Sport Mixes

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by FG167, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    What leads you to believe that they're higher drive than mals? They don't strike me as being higher drive than my sport bred BC, to be honest. Just smaller and shaped differently.

    People do actually live with these dogs, you know. Here's a nice little Borderjack working on disc skills. Visa. She's not insane.
     
  2. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    My poor, awkward, confused Gusto. At what point do I choose to put him out of the misery of his life? Watching his border collie half clash with his whatever half day after day makes me yearn for a simpler time, when purebreds roamed the earth and dogs such as mine didn't have to live through such existential crises.

    I wonder how many of those who write off sport mixes as too crazy and high drive to survive in a home environment actually see these dogs outside of sports? Because, for those who don't participate in such events, you should know the handlers are often *creating* that OMGOMGGOGOGO attitude at the time.

    I know a couple of border/staffy and a border stack who are as chill laying around the tent between runs as any other dog at the trials. I see pictures of them lounging on the couch at home with the kids or cats or just hanging out. Heck, a good friend of mine has a purebred BC with spectacular working lines who, if you saw him before or during a run, you'd think he should be put in an institution for his own safety. But it is controlled and desired drive. He can go home and work his sheep or hike or chill. No, most of the sport mixes aren't going to be ideal pets for the family of five who wants a dog to wander around their little fenced yard and pose for photos with the kids at Christmas. But plenty of pet people want hiking buddies, dogs to play with, or even just low level sport dogs.

    I got my "sport mix" as a rescue because some farmer had an oops litter with his working female. Of course you can find them in rescue. You can find anything in rescue. But I completely see why people seek them out, and despite my love of rescue dogs, I fully support the careful breeding of them. Good breeders are good breeders, whether they are producing dogs for sport, conformation, or pets. They are not the problem.
     
  3. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    I didn't actually know what a 'sport mix' was until this thread. Can't say I agree with it at all. It just doesn't sit right in my head, breeding cross breed dogs just for sports that pretty much any breed can do.

    But, each to their own I guess.
     
  4. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Yes, some of the craziest dogs on course are the quietest at home. Susan Garrett's Buzz who was reknown for being a ridiculously crazy and high drive dog in training but she says he is a very quiet and polite house pet.

    One of the sport mix dogs that I really love is insane when working, but his owner, who is older says he is quite relaxed and chill at home.

    Then there is Dekka. DR aside she is the most laid back JRT I have met. Every movie we have done some of the crew start thinking they want a JRT.. I have to explain that Dekka is not normal when it comes to being 'off'. She needs very little mental or physical stimulation. Sure she loves lots, but she doesnt' NEED it. But she has all the drive I could want when we are training.

    So just because people breed crazy high drive dogs does not mean they are hard to live with or have no off switches...

    (and BB.. LOVE Gusto, he is the epitome of not awkward)
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    But if you have read the thread, there are places where pretty much ONLY sport bred mixes excel. Sure any dog can lure course, does that mean we don't need sighthounds? My JRT will chase down and kill rabbits, guess we don't need whippets right?

    There is a difference between simply do, and do well and do with enthusiasm.

    I guess I just don't get why its a bad thing at all. *shrug. But then I come from the horse world where there is much less 'pure bred snob' mentality. That 'if its not got papers its no good'.. I am not behind crossing dogs with no health testing, no pedigrees, no titles, no plan. But then I dont' care if the dogs are purebred or not. Its not like being a purebred matters to a dog, nor really does it make any difference, other than the vanity of man.

    (and yes I say this as a breeder of JRTs :D)
     
  6. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Hmmmm.....

    Always rules for one, different rules for another in the dog world isn't it ;)
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Malinois are much higher drive, intensity, aggression, and trouble than most sport mixes.

    Every sportmix I know, like it or not, has a pretty killer off switch. Many can be downright lazy when not playing Flyball.

    Honestly the problem is the lack of consistency, IMO, there are some obviously consistent BS coming from Kronz but Croleys BS are all across the board in speed, looks, and potential. Look at Chef, a member of the world record Ufli team (and a total couch potato off the mats), and his littermates that just didn't cut it as well. When you find the 4.4 bs in a litter that just isn't enough and finds itself passed home to home, it does need a job but few people want it. Those inbetweener dogs, not good at being "just a pet" but no one in the sport really wants them, that however happens in every sport-working bred litter and it's a hazard that one just has to be aware of.
     
  8. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    Sport mixes are fine and dandy, but I really have a problem with breeding only for pets. But maybe that's because this is the list of adoptable dogs at my local shelter:

    http://www.tupeloleehumane.org/adoptable-dog.php

    The vast majority of them are young, happy, healthy dogs, who are only there because this is the rural south, and people let their unaltered dogs roam. Friendly dogs, but that's the culture here; most people see it as cruel to keep dogs contained in fences or houses.

