|Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:03am PST |
|Since someone mentioned horror stories and border collies I have some. I often think that people think all border collies are drivy, high energy, little soft dogs.. and while this can be true of some lines there are lines out there that produce some seriously hard dogs. I couldn't count the number of dogs through the years of running flyball who's handlers used bite gloves, or hawking gloves to handle them coming up to the lane. I have a range even in my own lines.
My eldest, a smooth coat, was the dog who you couldn't give a correction to, he'd come up the leash at you with no problem. He also had some pretty serious redirected aggression issues in his youth. I have scars because no matter how well I had a handle on it he was still a tough dog. I only barely managed to title him in flyball and agility but had no problem putting schutzhund titles on him. People harp on the high energy part of the breed and forget what happens when you can't channel that energy.
What makes a handler experienced? I think Mulder summed it up well. It's a mix of your drive to own a particular dog, a willingness to research and rearrange your life around a dog is great. But you also have to be willing to know when a dog will put you in over your head. I consider myself an experience handler of a particular type of dog, I've done rehab, and I've trained and raised shepherds, and dutchies, and mals and love them.. but there are breeds that I won't handle... some of the harder livestock guardians come to mind.
Keep in mind Experienced in what though... I could have 20 years of serious experience in 'working breeds' that doesn't mean I'm qualified to pick out a show dog from a line up. It's all a matter of what kind of experience you mean.
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