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Thread: Entering into breeding and want every scrap of advice

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striker View Post
    I'd say so too because they were built to run, but every breed has it's own benefits. I can't even say why I'm into Borders so much really, they're just smart, good looking and versatile. Plus obviously good tempered They, and GSDs, are by far my favourite breeds. As far as Rebel goes, he's bold, focused, driven, and the fastest dog I've ever seen (haven't seen many greyhounds so I can't compare), and yet still obedient. Bonnie is also pretty fast, but she's much milder, sweeter and cuddly, less obedient than Rebel because she's easily distracted. Both are smart and learn very fast, and have plenty of initiative. So I think they complement each other well temperamentally. Physically Bonnie is bulkier, Rebel is lean and with longer legs relative to Bonnie's, but I think Rebel has a slightly shorter neck. He's probably more 'breed standard' than Bonnie since he's from papered lines, but there's no absolutely perfect dog, so they'll pair well imo. We'll see what more research yields - specifically the health tests.
    Just a qick comment on some of your statements. You dont know how fast Rebel is really and in what context?. I have a big long legged wide casting working bred BC that has incredible speed on the out run and great stamina, he will cast out a kilometre and outrun and muster up running sheep. He is also a very fast agility dog, although there are some of the top agility border collies that are even faster than him on the agility course.

    In terms of pairing, with working dogs there is always a danger of pairing strengths to weaknesses because you could end up with pups with the combination of worst of both parents. You really want to breed the best dogs to each other and have a good understanding of their ancestral makeup, not just their apparent phenotype.

    You need to be able to critically evaluate their structure. If you stack them correctly and photograph them you can then place dots and join lines and measure angles. You need to understand how each dog is put together from an object measured point of view rather than the subjective view that you have presented.

    So this is where you want to get your goals set. What are you breeding to produce? Do you have something in mind. In my opinion all breeders should have very clear goals about what they want to achieve and then find the right dogs to start out with.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 05-21-2013 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #42
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    Thanks for being honest and striving to help, as I see a lot of posts here just chewing me up for even wanting to breed (honestly, I cannot imagine how anyone gets into it if they're just rebuked for wanting to breed).
    At this point after thought I'm actually leaning away from breeding Bonnie. I'm torn between the two so it'll require some more serious thought, and I can't say for certain whether I will or won't be breeding her, but at the moment, it looks like a probable no. My dogs aren't workers, but I'm strongly considering putting Rebs through agility at some point, even if only minor. I'm going to wait a while for him to mature up a bit, as he can still like to play silly games and I wouldn't like it to cost me a show because I entered him prematurely. We'll see how it goes from there - he's young and trainable, so could be adapted to a variety of uses - the more the better. Hopefully tracking in there too.

    Basically for my goals, I want them to have flexible uses, highly intelligent, good looking and obviously healthy. I am not into conformation breeding at all and I won't be breeding for that apart from what is needed for the dog to have a useful body - like you, I care nothing for the set of ears or tail, or the set of the neck or the depth of the stop. I think that's rather foolish to focus on if the dog is all for show and of no practical use.

    Are my goals still too broad? Markings matter to me, as I don't want a dog that ends up looking like a cow with predominantly white etc. I'd definitely be setting out for classically marked. Do remember that's not my only goal, nor my most valued, but something to consider. Having found out male dogs can remain fertile for far longer than I thought, I'm more comfortable with leaving Bonnie out of it.

    In what context is he fast? Hmm. Anything that moves, he'll go after. I don't know exactly HOW fast he is, but he overtakes most anything that's not a car - I'll test him at some point when I have a long stretch of land/road available. He goes from 0 to 100 (so to speak) in a matter of about half a second, and I believe he is from working lines (not directly, but its in there somewhere - will have to trace back his lineage) as he has a strong prey drive. Also turns on a dime and can do it midair too.

  3. #43
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    Yes I think it will be a good start to get out and do some agility, obedience, tracking ot whatever with Rebel. This will then give you a clearer picture of his capacity. Agilti would be a good testing ground for him and its heaps of fun!

    It will also let you see him in the context of other Border collies both working and showbred and see how he shapes up.

    Prey drive is an interesting one. My showbred BC has a strong prey drive when it comes to chasing rabbits and critters but she is a useless on sheep. My working bred BC is less interested in critters but has a very strong desire to work sheep and has a strong array of herding traits.

