|Barked: Sat Nov 3, '12 11:22am PST |
|I'll start out with this, what my mother likes to tell everyone who asks about my girl; "They make a Border collie look lazy"
Having said that, it's not a breed for full time jobbers, or couch potatoes by far, they not only need physical exercise, they also need constant mental attention, they're seemingly always looking for a job if you don't give them one, my girl is right now himing and hawing and sighing on the sofa waiting to go back out, again, to play. And I've seen dogs as old at 12-14 have "crazy moments" of energy.
Training, they require a firm but fair hand, they're very easy to break in trust, but can also get pushy. Methods based of correction/punishment are not recommended, they quickly learn to loose your trust, and will lash out over unfair correction such as misguided collar pops and "alpha rolls" (which I don't advise for ANY dog at all), be ready to say no but please make sure they know why. They thrive on positive reinforcement, and lots of communication from their handler, my own dog is much more toy (ball) driven than food, but both work, and she's even heavily driven just by pure attention, they are by far a very handler driven dog.
Which brings me to another area, some lines tend towards more anxiety and related behaviors than others. French showlines are most notorious for these behavior problems. It can lead to a lot of separation anxiety, and can also hinder training, and make training in general harder/slower. Taking it slow and easy is a must. This is something I've found a lot of breeders try to hide or at least lack to inform people of, and I was not informed of their exaggerated fear periods till after my girl hit her second at 8 months old and was promptly ruined by park construction and an illegal fireworks party, lesson learned. Fear period are usually at: 8-10 weeks, 8-10 months, and 12-14 months old.
They are a very sensitive breed, again making them easy to "break", early socialization is a MUST, no ifs ands or butts, and OFTEN, not a once a week to a little class, I mean take the puppy wherever whenever you can! But also make it safe socialization, say not to a large crowded LOUD parade, but take them to small events and busy stores, a farm, the city, park to sit on a bench and watch the birds, etc.
Oh, and they are one of the slowest to mature! I don't think they ever reach a main point of where their energy just drops off like the average dog when they hit a certain age, but certainly the first 2 years are their most filled with spontaneous energy outburst and random moments of zoomies at the worst possible time. However physically they don't fully mature till around 3 years old, my girl is 3 and finally finishing filling out (she's still narrow, but that's her lines).
That's just a general summery of my first 3 years with one Beauceron personally.
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