Champ was one of those pups who immediately started eyeing up the other dogs. I was out of the picture. He has the same qualities as his mother, except she is worse. His mother is also a resource guarder. So, as soon as I saw similar traits I knew I had my work cut out for me. No being a couch potato with this pup! I really have had to make an effort.
My other BC's Jet and Yoko would die to do anything for me; they could care less about the other dogs. It has a lot to do with gentics and 'eye.' Both Jet and Yoko are sensitive loose eyed dogs. Both Kilt and Champ are stronger eyed dogs who can take a licking and keep on ticking. There are pros and cons with both type of dogs when it comes to working stock. But, you better have some years of experience working dogs under your belt for the latter.
My goal with Champ was to become the 'alpha' much earlier with him. I have never been the 'alpha' with Kilt. She has always been one up on me. I started Champ in obedience at the end of his 5th month. He will finish up that class next week and has already joined a new class half way through. The first class was just fine for him. It has about 8-9 dogs in it. If you could have seen the first 4 lessons you wouldn't have held out much hope for us! He was so "reactive" to everything. He had absolutely no impulse control.
Our new class has over 30 dogs in it and as we joined in for our first time, the difference is night and day with Champ now. Why? because I have worked my fanny off with him...that's why. He is so much more relaxed around all of the different breeds now. He is actually making eye contact with me about 25% of the time. He has unbelievable stamina like his mother and is going to be a working machine. He still is not a shrinking violet or is he ever going to be one. If a dog is aggressive towards him, he isn't going to look the other way. That's why this HUGE novice class is a good one for him. You can imagine that half way through the course there still are a handful of dogs out of control.
I will take him through one more novice class before moving him up to open. He should be nearing the end of his 9th month by the time I move him up to the open obedience class. In open he has to do lots of off leash work, dumb bell work, along with a few jumps.
I took him to Task Farms today. I worked the girls on sheep a good 200 yards away from him and his impulse control was pretty good tied to a cable. I can't let him off leash at the ranch because he still wants to bite the horses. If a horse so much as sneezes, he is right there. He is very muscular and carries a lot of tension. I am having Suzy Applegate start Champ for me in November. She owns the sire and she will do a great job with his training. Hopefully, she can train me how to handle him well. I did tell her to be sure to use some sheep that she is not real fond of because this pup has wanted his sheep since a very early age. But, I made the decision not to start him until 11 mos. I want him to grow up mentally and physically first. :0)