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Thread: Field Trial Dog Life

  1. #1

    Default Field Trial Dog Life

    I'm new to Field Trials / Hunt Tests and appreciate all the knowledge and advice found in these forums. I'm currently waiting on a new pup and he will be the first I've owned that will receive professional training. He is a very well bred pup and we are excited to get him.

    When I attempted to purchase my last dog, the breeder strongly resisted selling him to me because I wasn't in the field trial game. She finally relented and I'm happy she did. That pup was out of Yellowstone's TNT Explosion (Nitro) and he was everything one could ask for in a dog. Although he lived in the house with the family, he got TONS of exercise and plenty of love and affection. In return he gave us everything he had right until the end.

    During this recent search, I had two breeders refuse to sell me a pup because I was unsure if I would place him in FT or HT at the time. One stated, "placing such a well bred dog with a family is a waste of genetics". That was his attitude even though I live on the water and our dogs run/swim/retrieve EVERY day. While I understand breeding dogs is a business to some, I think they have forgotten that "quality of life" is a concept that applies to our four legged friends as well.

    I expressed the above to a successful Field trialer recently. He responded by saying my dog likely had a better life than many many FT dogs. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Welcome to RTF! I am not a breeder, pro or regular trialer. I was told the same thing when I got my first Field Lab. In most ways that breeder was absolutely right for trying to talk me out of my choice. These well bred high drive dogs require a lot more than exercise and maintenance. They NEED a job to do and the DISCIPLINE necessary to do it. If you don't have a job for them or a program of development, they will certainly find their own. And that is when trouble starts. They are genetically wired for that job, so to keep peace in the household you need to participate in something. Having gotten the dog I wanted it has been a rough road to learn how to put his skills to use. I have learned more from him than any book or program could have taught me. So I do understand the reason a breeder would turn a non competing buyer down. Unless I had developed the desire and determination to run tests and trials, that dog would NOT have been a good pet. As it is, he is the best house dog I have ever owned and my number one! My #2 and #3 dogs have benefited from what I learned from the first! So don't judge the breeder too harshly that said it would be a "waste of genetics". I really do believe that most reputable breeders are very concerned indeed that their pups have the best life that fills their specific needs. Good luck with the new one and enjoy the ride!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  3. #3
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    while i agree a good life is essential i think most field trial dogs when at home (not at trainer) they lead pretty good lives. to put so much money in a dog to just have it be a yard dog when at home is something i think you may never see. i only know a few succesful field trial dogs (and a few less sucessful but still lead the same life) but all of them stay in the house. beg for food just like any other dog. probably real playful and fun to be around. you'll see some people describe this as an "on/off switch" meaning when they are home they are content laying on the couch and enjoying life.

    i'm guessing the hesitancy to sell a field trial dog to you is because when you have so much money tied up in the sire/female that they want a pup that will perform and showcase the parents. which can lead to bragging such as "pup from previous litter was on the derby list...etc". that makes the sire or female look better and in return generate more money. plus at the end of the day if the pup has the makeup to be successful dont you owe it to him/her to perform at their best potential?

    to take such a dog and just make it a hunting dog is like saying nick saban should of been a pee-wee coach, or tiger woods a local country club pro. they have so much potential they owe it to themselves to be the best. to have it be a house dog would be like saying nick saban should of been a psychologist or tiger a (muscle) rehab therapist


    again this is just my opinion. i never wanted in the games but after evaluating my dogs talent a young age i felt i owed it to him to have some fun with him and let him compete. sure he'd be just a content laying on the couch or taking walks etc but he has the talent for something. just like my son if he has a 60mph fastball at age 8 i'm gonna take him to pitching clinics/camps

  4. #4
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcarpenter View Post
    I'm new to Field Trials / Hunt Tests and appreciate all the knowledge and advice found in these forums. I'm currently waiting on a new pup and he will be the first I've owned that will receive professional training. He is a very well bred pup and we are excited to get him.

    When I attempted to purchase my last dog, the breeder strongly resisted selling him to me because I wasn't in the field trial game. She finally relented and I'm happy she did. That pup was out of Yellowstone's TNT Explosion (Nitro) and he was everything one could ask for in a dog. Although he lived in the house with the family, he got TONS of exercise and plenty of love and affection. In return he gave us everything he had right until the end.

    During this recent search, I had two breeders refuse to sell me a pup because I was unsure if I would place him in FT or HT at the time. One stated, "placing such a well bred dog with a family is a waste of genetics". That was his attitude even though I live on the water and our dogs run/swim/retrieve EVERY day. While I understand breeding dogs is a business to some, I think they have forgotten that "quality of life" is a concept that applies to our four legged friends as well.

    I expressed the above to a successful Field trialer recently. He responded by saying my dog likely had a better life than many many FT dogs. What do you think?
    Personal preference comes into play here.

    I don't think it's fair to automatically assume that a dog in scenario A (for example in a family home evironment) is healthier, happier, better cared-for, or in a better quality of life than a dog in scenario B (on a pro's truck).

    Finding the right dog is kind of like finding the right spouse or the right career choice. It is personal preference, it is chance, it is luck, it is destiny....it's all of that stuff.

    There will never be a "one size fits all".

    We don't have to embrace the way others do it. But we can accept or tolerate the way others do it. If you find a breeder who doesn't support the way you want to do it, move on.

    Mick Jagger might say "Breeders are like streetcars...they come and go". If you find a breeder who doesn't like what you offer as a buyer, guess what - YOU are the customer. You have control over where you look and where you buy.

    No worries.
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  5. #5

    Default

    If Coach Saban was the most successful Pop Warner coach of all time and his players loved him and went on to lead happy, productive lives is that of less value than running a successful business (ie, coaching a Top 10 Div 1 sport)?

