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Miztiki

Need advice with choosing next dog.

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When you get a puppy, you DO get a relatively clean slate, and YOUR training program can begin without nearly as many unknown obstacles.
Yep, have to disagree with that 100%. I knew my rescue dog loved kids. I knew my resuce dog didn't bark. I knew my resuce dog was very friendly with people of ALL types. I knew my rescue dog had mild HD, but was totally healthy in all other counts. I knew my rescue dog was about 50lbs with a thick coat. I knew my rescue dog hated firworks.

 

I don't know if my puppy will have HD. She used to like my father in law and now has decided she doesn't like men. She used to hate other puppies, but now is getting better. She used to sleep through any work we did on the house but now runs to a dark spot and hides. I don't know if she hates fireworks or not. I don't know if her UTI problems were just do to late maturity or if she will grow to be a sickly girl. I have no idea how she is around kids. I don't know how big she will get - but I have a guess. I don't know what her personality will be like - mom or dads or combo of both.

 

Not many unknown obstacles? :rolleyes:

 

For us, it was the other way around.

 

Denise

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Border Collie puppies stay "puppy" for about 2 years.
WHAT? (just kidding) Piper just turned 3 and thinks she is still a puppy, in terms of energy. I too love puppies, loved Piper as a puppy but love her more as an adult. When we think of getting another BC I fondly remember devil dog Piper running full speed through the house and think...nah, we're not ready yet.

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lol well I know everyone think Happy is still a puppy! and she is 4 years old! lol its funny because I take her someplace and everyone assumes that Happy is a littermate to lighting whome they know is a puppy, well Happy is flattered :rolleyes: lol I know Happy while she is a sweetheart now, she was hell to raise, you have no idea how many times I cried while trying to bring that dog up, she stole everything, she jumped gates, she chewed things up, she didnt listen, she was moody and an all around brat, now that she has matured though one would think she has always been this way, sweet, calm, but has a hidden energy spring that she never uses unless asked, never steals anything, never does anything that may offend someone without out looking at me for permission first etc. etc. everyone loves her, she gets invited everywhere the whole naighborhood knows who Happy is lol but she has only been this way for about a year now so I went through 3 years of hell first. Misty.... uuuhhh well she is insane in her own way lol she is like "if you dont play with me non stop for 3 weeks I will destroy the house" that dog is almost never calm she is off the walls and you cant tire her out with exersize there is no way. why? simple because she knows how to conserve her energy, she will burn about half then she will stop and you cant for the life of you get her to do a darn thing, then she has all her energy again, and this goes on and on so I have to work her brain instead, 20 minuts of training new tricks will have her zonked lol BUT because I have had her since she was 7 1/2 weeks old, do you know how hard it is to come up with a new trick for every week of her life? lol she is only 2 years old(well next saterday) and I am already hard pressed for comming up with tricks, much less remebering the old ones lol :eek:

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oh no you guys! You mean this crazy puppy behavior won't end for another 2 or 3 years!? :rolleyes:

 

That's fine...I'll just need to buy LOTS of clicker training books!

 

Denise

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If I wanted a new dog with less maintenance, I would get an adult rescue. If I wanted to be sure 100% that my dog would meet certain requirements (mentally and physically healthy, training potential, stable personality), I would get an adult rescue. If I wanted to know ahead of time my dog's likes and dislikes, I'd get an adult rescue. If I wanted the possibility that my dog might be housetrained, socialized, and might even have some basic manners, I'd get an adult rescue.

 

I like a challenge (either that or I'm an idiot). My first two were puppy rescues - all the uncertainty and work of a puppy without some of the known factors you get with a pup from a responsible breeder. Not that puppy rescues are bad, just not something you want to start out with. I ruined my first puppy and my second came with temperamental issues (she was a pretty well-bred puppy, too).

 

My next dog was grown enough so that I could evaluate his temperament and his potential to work sheep. He's met my expectations and then some - he's probably my best dog. He's not exactly a rescue but he was certainly unwanted in his first home.

 

My next one was a pup, from a breeding I waited on for two years. She's been a bit of a disappointment but I've learned to adjust my expectations. If you get a puppy, that's what you've got to do. Pups are a pig in a poke under the best of cirmcumstances (how alliterative; I need to lay off the Old English poetry).

 

The best move we have made so far was when we bought our husband's dog. I'd watched the progress of Doug the Dog's training for a couple years and knew he would work well for a beginner. Since he was threeyears old, we were able to get his eyes and hips checked before we purchased him. We knew he was a big teddy bear of a dog who loved kids and other dogs and had no problem with cats, travelled well, pottied on command, had delightful manners inside and out, and we even got to "test drive" him before making up our minds.

