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Choosing a Puppy

Choosing a Puppy

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I have been reading [info]nosemovie  and her research on getting a new puppy. I'm also thinking about getting a new puppy. I'll wait til late spring or summer when I'll be out of school and have the time.  I'll be getting another labradoodle.  I have asthma. and I have felt much better, really have had no attacks, since I no longer have cats or a shedding dog, and I really love Matilda.  I've contacted Matilda's breeder to see what she has coming. She'll have several litters ready to go home late spring, early summer. I'm also going to contact the breeder where [info]dinahprincedaly   got Stella.

I want a dog for agility and for therapy dog work, too.  Stella's breeder has a group of smaller labradoodles which I thought might be good. They have the same temperament and look as the larger ones.  For agility I thought  it might be good to have a dog of a different height. A dog of a different height would be a new challenge.  Also,  I don't like the thought of running dogs back to back, but of course it would be  a several years any way before a puppy would be doing trials. Also for traveling having one dog a little smaller might be easier. I'm not firm on the size.

Does anyone have advice on judging puppies for structure and drive? What I should be looking for? Advice on books to look at? When I got Matilda I had no idea I'd be doing agility. I was just looking for a cute puppy. The therapy dog part I thought about right away, especially when I was able to bring her to school with me.  Now I'll be looking for a puppy who'll an agility puppy as well as a pet..

  • Ha! good question.

    I think what I mean to say about "types" of dogs for different things is ... It' much EASIER to play and enjoy agility with a dog that's keen for it and has both athletic ability AND some zoom in his butt. I did agility with a dog that wasn't "into" it and yeah, it's like pulling teeth and really wasn't fun for either of us.

    Razor loves this stuff. and his drive makes the game fun for both of us each and every time. Now...could I take him into a nursing home? Well, I could but he wouldn't be mellow or careful for long, and that would worry me and I wouldn't be having a good time (tho, he might!)

    I go get that there are dogs that CAN do it all. I guess I question if you lose something in the transition or the scope when you try for that? Either losing the dependable calm you need with kids and older folks, or losing the amped up enjoyment you get on the course.

    As for what type of handler I am. I am the same type of handler I am of a person. I do like excitement and challenges and the thrill of learning new things. I get up and move. I guess that's why a dog like that fits with me. :)
  • how many gears does the average race car have?
    • Ha! you think you can stump me??? You can NOT: The major difference between a dedicated racing transmission and a stocker is the engagement mechanism, commonly referred to as "dogs." Dogs are basically no more than cogs on a slider. The shifter pushes them into a receiver ring which engages the gear it is attached to. There is a separate dog and receiver for each gear in the transmission. On a racing transmission, there is a lot of "slop" (the gaps in the receiver are a lot larger than the teeth on the dog), which makes it easier to move into and out of the gears at higher rpms without fully engaging the clutch. Just like a full-blown race car, a racing transmission would be a nightmare around town but is a dream come true on the track. A racing transmission is a nightmare around town, or in a nursing home. hahahahahah
      • "which makes it easier to move into and out of the gears at higher rpms without fully engaging the clutch"
        a race car does have a life besides the track... it has to be using them lower gears to get to and from... why is this a nightmare around town?
        (I knew the car thing would get you going)
    • That was their quote, not mine.
      But what the difference is at lower speeds, it's a LOT more work to drive a race car as the rmps don't stay low... they race around up and down. So I"m sure you've heard (in the BIG CITY) those assholes with the high tuned transmissions going "RRRRRMMMMMM, bababababa, RRRMRMRMMMM , bababa" from stop light to stop light. It's annoying as hell from a audio standpoint, but for the driver it's even worse. You have to play the clutch in and out and it's touchy! Plus you have to REV the engine to keep the rpms up and keep it from dieing.

      Sorry, you've made my point. You CAN drive a race car to the store, but you'll find most drivers have a "regular" car for the carpool and such. ;)
      • ok... conceded. but there is drag racing
        • Those are WORSE!!! They're built for that initial BLOW off the line and then they peter out afterward. Those are the speciality cars tho. I think you're talking street drags.... supe'd up Hondas and such.

