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hi im new to dog sports but not to dog ownership I wanting a dog for agility , k9 freestyle and flyball and dog disc

My qustion is what breed of dog would you sugest I get?

grew up in the country and had kelpies and or kelpie crosses,working dogs my whole life so i have experaince with working breeds

been looking at geting a koolie or Australian Shepherds or a border collie want to know if anyone knows the main difference between the breeds ?

for dog sports is it beter to train from a pup or is a rescue just as good in comp ?
 

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Any of the breeds you mentioned are suited to doing those kinds of things. A Border Collie might be slightly faster for flyball or disc. But it is hard to harness all that drive and be successful in training so just keep that in mind.

My vote is for agility. I've been training in agility for 2 years and love it.

Nothing wrong with a rescue, just evaluate the dog first to see if they are food/toy motivated. X-Raying their hips would be a good idea, too.
 

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Agree with MM.

Agility is a ton of fun, and I particularly like it because it challenges the dog mentally as well as physically. The handler, too for that matter! It is probably the most expensive dog sport, but you will gain a whole new group of friends that way. The folks I've met through agility are some of my best friends.

I also play disc competitively. It involves more travel, as there are fewer people into it, and therefore fewer competitions. It is generally far less expensive than agility, but you are also going to be learning a lot of stuff on your own (unless you are fortunate to live near a club of experts).

Border collies are often considered to be one of the best (if not the best) breed for dog sports in general because they are extremely biddable, intelligent, and fast. That said, it can be hard to control the drive, and with a very fast dog, it can take longer to see success because speed leads to errors. Mostly I'm talking about agility here. Some people recommend a slower, less drivey dog to learn on, but I think that can make a newbie handler sloppy.

My sports dog is a rescue mutt, as it MM's. I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it is to take a dog who is close to being euthanized in a shelter, train it to be the best dog that it can be, and then succeed with it in competition. But as MM indicated, the choice of dogs is very important. It can take months to find the right dog in a shelter or rescue. Generally, you're looking for a well socialized dog who likes dogs and people. The dog should be interested in interacting with you, not oblivious to you. Structure is very important - look for a well-balanced dog. Size is another consideration: personally I wouldn't do sports with a dog over about ~50 lbs, and 30-35 is closer to optimal. Try to gauge drive by bringing along toys and food (not kibble, but something really good). You don't need a dog that already knows how to catch a disc, but it's going to be a lot easier if the dog is at least interested in it. If the dog chases toys (even if they drop them or don't bring them all the way back), that's a good indication that they have some drive. The rest is trainable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
thanx i think i'll look at geting a rescue that way i dont have to do the puppy thing pluse train for dog sports on top of puppy training

what age was your dogs when u started there training ?

what age where they when you thought they were ready for comp?

i understand this is difrent for every dog just want to get a general idea
 

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I have a rottweiler and I compete in Competition Obedience, Rally Obedience, and Agility. I will have to comment on what GLM mentioned above -

That said, it can be hard to control the drive, and with a very fast dog, it can take longer to see success because speed leads to errors. Mostly I'm talking about agility here. Some people recommend a slower, less drivey dog to learn on, but I think that can make a newbie handler sloppy.
I have a very drivey dog and he's what a lot of experienced handlers consider "a lot of dog" and I'm told that on a regular basis. LOL He is my first agility dog...and he isn't the ideal dog to learn on because his speed and momentum are totally unforgiving for a green agility handler like me. A lot of people have told me experienced agility handlers would have a hard time handling him successfully. But he will make me a great handler for my next rottie someday. That being said, I brought Lars out in agility when he was 2 and a half. If he were an easier dog to run...that would have probably been about 18 months - 2 years.

I debuted Lars in rally obedience when he was 15 months old and for UKC/AKC obedience this spring (he's 3 now.) I started training for rally obedience when Lars was a baby. I started baby foundation classes in agility with him when he was about 7 - 8 months old. I started to really train formal competition obedience when he turned a year.

Good luck with your prospective dog sport career!!
 

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what age was your dogs when u started there training ?

what age where they when you thought they were ready for comp?
We started training just 1 or 2 months shy of her second birthday. She was ready to compete a year later.

I don't recommend hard training in ANY of the sports you listed before the dog's first birthday. Foundation stuff only before that time.
 

