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Question regarding working drive?

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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 6:44am PST 
I'm hoping to get a Hovawart next year, although nothing is set in stone. I'm very interested in importing a puppy from a really great breeder that i've been in contact with for months. Their dogs are titled in the sports i'm interested in and working qualities are first and foremost their priority. They've just had confirmation of pregnancy of a really promising mating that i've registered interest in. I really love both dogs in this mating. However, i've also been talking to another breeder who has been explaining that because there is no work/show split, technically ALL Hovawarts should have the working qualities i'm looking for, after all, they are a working breed. But as much as i admire the dogs here in this country i've not seen any even remotely titled to the extent the breeder i'm interested has on their dogs. There is one kennel here that takes part in Working Trials and other breeders do a bit of agility and obedience, but nothing that really makes me go WOW, if you know what i mean.

What are the chances of getting a "drivey" pup from dogs that are not titled or even competing in the sports i'm interested in? I'm very interested in tracking, maybe working trials, schutzhund etc and who knows what else. However am i making things unnecessarily complicated by importing a puppy when i could find something that would suit my needs closer to home?
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 7:06am PST 
I think you need to look at the whole picture not just the puppy, you need to find a breeder you like. You're going to want a breeder that you can back to with questions about your dog in all of these sports, how are they going to help you if they aren't working their dogs in the sports?
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:02am PST 
Hahahaha, what a wonderful runaround... "our dogs don't work, but we know for fact they have the drives!".

Fat chance. Your best bet is almost always to go with the person who's experience backs their reputation. How can you truly, objectively guarantee (at least as much as anyone can) the dogs will have the drive to do these things if they've never actually done such things with their own dogs?

I would stick with the breeder you've been in contact with. Don't settle for less just because some of the local yocals are trying to persuade you otherwise.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:07am PST 
"because there is no work/show split, technically ALL Hovawarts should have the working qualities i'm looking for, after all, they are a working breed."


*TECHNICALLY* is the key operative word there.

There is absolutely no guarantee that just because a dog comes from a breed labeled "working" that they'll be able and willing to work for you. But of course any junk breeder will argue the opposite to death.


Unfortunately many breeders of working/sporting breeds don't see original function as paramount at. all. They think because they don't care to partake the dog will be fine without it in their lives as well. Furthermore some are ignorant enough to believe that if they breed dogs that haven't had those qualities supported and encouraged throughout their lives that that won't affect future generations. The APBT is a perfect example of how inherent drive IS affected by what is practiced. Their original function eventually became obsolete, so of course people stopped using them in that way. As a result now so soooo many are absolute love hounds with anything from small critters all the way up through livestock.

Solid inherent working talent and drive can definitely end up watered down or even rendered non-existant when a breeder neglects to support and breed for those qualities.




Please don't settle for a subpar breeder. As far as working/sporting breeds go there is a substantial difference and you will end up disappointed if you don't stick to your guns. Go through with taking the import route if you cannot find someone closer that adheres to the standard of the other breeder you've found.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:07am PST 
Perhaps though these breeders are picking and choosing the sports and titles they are only interested in. Their dogs could well have a lot of working drive, they just choose not to compete in sports that would suit it. However even in dogs with no split you can find quite a few individuals that just doesn't cut the mustard drive wise or loses it too young. I've seen it in ACDs a bit in that sometimes you get just really flat pups or dogs who turn into driveless blobs at like age 4 so it can happen! So I really don't buy the 'every dog from a non split working line should be able to work' line, that's garbage.

Hell, I have a working line dog that can't work. laugh out loud

The breeder you have expressed interest in sounds pretty good, and seeming you like the parents, I probably wouldn't take the risk and run with them. Maybe ask the other breeders why exactly they only ran with agility and OB.

ETA: agree with everything Trigger has said.

Edited by author Tue Dec 11, '12 8:16am PST

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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:13am PST 
Agree with the others. Lots of breeders of working breeds give the whole, "Oh s/he could be worked/titled in x, y, z, but I just don't have the time". Maybe it's true, but who's to say? In theory, all working dogs should be able to work, but I think we all know how much water that holds. To me it's like getting a dog from parents that haven't been health tested. You might get a completely healthy dog, but it's a shot in the dark.

I would definitely stick with the breeder you like who's working their dogs and proving the dogs have those drives.

Edited by author Tue Dec 11, '12 8:22am PST

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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:32am PST 
Thanks everyone. You've all basically confirmed what i was already thinking.

The other breeder who said all Hovawarts should have the qualities i'm looking for has a bitch from a sporting kennel herself but she has never worked the dog, only in basic obedience classes etc. She says the dog has lots of working drive though. They're planning on a second litter from this dog in Spring next year and they were interested in a male with IPO titles etc but the breeder of their bitch said the resulting pups would be to drivey and not suitable for pet homes so they chose another male not titled in any sports to mellow the drive out i assume. It just got me thinking that perhaps she was right and that i was pinning to much on the titles the dogs had to determine what kind of puppies they might produce and that a bitch like this breeders could equally produce a pup with the qualities i'm looking for even though she isn't titled in any sports.

Edited by author Tue Dec 11, '12 8:34am PST

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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:59am PST 
"They're planning on a second litter from this dog in Spring next year and they were interested in a male with IPO titles etc but the breeder of their bitch said the resulting pups would be to drivey and not suitable for pet homes so they chose another male not titled in any sports to mellow the drive out i assume."


I'd run the opposite direction if a "breeder" ever made such a claim.


You don't take psycho dog x and pair it with slack drive dog z and end up with balanced litter of y pups.

That is not how breeding for inherent drive (or watered down drive) works at all. Genetics doesn't necessarily boil down to the sum or quotient of a given pairing. Saying or assuming it will is ridiculously ignorant and irresponsible.
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Cohen CD RE- ADC SGDC- FDCh CGN

The Monster
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 9:38am PST 
Further to what's been said above, I think it is inherent for a breed to become less drivey the moment it stops being proven through working/sport. It's easy to claim that a hyper dog has good working drive, but there's no objective method to prove it.

Plus, quite honestly, a drivey dog is a pain in the butt to live with if you're not channeling that drive somewhere. I know with Cohen, if it's been a while since we've done an event (normally some form of competition) I begin questioning my sanity. Channeling her energy and drive into sport gives me the positive reinforcement I need to happily put up with her day to day high energy and demanding nature. Obviously not everyone will feel the same way, but I think that the natural inclination is to create a dog/line that's easier to live with if that's the only thing you actually DO with your dogs.

And of course, there are plenty of drivey dogs out there who cannot work due to faulty temperaments. Again, I would want my potential future puppy's parents to have been shown to be able to flourish in these sorts of competitive (and therefore stressful) environments -- things beyond the backyard and neighbourhood.

Basically, stick with your first choice breeder.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 11, '12 9:44am PST 
Wow Ty, what a crock... I wouldn't waste my time even talking to this breeder.

Again, nothing about that situation says "reputable" to me, and frankly I wouldn't want to put up with their "advise".
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