Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Agility Breed of Choice.......

Do you ever overhear people talking negatively about their 'breed' of choice?
Such things as, it's not a Border Collie, but we can live with it. 
I know it's not a Border Collie, but it's the breed we like.
(insert breed here), doesn't like repetition like the Border Collies.
You can't train (insert breed here), like you train a Border Collie. 
He runs like a Border Collie. 

Why would you put your breed down?
This is just doesn't make sense.  
Our first agility dog was a Bichon, I know your thinking....
"you don't have another one do you?"
Care to guess why? 
Nothing could compare to our 'little white' dog. 
I don't think it's fair to get another one until it can have it's
'own' identity and not live in Molly's shadow.

Those that have what's considered 'non-traditional' performance 
dogs should be so proud of your accomplishments!  
Why in the world would you even 'want' to compare it to a Border Collie? 
Why apologize for having the dog or breed you love?  
That's just crazy!

Here in Iowa, we have some of the most amazing agility dogs!

Angel, the Bichon, is not only cuter than anything, 
(okay...a bit partial here), she's a little speed demon! 

Then there's Addie the Cardi?  
Are you kidding me, she's SMOKIN'.
You'd better have your legs warmed up when you run this one!

These are dogs to aspire to!  
They are consistently winning their classes and 
getting invited to the Invitational.  

Heck with the BCs, give me one of these girls!

Please do NOT get a BC for agility.
Get a BC because you LOVE the breed!

Our Border Collies are easy to live with.
I'm assuming you mean they are bouncing off the walls full of energy. 
I hate to tell you, this might be true of some Border Collies, 
but more than likely it's true of a lot of other breeds as well. 
Just like any other dog, given a job, they are very easy to live with. 

Border Collies like repetition. 
Really?  Where did that come from? 
I don't think anyone likes to do things over and over 
without a worthwhile reward.
Take flyball for instance.  
There's a lot of repetition....not all those dogs are BCs!

Does your dog love to play fetch with a ball? 
Nothing much more repetitive than that.
Why do they like it? 
The reward is worth the repetition. 
This means, you need to do the same in your training. 
Make the repetition worth doing over!!

You can't train this (insert breed) like a BC. 
I'm not sure I understand this statement at all.
What makes it different?
Does it like positive reinforcement?
Does it eat?
Any animal can learn with positive reinforcement.
Been to Sea World lately?
(no, me either...never in fact)
Let me see you ear pinch that Killer Whale!
Why do they perform the same behaviors
over and over again?
There are so many wonderful, beautiful, fun, 
fantastic dogs out there. 
 It breaks my heart when people put their own dog down.

We have been so fortunate to have
had the absolutely most brilliant dogs in our house.
I'm not sure how that happens?  
Each one is totally perfect to us!
We've talked about it often, how lucky we are.

My wish for you, is that you see all your dogs as we do ours!

Hug those dogs!  
They bring you so much!
No matter the breed!
Don't sell them short!
Aspire to be the BEST you can be!
Trust me, you will be!


  1. Amen. I have always felt like this. Train YOUR dog, run YOUR dog, love YOUR dog. Have fun...with YOUR dog. Breed is whatever...it is just a category. My dogs...are beloved. All 5 of them.

    I love the way you think Tammy! GOOD YOU! :D

  2. I feel the exact same way about Shelties as you do your 'little white dog!' I'm not a 'breed traitor,' I just could never top what I had!

    And yes, yes, yes to all your other great points, we should forward this as a part of a show confirmation or something. Mandatory reading. Good stuff- people need to remember it!

  3. Amen. While I adore many other breeds, and really like almost all of the rest, Cardis are my thing. I can do anything with my cardis. Anything. Nothing compares-for me. For someone else, maybe not. There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you have.

  4. One reason why people make excuses is because there are folks who will say "you are such a good trainer, why are you wasting your time with X breed?". Yup, 35 years with Curlies, I've heard that one many times!

    You can imagine what some people said when I had a couple of BCs, to herd the ducks I had for the retrievers, and still was boneheaded enough to stay with Curlies. ;-)

  5. Thanks for this one. I have heard some really snotty remarks about "A Samoyed in ... A?" Like they are so hard to train that only a fool would enter one and certainly too hard for a novice trainer. I truly believe the biggest problem with Sammies is that they shut down if they are given negative consequences. (I suspect lots of dogs do that - I just know that about Samoyeds because I have seen it.) Positive reinforcement and you get the lovely, sunny disposition and a great dog to spend time with. I hope some day to do them both justice in the ring, but until then I'll just work on enjoying them. I love seeing all different breeds in every event. Thanks again for this post.

  6. Good post! Love my Belgians and all their weird quirks. Loved my shelties. Will have another sheltie . . . someday.