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How do you feel about people who change breeds only to be more successful in their chosen sport?

A very good friend of mine, who has corgis, recently got a border collie pup. After years of saying he didn't think he could ever live with a BC.

Another lady I know has been getting me to help her find a field line golden after years and years of competing with a different breed.

Hopefully they will fall in love with their new breed, faults and all, but my concern is what happens if the dog doesn't perform like they hope it will?
 

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They get it
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I would give everything up (competition) if it meant I couldn't have my Goldens!

Our dogs are our family, the competition is our family outing. They are just as successful being couch pototoes, in fact, I think we have medal winners in couch pototoing!
 

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i know a woman who did agility with her golden, when he was getting older & no longer participating she got a border collie, and then another BC. I can understand since she saw how hot those little BCs are! The goldie was still her best friend, but she did switch breeds for the sport. With her, if the dog didn't perform it would just have loved pet status.
 

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It is funny how so many of us lock onto a breed and wouldn't even consider something else. That is the case for me I will ALWAYS have a golden in my life. There are other breeds I like a lot but not enough to switch favorites.
 

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I have to admit, I started with GSDs but when my boyfriend at the time wanted to go hunting I had to leave my Dixie at home (something about GSDs not being real good retrievers or something stupid like that). I wanted to take a dog hunting too so that is when my love affair with Goldens blossomed. While I still enjoy seeing GSDs I grew weary of their health issues that were going on at the time and never had another. After I lost Dixie, I switched my focus to the red heads, and never looked back. While I love all dogs, it will be a Golden lying next to me on my deathbed (a long time from now, I hope).
 

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the party's crashing us
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Absolutely I love the dog and not the sport!!!
I am competitive and I lucked out with choosing a breed that you can do all the competing with. That being said I do not love any one venue or ALL venues put together, more than I love my breed -- and my particular dog(s)!
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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I love both.

My first dog (of my own doing, not dogs we grew up with) was my Whippet. After I got her, I discovered dog sports. We trained for and showed in obedience. She played the game, but it was clear her heart wasn't in it. I made the choice to retire her from obedience after a very nice Novice career and let her be a loved pet and avid lure courser, her passion.

However, I still loved obedience, which is what led me to get Quiz. He's first and foremost my loved PET dog, but I did pick him out with an eye for wanting to do dog sports.
 

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This is something I've gone back and forth on over and over, and I'm going to apologize in advance because it'll probably end up really long ... also it's not all directed at the original post, more of a general rant about the whole "don't give up on your breed just so you can win in agility" thing.

First off, it's not a matter of "love the dog or the sport." I love my individual dogs, absolutely. I like most of the Goldens and Labs I've gotten to know. I also like most of the Border Collies I've gotten to know. If I'd grown up with Border Collies, I probably would think they were the best dogs in the world. Does growing up with Goldens and Labs mean that I just have to never do as well in agility as I could because getting a Border Collie would mean I love the sport more than my dogs? Rehoming my current dogs or getting a BC puppy and ignoring them would be awful, but when the time comes (in several years) to get a new dog, it'll probably be a Border Collie. And that says absolutely NOTHING about my love for the dogs I have now.

I don't think it's really possible to judge until you've had the experience of competing at high levels of agility with a Golden (or similar breed), putting several years of effort into improving your dog's speed SO much, training as well as you possibly can, and STILL not doing as well as a bunch of very mediocre trainers/handlers with Border Collies. Every time Dusty and I had the best run of our career thus far, I would think maybe this is the time that all our hard work will be reflected by the placements, and almost every time there was some Border Collie ahead of us, or someone would mention how lucky I was that all the Border Collies were over at the USDAA trial because otherwise we wouldn't have placed. We never got within 5 seconds or so of the Border Collies. By the time Boo came along I knew a LOT about how to train agility, and he has pretty much the best obstacle performances he could possibly have. Still not enough. He's faster than Dusty, near the top of the "other" breeds instead of somewhere in the middle, but he would never make finals at Nationals or place in a decent-sized 20" class. There's nothing I could have done with these dogs to achieve the level of success that someone with a Border Collie can achieve even with bad handling and mediocre training.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE everything about my dogs and wouldn't trade them for anything. But it'd be nice to have some actual recognition for all the work I put into them. People who saw Dusty when we first started competing know how much he improved, people who see Boo might say "whoa, that's a nice Lab," but there are many more people who say I should get a Border Collie because I have the skills to do really well. I'm a pretty competitive person, I'm used to doing my best in everything I do and getting some tangible reward for it. Obviously I appreciate the intangible reward of seeing our improvement and knowing that my dog and I are working as well as we can, but it's not fun to see the dog I think is the best in the world down toward the bottom of the page. And it would be even worse to keep having Goldens who are better and better, but see them farther and farther down on the page as the sport becomes more dominated by BCs.

