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working dogs?

bremarie03
April 4th, 2005, 12:44 AM
We have a (approximately) 12 week old lab/ ?border collie? mix. I know both of these breeds are working dogs and would be happier with a job to do. My question is: Short of doing agility training and that type of thing, what would be a good job for our dog? We have a moderately sized yard, which she has the run of. I know boredom can lead to all kinds of behaviour problems, and we want her to be happy, with a purpose if that's what she needs. Just not sure what that is. We have her in puppy classes and plan to continue her training.

Prin
April 4th, 2005, 01:28 AM
You couldn't just make an agility course in your yard? I made a jump for my babies but neither would do it... Other than that, I only know of the really serious stuff, like sheepdog trials, etc... Nothing that's just for fun but maybe the others will say something better.... :) By the way, those doggy retinas are awesome.. One of my doggies has red ones and the other has turquoise, but I have never seen blue like that.

bremarie03
April 4th, 2005, 03:26 AM
are those her retinas? I thought it was just the doggy version of "red eye"....


I suppose I could make her some kind of agility course when she's older...I wouldn't have a clue on how to train for something like that..I'd need to find a good book or something. Do you think there are beginner classes for something like that, or would I have to get a private trainer that specializes in agility training?

Prin
April 4th, 2005, 08:11 PM
Red eye is the light reflecting off the retina.. It seems doggies have all sorts of colors of retinas. (Humans seem to just have red ones...)

I think if you keep your eyes peeled for an agility show, they usually have booths with people to explain it. It's bleddy expensive to get into though...

Writing4Fun
April 4th, 2005, 08:22 PM
I think if you keep your eyes peeled for an agility show, they usually have booths with people to explain it. It's bleddy expensive to get into though...
Is it really? I just got started (had our first class last Wednesday). What makes it so expensive? Hubby will kill me if I spend any more money before my business starts turning a profit! :eek:

Here are some links that might help if you want to build your own equipment:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/youthdevelopment/components/7538e.html
http://futuremach.baka.com/equip.html

Our obedience school offers agility training (our instructor breeds Aussie Shepherds and her Chaos is a recent champion!). Ask your local obedience trainers - some of them might offer group and individual classes. Check with your vet, too. They might have a contact name for a local agility club.

Good luck!

Prin
April 4th, 2005, 10:01 PM
I was talking to a few people here in Montreal and they said it would cost about $1000/dog/year, but that's including entry fees for the competitions. I guess if you're just starting out and not planning to get serious at all, it may stay cheap. These people owned their own equipment and rented a gym to practice.

Kayla and Me
April 5th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Just a suggestion....


Try teaching them to play soccer. My brother has two border collies and he taught them to herd the ball back to him and through goal posts. Apparently it wasn't that difficult. 'Herding' comes natural to them. From there he started training them on a small obstacle course that he set up in his backyard. I know he didn't spend a lot of money on this. They really are happiest when they have something to do.

bremarie03
April 5th, 2005, 04:01 PM
is a great idea. So is the agility stuff. I'm not interested in competing, so maybe I could just have hubby build a few pieces of equipment, and keep it cheap but fun. All great suggestions, thanks everyone!

BoxerRescueMTL
April 5th, 2005, 04:03 PM
You can also try scentwork and tracking. You don't need alot of space and it really stimulates your dog mentally and physically. You can check out this website for more info about it http://www.breederoo.com/members/PortoVilla
Click on the button called "Scent", I believe it also explains how to start playing a scent game really easily.

doggy lover
April 5th, 2005, 07:41 PM
I take my BC to the park and let it play on the jungle jims there, he just loves the slide. We are going to build an agility course at the cottage for him. I also get the kids to hide outside or inside and get the dog to find them. Hide treats around or in things and make him seek them, mix in a little training you can think of all kinds of things even tricks are quickly learned.

Writing4Fun
April 6th, 2005, 10:55 PM
I was talking to a few people here in Montreal and they said it would cost about $1000/dog/year, but that's including entry fees for the competitions. I guess if you're just starting out and not planning to get serious at all, it may stay cheap. These people owned their own equipment and rented a gym to practice.
Just got back from our second agility training session (Phoebe's just brilliant, by the way :D ). One of the instructors was telling us that it recently cost her $16 for a minute in the ring at a recent competition. So, when you figure that you'll probably be in the ring a few times a day, trucking back and forth to the event, maybe staying overnight, all the on-going training, cost of equipment, etc... Yeah, I guess I can see the $1000/year thing. Oh, well. There go my dreams of competing. :sad: Guess we'll have to stick to home-made equipment in the yard.

Kayla, could you find out how your brother trained them to herd the soccer balls? I'd love to give this a shot with Phoebe (we think she's part BC).

Kayla and Me
April 6th, 2005, 11:32 PM
Just got back from our second agility training session (Phoebe's just brilliant, by the way :D ). One of the instructors was telling us that it recently cost her $16 for a minute in the ring at a recent competition. So, when you figure that you'll probably be in the ring a few times a day, trucking back and forth to the event, maybe staying overnight, all the on-going training, cost of equipment, etc... Yeah, I guess I can see the $1000/year thing. Oh, well. There go my dreams of competing. :sad: Guess we'll have to stick to home-made equipment in the yard.

Kayla, could you find out how your brother trained them to herd the soccer balls? I'd love to give this a shot with Phoebe (we think she's part BC).

Will do! Hang in there....will try to contact over the next few days and get you the info..(he lives in Vancouver)

:)

Kayla and Me
April 7th, 2005, 12:29 AM
Will do! Hang in there....will try to contact over the next few days and get you the info..(he lives in Vancouver)

:)


Lucked out and got a hold of him tonight. So here's the scoop. First you have to teach them the basics...and any good training program will give you this. Teach them the sit, stay, come... basics.....then take the soccer ball and put it about 4' in front of you and encourage him to push it to you. Lots of praise here, or treats...whatever works...when he gets that, put the ball about 6' away....then 10' away....then around the corner of the house...etc....

It is instinctual for most BC..and they will get it. One of his dogs plays the game well, the other plays the game for a few mins, then tries to bite the ball and bury it. LOL

The point is...if you can teach your dog to do the basics, then you can teach them to do almost any game. It's not about teaching the dog...its about teaching the owner to 'teach' the dog. :)

You can teach them anything with patience and consistency. However....as my brother just said....sometimes, they just don't get it...LOL

Good luck!

Kayla and Me