|Rio, CGC,- RL1, CL1, TD|
You can't say- that i can't- play!
|Barked: Fri Jan 25, '13 8:27am PST |
|Rio was definitely adopted specifically with sports in mind and was a relatively long search to find exactly the dog I wanted (and making sure I was in a place in my life financially to afford two dogs). I lucked out because I put an application in on a GORGEOUS red merle BC/Aussie puppy but they denied my application because I lived in an apartment and two months later I found Rio.
I think you can get sport/performance prospects from EITHER a shelter or a foster (or of course an ethical breeder) but you have to know what you are looking for (or hire an experience trainer or ask a sport person to help you pick a puppy) so you can do your darnedest to find a dog with potential (an ethical/experienced breeder should be able to do a big piece of this themselves). The benefit to a QUALITY foster home is they can help give you a clue if the dog shows any athleticism, drive, energy, trainability etc. What you see in a shelter environment is not always who the dog REALLY is but talking to a foster who has seen them in a home environment for a while can be insightful.
When 'evaluating' rio at his foster home, I checked out his structure (which was a bit of a crack-shoot when looking at a funny shaped 4.5 month old puppy--they are all sorts of wonky), I manipulated his body seeing if I could feel anything wonky and checking for range of motion (again, at 4.5 months old this was a crack-shoot since they are growing but i didn't feel anything that made a red flag go off), I checked out his willingness to let me handle him and his reaction to handling, I took note of his desire to interact with me and his foster mom--was he looking to engage with her or me, was he checking in if we walked away. I also watched him play with his sibling and a resident dog and got lots of insights--he was athletic and even at his age was quite coordinated, he was about as fearless as they come when playing with his sister zipping and zooming and flipping over her (she was very timid), he was pushy and a bit obnoxious (which i do like), he was pretty drivey (he knew what he wanted and was focused on getting what he wanted and wouldn't stop for nothing until he got it), there was TERRIFYING moment when his jaw got caught in his sister's collar and all hell broke loose... he bounced back after the trauma relatively quickly considering how scary it was (for EVERYONE). I also brought a few toys to see what is interest in toys was like.. he chased rollers, picked up the disc, was INSANE for a mini-flirt pole type toy (big picture of driveyness and pushiness) .... yet watched him settle and relax afterwards.
The important pieces for me was SOME toy drive (it didn't have to be much because I can build toy drive), I wanted a dog who WANTED to interact with a person, I wanted a dog who was pushy and a bit obnoxious (so i could cultivate that pushy/obnoxious behavior into a good directoin), I wanted a confident and very socially savvy dog, and wanted a dog I felt would WANT to work and would put his/her heart into the work (drive).
And part of it was just luck of the draw that everything I saw at the foster home was what i got in my home (except tehy said he was quiet and never barked... yeah right!).
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