That said, I hate seeing people who actually just aren't very good trainers or handlers getting a Border Collie because they think it'll solve all their problems. Then they end up having the exact same problems with the BC. It's not fair to the dog, because the handler thinks the dog should be magically good at agility and then gets mad when the dog doesn't meet their expectations. Or people who are new to agility (and any serious dog training) who get a BC because they're "good agility dogs," but they don't know anything about basic socialization and how to meet a high-energy dog's needs, so the dog ends up aggressive or develops really weird obsessive behaviors.

And I do know several Goldens and Labs who do really super-well in agility (like the Flashpaws goldens, my friend's Lab, and Quiz if Stephanie would ever focus on agility with him! :p: ). I would LOVE the opportunity to have a Flashpaws golden, and I'm always looking for breeders who consistently produce Labs or Goldens with that much potential in agility. But if that opportunity never arrives, I still want to succeed.
 

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I have seen a few who have changed breeds and after a while go "what was I thinking?". Sometimes the change worked out and sometimes not and the dogs were turned back to the breeders.
A very dear friend of mine offered to give me a bc pup when we found out about Casey's illness. I declined. Yes I would have had a hellion who would have been awesome but to me it's about the dance and time spent with my kids. They are more important to me than any competition.
Sometimes we place in the top 5 sometimes the bc's tear it up and of course when Jane and crew show from flashpaws, oh well lol..
 

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I don't think there is anything wrong with switching breeds. I had Labs, now have Goldens. One of the reasons we switched was because there were very few Lab breeders who are truly dual purpose (conformation & agility/hunt/etc) but many more Golden breeders like that.
 

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This is the "loves the sport side". And there's NOTHING wrong with that, I don't mean it to be judgemental at all. You obviously love the sport of agility, and it shows in your accomplishments! There are people who love the sports of of obedience, field work, and so on and for the most part they seek out a dog that will match their love of the sport and their ability to train.
Here's the "loves the dog side". It's not more right or more wrong, just a different point of view. I think it would be more properly worded, "loves the breed side", because I don't think anyone means to imply you don't love your current dogs.
I wouldn't get a breed other than a golden, because I love the breed. I will try to work within that breed to get the best dog I can get, for the things I like to do and to fit my lifestyle.
Tito and I compete in many different venues; conformation, obedience, dock diving, and we're training to compete in agility. We plan to train in field work and tracking, too. But my goals are not an OTCH, a MACH, or a FTCH. My goals are to work with my dog as a team in each of the sports to attain the best that we can and to have fun doing it. When I see someone with a terv, or a border collie, take the high in trial I think "good for you! congratulations" but my next thought is usually, " glad I don't own one of those, it's not my kind of dog!"
I don't care if we "beat" other dogs. I'm thrilled when Tito does a good run in agility, or a good performance in obedience. I know he'll never be one of the "big jumping dogs" in dock diving, but when he hits a new personal best I'm just tickled. We started at nothing, worked together, and here's where we are now. Even in the breed ring, he'll never be a "top 10" golden, but he can go out there, look like he belongs, and place in the ribbons.
I love this breed. I simply want to accomplish all the things that this dog is capable of, and it's a breed that is capable of so many different things. He's a real all-around dog, which IMO is how goldens are meant to be.
So that's just the other side of it.

This is something I've gone back and forth on over and over, and I'm going to apologize in advance because it'll probably end up really long ... also it's not all directed at the original post, more of a general rant about the whole "don't give up on your breed just so you can win in agility" thing.

First off, it's not a matter of "love the dog or the sport." I love my individual dogs, absolutely. I like most of the Goldens and Labs I've gotten to know. I also like most of the Border Collies I've gotten to know. If I'd grown up with Border Collies, I probably would think they were the best dogs in the world. Does growing up with Goldens and Labs mean that I just have to never do as well in agility as I could because getting a Border Collie would mean I love the sport more than my dogs? Rehoming my current dogs or getting a BC puppy and ignoring them would be awful, but when the time comes (in several years) to get a new dog, it'll probably be a Border Collie. And that says absolutely NOTHING about my love for the dogs I have now.

