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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide what breed I want for my next agility dog. I am looking for a dog that not only will be good at agility but also will be somewhat protective (or atleast a good watchdog/ "ankle biter") as I live in the country and my other half farms and is gone long hours. I'd prefer something between 30-60 lbs. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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Well when I thought of good agility dogs and good watch dogs I immediately thought of Shetland Sheepdogs and Corgis (they'll definitely bark!), but they might be a little smaller than what you're looking for.

There's also the German Shepherd but you'd definitely have to look for a breeder that breeds dogs with good hips so that you could do agility with it. It can also be a little bigger than your size range.

Some other athletic breeds that are more in your size range:
- Poodles (standard)
- Australian Shepherds
- Border Collies
- Labs
- Golden Retrievers
- Pit Bulls
- Keeshonds
- Springer Spaniels
- Brittanys
- Bearded Collies
- etc

What about grooming, shedding, exercise, temperament, etc?
 

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Have you done agility before? I ask because certain dogs are GREAT for agility, but not the best for first time handlers.

If you can provide the exercise and mental stimulation, and are ready for some major brushing, I would suggest Australian Shepherds. They are great agility dogs and also are pretty good about alerting to strangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have done some agility with my current dog. (I am definately still a beginner) Who is an aussie. And I love the breed. However he sheds TONS! Like every day wr have giant piles of hair in the corners of every room.And my fiancee says he'd really prefer for me to get a dog that doesnt shed so much. Plus our current aussie does nothing for protection. Hes overly friendly, i know that is not typical for the breed but I'm afraid he would teach the new puppy to be that way if it was another aussie. Should I even be concernef about that?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well when I thought of good agility dogs and good watch dogs I immediately thought of Shetland Sheepdogs and Corgis (they'll definitely bark!), but they might be a little smaller than what you're looking for.

There's also the German Shepherd but you'd definitely have to look for a breeder that breeds dogs with good hips so that you could do agility with it. It can also be a little bigger than your size range.

Some other athletic breeds that are more in your size range:
- Poodles (standard)
- Australian Shepherds
- Border Collies
- Labs
- Golden Retrievers
- Pit Bulls
- Keeshonds
- Springer Spaniels
- Brittanys
- Bearded Collies
- etc

What about grooming, shedding, exercise, temperament, etc?
Would a Border Collie be 1) too much to handle for a beginner 2) protective?

I had thought that if i could not find a breed that was big enough to be protective that I'd look into Corgis
 

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I believe a border collie would be too much for a beginner. Although it can be done if you work hand in hand with a trainer. Like be best friends with your trainer. Honestly, you might be over dogged if you are a beginner in agility and trying to start a BC.

Poodle would probably be a good breed. They have a good energy level, they are pretty forgiving to new trainers, are in your weight limit, and don't shed. But they do require grooming.
 

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I think border collies are one of the most popular breeds for agility, but that does not mean that they are the only good ones. Many others can be just as successful as them, it is team work!
Although I think if you live on a farm they could also be a good shepherd dog for you. Especially having all that land to hang out on :)
 

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Next time you go to a show, try looking to see what breeds are competing. If you see a few that meet your wants visually, go talk to the handler when he or she aren't busy. They would be able to tell you more about the breed and they might also be able to recommend a few breeders who you could talk more in detail to also. :)
 

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you can go to YouTube and search for agility videos. I have found a lot of different breeds compete. On one competition, a mini poodle had beaten the mini Aussie, but as others have mentioned it's about teamwork, so any breed weather pure or mixed can be just as good. (if you are wanting to seriously compete, then maybe you might want to look into breeds with a good drive, probably someone who breeds for agility.) good luck. But if I had to choose I would probably go for the poodle.
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For a beginner i would suggest a sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) or a Aussie (Australian Shepherd) Labs also do well in agility but could be too much. You could do a poodle but they can be very expensive now days.

Honestly you could go to a shelter and pick a dog and do agility (Most likely) with one of them.

I would just say no to a hound dog. They will catch a wiff of something and leave you in the dust.

Build a bond with the dog and train a good recall and lots of practice :)
 

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Also agree with maybe a shelter dog. I have many members of my agility team that compete with rescue dogs. Even one of our trainers runs a rescue dog.
 

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As an owner of an Aussie and now a Border Collie: Beware the Border Collie. Those dogs are craaaaaazy. I can't get over how much energy she has at this young of an age. If you live on a farm and have lots of space and time, they could be alright, but they are intense dogs.

I love my Aussie, he's the best haha. If you're looking for low-shedding, I think Poodles would be awesome! But I am also very on-board for a mixed-breed dog. There is one at our local agility club (she's a Heinz 57, no one knows what the hell she is) and she is SO FAST.
 

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Border collies tend to be softer in temperament than Aussies and probably aren't a great guard dog choice. They also will shed as much as an aussie (both double coated).

Australian cattle dogs can make good agility dogs and also be protective but they will shed and they can be challenging.
 

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Here is an article on the topic, although it does not look into which breeds are protective.

What are the Best Agility Dog Breeds?

My advice is this. Regardless of the breed you get, make sure you REALLY research your breeder. For a first agility dog, you want a line with moderate drive, good temperament, and really strong structure. Many people who compete continually choose the wrong breeders for their dogs because they don't do the true research. They think they did the research, and they think their breeder is good. Then, they get a dog that isn't a fit. I research breeders for years before choosing a line.

A good breeder will also be able to pick out the pup for you based on your requirements. A breeder that lets YOU chose the pup is a concern. Go online and read many articles on how to find a good breeder and h
how to find a good agility prospect or performance prospect. Then go to an agility trial and ask questions of people who own the breed you are interested in. For my last two dogs, I went to breeders half way across the country to get the type of dog I wanted.

Also, learn what good structure is in an agility dog and in particular the breed you are interested in. For instance, I love shelties, but conformation breeders stupidly started breeding for straight shoulders to get a "look" they desired. This is now being corrected, but most shelties still have straight shoulders. This is an issue for agility. Knowing breed structure issues and health issues is important. Also, if getting a mixed breed, knowing how to evaluate structure is of utmost importance.

Lastly, i would suggest you not consider mixing "protection dog" with "agility dog." Agility is a sport where we take our dogs to the edge of their excitement, arousal level. A dog with too much protection instinct can easily turn aggressive in that scenario. Most of my shelties would probably attack and fight off anything trying to hurt me, but it isn't a requirement for me. The barking, however, (shelties bark A LOT...yappers) IS a great alarm for me though. I would never look for an agility prospect that would be a protection dog too. The risk of aggression overtaking the dog in a high stress agility environment is too great, and aggressive dogs cannot do agility competition.

Here are a few more links to consider.

How New Genetic Research May Help You Pick Your Next Performance Pup

What Is Dog Agility?: Agility Information for Newbies
 
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