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Performance (Agility, Obedience, Hunting) A place to talk and brag about performance training/ titles.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raising A Performance Puppy

I'm possibly getting a new puppy in 8 weeks (born yesterday!), if there's a pup that turns out to have the right personality for performance. I've actually never raised a puppy of my own before (have raised so so many to be service dogs, but never one of my own) and I want to make sure I get off on the right foot. I want to gear everything in the beginning toward an eventual future in performance events (hopefully agility and obedience, maybe other sports as well).

You performance poodle folks: any website/article/book recommendations on raising a performance puppy and how to start off? Any tips welcome. I'm looking into a competition puppy class as well, but it's an hour away from me and I'm not sure I can swing it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've raised Sugarfoot since Day One with "Say Yes" philosophy, which emphasizes the dog learning to think for himself and to have self-control from the very beginning. There's no use of aversives, and everything is based on creating a good foundation for a performance dog. Check out Susan Garrett's website.

I would definitely say to get the Crate Games DVD and to use the "It's Yer Choice" game in everyday life. Some great books are Agility Right from the Start, Control Unleashed (there's a puppy version, too), and (highly recommened) The FOCUSed Puppy, which really homes in on activities to do from day one with puppy with a performance dog in mind. There are *so many* little things to do that might seem sort of nonsensical, but it turns out they're foundation work for things to come. You're probably very familiar with this idea as a service dog trainer.

I'll post again if I think of more. Fingers crossed for everything to work out for you--puppies are (sometiems frustrating) fun!

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! Heading over to Amazon right now to order those books. I've been wanting Control Unleashed for quite some time now anyway, so good reason to buy it

I completely understand the importance of the "little things", which is why I want to make sure I know what all of those little things are before I get started. I've raised so many puppies in the last few years (7 maybe? I lose count) but service dog prep is a lot different than performance dog prep haha. This will be the first pet dog I've ever raised from puppyhood (Nova was rescued at 2 years old; Sookie was raised in the service dog program) so I'm all nervous parent.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK I can get "Agility Right From The Start" in kindle edition for like $20 cheaper than on Amazon. I know some books are the kind that you want to make notes in the margins and write all over it, etc. Do you think I would be doing myself a disservice by purchasing it on Kindle instead of paperback?
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't have Agility Right from the Start, but I do have both of Diane Bauman's books: Beyond Basic Dog Training (which is on obedience) and Agility Start to Finish. I also have Control Unleashed and went to a seminar given by Leslie McDevitt that was very good. I also have The FOCUSed Puppy, but didn't use it with Lily since I was already competing in obedience and rally with her before I got it. It is for the next puppy.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sookster View Post
OK I can get "Agility Right From The Start" in kindle edition for like $20 cheaper than on Amazon. I know some books are the kind that you want to make notes in the margins and write all over it, etc. Do you think I would be doing myself a disservice by purchasing it on Kindle instead of paperback?
It is a huge, thick book with many, many pictures. I have different sections of it tagged with labeled stickies. Everything is in minute, step-by-step detail. It kind of depends on your personal style whether you'd be inclined to take notes in it or not, though... The nice thing about the Kindle version might be that you could instantly click to the section you want to read / work from that day. But then there were lots of times when I just flipped randomly through my copy, enjoying skipping around.

I found *Control Unleashed* invaluable after Sugar's attack and used several of the strategies, particularly "Look at That Dog." It really helped him focus and dispel fear in a very non-stressful way. The puppy version is great, too.

Remember with a performance puppy...Encourage tug / toy drive from Day One!!! To have wild Tug with a performance dog is an incredible advantage in so many ways! There are people who spend weeks and months teaching tug drive, because it's *that* worth it, when, with most dogs, it's a drive that most puppies have that if nurtured correctly, will develop.

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I really like Susan Garrett's website, too. Thanks for the information.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sookster -- if there is anyone who will do a superb job at raising a performance pup, something tells me it is you!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quossum View Post
It is a huge, thick book with many, many pictures. I have different sections of it tagged with labeled stickies. Everything is in minute, step-by-step detail. It kind of depends on your personal style whether you'd be inclined to take notes in it or not, though... The nice thing about the Kindle version might be that you could instantly click to the section you want to read / work from that day. But then there were lots of times when I just flipped randomly through my copy, enjoying skipping around.

I found *Control Unleashed* invaluable after Sugar's attack and used several of the strategies, particularly "Look at That Dog." It really helped him focus and dispel fear in a very non-stressful way. The puppy version is great, too.

Remember with a performance puppy...Encourage tug / toy drive from Day One!!! To have wild Tug with a performance dog is an incredible advantage in so many ways! There are people who spend weeks and months teaching tug drive, because it's *that* worth it, when, with most dogs, it's a drive that most puppies have that if nurtured correctly, will develop.

--Q
Then maybe I will just bite the bullet and purchase the book. In Kindle the photos won't be in color :(

On your last remark, any resources or tips on doing that? Obviously I know what tug is and know that it is valuable, but I've never had a dog that plays tug. The service dogs are strictly forbidden (during the stage of training I do; of course some of them learn tug as a task later on in their training) and Nova has no interest in toys. So I've never actually been able to encourage this before. Sooks would have been an awesome tug dog if I had been able to encourage it from the beginning :(
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The pictures aren't in color in the book, either! Now, The FOCUSed Puppy is chock-full of full-color photos.

Working on building tug drive: If you Google "Susan Garrett tugging," you will get all sorts of posts from her blog that will be and will lead you do great resources and explanations. I'd link, but my iPad keeps on eating my post every time I leave this page, so I'm having some linking issues!

I remember on the trip home with Sugar, stopping for a potty break and dragging a toy around then and there for him to tug. He does seem to like food better, and during the course of the training we had some "Don't Wanna, Don't Hafta" moments, but we worked through them, and now he tugs quite well. I want a little more enthusisam in different environments, but what he has is good.

Keep us posted on the puppy progress!

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