I don't think it's really possible to judge until you've had the experience of competing at high levels of agility with a Golden (or similar breed), putting several years of effort into improving your dog's speed SO much, training as well as you possibly can, and STILL not doing as well as a bunch of very mediocre trainers/handlers with Border Collies. Every time Dusty and I had the best run of our career thus far, I would think maybe this is the time that all our hard work will be reflected by the placements, and almost every time there was some Border Collie ahead of us, or someone would mention how lucky I was that all the Border Collies were over at the USDAA trial because otherwise we wouldn't have placed. We never got within 5 seconds or so of the Border Collies. By the time Boo came along I knew a LOT about how to train agility, and he has pretty much the best obstacle performances he could possibly have. Still not enough. He's faster than Dusty, near the top of the "other" breeds instead of somewhere in the middle, but he would never make finals at Nationals or place in a decent-sized 20" class. There's nothing I could have done with these dogs to achieve the level of success that someone with a Border Collie can achieve even with bad handling and mediocre training.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE everything about my dogs and wouldn't trade them for anything. But it'd be nice to have some actual recognition for all the work I put into them. People who saw Dusty when we first started competing know how much he improved, people who see Boo might say "whoa, that's a nice Lab," but there are many more people who say I should get a Border Collie because I have the skills to do really well. I'm a pretty competitive person, I'm used to doing my best in everything I do and getting some tangible reward for it. Obviously I appreciate the intangible reward of seeing our improvement and knowing that my dog and I are working as well as we can, but it's not fun to see the dog I think is the best in the world down toward the bottom of the page. And it would be even worse to keep having Goldens who are better and better, but see them farther and farther down on the page as the sport becomes more dominated by BCs.

That said, I hate seeing people who actually just aren't very good trainers or handlers getting a Border Collie because they think it'll solve all their problems. Then they end up having the exact same problems with the BC. It's not fair to the dog, because the handler thinks the dog should be magically good at agility and then gets mad when the dog doesn't meet their expectations. Or people who are new to agility (and any serious dog training) who get a BC because they're "good agility dogs," but they don't know anything about basic socialization and how to meet a high-energy dog's needs, so the dog ends up aggressive or develops really weird obsessive behaviors.

And I do know several Goldens and Labs who do really super-well in agility (like the Flashpaws goldens, my friend's Lab, and Quiz if Stephanie would ever focus on agility with him! :p: ). I would LOVE the opportunity to have a Flashpaws golden, and I'm always looking for breeders who consistently produce Labs or Goldens with that much potential in agility. But if that opportunity never arrives, I still want to succeed.
 

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I had Border Collies and enjoyed herding with them. When I lost them within days of each other, I was crushed and cried for days. As much as I love the BC's I couldn't get another one, it just wasn't in me.

Started looking at other breeds, going back and forth with my DH who kept saying Beagle. Don't get me wrong, I like Beagles but couldn't see myself with one. DH asked me one day, "What breed do you really want?" With no hesitation I said a Golden Retriever. He said "Their about the size of a BC, right?" Okay, I lied and said yes. Well, they are about that size at one time in their life.;)

When I found the right breeder I was thrilled because she had a litter a few weeks old. Then she told me the price! OMG, I thought DH will never pay $1,600 for a dog. :no:
When I told him I found a breeder, puppies etc he got excited. THEN I hit him with the price. To my surprise he didn't blink an eye! Now, almost 2 years later we have Buzz's half sister,who is 1 yr old today. :)

I didn't change dogs for the venue, the dogs changed the venue for me! I've gone from sheep who are walking BC 'Pez Dispensers' :yuck: to the land of ducks, decoy's, bumpers, e-collars, camo.... the list goes on and on. I love it! Wouldn't change a thing and I want a third Golden. shhh don't tell DH.
 

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I guess if you want to compete nationally, you have to make all kinds of compromises. I admire people who can compete at that level, and I'm always astounded by the dogs.

Currently, I only do dog sports as a way to play with my dogs. I have two wash-and-wear Goldens who can climb mountains, run agility courses, fetch til they drop, and still clean up into handsome ambassadors for the breed. What I love about Goldens is their versatility, biddability, intelligence, and looks, so I wouldn't trade them in just so I could win something.

But, like I said, I admire and respect people who want to win at the highest level, and if that requires a different breed, then so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess I should add I wasn't referring to people who switch breeds and love that new breed. I was referring to the people who really don't care for the breed, but get one anyway to make them more successful.

