Good first sport dog?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Muttkip, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    This.
    As much as I adore Quinn and I in no way regret her, I have learnt oodles of stuff in the last two years that I so wish I knew two years ago.
    I started her wrong, tried to keep her head calm and taught her lots of stuff but didn't give her an outlet to go nuts with me. So ended up ith a dog that is very reactive to other dogs working and is constantly looking for other places to get stimulation.
    She's improved a LOT since the problem first cropped up over a year ago but I don't know if I'd ever do something like flyball with her just because of her head explosions.
    High drive dogs are fun but they take some getting used to. I can't wait for another one but I wish I wasn't sorting through my previous mistake now (Quinn's been out of agility training for well over 8 months already and I'm just re-starting her foundation again now)
    I suggest starting with the dog you've got already aswell, Buster I would have loved to do agility with but he's always been incredibly DA, extremely anxious in public and has HD to boot so he probably wasn't ever going to make the agility ring, still hanging out on him being a Rally-O dog though.
     
  2. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I think people who see Meg compete now (especially those who watched her spectacular 'I'm running so fast I couldn't stop if I tried' fly-off on the dog walk today :rolleyes:) would never believe where she started. Zero toy drive. Incredible fear issues. Softer than soft. Easily shut down.

    I've had people say they are amazed I stuck with her. The thing is, at the time, I had zero options for another dog. It just wasn't on the table. Like you, I wanted a dog who would play fetch with me on the green, go swimming at the reservoir, and be a competitive agility dog. So I made Meg into that dog.

    You can create toy drive. You can create confidence. You can create a dog who stands at the start line quivering with excitement. Really, you can. It is difficult. It means faking be 'up' and happy yourself when you want to go bang your head against a wall. It means going at the speed your dog is comfortable with. It will teach you phenomenal dog training skills that will benefit you and every other dog you will ever own. Gusto is *so* lucky I had Meg first. He's a far better dog for it.

    Yes, I love having Gusto now. He's confident, he has a great balance of toy and food drive, he thinks running as fast as he can on equipment is the Best Game Ever. Is everything 'easy' since he's a great sport dog naturally? Heck no. I used the skills Meg taught me to get him to swim. And to play tug in any environment. High drive sport dogs aren't any 'easier' than a lower drive dog; they are just different.

    I agree with others. Start planning for The Sport Dog. But for now, shove aside every bad feeling, every "this dog isn't capable/doesn't want to/won't be good enough" thought, and start learning with the dog you have. My timid, scared, low drive adult rescue dog is a fan favorite at agility trials, earned her P-ADCH, and took me to the Cynosport World Games. I'm glad I didn't have the opportunity to just shove her aside and get a 'better' sport dog. We'd both have missed out on an amazing journey together.
     
  3. Ratboy

    Ratboy New Member

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    They look very nice. A lot smaller than most Labs I've seen, especially a friend's "Lab" that's mixed with something, looks like a purebred, except it's got white toes on his front feet and a star on his chest, and hugely muscled legs. Oh, he weighs 150 pounds and still hasn't filled out yet (19 months old). He's a great dog, the head is amazing. His littermates are all owned by relatives and friends and visit a lot, and they all look purebred to me. The males are about the average size of most Labs around here, 90 pounds or so, the females are about 75-80.
     
  4. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    The dog that just won the large dog class at the European Agility Open was a dog that most people would have considered a "wash out" for sports. She wasn't interested in toys, food or interacting with people and has a lot of phobias. Now she is one of the dogs to beat in large dog competition at the highest level. You can read about her here: http://www.lolabuland.com/2011/11/07/my-sweet-autistic-bu/
     

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