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thanx i think i'll look at geting a rescue that way i dont have to do the puppy thing pluse train for dog sports on top of puppy training

what age was your dogs when u started there training ?

what age where they when you thought they were ready for comp?

i understand this is difrent for every dog just want to get a general idea
I adopted Kit at around 7 months and she was pretty wild. We immediately started basic obedience classes to get that under control and then built on that foundation for several months. We started formal disc training when she was about a year old, and formal agility training around 18 months. Her first agility trial was in December, when she was around two and a half (slightly more than a year after we started agility training). We entered before she was 100% ready, which is something I felt comfortable doing only because she has such awesome confidence that I knew no matter what happened, she would have a good experience and we'd both have fun.

Like Lars, Kit is a lot of dog for a newbie. Not only is she my first sports dog, but she is my first dog ever, including growing up. She isn't the kind of dog I'd recommend for every newbie (particularly those without much time), but her intense enthusiasm, intelligence, athleticism, and drive has pushed me to learn a heck of a lot more than I would have from an average dog. It was that or give her up, and that was never really an option. Most of the time, we were learning together and teaching one another, instead of just a one way flow of knowledge. It saddens me that I'll never have this kind of relationship with another dog. Yes, I was sort of thrown into the fire, but as it turns out, I can take the heat.

Here's a run from our second trial a couple of weeks ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuTX3oNIQZs
 

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hi im new to dog sports but not to dog ownership I wanting a dog for agility , k9 freestyle and flyball and dog disc

My qustion is what breed of dog would you sugest I get?

grew up in the country and had kelpies and or kelpie crosses,working dogs my whole life so i have experaince with working breeds

been looking at geting a koolie or Australian Shepherds or a border collie want to know if anyone knows the main difference between the breeds ?

for dog sports is it beter to train from a pup or is a rescue just as good in comp ?
Not familiar with Koolies. Aussies tend to be generally somewhat less intense than BCs (which can be a good thing or a bad thing.) Pick the dog you'd most like to live with, and which best suits your lifestyle.
 

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I'm with Pawz on the Aussie thing - almost always less intense than a border collie, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective. However, they can be all over the map, too. I know one or two very drivey Aussies and I know a few Aussies that seem to have no drive at all. I also know several Aussies who are very sensitive, soft dogs (which is not my cup of tea), and one that is very independent and just plain naughty (also not my cup of tea). Despite their many similarities to border collies, it's not a breed I'll ever own, although there are a few that I can admire from afar.
 

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I'm with Pawz on the Aussie thing - almost always less intense than a border collie, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective. However, they can be all over the map, too. I know one or two very drivey Aussies and I know a few Aussies that seem to have no drive at all. I also know several Aussies who are very sensitive, soft dogs (which is not my cup of tea), and one that is very independent and just plain naughty (also not my cup of tea). Despite their many similarities to border collies, it's not a breed I'll ever own, although there are a few that I can admire from afar.
Oh man. At this point, an Aussie is the ONLY breed I'd own (though I admire many breeds, including many BCs) I had one acquaintance who owned both Aussies and BCs who defined the difference perfectly for me: A BorderCollie loves you because you let him work. An Aussie works because he loves you. This, of course, assumes working lines of both breeds. Show lines (in both breeds) are a bit different
 

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A BorderCollie loves you because you let him work. An Aussie works because he loves you.
That's a really good way of putting it. Border collies are driven to work, and without it, they generally aren't happy. I think most other breeds (with a few exceptions) that I've seen in agility do it because their handler wants them to and because they enjoy pleasing their handler. For the most part, they'd be just as happy doing something else.
 

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Definitely focus on getting the dog you want to live with first! I see so so so many people go out and get a sports bred BC because 'they're the best' and then have issues actually LIVING with the dog. Your dog will be a pet first and foremost. If you don't want to live with the drive

Mia and Summer are two totally different levels of dog. Summer is pretty fast, was always one of the fastest dogs in our class, but she's not excessively drivey. She loves me and loves training and agility is very fun for her. Mia on the other hand is without a doubt the driviest papillon I've ever known (and I've known a lot). My trainer loves her and how enthusiastic she is. But Mia is a lot harder to run. Mia is one of those tense up on the starter line then fly around the course screaming her head off type of dogs. There are many more issues that come up when you're looking at a very drivey dog- things like impulse control have taken us a good 2 years to even begin to get a handle on. This wasn't a problem with Summer. And Summer is still fun to run. But with Mia it's work and rework and rework. Mia has the talent to go very far but at the same time, it will likely take a lot longer. I don't expect to even start trying to trial with her for another 2 years.

