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Laurelin

Evaluating a shelter dog for sports potential?

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I love the progression of this thread from wanting to know what to look for in a shelter dog to dog on the bed. Hank is a charmer!

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I love the progression of this thread from wanting to know what to look for in a shelter dog to dog on the bed. Hank is a charmer!

 

He is a big bed hog sometimes! Quite the cuddler.

 

No matter what happens re: agility, I'm very glad I chose him. He is so much fun. Very different from my past dogs but just a joyful little guy. I missed having a highly active dog around.

 

I do laugh looking back on it. I asked the shelter workers if he was high energy and they were so hesitant to reply. I think they are used to people wanting low energy dogs.

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What impressed me is Hank's size. Just looking at the photos he looks larger than he is. I watched the videos and couldn't believe how tiny he is. Hank is a really well-built little dog.

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People are very surprised when they see him for the first time in person. I took him to a trial this weekend and was told many times that people thought he'd be much bigger!

 

He's really not big at all.

 

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If you believe his dna test he is an Australian Cattle Dog cross mixed with a chihuahua (!) and Swedish vallhund (lol)

 

And he is doing this now:

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We have 12 weaves and a full sized teeter now! Just got to string everything together. I'm totally thrilled with this dog!

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A year to the day posting this! Hank is doing well and we have our first USDAA trial on Friday. (!) I would have never dreamed we'd be ready this fast but he's been rocking class and lessons and it's at our home field so I decided why not?

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Good luck! You'll both do great. Hank really reminds me of Kieran - his background, size, mysteriousness of mix, and all. Every time I read your posts here I can always relate! Yay for small, focused dogs :D

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Well babydog was very babydog, hahaha. there was some good and a lot of distraction. His poor little mind was just overwhelmed by all his dog and people friends.

 

I did get some good photos of the Dude though. Here's a couple I like.

 

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Just a update real quick. We took about 8 months since the last trial attempt to try again and this time it went really well. We just did NADAC touch n go and tunnelers. Hank Q'd! in touch n go with a run of 4.5 yps which I thought was a pretty good starting time on a course with contacts and a smaller green dog. The rest we missed but because of handling things. I didn't want to reset him because my goal was confidence building and working on being a working team vs getting a Q. So we skipped some obstacles. But I was thrilled with him and we had a blast. HE had a blast too.

 

He also earned his CA (coursing ability) and RATI and RATN in barn hunt and passed his birch ORT. Almost done with his CAA (2nd coursing title). We're taking a break till the fall after trying one more agility trial in 2 weeks. So we'll see how that goes. Then break until Novemberish when we are trying for an NW1 in nosework.

 

He is fun! Pretty good at everything except for Frisbee but that's ok. ;)

 

EDIT: Nextdog will definitely be a BC though! Terrier/ACD is a... combination. :P

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I will say it's not all perfect. It hasn't been. He's been a steep learning curve and looking back there were some signs that he wasn't the most adaptable with novel environments. He's grown into a dog that doesn't really like other dogs invading his space. That's a concern. He's not nearly as naturally focused as my herders or my papillons. He's very edgy. Very athletic. Very intense. Hot/cold about things. But it's coming together and we're figuring it out.

 

I would do it again but next up is a puppy for sure.

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Congrats on the pup, Laurelin! And thanks for rescuing. You might remember me from another forum - GottaLuvMutts? It's been a LONG time since I've been around, but I stumbled onto this thread while googling this exact topic.

 

The reason I'm googling this topic is extremely sad. I lost Kit (my first and only dog and a shelter rescue) about a month ago to cardiac hemangiosarcoma. She was only 7 years old and in perfect shape. We were one Q away from our NATCH. From the onset of symptoms to death was 8 days. Utterly tragic, and I don't know how I'll ever be anything but devastated about it.

 

Anyway, it will be mid-August before I'm ready to start looking again, but I'm starting to poke my nose around shelters and petfinder for my next agility prospect. Anything but a rescue would be an absolute disgrace to Kit's memory - she was a living testament to the fact that a shelter dog can make a wonderful sports dog. I very much enjoyed the "Gone to the Dogs" article that someone posted early in this thread. Reading it made me realize how lucky I was to find her. I did not get Kit with agility (or even sports) in mind, but from the moment I met her, she ticked off every point mentioned in that article. She dragged me into agility, not vice versa. I'll consider myself extraordinarily lucky if I can find another dog that meets those criteria.

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