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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I hope this is the right place for this question. I looked through all of the boards and this one seemed to match the best. If I'm wrong I apologize.

So, to start with, my pup is about as close to perfect as I am ever likely to own. He just turned one year old and he has such INSANE amounts of potential!! He can jump like Superman, he caught his first adult squirrel up a tree at 6 months old. Highly intelligent, very obedient, nearly fearless, has never gone through his rebellious phase that I was constantly warned about.
Every task I put before him he masters within a few tries. Anything he hasn't mastered (like weave poles) are because of my own inadequacies as a trainer. But we're both learning as we go. Which brings me to my question.

I plan to get him trained officially for agility soon (waiting for things to open up properly around here), but can/SHOULD I train him for other tasks as well? He's doing great at obedience, but that's just a base line to do anything else. He's got an excellent nose and I love hiding treats in his snuffle mat for him to find. He doesn't really care for tennis balls or rope toys, surprisingly. He DOES love the water and with summer coming I plan to teach him to dock dive, but that's jsut so we can swim together.

But he NEEDS to be trained in something besides Spin and Shake. He's quite an amazing dog and I want to put his potential to use somehow but I don't know in what. What should I train him for besides agility? Or should I ONLY stick with agility to keep him from getting confused?

I do not have any interest in bite training. He has a very soft mouth so I don't think that would be a good choice for him, but something involving a lot of physical activity since he LOVES to be active. He CAN be a couch potato but only for like 1 day a week or he goes stir crazy.

Sorry for my rambling, tl:dr what kinds of sports or activities would be good for a 1 year old over-achiever?
 

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I love NoseWorks so that would be my suggestion for a second sport. The agilities will work his muscles and teach him to take direction from you, Noseworks will work his mind and teach you how to read him and take his ques.

Not sure if doing them at the same time would cause confusion as I haven’t done two sports at once.

Your boy sounds wonderful and he is lucky to have you also.
 

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You can absolutely train him in agility + odor + obedience + rally + tracking + any other fun sport that strikes your fancy. :)

Sometimes it's helpful to use specific equipment to cue the dog in to what you're about to do (a designated harness for nosework, a certain collar for ob, etc). But the sky's the limit. Have fun!
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. It was pure luck I got the real pick of the litter. I was worried that maybe teaching him more than one sport would be too much for him, but I'm likely underestimating him.

I'll look into some of those things you named and see if any would be a good fit for my baby.
 

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As long as the dog understands all the different venues and is having fun...go for it. My dog competes in obedience, rally obedience, dock diving, and tracking. We've also done trick titles for fun in our spare time when nothing else was going on. We have 4 seasons and sometimes a quite harsh winter. So I look at it like this: Obedience and rally is usually saved mostly for those cold dark miserable winter days when it's too nasty to do much outside.

Spring and fall we track as much as possible. High heat of summer we swim a lot and lots of dock diving.

My dog loves them all! Keeps us busy no matter the weather.

I have a friend who has made it as far as utility training and now her dog is doing a tracking indication (down) on the utility gloves in the obedience ring. Things like that can happen. But dogs can totally learn different sports and enjoy them. A lot of it is context and gear. My dog doesn't do anything in a harness except track. He has a chain martingale that he wears in the obedience ring and nowhere else, plus he knows what an obedience trial looks like...the ring gates etc.
 

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Doing versatile sports is fine. We love doing diff stuff. We do IGP and dock diving and did AKC OB when he was a year old. Got his CD title but not good to do both IGP and AKC for my dog anyway.
Key for any sport is solid OB, and solid environmental skills.
 

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We do tricks, obedience and nosework and dabble in tracking. I have a cue for each activity, and use a harness that is dedicated to nose work. I keep each discipline as pure as I can, so no OB during while searching, no tricks during tracking etc.

It seems to be working for us.
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is all great information, thank you everyone. I think he would excel at nosework, so I might start training him for that while we wait on agility. (I have a few home made agility items but not enough to make a full course) Also plan to look into some of the other activities mentioned here.
 
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