Archive for the ‘selecting a puppy’ Category

If I’d had my act together, I’d have written this post on December 15, 2011.  That was the day I drove to Maryland to meet Jagger’s breeder and pick up my new puppy.  “Why on earth did you get a puppy, Alex?” you might ask.  “You said you needed a third dog like you needed a hole in the head, Alex,” you might say. These are fair questions.  I didn’t think I was going to get another dog for a year or two when I started looking last fall.  Funny how that works.

I had decided a few years ago that once Copper (my 4-year-old Labrador Retriever and first agility dog) got to the Masters/Excellent level,  I would be ready to start looking for another dog.  Copper reached that very exciting milestone this past summer.  I knew that I wanted my next dog to have more working drive.  It is not that I don’t love Copper for exactly who he is, but I did want to have a different experience training my next dog.  I wanted a dog that always wanted to work.  I said things like, “I’d rather have to work on getting control of my dog on course than have to cheerlead him along.”  I’m sure this will come back to haunt me with a terrible vengeance in a few years.  Aaannnd… I got a hefty adrenaline hit from being fortunate enough to have a friend that allowed me to run her border collie in agility a few times.  Mmm, speed.  You’d think I might have changed my mind about a “high drive” dog after this one literally knocked me off my feet because I was too slow and in her way, but no, my reaction was, “Wow, I gotta get me one of those!”

I had also been considering getting a Malinois.  Many of my neighbors had German Shepherd Dogs when I was growing up, and the Malinois has a bit of that look while also being a much more athletic dog.  I still want one, and do plan to have one some day.  However, with my “special” fur-child Izzy in the house, I decided that the timing was not quite right for getting a breed that can be prone to reactivity.  Izzy’s behavior has come light-years from where it was when I rescued her, but she does have some issues that aren’t going to get better, and I knew I didn’t have the time or desire to manage more than one fear-aggressive dog in the house.  Making sure the new puppy wouldn’t follow her sometimes bad example was one of my chief concerns when I got Copper, and it remained a concern with the third dog.

So, border collie it was!  More about how I selected a breeder later, and why I chose to do that instead of rescue, but when I called to talk to Anne Devine at Eyespy Border Collies, it just so happened that the breeding I was interested in had already taken place successfully.  I decided to send a deposit “just in case.”  Low and behold, TEN puppies were born on October 20-21, 2011, so I was definitely getting one if I wanted one.  Right away, I liked this guy:

just born BC pup

The future Mr. Jagger, just born.

Of course, that was way too early to pick, but I was definitely hooked.

BC pup 2 weeks old

At 13 days old, he was already really darn cute.

I was able to see videos of the pups as they grew, and there was a group of several pups that were possibilities.  There were also two or three that seemed to be too much dog for me; one male pup in particular was pegged to the top with excitement in every video. He clearly went to eleven.  Fortunately, the male I liked seemed to be more in the middle of the activity scale of the litter.

BC pup at 4 weeks

Liking the ball already at 4 weeks.

Several of his sisters were in the middle activity-wise as well, and the girls were a bit larger and perhaps more obvious agility prospects.  But my gut said take the little male. So I did.  Follow your heart, right?

Jagger in crate on way home

Apparently he's a Steelers fan. Who knew?

Advertisements