I can't imagine spending 12-15 years with a breed of dog that I didn't really like, just for the 5% of the time that I spend with it as a competition partner. That 95% that it's my pet outweighs that.

But I guess that's easy for me to say since goldens are the breed I love, and they're one of the top obedience breeds.
 

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It is funny how so many of us lock onto a breed and wouldn't even consider something else. That is the case for me I will ALWAYS have a golden in my life. There are other breeds I like a lot but not enough to switch favorites.
That is so true. After the death of my last golden, I did alot of research on other breeds but I always came back to goldens! I can't see myself with another breed!
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I like my dogs for different reasons. My Goldens are beautiful, loving, and play on the beach with me and always want affection when I need some. My GSD is loyal, obedient, potentially protective, and focused on me in a way a Golden would not be. My Whippet is elegant, calm, clean, and the perfect pet and my heart dog. When he goes, I'll get another sighthound- I don't feel whole without one.

If I got super hooked on a sport, such as lure coursing, I might get another Whippet if the one I had didn't like it, but it wouldn't have anything to do with my love for my first one. And even if neither coursed, it wouldn't change my feelings about them.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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And I do know several Goldens and Labs who do really super-well in agility (like the Flashpaws goldens, my friend's Lab, and Quiz if Stephanie would ever focus on agility with him! :p: ).
:p: :p: :p: :p: :p: :p:

OH FINE! We'll enter the Walnut trials! Hahaha!

*Sigh* It's hard loving two sports and not having endless entry fee dollars! I'm hoping to finish our CDX this year (we just rocked some out of sight groups today at Top Dog, so I'm going to enter some upcoming obed trials) and then take the next 6 months to trial in agility and train for Utility obedience. Not sure my handling skills are proficient enough to take him to MACH status - he is, after all, my first agility dog -- but the MX, MXJ would be nice!

Katie, you should look into the Tanbark dogs. I've always said that Quiz is very BC-ish... but w/o the neurotic tendencies! :yuck:
 

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I guess I should add I wasn't referring to people who switch breeds and love that new breed. I was referring to the people who really don't care for the breed, but get one anyway to make them more successful.

I can't imagine spending 12-15 years with a breed of dog that I didn't really like, just for the 5% of the time that I spend with it as a competition partner. That 95% that it's my pet outweighs that.

But I guess that's easy for me to say since goldens are the breed I love, and they're one of the top obedience breeds.
These are people who generally are not about the dogs, but rather about having some sort of glory for themselves, and it happens whether they switch breeds or not.

There are many breeds that I love... Goldens are my "primary breed" and always will be. I also have a Smooth Collie, and have had Pointers for years. I am currently looking for a new Pointer - this home is not right without one...
I love the different "jobs" that different breeds do, and the diverse characteristics that make them able to. I don't feel like having more than one breed is wrong, or a problem - I love the DOGS as individuals, no matter their breed or whether they are successful in any particular venue.
 

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I tend to agree that some do it more for the love of the "game" than the breed but that does not make them evil. Although I do have a couple of friends who are very serious about field trials and have "moved over to the dark side" if you know what I mean. ;) Interestingly enough they have all admitted that there is a difference in the breeds in home life and although they say there is nothing like a Golden still they are not willing to go back.
And then there are those who get involved in a sport AFTER having selected a breed. Some of these folks realize that the dogs are participating only because they want to please their handler and sometimes it really is not fair to the dog. And I know this can be said about any breed depending on the dog but there is a reason in obedience and agility you see more of certain breeds.
 

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I know plenty of people on both sides and honestly have no problem with either motivation as long as their dogs are treated well and loved. Some folks are so competitive that if their dog is not suited for the person's chosen sport, the dog will be relegated to a pretty much ignored status or rehomed and I find this very sad. It would be better if these people had chosen a breed more suitable to their competitive goals.

I love goldens and find them versatile enough for all of my goals - beautiful, happy dogs to play in obedience, agility and field with me and be loved pets. The only other breed I have ever considered (once leaving my GSDs behind) is believe it or not, a maltese - I would just love to train a maltese and watch that gorgeous coat flying over jumps LOL

My Casey could and did beat BCs and Aussies on a routine basis while competing in agility and I suspect my Towhee will as well, so I don't think its true that BCs, Aussies or shelties are the breeds for agility. The individual build, drives and training methods used play a huge factor in how successful a dog might be,
 
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