    I certainly agree, FT bred dogs are not for a normal family. However, your comment about "bragging rights ... generating more money" kind of makes my point. To some this is a business first.

    I respect your opinion (honestly). I'm new here and to Field Trials. I honestly want to know what people think and to gain more insight.

  6. #6
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    As a breeder I turn down a lot of pet homes simply because they are not prepared for the energy level or the need to work that my dogs have. My dogs are great house dogs, but they need tons of exercise--and that doesn't mean left out in the back yard to entertain themselves or to run with another dog unsupervised (spelled "trouble" ). They need supervised, directed exercise.

    I will place pups in a pet home if I am confident they are active enough and prepared for the emotional and physical needs of a pup that needs a job.

    When the pups i place in hunting, obedience or hunt test homes earn titles and are successful in their performance activities, that is great! And yes, I will post a note on my website as a little brag for the owner and for me.

    Meredith

  7. #7
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcarpenter View Post

    I certainly agree, FT bred dogs are not for a normal family. However, your comment about "bragging rights ... generating more money" kind of makes my point. To some this is a business first.
    I think you are 100% wrong there. If it is, it is a lousy business. Frankly, you can make more profit picking up cans on the side of the road than you can breeding FT dogs. Sure you might bring in $20k from a nice large litter of FT puppies but that is before stud fees, vet stuff and doesn't include any issues that can come up which can eat the rest away quickly. It also doesn't include the years of work the breeders put in developing their lines, researching pedigrees, discussing which studs would be a good fit, travel, etc. Not to mention all the work and training putting the title on the bitch.

    I think the reason that these breeders want to place these puppies in FT homes is that the only external validation that all the work was worth it is how the puppies perform. They may be excellent in every way but if they never run a FT, they will never be an FC.

    That is not to say that there are not excellent homes that don't run any FTs or doggie games. Of course there are, but I completely understand if someone wants to place their dogs in a FT home. Heck, I understand if a breeder wouldn't consider us a good enough FT home for their pups. It is the way it goes. It is easy enough to find one who doesn't worry about it, so keep looking.

  8. #8

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    Well I have a 30 dollar rescue dog and its the best dang house dog you could want. And I have a 1800 dollar 5 month old fc afc x MH that is the worse house dog Ive ever seen but damn good in the field. Like others have said be prepared they are all go 100 percent of the time expecially when they are little. I couldnt imagine owning a field dog just for a pet too much energy. Some one well sell you one, you just have to keep asking

  9. #9
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    Would you go to a Kentucky Racehorse breeder for a kid friendly family nag? Would you buy a '69 camaro with a 427 big block that gets 8 mpg for your daily work vehicle? (OK, I might on that one ). It is about matching the needs/desires/ability of the dog with the owner. FT breeders are just that. FT breeders. They are not pet breeders, or weekend warrior hunting breeders. Their goal is to produce the best FT puppy. In order to do that, they must invest a ton of money, time, and luck into each and every breeding. In order to recoup a fraction of that cost, they must advertise the high qualities of their litter- and since the proof is in the pudding- they do that by producing winners. Can't produce a winner if it is sitting in someones backyard.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    I think you are 100% wrong there. If it is, it is a lousy business. Frankly, you can make more profit picking up cans on the side of the road than you can breeding FT dogs. Sure you might bring in $20k from a nice large litter of FT puppies but that is before stud fees, vet stuff and doesn't include any issues that can come up which can eat the rest away quickly. It also doesn't include the years of work the breeders put in developing their lines, researching pedigrees, discussing which studs would be a good fit, travel, etc. Not to mention all the work and training putting the title on the bitch.

    I think the reason that these breeders want to place these puppies in FT homes is that the only external validation that all the work was worth it is how the puppies perform. They may be excellent in every way but if they never run a FT, they will never be an FC.

    That is not to say that there are not excellent homes that don't run any FTs or doggie games. Of course there are, but I completely understand if someone wants to place their dogs in a FT home. Heck, I understand if a breeder wouldn't consider us a good enough FT home for their pups. It is the way it goes. It is easy enough to find one who doesn't worry about it, so keep looking.
    Or you could end up like me. That dog Peerless in my signature line was a singleton, the other two pups died before the c-section was performed. I started adding up how much she cost me and I quit adding after I got over $3000. I decided I didn't want to know. Thank God at about 21 months she looks like she'll be a very good field trial dog. She is good enough that I'm thinking about breeding her if she passes all her clearances. I would like to keep a puppy and see if any field trailers would have some. Who knows, there are a lot of well bred puppies to choose from... Unless some go to competition I'd have no idea what she produces... That being said, when I bred Raven I took a couple deposits from a couple of hard core hunters here in South Dakota. I wouldn't have any problem selling a high powered dog to someone like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by highflyer82 View Post
    Well I have a 30 dollar rescue dog and its the best dang house dog you could want. And I have a 1800 dollar 5 month old fc afc x MH that is the worse house dog Ive ever seen but damn good in the field. Like others have said be prepared they are all go 100 percent of the time expecially when they are little. I couldnt imagine owning a field dog just for a pet too much energy. Some one well sell you one, you just have to keep asking
    I won't deny that what you say there is a possibility. But I have Mick in my office with me right now. He's just laying on the floor relaxing since noon today. Peerless is the highest powered dog in the field that I've ever seen. Bring her in the house and you won't hear a peep from her. She'll just curl up next to or behind my recliner and go to sleep. VERY nice around the house.
    Last edited by Buzz; 09-06-2013 at 03:59 PM.
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

    Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
    (Esprit's Power Play x Trumarc's Lean Cuisine)
    Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
    (Clubmead's Road Warrior x Oakdale Whitewater Devil Dog)
    Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
    (Two River's Lucky Willie x Moneybird's Black Magic Marker)

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