|Barked: Mon Nov 19, '12 8:25am PST |
|I'd like some input on a potential future performance dog. A new dog is still quite a few years in the future, and would require me convincing my husband that getting a new performance pup won't be THAT bad (though, as we all know, it totally will be THAT bad).
There are a few characteristics that I know I want, but I'm not sure which breed I'll eventually end up choosing. So I was hoping to crowd source a bit on Dogster to see what other people have to say.
As I've stated, the dog will be a performance dog. That is, it will probably participate in agility, obedience, flyball and other sports -- and I would require that we at least be competitive at the high end of these sports but I don't require to be at the top by any means. I will require the dog be very trustworthy off leash and very responsive to cues.
Cohen is my current (and first) sport dog, and she's been a fabulous introduction into dog sports. I love how well rounded she is, and she is VERY forgiving of my mistakes. She'll repeat something ad infinitum if I ask her to, and always with a smile on her face. My biggest issue with her is that while she's very high energy and willing, she's not quite as "snappy" as I would like. I wish she was a little faster responding to cues. She'll down as soon as I say "down" but I get envious of the dogs who shake the floor hitting the ground they respond so fast. She'll run quickly in agility, but I know she's not running top speed. I know some of this lack of snappiness is an issue with training, but some of it is drive.
I also like how calm Cohen can be, and she has great self control. A lot of this has been training, but I can trust her to behave herself with strangers. She's mildly reactive to strange dogs in her face, but if I'm watching her she'll control herself marvelously and a casual observer would be none the wiser. It's important for me for my dog to be at least dog tolerant while working in high energy environments.
Size-wise, I'd probably be looking for a dog between 25 and 50 pounds, but this is negotiable. I require the dog to be lean, fast and driven.
I would ideally like a balance of toy vs food drive. I've fallen into the trap of training with food too often with Cohen, and would like to balance it all out a bit better.
I know that some of the small issues I have with Cohen being not snappy enough have an inverse relationship with her tolerance for working around distraction and self control. I'm sure it's probably just about impossible to get the best of both worlds, but I'd love to try.
Energy-wise, I can cope with a high energy dog. However I'll not lie - it's been nice now that Cohen has relaxed a bit (she's 3 yrs now) and doesn't need to be exercised 5+ hrs a day.
I like a dog who will stick to me like glue, and I like to be the centre of the dog's world.
The breeds I've been considering are Border Collies, Malinois (maybe a Terv) or another Aussie. I'm hesitant to get another Aussie since I think I lucked out a great deal with Cohen - she's more BC-like than any other Aussie I've met. She's slight, lithe and drivier than most. It's not often that I see another Aussie I like, and finding reliable sport lines hasn't been easy. Border Collies are Handler Mistake Amplifiers, so it's possible that one will be frustrating to deal with. Plus, a lot of the ones I like to watch work are reactive -- but I think that I might be able to find a nice dog out of low-DA type lines. Malinois are just awesome dogs, but I don't know much about them. They may be too much dog for me.
I've toyed with other breeds/crosses, like a Pyr Shep, Border Collie purpose-bred crosses, etc. I'm also considering a GSD out of working/sport lines, but I'm on the fence.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for me? Any insight into what might work best for me going forward? Anything I've left out?
|my posts | my page | msg me | my family's posts | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|