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Marvin S
05-21-2012, 11:42 AM
Sarge posted this on another thread, IMO it deserves it's own thread. So here goes.

I'm presently inactive - made my wife (same one I started in the sport with :cool:) a promise that I would spend more time with her when this old boy was done. Putter is now 12 & a retrieve is now an adventure. Time with the family is a very important part of who we all should strive to do. I still have the training equipment necessary & though chronologically challenged can see well enough to do a 400 yard blind though wonder about the necessity for that distance. Whether I get another Lab is a work in progress as I'm leaning to a Brittany - smaller package.

But there were other times, starting seriously in 1963, so I have seen the sport evolve somewhat - just not sure if it's gone the way it should. But there are many more people who can honestly call themselves "Dog People", though not sure most have a clue about the effort that's required to play on Retrieverdom's largest stage :-P.

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have trained with some very successful Amateur's & Pro's. Have seen some very good dogs developed including a few of my own. The bumpers I still have were retrieved by dogs with every title available except CNAFTC. My goal when I bought my 1st dog was to have a well mannered hunting companion which has not changed, the bonus is how well a trained FT dog performs in the upland game. I've been to a few Nationals as both a worker or a competitor & can appreciate the effort that goes into these events.

As for my own dogs, started from puppies & except for a couple short stints at the pro, with the aid of pro day training, some amateur groups & the available training aids along with my wife helping it's been generally a self directed venture, FWTW. I can not emphasize enough being around other successful dogs & paying attention to what the workout leader is attempting to accomplish!


From that I was able to, 1 dog at a time, end up with 7 placing Derby dogs including a Derby lister, 3 AA placing dogs including an AFC & numerous QAA dogs that for one reason or another did not make it to the main dance. There is a required talent level to play & the idea of driving numerous miles, incurring expenses better spent elsewhere to exhibit a dog that can't get through the 1st series never appealed to me, though some do it regularly, I guess that's where a majority of the judging pool originates. I've owned one pup that was a $1K price, the rest have been less than that & some of those were too expensive :). I can sympathize with a breeder who gets all the clearances & recognize that is necessary for the "Does the dog have Papers buyer". Knowing what you want goes beyond papers.


My goal in training a dog was to leave as much in the dog as possible, hence my dog's looseness on the line, though I have seen others that deserved a disqualification that seemed to continue. With that I will conclude this post.

Franco
05-21-2012, 12:29 PM
I've too have wasted more time than I care to admit throwing birds for and handling FT dogs. In the past, I was President of one club and Secretary/Treasurer of another. As FT become more extreme, I've lost most of my interest. I would say that most top FT breedings produce dogs that are not duck blind friendly, just wound too tight. So, I've gone back to my roots and just hunt 'em. My FT dogs have been Pro trained and my personal gun dogs have all been trained by me. After running FT's, I just can't get excited about HT's and will stick to duck and goose hunting.

huntinman
05-21-2012, 01:43 PM
I've too have wasted more time than I care to admit throwing birds for and handling FT dogs. In the past, I was President of one club and Secretary/Treasurer of another. As FT become more extreme, I've lost most of my interest. I would say that most top FT breedings produce dogs that are not duck blind friendly, just wound too tight. So, I've gone back to my roots and just hunt 'em. My FT dogs have been Pro trained and my personal gun dogs have all been trained by me. After running FT's, I just can't get excited about HT's and will stick to duck and goose hunting.

I would disagree with this statement. I think it depends on the breeding, but also the training. I have spent many days in a blind, boat or an upside down pickle bucket next to an AFC or an FC/AFC in marshes and fields from Alaska to SC over the last 30 years. These dogs had many well known champs from the past in their bloodlines and I never had a problem with them sitting there doing their jobs as they were supposed to. I would venture to say there are many titled dogs out there today doing the same... some dogs won't cut it... But many will, be they field trial dogs or gun dogs.

BonMallari
05-21-2012, 02:48 PM
My FT career could be described as the long time clipboard carrier that went to all the practices, played on the scout team, and made a token appearance at the start of my career and then again in the twilight of my career..I know the offense that we run inside and out because its easy to run the two minute drill when the players(dogs) know their roles..I have become more of a student of the game in my latter years...my only regrets are that I never had the mean$ or the where with all to compete and that I never got to study for an entire season under the best coach(trainer) in Alaska, named Roy McFall...its one heck of a sport

Uncle Bill
05-21-2012, 04:22 PM
There was a time I was considered a "Trialer" in the early 80's. But I soon discovered I had neither the time or money to continue that great sport...plus it had become quite political by the mid 80's.

Along came the Hunt Test programs in AKC and NAHRA, and HRC. I ran them all with Bull and a couple of others before him. Even ran in the early efforts of NFRA. Found all of them to be just what I wanted for my hunting dogs...not too competitive, but to the dogs at least, it seemed like real hunting. And that is what I wanted in the first place.

If you wanted to travel, you could participate in hunting or hunt testing every month of the year. Then when the conservation season opened for Light Geese in the spring, I hunted every month of the year from my cabin...traveling only to the usual hunt tests in our region. It's been a great life for all of us, and along the way, have met some dynamite folks that have become dear friends, and in many cases, even hunting buddies. I wouldn't have changed a moment.

UB

HPL
05-21-2012, 05:27 PM
Mostly walk, play fetch, and HUNT. (of course there are the belly rubs and the ear scratches, etc. too)

zeus3925
05-21-2012, 06:07 PM
Copied from another thread:

We currently own four dogs. One is a 12 year old rescue project of mixed breed. My 10 year old is a MH with 25 master passes and has been to the MNHT 3times --passing once. He is QAA and my wife ran him as a rookie handler for a JAM at a FT this weekend and a master pass the week before.

I have a 4 year old that is QAA. He needs one more leg for his MH. We plan to concentrate on FT's after he titles.

We have a 1 year old in training and she is looking very good. Both parents are field champions. The trainer wants to wait until this fall to run her, but, she is doing marks and blinds on big dog set ups now.