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  #11  
Old Feb 26, 2014, 07:42 AM
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corbinam corbinam is offline
 
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I think that one of the hesitations (at least for me) is that most breeders that focus on conformation won't sell a show quality puppy to someone who won't show in breed. It doesn't make me mad--I understand how hard breeders work to produce quality dogs. It just doesn't work for me--there's only so much time in the day.

Sometimes you can get lucky and the puppy has a fault that isn't structural in nature--but at that point you are waiting for a high drive puppy with a non-structural fault and your choice of puppy is dwindling.
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  #12  
Old Feb 26, 2014, 08:35 AM
melbell melbell is offline
 
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For me it's more about the parents and puppy selection. I try to pick the outgoing puppy that isn't afraid of much. I think I got the hyper one out of the litter though, but my fiance and I were the young ones compared to others buying, so I'm glad he's with us and not the family who is retired and just wanted a pet. I wouldn't trade my wild Ruutu. He has his name for a reason. BUT I do like to see drive in the puppy's eyes before getting them. My breeder had the pups using a wobble toy in their pen from I believe week 3-4. Mine always jumped on it and off and had a blast on it. That to me showed me he would do awesome things in Agility, which he is. His sister already has Rally titles. I'd love to do more than Agility, but like others said, money + time just don't mix well right now in my life. I think this winter if we're still in NC I'll be focusing on obedience classes. Otherwise, we'll stick to Agility if in PA since there's more training places.
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  #13  
Old Feb 26, 2014, 09:02 AM
Tagg Tagg is online now
 
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If it were me, I would look for a breeder that has dogs that have done both. I don't believe in breeding "performance" dogs. They should be good representatives of their breed both structurally and mentally. The pitfalls are many when you start doing this. For starters, what if the pup is wound for sound and mentally would have high drive but physically is unsound to do so? Now you have a dog that is reactive, hard to live with and likely to end up in a shelter, or worse. The other side of the coin is a dog that is lovely to look at but doesn't allow you to at least dabble in performance.
That pup that is so eye catching in a litter, strutting around fearlessly is for the experienced person. It is the one most likely to be a handful. We sold a pup that was lovely in conformation but carried a darker dorsal stripe like her grandfather. She was the most strong minded in the litter. When you watched those 5 pups, she was first at everything, investigated everything and strutted with her tail up all the time. She fought learning to walk on lead and we told her owners to bring on the cheese! This was back in the early 80's when food rewards were not the recommended way of training. That westie went on to have 26 obedience titles in 3 countries and made many breed firsts. She ended up in many breed publications as well and by the way, the dorsal stripe disappeared by the time she was a year old What she had was conformation, temperament and good health. She lived to be 18. Thank goodness we gave her her registered name and it was quite fitting for a westie that excelled in obedience, agility ,flyball, rally and go to ground. Her name was Towynridge Once Upon A Time.
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