          Those can be daily drivers. True.
          • greased lightning... you know, small town, full of stories, pretty to look at too

            so the kind of drive a brilliant agility dog needs... you believe it is the kind with ONLY the top two gears? Would Tori agree? Mimi? Daisy? Silvia? Susan? Really no quiet curl-up love ability at all?
            • That goes back to what you were asking way before. What type of HANDLER are you, or do you want to be.

              I think Rev is a sweet dog, snuggly. But that's off. When she's on, she looks focused to me and really quick.

              Let's go back to cars. I think a good agility dog (like, good enough for what I want) is like a Audi w/ a v6. It's a sedan, you can drive it around, but when you WANT power, it's there.
              Some handlers are ONLY going to want race cars. Their either going, or not.
              Some handlers might love a Mini van. You can do SO MUCH with it, but it's not going to climb hills that fast, and you'll never beat the Audi off the line.

              You do have to decide what sort of car you need. It's a good point you made in the very beginning.

              currently in agility I drive one of those over tuned medium sized off-road trucks. He's indestructible! But he also slips gears and often goes off road without my permission. Still, I love him. :)
      • (no subject) - dinahprincedaly - Expand
      • (no subject) - matildasmom - Expand
    • Oh, and many race cars are trucked on a flatbed to the track. Just for that reason....
  • and honestly, what I've learned from switching from Delta to Good Dog Foundation... the most important quality for a therapy dog is that they love getting attention from people... that they have no problem looking people right in the eye and approaching happily... our hospital work in the pediatrics unit was non-stop tricks, entertainment and also getting the kids to give the cues... in rehab it was mostly a trick and then curling up on the floor snoozing while the person talked bout the pets they used to have... I'll see if I can find the link to Stella's great great grandfather a very drivey amazing therapy dog, that instinctive drive for what he was supposed to do that sent him through plate glass to help his master... here is Cool Dude http://www.alpsdoodles.org/pages/cooldude.htm
    • oooh, he looks lovely. What a great dog. It's like he's FULL of love! you can see it in his eye.
  • I agree with what you say about not wanting to do agility with a dog that's not into it. That would be no fun at all. Certainly Matilda and Stella are both dogs that love agility.

    I guess now that I'm going to be looking for a new puppy I want to be able to know how to recognize that quality in a puppy. What to look for.
    • K.
      Here's a thing I notice with younger dogs and adults I work with when I do sessions/training.

      Dogs who are keen to play, normally also have a really nice handler focus. A lot of puppies will play with other puppies, but will it play with you? Does it get distracted really easily? When you remove it from the other puppies does it get all nervous and looking for them or Mom? Or is it willing to grab a rag and tug w/ you? Will it go after a rolled ball, and then look up at you to see why the ball stopped rolling? (so cute when that happens).
      I don't expect EVERY puppy to want to be all over me, but I do expect a puppy to engage with me if I engage it in play.

      If you stand up and walk 10 feet from a crowd of puppies, then squeak a toy. -- which ones looked up? Which ones charged you! (I want that one!!) Which ones just kept doing what they're doing?

      There was a litter of Pumi puppies I played with about a year ago Dec. One was oddly shaped and had weird hair. He really stood out because basically he was sort ugly! hahahaha

      But he PLAYED with me, and he was very willing to stop whatever he was doing to gnaw on my hands or just tug. The breeder ended up keeping him probably because his size and look was so off no one was going to want him? I would have taken him (had I been looking for a Pumi) and now at 1+ Years old, he's no show dog AT ALL< but she says he's fun and happy and really a great companion.
      That's what I'd be looking for. :)
      • That's very helpful.

        It's been close to six years since I've been out to Cherry Valley Labradoodles to get Matilda. I might go out sometime soon just to get a look at Tiffany's breeding dogs, see what her mom dogs are like.
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