy. In Flyball and Disc, I think you might find a better balance of people wanting puppies vs. people wanting an adult dog who shows the drive, athletic ability and temperament and who can start serious training right away.

I'm not sure health and concern over physical soundness is as big of an issue IRL vs. on the internet. I mean obviously, no one wants a performance dog who has structural issues but it's not like all people are pre-limming and OFAing their sport prospects from breeders to ensure they aren't dysplastic or what not. And in terms of things like HD or CCL injuries or what have you, it's sort of a crap shoot in breeds that are prone to it anyway. And sometimes well thought out puppies still grow up to be longer than ideal, or to have straighter angles than ideal or what have you. Most dogs I have known who are driven enough and don't have extreme (very large to giant size, extreme angluation one way or another, very heavy boned, etc) builds don't wash out do to structure. You can get a pretty good general idea about structure looking at even mixed breed puppies, at least as far as extremes go. A fine boned puppy isn't going to mature into a heavy boned adult. A moderately angulated puppy isn't going to suddenly develop a GSD rear. Size can be trickier though and can definitely be an issue with getting a puppy of unknown breeds for a specific sport.

I think the vast majority of people looking for a sport dog don't need a world championship level dog and that isn't what they are looking for. So most sport dogs, regardless of where they come from really are hobby sport dogs, even if their owner would like a more competitive dog. The handful of people wanting a world championship level dog are likely going to get one of a handful of breeds from one of a handful of breeders. So at that level you're unlikely to have someone even considering a rescue but again, that is like the top 1-5% of the people involved in dog sports.

I do think it's hard for people not connected in the dog sports world to get random mixed breed rescue dogs into sport homes. So you may not be doing anything wrong, maybe you just don't have the right connections. I know in working with the pound volunteers here, they're well meaning but pet people who've never done more than basic pet training. So whenever I got to them with someone looking for a sports potential dog (usually kids looking to get into Fkyball), they'll show me multiple dogs, some which I can say do have sports potential and some which are...well big straight legged Pei/GSD mixes or some such thing. A lot of sports people I think find it easier to just deal with sports oriented rescue people.
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