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However, if you're objective is to achieve the highest titles possible, then yes, there could well be some general rules you might want to follow.

I'm sure there are people who start out in a sport with that intent but its unrealistic for me and Amie.

Well, you know yourself much better than I, but if you've got the right material to work with (and it sounds like you will), you can get pretty far on your dog's talent alone, especially if you get a little help along the way.
I recommend that if it's at all possible, you join a club, and ASAP.

Again, if this is all just for fun, don't worry too much about it. But if you want to have your best chance at being successful, too, while you're having fun, I'd generally stick to one sport at a time.

It'll be far less confusing to your dog, and it will help to develop and maintain the right muscle and mental memories that performance dogs need to be successful at the higher levels.
That's pretty easy to do, for some dogs, and for some trainers, even when participating in only one sport..so I'd be very careful.

I intend to be. I'm new to Cockers but I've had enough experience with Boxers of varying temperaments & personalities ... right away and I've joined a couple of lists. I don't want to screw up more than is humanly necessary.

Join a club.
To get her natural juices flowing as early as possible, I'd start off with field training, and then add sports from there.

I need to find a local club or people doing either non-breed-specific or spaniel field training.

Bingo!
There you go!
I don't even know if we have a retriever club doing it locally but I do know some Lab breeders ... work with spaniels. Boykins are the state dog so I'm hoping there are some folks on the coast doing it.

Yep, you'll pick up a lot of tips at a retriever club, too, because they, too, get into nose work, tracking, etc.
But a spaniel club would be ideal.
Who's going to be the primary trainer?

I'll be the primary trainer. For agility Amie will be a co-trainer in that she'll be learning alongside me and, ... if we start that way the pup will adjust to it more readily. If not then we'll figure it out.

I recommend that you alone handle the field training, which can start the very day you bring your new dog home. And then maybe consider, depending on how you do in the field, letting Amie get more involved in a year or so down the road.
Again, I'd think that starting off with field work would probably be the best way to go, and then add agility, etc.

Thanks. From the little bit I've read of HUP! so far I'm seeing the need to start right away.

Yep, the sooner the better.
And all the more reason to join a club, and ASAP.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a club will help you to avoid newbie mistakes that can live with a dog for years.
The local agility club here teaches puppy and obedience classes and they, as well as a CGC, are required to begin actual agility classes.

You'll get a good taste of obedience training within the typical field training curriculum, too.
In many ways, they go hand in hand.
It would be a shame to let all those sporting/working ... take advantage of them ASAP, and see where they lead.

That's what I'm thinking. The parents & grandparents of this litter do it all, including agility, so that's why I know its doable and why I think its possible for me to attempt.

Then their owners should be a good source for you, and help you to avoid the pitfalls of moving along to fast, or doing things that might conflict with each other, etc.
I either fail or I don't but I wanted to make sure there wasn't some inherent problem with trying to ... lines have started agility later in life and did their obedience, field work, tracking and conformation earlier but still concurrently.()

I'd be surprised if there was much overlap.
Again, good luck!

Jack "The Unpalatable Barbarian" Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to send me e-mail
The "Religion of Peace," up close and personal:
http://switch5.castup.net/frames/20041020 MemriTV Popup/video 480x360.asp?ClipMediaID=60227&ak=null

Yo, Froggy! Why not offer them "land for peace":
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=20086

Wake up, Europe, you've a war on your hands!
http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn06.html
Good selection, While Bobbie is in my area, I choose to go to another coach for various reasons, but the book is excellent.

I like Sil's book better. It's extremely user-friendly and the cards are wonderful. Plus Sil is a nice guy, even if he does like Westies. j/k

I've left that paragraph intact because it concerns me. I know you have a long background in rescue, and coming from seeing many dogs that didn't receive the right start, I'm concerned that you might be expecting a bit much of a pup. A pup is an absolute crap shoot. Enjoy your puppy's puppyhood. Take him/her everywhere you can, and work the 'rules of 7' ASAP. Reward the hell out of everything you see from him that you like, whether cute or useful. Take lots of pictures, and enjoy the journey.
The three most heartbreaking cases of dogs not living up to their careful breeding and selection, that I personally know, happen to belong to people who 'did everything right', selected breeders and pups carefully, and still ended up with dogs that can't be shown and can't do any dog sport other than novice rally and novice obedience because of dysplasia and other health problems. All three from breeds more carefully held than Cockers. {Not saying anything against Cockers, I like them very much. I'm trying to make a well-intended point in a very non-eloquent manner.}
Just protect your heart a little, 'K?
Debbie
I like Sil's book better. It's extremely user-friendly and the cards are wonderful. Plus Sil is a nice guy, even if he does like Westies. j/k

Thanks. Its on my list and my breeder just recommended it as well.
I've left that paragraph intact because it concerns me. I know you have a long background in rescue, and coming ... everything you see from him that you like, whether cute or useful. Take lots of pictures, and enjoy the journey.

I think I've inadvertantly sent the wrong message. I'm uber-excited about not just getting a puppy but getting this puppy because of the personalities I'm watching develop (via email) and because the breeder is someone I sincerely like and feel comfortable with. Amie and I are both very excited about doing agility as well, regardless of whether or not we earn lots of titles, as long as we have fun and we do it together.

Everything else is just a possibility to me, something to explore, something the breed does well in general. I have no expectations outside of getting a wonderful pet and doing agility, barring any structural problems later on, and am assuming that I won't like, have time or money for, doing most of the other possibilities on the list.
Tracking, field work, competitive obedience, these are all things that I want to learn more about and, if its possible to do so, try them on for size and see if any of them really grab me and the pup. If something does, and I can afford it timewise & financially, then that's great but if it doesn't that's great too. I'm more or less thinking out loud which tends to help me better focus and rule things in or out.
The three most heartbreaking cases of dogs not living up to their careful breeding and selection, that I personally know, ... much. I'm trying to make a well-intended point in a very non-eloquent manner.} Just protect your heart a little, 'K?

Thanks for the concern and I do hear what you're saying. Even if we can't do any performance events it'll be ok as long as we've got a great pet who we enjoy living with for a great many years. That's the most important thing and while I won't lie and say agility, at least, doesn't matter its not so important that we couldn't get past an inability to do it. Pet first, performance dog second.

Tara