|Barked: Tue Feb 25, '14 5:33pm PST |
|Thank you Selli, that was a quick one before work... no proofreading
I guess what I would say to a Mal in terms of rigidity, I mean a dog who really already has his mind made up about how things are going to go, and if you force him too far off from the direction he was aiming, he can become very frustrated and shut down.
To give you an example... when I moved to Austin, I had the pleasure of working with a local group of really, really nice trainers. The basis of their training is very "R+", they don't use much compulsion/force with their dogs. One dog I watched, a young Mal, looked about like the most stressed dog I'd ever seen on the field. Eyes huge, panting like a fool, literally trembling... looked like a dog who'd had the life beat out of him for making a misstep during training... but I asked them about this dog, and to my surprise he was trained without positive punishment. That's just the way the dog was, applied more pressure to himself on the field than his trainer ever had. Now, imagine a dog like that with someone who WAS going to use very compulsive, very "P+" methods on him... the dog would be a train wreck. This is only one example, but there are many Mals not unlike that one, especially if you're looking into the ultra sporty lines. Low nerve, high sensitivity, way more tightly wound than something like a GSD.
And a note on training... keep in mind that most Sch/IPO clubs are still very traditional. Very compulsion-y, very "P+". Even if you, personally, do not find those methods appropriate for what you want, there's no guarantee you'll be able to find a club with the knowledge base to help you in the sport using only or nearly only "R+". It CAN be done of course, many do, but many more still follow that "goold 'ol boy" mentality and will scoff at the all PR personal who doesn't believe in cracking down on the dog.
The best thing for you, I think, if you're really serious about the sport, is to do as you first said and get on with a club first. Find one you really like, like the training and the people, and get advise from them. They may very well know a Mal breeder who has a dog that could work out perfectly for you, or if not, should certainly be able to give advise on how to find the right dog to start with.
I guess just for the sake of asking, exactly how far are you wanting to go with the sport? Fun thing to dabble in with a mostly companion-y dog, interested in training and titling on the club level but not dead serious about it, or serious regional/national/international competition stuff?
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