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    1. #1
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      How do you choose which training to pursue?

      Hoping someone can help me figure this out since I'm new to formal training. This is about Archie, my Welshie. You'll have to forgive me for posting in the Lab forum because there are no forums for Welshies I digress...

      OK, so we're in our 4th obedience class. The current one is a prep class for CGC. My original plan for Archie was to be a therapy dog but I'm starting to reconsider his qualifications. His pray drive and nose are just insane! In a good way... if you wanted him to be a hunting dog. Last night in class the trainer told me that Archie was "sent sniffing" (I think that's what he called it). For the first half of the class Archie kept rising on hind legs and smelling different levels of air. As in, low, high, higher, low, etc. So the trainer said that getting around his nose will be my greatest challenge with him. Then I started to think, perhaps I shouldn't force the therapy dog thing if that's not his natural tendencies. Perhaps I should cater to his abilities and use them to our advantage. So the question is... what should I do with him?

      He's 8.5 months old. There are nose work and agility classes at my training facility. I was considering those. I don't know at what age what training should begin. Are we too late for some things? We don't hunt birds (my husband hunts deer, etc but not birds) so I don't want to train him for that although that's what he was meant for. Ugh I don't know. I need some guidance with his little guy. He's smart and energetic. I don't want his talents to go to waste. Help!

    2. #2
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      He’s plenty young enough for anything you might want to try. Nose work sounds like a good fit. He might also enjoy tracking but it’s harder to train because you need helpers and grounds, but if you can find a tracking club near you it might be worth a go. Also, even if no one in your family hunts, you could still train him for hunt tests. I know lots of people who do hunt tests with their dogs (Labs, GSP’s, etc) that don’t actually hunt.

      Nose work is probably the easiest in terms of getting into it, so maybe start there?
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    4. #3
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      Noseworks for sure. My trainer thinks the younger the better on that. It's a lot of fun, we do it with Tickle and Wrigley's tried it. I would definitely do that since that just works off of the natural ability of the dog. And you are NEVER TOO LATE for anything. it might take a little longer to train, but never too late. And anything you learn anywhere in regards to noseworks, obedience, etc. all can be used later if you decide to pursue Therapy. I wouldn't put that off the table just yet. The dog is young, I don't know much about them, but he could just be a scatterbrained "teen" right now. Heck, if JAGGER can be a therapy dog! Besides, the Therapy group, TDI, their test is based off the CGC (the same plus a few other items), so you'll have all that down anyway.
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    6. #4
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      He's still a baby, absolutely not too late for any. Learning the basics should be first regardless of the sport. i did nose work with Rocky this past January at 12! And we tried ratting when he was 10ish. I started agility with Penny when she was at least 1 and we were doing great. Rocky started flyball at the age of...2-3?

      The teenage months can be rough. Sounds like you've kept right on top of training but therapy work isn't his calling at this time (he's still so young, it may well come around to being a good plan once he's 4-5)

      For me what to do was often based on what classes fit my schedule Not sure how large a welsh is but agility needs to be kept flatter until joints are done growing. not to say you can't start with some fundamentals just give that some thought.

      Scenting/Ratting classes sound like they could be fun and reward something he already find rewarding - which can be HUGE for bonding and training. Agility could be great too (I'd stick to more ground work so a class that focusses on fundamentals first VS a pet class that has dogs doing A-frame and tether in six weeks).

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    8. #5
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      Thanks guys. We have 5 weeks left to this class as it just started. I think I'll look into the nose work class next. Last night he was probably second to last dog in bad behavior. Everyone was light years ahead of him with manners. But to be fair he was probably the youngest one there. He was just soooo distracted. He was eating his treats like he was doing ME a favor lol

      He's probably close to 40 lbs right now. I doubt he'll get much bigger. He's on the smaller size for his breed. I think agility may also be on the table as he likes to get into small spaces and fly through the air. Maybe the huge ears help with lift off lol Anyway, glad to hear that he's not too old for other training opportunities. And now I'm gonna go make some posts to address his teenage attitude

      Forgot to add... I was checking out some hunting test videos of dogs online last night. That look so awesome! I have no idea where to even begin with that. I wasn't able to find any trainers near me who do that. Perhaps I'll ask at my school for references.

    9. #6
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      I think we need photos of your pup

      you can start any sport at any age. I mean, it matters if you plan to make a national team for a sport or get the top titles (like OTCH). but to have fun, you can start agility (or any activity) with an adult dog. Even sport people have to start with a few and get to the others later

      Heck I have a friend who put on some medium level obedience titles on a dog she adopted at like 9 (who didn't have any background beyond maybe some basic manners).

    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
      I think we need photos of your pup

      you can start any sport at any age. I mean, it matters if you plan to make a national team for a sport or get the top titles (like OTCH). but to have fun, you can start agility (or any activity) with an adult dog. Even sport people have to start with a few and get to the others later

      Heck I have a friend who put on some medium level obedience titles on a dog she adopted at like 9 (who didn't have any background beyond maybe some basic manners).
      That's really awesome about your friend's dog. Clearly he had some natural talents.

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    11. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      Hoping someone can help me figure this out since I'm new to formal training. This is about Archie, my Welshie. You'll have to forgive me for posting in the Lab forum because there are no forums for Welshies I digress...
      Forgive you? Huh? Archie's an honorary Lab...nothing to forgive. We love Archie.
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    13. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by SunDance View Post
      Forgive you? Huh? Archie's an honorary Lab...nothing to forgive. We love Archie.
      Thanks we wouldn't have him if it wasn't for Jules. And Archie wouldn't have the type if life he has now if it wasn't for Jules. So really, i thank Jules, my first Lab and dog for making Archie's life possible. So I'll accept the honorary Lab title


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    14. #10
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      He's a cutie pie! Working with a new breed is interesting, huh? The Griff is very different than the labs.

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