 

I consider Doug the Dog to be our reward for years of training rescues to fit into their new homes as easily as Doug has fit into ours. No one who has seen Doug and Patrick together would ever believe this is Doug's, I don't know, fifth or sixth home and that we've had him only six months. Doug's not a rescue, but his experience highlights many of the issues raised by those who are afraid that an older dog can't adjust, bond, or learn a new routine.

 

I'm doing the puppy thing again because I consider training a pup myself to be a necessary step in my becoming a better handler. Otherwise I'd put my money on the known quantity of an adult again. If my livelihood didn't depend on my choice (ie, if I just wanted a partner for sports or whatnot), I'd never get anything but adult rescues.

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How pliable (for lack of a better word) is a rescue? From reading some of your posts, it's almost like shopping for a car that has the options you want, the mileage, the year, in the price range, etc. This is just a new thing for me to explore.

 

I'll use the child analogy again (even if it isn't the most accurate) but I know children can culture a quite different personality when in the home of someone who provides for a totally different environment than the one they are used to. Is it the same for a dog?

 

I mean, nearly all dogs can be trained to do things but each has their own unique personality. Over time in a new home (ours), do you think a rescue dog's personality would change?

 

I'm hoping to go to a rescue center/shelter (which is it anyway) this weekend and talk with them and learn more, but would like to hear your take on it.

 

I'm partial to puppies too, hard work and all, but it's not just me this time. I want the best experience for my husband so that I can move on to the next level later on... horses! :rolleyes:

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First, I'll detail your options (this is just a general description, not definitive by any means - your mileage may vary):

 

RESCUE: either an individual or an organization who/that has as a mission reclaiming and re-homing dogs on a case-by-case basis. Most rescues operate out of folks' homes. Often even the biggest organizations are simply networks of volunteers and foster homes. The dogs live in homes with their foster "parents" while the rescue gets to know them, evaluate their potential and needs, and very often get rehab and training to make them more adoptable.

 

BREED RESCUE: Specializes in a particular breed, usually to the exclusion of even mixes (though mixes usually "end up" in foster care, in practice, for one reason or another). Dogs usually end up in breed rescue because they manifest the typical characteristics of their breed, taking their hapless, and usually ill-informed, owners by surprise. So it's often easy to find really nice, typical dogs in breed rescue, sometimes even pups with pedigrees (whether you get the papers or not is an individual rescue choice). Lack of socialization and training is probably the number one issue for rescue dogs. Many times this is remedied to a great extent in foster care, sometimes dogs need varying degrees of additional training. The main point, however, is that a responsible rescuer will let a potential adopter know exactly what they are in for. Most rescues have a lifetime return policy so it is in their best interest to make sure that adoptive homes are matched with the dog that meets their needs and expectations best.

 

SHELTER: This can be a kill or no-kill facility. Shelters are generally professionally run and the facilities are usually kennel rather than home centered. They can be operated by anything from small organizations up to the animal control division which acts in your area. In most cases, the mission of a shelter is to protect and house homeless pets and either to rehome them or, in many more numbers, use euthanization to maintain space for new animals. Shelters range widely in adoption services offered, from "U-pick/U-pay" up to full evaluation and counseling services comparable to the best breed rescues. Usually, it's easier to go and see animals at shelters because the animals' housing is centralized, but of course, what you see may not be what you get as animals often act differently in kennel environments, than in homes.

 

Next, about the "custom dog" thing: it's good to know what your expectations are, and if you have specific needs it's wise to have them on the table. Otherwise, in "shopping" for a dog, wherever it comes from, it's best to keep an open mind.

 

When you talk to most rescues, the first thing that will happen is they will take a look at YOU. They want to know about your home environment - usually, not to see whether you are "worthy" or not, but just to find out what kind of dog would best match your situation. They might have that kind of dog, they may not. If you are talking to breed rescue, it is at this point that serious counseling will take place. When I did these interviews, the main thing I looked at was attitude, since the Border Collie is more of a lifestyle than a pet. The people I liked best were those who were, well, kind of fanatic about the things that most people were afraid of - the breed's insatiable energy, obessiveness, quirkiness, neediness. Some rescues do dismiss out of hand people who lack certain things like fenced in yards or someone home all day but I don't think that's very common.