    And that list is just the adoptable ones. Any dog with any type of skin condition, respiratory problem, or behavioral issue is automatically put down, unless a foster can be found.

    But, I know in many areas, it's hard to find anything but older dogs with issues in shelters, so I guess I can see everyone's point.
     
  9. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I can't really get on board with either of these. I don't know if breeding mixes actually bothers me so much, but the idea of wanting all these extremes, always breeding for MORE speed and MORE energy, just screams of being unnecessary. *shrug* Doesn't make any difference to me if they're mixes or purebred.
     
  10. Freehold

    Freehold New Member

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    I don't know... To me, a good breeder is a good breeder, whether they breed purebreds, sport-mixes, designer dogs, or just plain mutts. To be a good breeder you make sure your breeding dogs are clear of health problems or genetic defects. You wait until your dogs are old enough to breed without hurting them, and don't keep breeding when they are too old to safely and comfortably carry a litter. You keep your breeding dogs cared for to the best of your ability (whether in home or in kennels - though I personally prefer home), and don't "dump" them when they get to old (though careful rehoming sometimes makes sense). You do whatever medical care is required for the health and wellbeing of your dogs. You only breed as many puppies are you are able to find homes for, and are prepared to keep any you can't home for as long as needed. You care for those dogs who for some reason are not "right" when born, either keeping them as long as they are comfortable, or humanely euthanizing them if they can't live a reasonably normal life. You screen your puppy homes as carefully as you can, and always accept back (or help rehome) puppies (or adults) should the owners be unable to care for them. You only breed a few litters from each bitch (depending on breed etc), not just pumping babies out every heat cycle. You don't breed more litters than you can care for at any given time.

    If all breeders were good, responsible breeders, it wouldn't matter what breed they bred (or what cross). It's not what "what" that matters to me. It's the who/how...
     
  11. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    This is a really good point. People who see Ziggy not-so patiently waiting his turn, running agility like a mad man or barking non-stop during flyball could easily assume he'd not be the sort of dog they'd want to live with. But he's a very easy pet dog at home when nothing is going on. He lays around, goes outside and walks around the yard, is totally trustworthy loose in the house for any amount of time, etc. I'm not saying he was automatically like that - he came to us with no training and some overstimulation related issues that ended him up in the shelter. But he wasn't hard to teach house manners to either. Impulse control in exciting circumstances such as agility or fkyball or hiking OTOH will require life long maintenance ;) People seeing Whim at lure coursing dragging me down a hill after the lure or screaming and pulling hard while watching fast dogs run agility might assume she's a "bad pet". But she's a super easy house dog too - very lazy when nothing is going on but very on the moment she is needed to be. She was automatically like that, as is her uncle Jagger. I can certainly appreciate easy on/off dogs, very convenient for work or pet :)

    Savvy OTOH is not such a dog but that's ok with me too. I knew PyrSheps were hyper when I decided to get one. Hyperness is part of their charm for people who like the breed. I don't think he's a bad pet at all, I find him endlessly entertaining and think his wild, over excitable nature endearing. And he's sweet, smart and very devoted. For me, he's worth the extra work it is to keep him happy and relatively sane in the house.
     
  12. Teal

    Teal ...ice road...

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    I just wanted to respond to this, even though the dog I'm going to talk about isn't a sport mix...

    I've had people at lure coursing tell me my AmStaff bitch is BEYOND anything they'd EVER want to live with, as she's screaming and clawing at her face because she wants her muzzle off to kill the lure (she doesn't have a problem with the muzzle, she has a problem with not being able to kill the lure lol)... they look utterly confused and astounded when I tell them this screaming, psychotic banshee does **NOTHING** but sun bathe at home. LITERALLY NOTHING. She's the laziest dog I've EVER MET! It is ONLY when you put a lure or live game in front of her that she acts like a crazed serial killer.

    So, in conclusion... Yes, I think many people judge sport mixes simply based on what they see in flyball videos of screaming, hyper dogs and think the dogs must run laps constantly at home and never settle. I DO know someone with two sport mixes (borderstaffs) who are insane and NEVER shut off... but they're the only two I've ever heard of/seen that are like that, out of all the sport mixes I've encountered. With the exception of Alaskans and Eurohounds, because I don't know anyone who keeps their teams in "pet" environments. But I do know an individual Alaskan that is kept as a pet when she isn't racing, and she's a doll.

     
  13. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    For what it's worth, my sister lived in Fairbanks for quite a while and all their family's dogs were Alaskans. Darkness was a wheeldog, and Shadow was a retired lead dog. They were both excellent lay around the house type companions and great with the kids. Darkness did an awesome job protecting the yard from moose.
     

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