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Part 1 - In the beginning

Posted: 14 Sep 2007, 19:47
by LabRes1

In the beginning

I've been threatening about writing another series of articles about training for some time and as I have now run out of excuses, here it is. I entitled this The Family Dog for a reason. It matters not whether the puppy is intended as a Working dog, Obedience, Agility or show it can still be the family dog! My Anna is a working gundog but a sweeter little pet it would be hard to find!

When thinking about writing this series the first problem I found was where to start? The beginning seemed the place but where abouts is “The Beginning”? Choice of breed? Not really. I think the choice of breed is a bit too much of a personal thing for someone else like me to try to influence so I’ll just have one thing to say about that before passing on.

When choosing a breed, think about what that breed was originally bred for. This will give you an idea of it’s nature. For example, the sight hounds, Greyhounds, Deerhounds and the like are running dogs! Some of the fastest dogs in existence. Pointers and Setters job is out in front of the guns finding game, not walking quietly beside their owners. If you enjoy a quiet sit in a deck chair in the garden then an active Border Collie may not be the dog for you and by the same token, an enthusiastic hill walker could possibly find a more suitable dog than a yorkie! Great dogs, one and all but as square pegs in round holes. . . . . . . . .

Ok. So you have selected your breed. Now where do you find a puppy? To a certain extent it will depend on what you want the puppy for. Very obviously to select a show dog for work or a working dog for show would not be the cleverest move. Some show dogs work well and some working dogs don’t look bad but the possibility of achieving your aims would be improved by selecting from proven lines. For a dog not intended for any form of competition then a show bred dog could possibly be slightly easier to handle than a puppy from working lines. Anna as an example never sleeps! With her that is no problem because there is so much for her to do but unless you have lots of time to be able to keep the puppy occupied then as the old saying goes, “The devil makes work for idle hands!” Go along to a show and see some dogs. “Discover Dogs” at Crufts is a great place to see many different breeds then the show ring to see many specimens of a particular breed. Talk to the exhibitors. These people are always happy to talk dogs (But not whilst getting ready to go in the ring!!!) When I was looking for Anna I phoned the owner of the sire of my old Bethany and she put me in touch with the owner of a bitch with similar breeding to Beth who had a litter of puppies.

Next time we will look at viewing a litter.

Regards, John

Posted: 14 Sep 2007, 20:47
by Glenys
This is excellent information written for our rescue by John Weller to share with people especially if you are looking to own a dog for the first time or to help with any training you may need with an existing dog.

Also do not forget to ask if there are any questions you would like to put to John in particular I am sure he would be able to advise.