 

During the evaluation process, you may or may not have started getting steered towards certain dogs that are in the program. Most rescues list some dogs online or somewhere, but many times there are also dogs that for whatever reason are in the program but not "public" yet. As you work with the rescue, they'll have an idea of what you are looking for, and also start getting ideas of dogs that might work for you.

 

We had a formal approval process. Once a prospective adoptive home was approved, they were free to arrange meetings with individual dogs. Since most rescues operate as seperate foster homes, this process can take some time but it's worth it. It's good to be able to sit and talk with someone who has lived with the dog for weeks or months.

 

Sometimes a rescue will showcase some of their foster dogs at adoption fairs or dog events. Keep on the lookout for these - it's a great time to talk to rescue folks informally and get an idea of what's available.

 

So, it's more like adopting a child - less about "shopping" and more about "matching" the right home to the right homeless pet.

 

I hope this answers your questions.

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And, to answer your first question last, :rolleyes: with regard to a rescue dog's "pliability" - let's say adaptability - I think I can put your mind at rest.

 

First, dogs are of course individuals. They have a wide range of potential to be adaptable to new environments. Not only that, but a wide range of experiences that occur to dogs can affect to some extent, their ability to fit in (I'm mixing my cases here - I'd better make this as short as possible!).

 

With that said, remember that well-beaten dead horse - dogs are pack animals. Adapting to new circumstances is a survival skill. Just as in the wild, some dogs are better at fitting in than others. Some personalities mesh better than others. With a rescue, you'll know a lot about these two variables before you have to commit to a dog.

 

If your dog isn't absolutely pathological, introducing a gentle yet structured routine right from the start will help any dog bond quickly. Sheepdogs (Border Collies) in particular go from owner to owner with great aplomb, knowing that their place is to work sheep and that the boundaries of their universe are well-defined in that context. You can reproduce that kind of structure fairly easily by making your interactions with a new dog upbeat and consistent, and offering a "job" as the new dog is able to handle it.

 

I have a feeling I stopped making sense a while ago so I'll stop now. I do hope this helps.

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Originally posted by brookcove2:

[QB]

(I have been looking through old threads and haven't seen one about clever ways to challenge your dog.
Probably because for most of us it's less about thinking of ways to challenge our dogs, and more about its being, as Glyn Jones calls it, "A Way of Life". I'm sure you understand, having been there.

 

 

^^Can you please explain what that means. Glyn Jones? A guru, maybe?

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Originally posted by MrSnappy:

[/qb]

I hope your reply is as tongue in cheek as Andrea's post.

 

Puppies are very cute. I love puppies. I ADORE adults and my grown up dogs, though they were fun when they were puppies, are now reliable and

 

 

^^^... so on and so forth. WHY would I be "tongue in cheek"? I think puppies are a better bet. Sorry. I don't have to agree with you, do I? A question was asked, and I answered with MY opinion. Sue me.

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^^Can you please explain what that means. Glyn Jones? A guru, maybe?
Yes, a sheepdog guru! :rolleyes:

 

H. Glyn Jones wrote the classic, Sheepdogs, a Way of Life, being a second generation sheepdog handler and shepherd, a winner of the Welsh Nationals and the Supreme, along with many other prizes with his home-bred dogs. He's a popular judge and clinician when he visits over here.

 

It's a neat book: http://www.bordercollies.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=898

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Originally posted by Piper:

WHAT? (just kidding) Piper just turned 3 and thinks she is still a puppy, in terms of energy. I too love puppies, loved Piper as a puppy but love her more as an adult.

 

^^Y'know, I expected MORE from this list. Do you think that I'm so stupid that when your are quoting my words with an intent to mockery, that I wouldn't notice? All I did was merely state my opinion, and it was mutilated. Thanks a bunch.

If you guys have a group who believe a certain way then fine, I've no objection. But don't condemn me for feeling otherwise, please.

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I think RDM was wondering whether you spoke from a personal experience with training a rescue versus raising and training a puppy, when you contrast those experiences unfavorably.

 

Some people certainly just like to raise puppies, or need a dog from a particular line for whatever reason. We just get a little prickly when someone makes generalizations about rescue, from a limited experience, to someone who is looking for facts.

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Originally posted by Miztiki:

[QB]From reading some of your posts, it's almost like shopping for a car that has the options you want, the mileage, the year, in the price range, etc. This is just a new thing for me to explore.

Well, you might be surprised... (in a good and happy way)

 

I went to a shelter and told them I wanted a big ol' lap dog - no puppies, please. They said "A-Ha! Someone for our Nikolai!" And BAM (to quote Emeril) a match made it heaven. Of course, I had looked at a different shelter at first, and insisted on seeing a few other dogs at the one where Nik was, but for the most part, they knew him, and knew what home he would fit into best. They knew he was housebroken, older, walked well on a leash, was cat-safe, etc. And because I knew sort of what I was looking for, they were able to put two and two together. And yes, that's how it really happened!

