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Puppy, Started Dog, or Trained Dog?

June 10th, 2010

Should I buy a puppy, started dog or a trained dog?

Most new cowdog buyers have an idea which one they are in the market for. It's usually a matter of available time and money.


A puppy of course will take longer before it is able to help you but it is usually the least expensive. However, there is always the chance that the puppy won't turn out to be the kind of cowdog that you want. A couple of things that really affect whether a puppy has a chance to be a good cowdog are genetics and how it is raised. They are both really important. A well bred puppy will hopefully show the positive traits of both parents. Without good genetics, you are relying a lot more on luck that the puppy will be a good cowdog. The other major factor in a puppy becoming a cowdog is up to you, the owner. You can't simply leave the pup in the pen all the time or let him run loose and expect much out of him. Learn more about how to raise your puppy so he has a chance to be a good cowdog.

Started Dog

There is no set standard for a started dog. One persons idea of started might be a lot different than another. Be sure to ask how far along the dog is in its training. The price of a started dog can vary widely too depending on how much training it already has and how much potential or natural instinct it showing. Another option to consider with a started dog is to buy the dog and either pay the breeder to train it more or take the dog to a trainer of your choice for more training until it is far enough along that you are comftorable with it.

Trained Dog

Of course if you have the money you can always save yourself time by going with a trained dog. A trained cowdog will save you a lot of steps. He will be able to go to work for you as soon as the two of you have bonded. If you are new to working with cowdogs, a trained dog can help to train you too. As with anything, there is a process to working your new cowdog on your stock. Don't expect the first time you work your new dog to go as smoothly as it looked at the breeders. Remember everything is new to your dog. The handler is new, the cattle are new and need to be dog broke. How to dog break cattle. Even your place is new to him. Everything is out of place for him, but he will soon figure it out. Imagine if you came home and someone had rearranged all the furniture in your house and all the lights were off. You would struggle in the dark trying to get around in your house. If the lights stayed off for several nights though, you would soon be able to navigate through your house. It is similar to that for your dog. Once he is comfortable with his surroundings, he can concentrate more on the cattle and your commands. Soon, he will be working for you the way he did his his previous owner and you will be wonder how in the world you ever got by with out a cowdog.

Jimmy Walker, Jimmy Walker Border Collies, Paul Gilbert, Gilbert Stockdogs.

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