Buying a puppy from a breeder is a "gamble" - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #41 (permalink)
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That's definitely part of it, agility is an incredibly complex sport once you really get into it. You certainly can do well with almost any dog in agility but to be really competitive you need a special dog (and more importantly a talented handler!) You can teach any dog to have obstacle drive just by creating value for that piece of equipment using lots of reward.
Right, but that's not what I'm getting at. Some dogs will do things just for the sake of it, and are born that way. Some dogs don't need to be taught the motivation to do the work, whether it be agility, herding, Schutzhund, etc. If you want to do really well at one thing, why not buy a dog that is born to do it? I can do (and have done) agility with my mutt but like you say I have to *create* the drive and desire to do it so it takes a lot longer and moves a lot slower. If I wanted to compete regularly I would not be using that dog, but one I got specifically for doing agility. My primary focus right now is Schutzhund so when I buy a dog I buy one that basically comes out of the womb pre-packaged to excel in Schutzhund.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #42 (permalink)
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The GSD is supposed to be versatile. I would hope the breeder's pedigree match would have the dog excelling in any venue the handler chooses.
In Karlo's litter there are dogs doing(excelling) in herding, agility and SchH along with obedience and a few of them are training in multiple venues with success. That is what most breeders should strive for...not just one venue?
Though it is always up to the handler to showcase just what the dog can do, regardless of the pedigree.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I see what your saying about enjoying equipment naturally and that is certainly going to make agility easier. However just because a dog likes the dog walk doesn't mean that he will do it in less than 2 seconds and consistently hit the contact (just an example.) To me a high drive dog will get a great deal of enjoyment out of any sport you do. Having a ton of drive to do well in the sport is kind of a given. But if for example he doesn't "cap" well you will not have a consistent start line, consistent contacts and will have a hard time with collection, tight turns etc. I think that an ability to "cap" for example is largely a genetic trait that is vital to being highly competitive.


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Old 12-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #44 (permalink)
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If you want to do really well at one thing, why not buy a dog that is born to do it? I can do (and have done) agility with my mutt but like you say I have to *create* the drive and desire to do it so it takes a lot longer and moves a lot slower.

Yes... that's the real question, isn't it? That's kinda why I just joined a BC forum. But this really wasn't about agility (though I have no problem that it morphed into that. I'll talk about agility ANY day!).

I just hear that phrase all the time when people ask about puppies. "Sure, you can get a puppy- but you're taking a gamble in if you'll be able to do ______ with it."

While there are studies out there finding (or seemingly finding) that environmental stimulation actually CAN affect genetics (I think this is called RNA?) I still reject the idea that a dog is born genetically knowing what a bite sleeve is. A bite sleeve is irrelevant to a dog's normal daily activity. I think what is actually happening is that the dogs are bred with the desire to bite, and this desire is channeled into the bite sleeve. And for that reason, I maintain that a dog that is simply bred to work, and especially work with the handler, is really not much of a gamble at all when you want to do dog sports. It's the work ethic and desire to work WITH the handler that makes it not a gamble. The rest is just channeling the energy into whatever you want to find focus in.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:01 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Yes... that's the real question, isn't it? That's kinda why I just joined a BC forum. But this really wasn't about agility (though I have no problem that it morphed into that. I'll talk about agility ANY day!).

I just hear that phrase all the time when people ask about puppies. "Sure, you can get a puppy- but you're taking a gamble in if you'll be able to do ______ with it."

While there are studies out there finding (or seemingly finding) that environmental stimulation actually CAN affect genetics (I think this is called RNA?) I still reject the idea that a dog is born genetically knowing what a bite sleeve is. A bite sleeve is irrelevant to a dog's normal daily activity. I think what is actually happening is that the dogs are bred with the desire to bite, and this desire is channeled into the bite sleeve. And for that reason, I maintain that a dog that is simply bred to work, and especially work with the handler, is really not much of a gamble at all when you want to do dog sports. It's the work ethic and desire to work WITH the handler that makes it not a gamble. The rest is just channeling the energy into whatever you want to find focus in.
Your not thinking of getting a BC are you?!?!? Lol. I can't say I'd blame you if you REALLY want to be competitive. I think the "gamble" is more about health and structure and yep IMO it can be a gamble.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #46 (permalink)
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You are comparing apples and oranges. Yes, some dogs are worked and developed to like doing bitework, but the good ones were born that way. . . .

This is what many people don't understand (you are not the only one). Good working dogs are motivated by the work. It is genetic.
So true! I would not have believed it had I not seen it with Minka. At 7 months (i think was her age) she had worked on a puppy sleeve for the first time and she bit so hard my trainer couldn't get his arm out. So he had to switch up to a soft sleeve. He then said to me "send her" and I'm thinking "send her?! How does she know what to do?" But I did as I was told, dropped the leash and said "get him" and she ran down at him jumped into the air and bit that sleeve so hard that he was able to swing her around off the ground and put her down gently. I was amazed. He had her do that twice that day. His comment was "this bitch can bite." Minka knew instinctively what to do. And this was mainly just a test to she what she would do.


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Old 12-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Yes- i'm contemplating it but not sure how serious I am about that...
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:32 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Even if it is genetic (which I believe) the "gamble" element is still physical things you just can't tell until they are older. The things like retrieve, hunt, fearlessness, were all there at 8 weeks....at least looked like to me..... The hips, possibility of allergies, orthopedic issues, etc were not as discernable though I have heard there is an age at which adult structure can be properly ascertained.

What ARE the things you can predict reliabily in a young pup and the things you cannot? That would make it more helpful to me.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I owned a BC for about a year, the athletic ability compared to a GSD will blow your mind (That being said I will still never own another one, just so not my breed.)


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Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Even if it is genetic (which I believe) the "gamble" element is still physical things you just can't tell until they are older. The things like retrieve, hunt, fearlessness, were all there at 8 weeks....at least looked like to me..... The hips, possibility of allergies, orthopedic issues, etc were not as discernable though I have heard there is an age at which adult structure can be properly ascertained.

What ARE the things you can predict reliabily in a young pup and the things you cannot? That would make it more helpful to me.
Hunt drive and environmental nerves. Desire to retrieve isn't always there at that young age. Sound and pain sensitivity and resilience. Food drive. Grip and prey drive some times. At testing Deja was more interested in exploring than playing with a toy or rag. A really good tester can see a tendency towards social aggression at 7 weeks.
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