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New Puppy Advice Please..

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Hello fellow sheepdoggers. I'm traveling across the country (Japan) to see a pup I'm very interested in buying. Pups were born August 8 and they will be staying with the breeder and siblings until the end of October.
The pup is from a very solid breeding of Aled Owens Maid (sister to his Cap, daughter of Mac) and the sire is Ricky Hutchinsons Sweep. This breeder does the rare litter for herding folk like myself but she is primarily a sport and agility pup supplier as that is where the money is I guess.

My question is....Is there any difference in how a pup should be handled in the first few months between a pup going to agility or a pup going to herding? Some here have said for me to be aware of this despite the quality breeding... I can't for the life of me comprehend how any difference is handling the pups at this young age would make any difference.

I should have prefaced this with the herding groups in Japan all despise each other and this is a breeder in a "rival" group. I don't care about the politics and egos....I just want a well bred pup. Is there any merit to their concerns? Thank you..

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Thank you GentleLake. Yes..especially those first few months. I'm kind of baffled. I suspect it's just a case of being caught in the crossfire between the Hatfields and McCoys. I'm going to ask when things cool down a bit.

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I can not imagine it being that big a deal, especially if you are getting the pup young. My pup came from a sports/hearding home 1/2 the litter went to agility homes the others went to farms. They were raised in the house with kids, played with toys etc, learned to tug. They did nothing really special though and were not the type to get sucked into all the puppy agility stuff, just provided a good allround home environment, vacuum cleaners, screaming kids, all the normal stuff.

I have a friend with a 7 year old sports bred dog who has some really impressive working lines, she has spent her life as an agility dog, she even had to learn to be a pet when she came to my friends, she had never seen sheep until a few months ago and her instinct was unreal, and she just started working. The shepherd was smitten! so I really don't see how a few weeks early weeks can effect a well bred pup badly.

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I don't know what is the usual method of handling /raising a pup in Japan or if there is one. Here folks run the gamut, even with working Border Collies there are differences with how people choose to raise them. What works for one person might not work for another or might not work for certain dogs because of personality or disposition differences.


Some raise dogs in a kennel situation with multiple daily interactions others have the dogs inside the house living with them 24x7. Others do a combination of kennel/house or raise pups inside till they are older then they outside in a kennel.


I think the most important point to note is that the interactions with your dog need to be consistent and I will say educational so that he learns from day 1 what is expected and acceptable. Stock work is dependent on two things I believe - the dogs instincts and your relationship. I raise my dogs with the knowledge that they will be hundreds of yards away from me and that I need them to do as asked. As pups we concentrate on respectful interactions so they are ready for stock work when the dog gets to that point.

A friend once said " Everything that happens Inside the pasture STARTS outside the gate"

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