 

He was by far the easiest, although he has some dominance issues and is terrified of lightning, he's never had an accident in the house, is crate trained (although he has free reign now), and is good with female dogs. While he wasn't good with puppies, we've worked to socialize him, and he's actually pretty good around other male dogs now. He was also the only one that I picked out - hubby (the softie!) fell for the other two ladies who joined us later. I'll also add that we certainly looking for more dogs - they came to us through weird circumstances.

 

Sasha (who we didn't know was part BC until she started growing) was a PITA - and still is, as she's only a year and a half old. So much for that whole "oh, she's likely Chow - she'll be calm and collected." Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

 

Adding dog #3 was a bit trickier, although she and Sasha bonded pretty quickly. She was already 2, housebroken, but quite skinny and starved for attention. She's also dumb as a post. Actually, hubby likes to say that she's dumber than a post, because posts know "stay." Still, she's a lapdog, and isn't happy unless she's halfway on top of one of her humans. She's also a great companion, albeit a little clingy.

 

Am I rambling about my dogs? Imagine that?! Hm... seeing as they are my children, just humor me.

 

Anyway, Brookcove's description is right on - let them check you out, and you check them out.

 

Good luck,

Danielle

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Originally posted by BigD:

BCBob-

 

Based on my rescue dog and my puppy - the first 4 months of life with our rescue dog were CAKE compared to the puppy.

 

^^So?

 

Did I say it wasn't rewarding? No. But based on my experience, it was MUCH easier with the rescue.

 

^^So?

 

Heck, after a few days we could go out to a movie and dinner - leave Buddy in his room for 8 hours and not have to worry about crying, peeing, etc.

 

^^So?

 

Since I have had the puppy - we have not taken a trip to the North shore to spend the day at the beach or hiking without putting the dogs in a kennel. She could probably handle it now, but it's taken many months.

 

^^So?

 

Buddy had his issues as a rescue dog that a schedule, socialization and training helped him overcome. The puppy needed all of that, but ramped up about 500%!

 

^^So?

 

Have you ever rescued a dog? Can you compare the puppy to rescue from your own experience? Just asking.

 

^^NO! So?

 

I 100% agree that puppies are great - but they are HARD WORK. Much harder for us than our rescue boy was/is.

 

^^Your point?

 

Border Collie puppies stay "puppy" for about 2 years. I've got a year to go! Thank god! :rolleyes:

 

^^Weird attitude to me.

 

Denise

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Originally posted by brookcove2:

I think RDM was wondering whether you spoke from a personal experience with training a rescue versus raising and training a puppy, when you contrast those experiences unfavorably.

 

Some people certainly just like to raise puppies, or need a dog from a particular line for whatever reason. We just get a little prickly when someone makes generalizations about rescue, from a limited experience, to someone who is looking for facts.

^^Well, indeed I have raised a rescue, NOT a bc, but a mixed breed of questionable parentage. I had her for several years. It's an entirely different scenario to raising a pup.

 

I was disagreeing with the concept of a pup being a "hard" thing to deal with. That simple. It's a pup. Of course it's hard.

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Have you ever rescued a dog? Can you compare the puppy to rescue from your own experience? Just asking.

 

^^NO! So?

Here's the problem - you made this claim:

 

I don't think raising a puppy is hell at all. And if one is NOT willing to accept it, then he/she surely couldn't be too tolerant of a rescue in many cases.
quote:

 

The specific point in contention being:

 

They often require MORE work than a pup, no? I've raised pups, I've trained and rehabbed many a rescue. By far the rescues are consistently easier to deal with. Occaisionally you'll get one that needs intensive care. Those don't get placed with people who aren't prepared to deal with it. I've done the grunt work of training raw rescues, fresh from abusive or neglective homes, shelters, and farms - and I'd far rather train a rescue than raise a pup. I never had a rescue here longer than four months for any reason. As several people have said, Border Collies are puppyish for up to four years, with the first two being fraught with the most uncertainties and changes. I've been told by several old handlers that Border Collies are pups until they have a year under each foot.

 

With an adult, training sticks like it doesn't with a pup. Train once, it's done. You don't have to deal with those inconvenient "fear periods" which are so gruesome in Border Collies especially. Adults don't turn into some other dog every two or three months.