She's also a much more difficult dog to live with on a day to day basis. So yeah, there's a downside to drive too. A lot of people skip the 'living with the dog' part of it.
 

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If you're looking at one of the high drive herding breeds, there might not be much difference in competitiveness between the breeds. The individual dog's personality, how good of a handler you are and how well you mesh together as a team will be more important at that point I think.

With BCs, their level of drive varies depending on where they came from, but I find that how good they are on a course depends a lot more on the handler. ...though even the worst handlers I've seen, if they have BC they can usually scrape by because the dogs' natural speed and agility make up for lost time and mistakes. One BC I knew personally would rapidly spin in circles because his handler was too slow in naming the next obstacle... he still managed to pass courses because he was super fast when he was not spinning. He did excellent when handled by a better handler.
Even BC mixes are very competitive most of the time, especially if they are mixed with other high drive, athletic breeds.

I knew someone who bred aussies. She was also on my flyball team and her dogs were super fast, responsive, and athletic. She did pretty much every sport out there with them and they excelled at whatever they did. That was her dogs though, in general I haven't found aussies as competitive as BCs (based on how often they place at agility trials, how well they run in flyball, and how often I see them playing disc competitively), but they certainly can give people a run for their money if you get the right one and handle him or her well. Again it might be the handlers more than the breed itself.

I have seen some amazing koolies in agility. I hardly see them except for videos because of where I live, so I can't personally vouch for anything about them in general except that they are beautiful, athletic dogs!

I really love working kelpies. We get a few at agility trials around here and they are about on the same level as BCs competitively. Super athletic, tough dogs.

But as MM indicated, the choice of dogs is very important. It can take months to find the right dog in a shelter or rescue. Generally, you're looking for a well socialized dog who likes dogs and people. The dog should be interested in interacting with you, not oblivious to you.
I'm going through this right now! :Cry: I've been looking at rescues for a year now. There's a lot of homeless dogs out there but finding one that:
1) is a dog you can live with
2) has no major health problems that would prevent playing dog sports
3) has a temperament that would would be good for competitive dog sports
4) is held by a rescue or shelter that actually will reply to your inquiries
5) is less than 10 hours away from where I live
...is extremely difficult!

That doesn't mean anyone shouldn't try, you might be a lot luckier than I have been. Some of the best sports dogs I have ever seen were rescue dogs.


My last dog was a Samoyed from a show breeder. I started training him as soon as I got him at 9 weeks old, just ground work and basic things that would lay a foundation for the actual obstacles later. Getting him confident about standing on uneven surfaces, about walking on planks, climbing over things, and going underneath fabric was a huge boost for when we did actual obstacles later after his first birthday. He had no fear of interacting with obstacles and trying new things. I didn't start competing until he was 2 years old.
 

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I'm going through this right now! :Cry: I've been looking at rescues for a year now. There's a lot of homeless dogs out there but finding one that:
1) is a dog you can live with
2) has no major health problems that would prevent playing dog sports
3) has a temperament that would would be good for competitive dog sports
4) is held by a rescue or shelter that actually will reply to your inquiries
5) is less than 10 hours away from where I live
...is extremely difficult!

That doesn't mean anyone shouldn't try, you might be a lot luckier than I have been. Some of the best sports dogs I have ever seen were rescue dogs.
Oh, I hear you there. My former agility instructor has been looking for a 3rd dog for over a year now. She's only looking at rescues (no breeders or shelters) so that limits her some, but it definitely takes time.

I didn't really know that I wanted into sports when I got Kit. That was something she forced on me, although I couldn't be happier about that. But there were definitely some things that I bent on when I got her. The biggest one was manners. She had received no prior obedience training, and for a drivey, young dog, that can create quite a situation. She was out of control enough that she was returned to the shelter multiple times after being adopted out. The first thing she did when she entered my house was jump all the way onto the kitchen table (not counter surfing). But it became clear very quickly that she wasn't out of control because of her personality - she just hadn't been taught any better.

I guess my point is that prioritizing your list is important. Manners weren't very important to me, because I planned to put in lots of time training anyway. Lots of folks probably looked right over Kit because she was so nuts, but anyone willing to put in the work to train her would have reaped the benefits.

