I won’t bombard you with another post about border collies and other future dog stuff and competitiveness and general ‘stressing because I don’t have a clear path’, I’ll put it under a cut.
I’ve had a lot to think about lately.
And there seems to be two schools of thought that keep popping up.
1. If you want to win, get a BC from this one particular breeder because you can’t possibly beat these 2 particular competitors with anything else.
2. If you just want to have fun and don’t care about winning, don’t get a BC.
Ok… I’m the first to admit it. I’m very competitive. Which doesn’t mean I’m going to thrash my dogs, but I also don’t see any point paying $80+ per trial day and not do well. I don’t expect my dogs to win all the time, or straight away, but I’d like, at some point during their trialling, for them to do well enough to win sometimes.
I find it very problematic that at the moment in our state, there are 2 competitors who take out 1st-7th place with the dogs between them. Very problematic. Does this happen elsewhere? I don’t know. It seems wrong to me that placing is so ‘out of our league’ now that we might as well get whatever dog and just run around and have fun. Yes, I will have fun with my dog, and I don’t think it should make me a bad person if I want to do well and place, too. I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to rely on them to make a fault in order to place… I want a dog that will be at that level, too. I’m sick of them being on this pedestal and feeling like you need this particular kennel’s dogs to have a chance against them. Maybe it’s not as bad as I’m making it, maybe they don’t do as well as I think, but whenever I talk to anybody about getting another dog, or being competitive, their names come up, they are the ones you have to beat to place – as if there’s no other competition (which there is! There’s some great competition! But I suppose they’re in the same boat).
I found an article by Silvia just now on how she chooses her puppies, she basically sees a dog she wants a puppy from and picks a puppy, but also about looking at the line they’ve come from – I think one of the issues here with a lot of our dogs is that they’re not ‘agility’ dogs. There’s plenty of show dogs, and one kennel who’s more or less marketing specifically for agility borders and…. that’s it. It was my hope with Lu that she would be a fantastic agility dog and everything I wanted and then I could be breeding for agility.
She later says that she doesn’t believe breeding or the puppy has much to do with how they turn out anyway, it’s all about puppy training but then I wonder again what the hell I’ve done to make Lu how she is?
I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of her, and I think sometimes I do: she doesn’t hate agility, she really doesn’t. She doesn’t not run, and she doesn’t ever ‘trot’ in a sequence, she stops to sniff if she’s ‘wrong’ 3 times in a row and needs to relieve the pressure, she barks at horses when they’re wearing fly-veils. She doesn’t tug like a maniac but she plays with the soccer ball, and fetches and plays in her own way. She takes obstacles that make sense to her even if they’re way off the line because she will actually be looking for jumps to do that are ahead. She gets an intense, serious look on her face when she’s in a stay and sometimes breaks if before a dogwalk because she’s keen. She focuses on me when it’s time to work…..
Just…. she doesn’t put her heart and soul into it. She doesn’t run full speed (except on the dogwalk). She gives me 80%.
Will she get faster with confidence and experience? Yes, I think she will. Will it have all been worth it? Probably. Do I want to go through this all over again? Not necessarily. Do I want to win? Yes. Do I think she can? Well, at the moment, no. Do I think an Aussie can? To be completely honest? No, I don’t know if they can. Not against “those dogs”.
So, I still have no answers, to any of the questions, really. I hate having options, I do. I hate everything being a gamble. An Aussie is a gamble, a BC is a gamble, and for differing reasons, and for the same reasons. I hate that there are so many options, and yet so few (which breed?! And yet, not many breeders!) .
On another note, apparently my blog is getting “lots of traffic”. Hello! Who’s visiting!? Anything I should write about more? Less? Should I stop stressing out over future stuff*?
All that being said, there are some flipping awesome Aussies out there, like this one is pretty cool:
And I love these guys:
And actually, in this video there’s a couple of Aussies on the Swiss team:
And I’m sure there’s heaps in the US too but I wouldn’t know how to go about finding them.
*incapable of stressing less over future stuff.