 

Once I was through with an adult dog, that dog was ready to fulfil its potential wherever its final destination might have been. Any time I placed a puppy rescue, I made sure the new owners understood that though I had done my best to give the pup the best start possible, it was almost entirely up to them to shape the pup's future behavior. One of my few placement mistakes was a pup that came back because it turned very dominant and walked all over its owner. Pups are a pig in a poke.

 

No one's saying getting a dog from a breeder is wrong, or that someone will gain eternal salvation by getting a rescue dog instead. We just like to keep the facts straight when it comes to rescue. We object when people make it sound like rescue dogs are intrinsically inferior in some way. We get like this because we work with the contrary evidence every day - we know how great these dogs are and hate to see one miss a home because someone believed misinformation spread in a forum like this one.

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Bob --

 

Piper didn't quote you at all, let alone with an intent to mock, as far as I can tell. She quoted Denise (BigD).

 

The original poster asked for input about getting a pup versus getting an adult dog, and later asked for opinions about rescue dogs. The point of Denise's post (the one you quote with all the "So?"s and "Your point?"s) was to compare her experience with a puppy to her experience with an adult rescue. Seems relevant to the thread to me. It was also responsive to your assertion that rescues require more work than a pup does.

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Brookcove, you've answered alot of questions for me and been a great help!

 

Danielle, ramble on! Every response and story adds a little more insight.

 

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to answer my questions. I really do appreciate it. Next stop will be the rescue place.

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Mitzki

Nope, not wrong about the "charming" thing. :D Out of curiosity, I polled everyone at work today. All of them said their dogs were certainly fun and cute as puppies, but there were many times they wished they could give them to someone else for a while, because their "charm" wore thin at times. Not a single one of them felt that way about their adult dogs. The consensus (as stated by one nurse, though I paraphrase) was: "Yeah, puppies are cute and adorable and engaging; that's what keeps us from killing them. :rolleyes: But my adult dogs are charming all the time, and I NEVER want to kill them." (I also know many people who adore someone's well-mannered adult dog but can't abide puppies of any description.) But, it's all a matter of opinion - and certainly it's been a lively discussion! I guess you and I just have different ideas about what constitutes charm. "Not that there's anything WRONG with that!" (For the Seinfeld fans).

 

Anyway, good for you for looking into rescue. There are some real gems to be found that way. I agree that, particularly with BCs, there's a pretty high degree of trainability and adaptability (they wouldn't make good stock dogs otherwise). That "old dog/new trick" thing isn't really a problem with any of the BCs I've known so far except one, and with him it wasn't age related - he was just a stress case and had a hard time learning at ANY age from puppy on - fear being a great hinderance to learning. In actuality, he did his BEST learning when he got older (like, over six) and was in an environment where he wasn't as stressed.

 

On call, gotta go...

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Originally posted by Eileen Stein:

Bob --

 

Piper didn't quote you at all, let alone with an intent to mock, as far as I can tell. She quoted Denise (BigD).

 

The original poster asked for input about getting a pup versus getting an adult dog, and later asked for opinions about rescue dogs. The point of Denise's post (the one you quote with all the "So?"s and "Your point?'s) was to compare her experience with a puppy to her experience with an adult rescue. Seems relevant to the thread to me.

^^Finally a respectful and considerate response. All I did was disagree. But I was "mocked" at one point with my quote of "What?". Reread if you will.

 

"If you have nothing to say, you have nothing to fear"- dog and his bob

 

:rolleyes:

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On call, gotta go...
Then I'll sneak one in while you're gone...

 

I guess you and I just have different ideas about what constitutes charm.
Not at all! You and I both agree that I'm more charming than you, right?

 

Right?

 

:rolleyes:

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I did reread, and here's what I found:

 

At 6:23 p.m., BigD put up a post that ended:

 

>

 

At 6:48 p.m. Piper quoted that, and then replied:

 

>

 

At 10:12 p.m., you quoted that (Piper's post) and then wrote:

 

>

 

I'm not sure why you took such offense from what seemed to me a good-natured post by Piper, but in any case, Piper was not quoting your words. Right?

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Originally posted by Eileen Stein:

 

At 6:48 p.m. Piper quoted that, and then replied:

 

<< WHAT? {just kidding}

 

^^Ya, and that's MY quote, and whatever...... IT'S NO Big deal. Just the point.

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Jordi44- I didn't know you had a collie! I have one called Jana- Sable and White just like lassie!

I didn't find raising Jana too much hard work at all- but I suppose she's not a BC . Do what in your heart feels right and please consider rescue... :rolleyes:

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