Health and Training

HEALTH

Health: Propensity to HD problem.

Recommended Health Tests: PennHip if planning on breeding

TRAINING

The BDT is an assertive breed.  She needs firm, consistent, and loving training from an early age. Instincts don’t simply go away. The herding instinct is a prey instinct that has been contained through selective breeding and training. Herding dogs may often nip at their people’s (especially children) heels in an effort to “herd” them. Sometimes this over-stimulation of instinctual behaviors, if not dealt with, leads to incorrigible behavior that will be increasingly difficult to turn around.  She needs consistent positive reinforcement from an early age.

BDTs are cattle herders and not a protection breed. They will protect their people though. Since herding breeds exist to keep their flocks safe from predators; their vision and hearing is superb.  They may vocalize at any visual change in their environment or any sounds with which they are unfamiliar.

Due to the BDT’s beauty, intelligence, and joyful nature, they are increasingly popular family pets on the mainland of Portugal, throughout Europe and in the U.S.A.; however, they need to be physically and mentally active to be successful pets.

They are good with children, but should be supervised. They are also good with other dogs, but must be supervised if with an unfamiliar dog. Dominant BDTs may fight other dogs so early socialization with many dogs is key.

The BDT is recommended for those with some or much experienced dog owners. Positive reinforcement should be used.  When this is not enough, they may have to have a “time out” to become calm again. The BDT is a sensitive dog that is quite willing to please and harsh punishment may result in the opposite of what is intended.  If treated harshly, the BDT may become anxious or frightened, which can lead to long-term behavioral issues such as aggression.

New owners who consider sending their puppies to overnight training centers must recognize the potential long-term consequences of such training. While the training might “correct” unwanted behaviors in the short term, there is no guarantee that the puppy will not be traumatized, leading to more undesirable behaviors in the long term.  This is true even of training centers that come with the best recommendations and that promise that they will only use positive reinforcement. Puppies are not one-size-fits-all and your trainer will not be familiar with the needs of YOUR BDT puppy, regardless of his/her assertions of familiarity with all dogs.The new puppy must bond with its owners; sending him/her away will lead to depression and feelings of abandonment and will most likely break bonds that have already been formed.  There is no replacement for consistent and loving training by their human begins in the first moment that a new puppy is brought home.

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