    I think that getting out an about with your boy will really help you to chrystalise the context. I would also recommend learning about structure in relation to function. If I was going to breed this would be high on my agenda. Take your time and try and learn as much as you can about the breed.

  4. #44
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    All the pure BC's I've had have had a strong prey drive. Mostly for cats and smaller, as I've always lived suburban and never had sheep. It changes from dog to dog though. Bonnie and cats. Dunno where to start haha.

  5. #45
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    Striker

    If you want to get into agility - look up some stuff on foundation agility training - there's a whole lot of training that people do with their agility dogs from when tiny puppies. You want a dog that can deal with frustration and keep trying new things so you can train. And the way most people train agility involves tug rewards and food rewards - so you have to have a dog that will work for these. And then there are a heap of exercises you can do from tiny that involve developing balance and core strength and co-ordination. It helps to teach your dog left and right, and go-outs and perch work... and some people even teach their dogs colours - the lady who trains the wonder dogs has done this.

    You don't want to go into a show until Rebel knows how to do all the equipment when you ask - but that involves a lot of training from the very beginning. The two key things for agility - are a really reliable recall - and a really nice start line stay (sitting or standing), and then fast release on command. Don't wait for him to "mature" to start training these things - or anything sport related.

    Any trick training is good for agility - because it promotes learning skills in your dog.

  6. #46
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    He is super food oriented, and learns a trick fastest if I have a kibble-type treat. I'm not going to wait to start training him, just for him to mature up (and give me time to train him). This wasn't in my plan when I got him so I didn't do anything apart from normal obedience and a few tricks, so I'll have to work on that one. Recall will definitely need some work. What are tug rewards?
    We'll go to the park quite a lot which have a ton of huge boulders which we run around on, which I imagine would be helpful for balance and coordination, cos they're quite large and can be spaced quite far apart.

  7. #47
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    Tug rewards - watch what these people are doing with their dogs before and after (training) runs...

    WAO Canada - Wednesday - YouTube

    You need both tug and food rewards for different exercises. Tug tends to get a dog all wound up and excited, and is really good for getting a dog thinking when excited. Food is good for precision and control exercises (drop stay, sit stay, sit pretty (begging pose)) and tends to calm a dog down (at least a dog with a belly full of food is less likely to be running ballistically) unless it's my dog in which case she will still be bonkers excited after a handful of roast chicken scraps.

    High value food rewards are good for conditioning a reliable recall.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-22-2013 at 08:26 PM.

  8. #48
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    If he has a strong prey drive he will probably liking tugging and chasing toys. A tug reward is when you have built value for tugging and then can use that instead of food as reward. Tugging tends get them hyped up and build drive whereas food gets them thinking. Both usefull rewards. Tugging sends my BC into hyper drive so I an careful when I use it. Great for get them to work in drive for you and also when teaching them to work away from you too. Teaching hind end awareness is also good. Is there an agility club near you?

  9. #49
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    Tugging...he does love tug. He get super excited and starts barking like hell though, which I'm trying to train him out of. In what context would you use tugging? I can only see that being a benefit for training to hold/bite on something?

  10. #50
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    You use tug as a reward.

    So he jumps a jump - you throw the tug to the landing side as he arrives there - to reward in position. Ideally he brings the tug straight back to you for a fun 5 second game of tug.

    Perch work... he puts his paw on the the perch - you say "yes" and offer him the tug to play with... if he comes off the perch - you ask for the tug back ("give") and start again...

    Relationship games and start line stays...

    You play tug, then you ask for a sit... if he gives you a sit - you say yes, then "geddit" and offer the tug and play...
    You ask for a sit and then you try to fake him out of the sit. If he moves, put him back and start over, if he doesn't - release (say "go") and then give him the tug and play with him... Gradually increase the distance between him and you before you release, then once he's got that, only reward with the tug when he arrives flat out (always reward average or better performance).

    Weave poles - throw the tug to the "reward line" as he arrives... he should fetch it back to play with you.

    For directionals and go outs - have three tugs - one straight, one to the right and one to the left...
    start with the straight one - call "straight" and release - when he goes straight - say geddit - and he can have the tug straight ahead. Trick is - he only takes the tug when you say geddit... and he only takes the one straight ahead...
    then you work on left and then you work on right... don't mix them up until he's completely solid on each direction.

    use the tug any time you want to reward a good effort by the dog, and for something called a "balance break" where you just want to have a play between training sessions to keep his enthusiasm up.

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