My other suggestion is that petfinder is your friend! Kit came from an overflowing shelter in the middle of nowhere 2 hours from where I live. To top it off, the place required home visits and wasn't open for walk-in visitors (an appointment was needed). I never would have found her (or even realized that the place existed) if I hadn't been scouring petfinder. Petfinder is a fabulous resource that can show you hundreds of adoptable animals that you don't have the time and energy to go see yourself.
 

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We started training just 1 or 2 months shy of her second birthday. She was ready to compete a year later.

I don't recommend hard training in ANY of the sports you listed before the dog's first birthday. Foundation stuff only before that time.
When my breed (at the time not AKC) was accepted for the Gaines tournaments, I made a promise to have one of the first qualifiers. She qualified just past her first birthday and did okay. She was my first Nationals HIT, my first UD, and a very good dog. Her daughter went out on a co-ownership and didn't come back to me and start serious training until after a year old. She was a much more solid dog, also a qualifier, also a Nationals HIT and my first (ASCA) OTCH. I think waiting for maturity to start serious training with a dog is a good thing.

Definitely focus on getting the dog you want to live with first! I see so so so many people go out and get a sports bred BC because 'they're the best' and then have issues actually LIVING with the dog. Your dog will be a pet first and foremost. If you don't want to live with the drive

Mia and Summer are two totally different levels of dog. Summer is pretty fast, was always one of the fastest dogs in our class, but she's not excessively drivey. She loves me and loves training and agility is very fun for her. Mia on the other hand is without a doubt the driviest papillon I've ever known (and I've known a lot). My trainer loves her and how enthusiastic she is. But Mia is a lot harder to run. Mia is one of those tense up on the starter line then fly around the course screaming her head off type of dogs. There are many more issues that come up when you're looking at a very drivey dog- things like impulse control have taken us a good 2 years to even begin to get a handle on. This wasn't a problem with Summer. And Summer is still fun to run. But with Mia it's work and rework and rework. Mia has the talent to go very far but at the same time, it will likely take a lot longer. I don't expect to even start trying to trial with her for another 2 years.

She's also a much more difficult dog to live with on a day to day basis. So yeah, there's a downside to drive too. A lot of people skip the 'living with the dog' part of it.
Are you in Kristen's new beginner class?
 

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I knew someone who bred aussies. She was also on my flyball team and her dogs were super fast, responsive, and athletic. She did pretty much every sport out there with them and they excelled at whatever they did. That was her dogs though, in general I haven't found aussies as competitive as BCs (based on how often they place at agility trials, how well they run in flyball, and how often I see them playing disc competitively), but they certainly can give people a run for their money if you get the right one and handle him or her well. Again it might be the handlers more than the breed itself.
. He had no fear of interacting with obstacles and trying new things. I didn't start competing until he was 2 years old.
Yeah, I had a judge at a regional tell me how unimpresed she was with Aussies (and then found out she was my judge the next day 0y!) However, she gave my little blue eyed demon one of the highest scores she gave the next day.

*Snicker* What if it never comes?
Well dogs mature at a different level (sure you are joking at least a bit.) My point is that it doesn't hurt to wait until the dog is a bit older, instead of putting pressure on a pup. You end up with just as good a dog. At 9 years old, I am not sure Alice is completely mature yet. But still she's grown more brains than she had at 9 months.
 

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Well dogs mature at a different level (sure you are joking at least a bit.) My point is that it doesn't hurt to wait until the dog is a bit older, instead of putting pressure on a pup. You end up with just as good a dog. At 9 years old, I am not sure Alice is completely mature yet. But still she's grown more brains than she had at 9 months.
Yes, I'm kidding...mostly. People ask me all the time how old my puppy is, and then are shocked to find out that she's nearly 3. She still gets the zoomies like crazy, and still acts like a goof ball whenever she thinks she can get away with it. More than anything else, it's impulse control (or rather the lack of it) that makes people think she's a puppy.
 

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I'm another one who's not a big fan of competitive training when the dogs are still pups. But I've only had one pup since I started training competitively so take that as you will...Kim came to me as a pup but with all her issues and with my total disinterest in dog sport (actually I didn't know dog sports existed) we just kinda moseyed through life til she was over a year old. Web was already a year old when I got him. Mira came with hopes and dreams attached but I didn't want to put too much pressure on her so we spent the first year just bonding and learning about each other and the world...it's more than paid off already.
 
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