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Evaluating a shelter dog for sports potential?


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I also wanted to add I used these lists a lot when evaluating him. The biggest thing for me was he was super friendly and confident. Chased the ball (got distracted some but it was a CRAZY environment). Went nuts for a can of dog food they had there. He loved people and was all over me.

 

I've taken him out and about a few times and I just see no real behavior problems at all. He's a bit overly friendly with other dogs- that is new to me because all my dogs have been somewhat reactive and fearful of other dogs. He's wild and somewhat destructive. Very nippy and bitey. But all that is easy stuff to fix. I love that he seems to have absolutely no fear of anything.

 

His food drive is higher than his toy drive but I think I can work on that. He likes to tug and chase balls but sometimes environment can trump that. Environment doesn't seem to trump his love for food though.

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I've started some work with him with low jumps and also tunnels and tables at home. I took him to a ring rental with my other dogs and some friends and he just rocked. He wants to do things fast and is fun to play with and bombproof. A bit wary of the tunnels at first but by the end was racing through them as fast as possible from all sorts of angles. He worked around the other dogs very well and stuck with me and stayed engaged.

 

I don't think I could have gotten a better agility potential dog if I had tried. He's really fantastic. I'll have to update you all in a year or two! We start real classes in 2 weeks.

 

Don't underestimate the shelters and rescues! He's really winning me over.

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Congratulations on your addition. He's gorgeous!

 

Just thought I'd share this photo of Cisco, who was a stray adopted from a shelter in California. They think he's a cattledog and Corgi mix. He just won the 16" Grand Prix class at Cynosport with his person, Keith. Rescues ROCK!!

 

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Awesome dog! I have loved the couple corgi/cattle dog mixes I've met!

 

Here's a couple newer photos of Hank. He has a weird tendency to look purebred rat terrier one second then mostly heeler another. I will never know what breed he is. That's very weird for someone who has grown up with purebreds her whole life. But whatever he is, he's athletic and fun and so eager to play anything with me. Very different from the border collie I set out to get but I am 100% sure I was meant to have this dog.

 

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We're having fun!

 

I did wicket him and he's going to be a 16" jumper!

 

Hank and I both want to thank everyone for the advice on this thread. It was really helpful. I think he's enjoying his new life and that makes me happy to see.

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He's absolutely stunning, just my kind of dog actually. What's his height and weight?

I love the spotted / freckled look. I was pretty dismayed when I understood that, usually, merles tend not to be good representatives of the breed, because aesthetically their apearence appeals to me, and it's not that dissimilar from your dog's look. I love them all and colour is the least important thing, but all things being equall I do like the uneven mottled look your pup, and in a way merles, have.

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Haha what is funny is I am not a fan of speckles or mottled dogs or merle... Or at least I wasn't at all. I've always liked bi-colored and tri-colored dogs with a lot of color on them. It's growing on me a lot. I get so many comments from strangers about how pretty his spots are. We can't go anywhere without someone talking to me about his spots!

 

Tricolors are my favorite color in any breed though. And I think he's made me switch to smooth coats only. He is my first smooth coated dog of any breed and it is gloriously easy to upkeep. We can walk through the burs and he can flop in the mud and it just falls right out.

 

He's a tiny thing weighing about 20 lbs and 15 1/2 or so inches. He is almost exactly the same size as my shelties were but he's got thicker bones and feels bigger to me. He did gain 4 lbs in the month since I got him so I'm not sure he's 10/11 months old like they thought. 4 lbs seems like a lot of gain for a smallish 10 month old dog to me. He's definitely over 7 months though judging on his teeth. I think the rapid weight gain could partially be from having better nutrition and exercise and putting on muscle. I think he'll end up in the mid 20 lb range.

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I am happy to hear everything is working out so well.

 

He is very well put together structurally, IMHO. He is gorgeous.

 

I would love to find a similar dog - not that I am looking at the present time. ^_^ An 8 month old pup is enough for me for now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Laurelin! I know you from another forum and I didnt realize youve adopted Hank so recently! This is kind of half a month late, but very informative thread too. :D Hank sounds so fabulous. You seem to have struck gold.

 

Cant wait to see what you guys can do in agility or flyball. Ive always planned on adopting from either rescue or shelter as well, but GSD mix for sport potential. Though probably still need to wait a couple years. Im so glad it worked out so well for you two. :D

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I thought I'd give a quick update on the little man. So far I've had him 4 months (!) and we've already tried quite a bit. He's done a barn hunt, done 6 weeks of foundation agility, a seminar, gone to nosework practice, tried flyball (he liked it, I didn't!) and several agility trials just to watch.

 

He's a great dog. Just ready to try anything and very well rounded. Easy to live with, loads of fun. Loves people and dogs. Plays well with my little kid relatives. Cuddles like a champ (He is the first cuddly dog I've ever had). I cannot take him anywhere without getting a million compliments on him- from pet people, sport people, everyone. So many people love his spots and so many people tell me how cool he is.

 

Anyways, just a quick plug for the shelter and rescue dogs out there.

 

16123513705_a5fd1a0b32.jpghankpretty by summerpapillons, on Flickr

 

15501099594_f027fb7fd6.jpgHank jump by summerpapillons, on Flickr

 

Here's a quick video of him doing two jumps and a tunnel. He's getting me into shape! :blink:

 

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He is a whopping 21 lbs last weigh in! :P He is very small but somehow feels a lot bigger than my shelties despite only being 2 lbs bigger than them. He's very sturdy and very rowdy. I think that is part of it. When I went to meet him I was surprised how tiny he was. He didn't look small on petfinder at all.

 

Also fun: there is a dog in his agility class from the same shelter. Same size though she's a bit taller than he is and more slender. They act a LOT alike and are both short haired and spotted tricolors (she's split faced) and the same age. They adopted her the same week I adopted him. They did a DNA test on her and she came back various terrier breeds and some border collie so I don't think my terrier x herder guess was too far off. The owner is convinced they're siblings but who knows!

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  • 1 month later...

Hank is looking great. I can't wait for the Siberian Express to leave my area and the snow to melt so I can start some weave training with Kiefer. I use channels too, so he will not be twisting his body for quite a while. I usually work on entries before I start closing the weaves.

 

This winter has really put a cramp in any outside agility training.

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