Choosing a dog- myths and reality

 In Useful tips

“I want to get involved in a sport, want to learn and looking to purchase a puppy, but I want something “normal” and easier to learn on. Your dogs are crazy…”

It can be very disappointing when a good, sensible, hard working and responsible person thinks – I will take the simpler and calmer one, so I can learn on it and would not ruin the potential of a good dog. Later on this dedicated owner realized the training with this “normal” dog hits the barrier, this dog will not advance because it does not have what it takes. What to do with this “normal” dog then? The person might want to search for another dog with better potential, but that is easier said than done.

I always have a question, to which I still cannot find the answer. Why would someone want to study on low-quality material such as textbooks, methods, and instructors and expect success? What kind of maniacal passion can drive for self flagellation like that?

If the final result is important, you need to find the way to fulfill it.  Everyone has his/her own expectations of the end result. What are you looking for when you purchase that puppy?

– a dog for sport?
– a companion for outdoor activities?
– a guard, to protect family and property?
– a partner to work in law enforcement, military or search and rescue?
– a show dog?
– or just a friend whom you can love?

There is nothing wrong in breeding dogs to become just pets. They are suitable for the right people. The problem is that those who breed “privately” have less requirements and worse selection of the breeding stock. These “private” breeders may not be aware of the outcome. They may not care about the quality and reputation. If one is not satisfied, another sucker will come. There are enough people out there looking for pets for themselves or their children.

I do not deny that not everyone needs a super-mega-extra-bomb dog. A “normal” dog that is healthy and has no temperament issues will be suffice.
Okay.
But the problem is that this type of “normal” dog do not exist. You might ask why? Because there are no tests exist to regulate or select those qualities. Therefore, to get those qualities that is needed, one has to go to working breed breeder only. With the right working breed, you can do whatever you want with it when it is mature or starting as a puppy. You can enjoy training with your dog for the day, as you progress you may want to improve by learning more, teaching each other more. Why limit yourself with a “normal” dog and give up the ones with better potentials because they are not fitting into the “normal” image?

With the right breed, even if you do not unleash its full potential, you won’t hit a limit. In reality, how many handlers can maximize the dog’s 100% potential? Not many. Do not expect miracles. The dog with the beginner handler will not reveal as much as it can with the pro, but with a good dog it’s easier and more pleasant to work with.

When you do something with pleasure, you can produce better results. Don’t you want to improve and develop you and your dog’s skills? I do, very much so! And when the dog doesn’t perform with disregards of all the hard work, very few people will stay encouraged by that. What is the solution? Rethink what you want for the dog and replace the dog (not every one will do that) or to be content with the little to no progress. But that can be discouraging in the long run.

I also would like to dispel one myth: If you want your dog to be a good working dog, you have to work it to the maximum. The truth is, your working dog will not die of grief and boredom if you don’t train him daily till he is exhausted or to unconsciousness. My working dogs are just like any other dogs, they live at home, sleep on the couch, cuddling in front of the fireplace during long winter evenings, simple walk on leash on the street, and having fun chasing sticks. The difference between them and pet dogs is simple. They can perform during training. They are healthy, so I do not need to run to the vet all the time to deal with problems. And I can train them to do whatever I wish without hitting any barrier or the “ceiling”.

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Comments
  • Carolyn Ayre
    Reply

    Isabella… very good article. I agree with everything you wrote! Dog sports involve a team effort between handler and dog. No matter whether you are a beginner or seasoned handler every dog is different and you have to learn and adjust accordingly. I think most people don’t want high energy dogs because they’re looking for a couch potato that requires little physical or mental stimulation. They are not prepared to put in the effort. Too bad for them and so sad for the dog. Participating in a dog sport is the best way to have an even closer bond with your dog!

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