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Thread: Field Trial Dog Life

  1. #31
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Bigfork, Montana


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sehon View Post
    Well stated BBnumber1.
    Yep, he nailed it...

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  3. #32
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2005
    Long Point Ontario Canada


    My biggest deciding factor when I placed my recent litter was.....If it was going to be a caring "forever" home. Didn't want my pups treated like a commodity that was traded and sold often. Think everyone that has one of the "Karma" pups is exactly that.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Duckquilizer's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by pcarpenter View Post
    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.
    It's in our human nature to try to re-invent the wheel. It is a business, but most breeders are ultimately trying to better the (thier) breed. A couch dog does nothing for proving that. Its not only FT dogs that are like this. Many high bred HT dog's are WAY to much for average house pets. All this is generalization but, it's a high percentage one. You will have to think about the big picture and not just your home, which I'm sure would be a great one.
    Kendall Layne

    HR(2xHRCH) Ashland's Big Black Ruby to Go SH
    Dorie's Lady of the Lake(1K bird club)

    Never play leap frog with a unicorn.

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  6. #34
    Senior Member DEDEYE's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    I think I might have to jump in on this thread.. When I made pups with Darla and Copper in 2007, I sold them all to hunting homes.. I didn't care if they trialed or not. One puppy though, I am sad to report, went to a home that turned out to be a sort of puppy producing place. She later was sold or placed in a hunting home.. I didn't do enough research on that person.. One of my pups lived lots and lots of days on a hunting guide boat as a bird retrieving machine. I have another one who lives on the Kenai River and catches her own fish.. One of my pups lives at a hunting home, but when he isn't doing his job, I hear he is a hideous pain in the ass, as he has no direction...

    Now that I am breeding Spanky soon, I am going to be looking first at trialing homes, hunt test homes, etc.. But will also be looking at anyone who honestly will give a pup a sweet home with lots to do.. If I sell a couple to people who use pro's, then I am pretty sure they will be worked, and taken care of..

    Both my girls are trialing dogs, hunting dogs, run-around-idiots, who sleep on the bed, love to play chuck-it, howl for treats, and keep the couch warm.. That's what sort of home I hope I find for my pups..
    Princess Darla of Nottingham MH QA2
    Copper's Darlin' Rascal "Spanky" QA2
    Spanky's Darlin Rascal "Wheezy"

    Yellow dogs rule the world!

  7. #35
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2012


    I can tell you from personal experience that these high energy bred dogs need a lot of attention and work or you'll pay a big price. About 15 years ago I had a Vedges Big Boy pup and a Dirt Road Sport pup. Both high energy dogs. Well, at the time I was wanting to get into the HT game and was going to do the training myself. I bought a few books and started training with my brother-in-law that had a HRCH and all was going well. Ran a couple started tests and then a few seasoned passes. Got a management position with acompany starting up an office in Baton Rouge so I had to give up the 40 hour week to get the company kicked off and that took 60-70 hours a week. Well, guess what took priority. To make a long story short, I had to replace the siding on the back of the house for as far up as they could reach. I was having to buy bark collars at a rate of 4 a year because they would chew them off of each other and then destroy them. They knocked over furniture, scratched wood floors and whatever else they could get into. They finally calmed down a little at 4 years old but were still high energy. They both passed away at 13 1/2years old and were some of the most loyal dogs I had ever had. When we decided to get into the game again I made sure I was going to have the time to devote to them and the funds to do it right. The 2 Ali pups I have now get worked every weekend and in the evenings on weekdays when it's not too hot. They spent 13 months with a pro. The on/off switch works great. They're running hunt tests and doing it right. In a nutshell, if you get one of these high energy dogs, be prepared to spend the time and money to do it right or it'll cost you dearly. Trust me,I know first hand.
    Last edited by DonBrou; 09-10-2013 at 09:13 AM.

  8. #36


    Quote Originally Posted by DonBrou View Post
    if you get one of these high energy dogs, be prepared to spend the time and money to do it right or it'll cost you dearly. Trust me,I know first hand.
    Again, this new dog will spend time with a pro. Also, I stated I've owned two other high powered FT dogs and I understand such dogs are not for everyone. I'm fully aware they need to be run daily or they will devote that energy toward destructive pursuits.

    When I say "on a pro truck", I don't literally mean on the truck. I mean living full time in a kennel and competing/training year round.

    I appreciate all the comments here. I agree that perhaps my question is too general and there are varying degrees of lifestyles for these dogs. Thanks again

  9. #37
    Senior Member BBnumber1's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Falcon, CO


    Quote Originally Posted by pcarpenter View Post
    I appreciate all the comments here. I agree that perhaps my question is too general and there are varying degrees of lifestyles for these dogs. Thanks again

    pcarpenter, it sounds like you know what is involved with owning one of these dogs. I do agree that some breeders are looking to place dogs in competititve homes. Competitive does not necessarily mean that the dogs will be put with a pro. In some cases, it means placed wit a successful amatuer that trains their own dogs. They are just looking for people who will showcase their lines abilities.

    Well, this started off as a really interesting thread. Too bad we couldn't keep it that way. (Rick_C 2009, Classic RTF)
    __________________________________________________ _
    Take what you get and thank them (the Judges) afterwards no matter what the outcome. (Moira Sheehan)

  10. #38
    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Apr 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by BBnumber1 View Post
    I think that there is a fundamental flaw in your question. This is not an either/or situation.

    There are dogs that are never trained, and are left in the back yard, with little family interaction.

    There are dogs that are trained minimally, lives with a family and are ignored most of the time except during hunting season.

    There are dogs that are trained, live with a family and swim/run/retrieve every day AND compete in trials or hunt tests.

    There are dogs that spend a few months or years with a pro and then come home to a family, and are trained and trial/tested from then on by the amatuer

    There are dogs that spend half the year with a pro, and half a year at home with a family, running trials or hunt tests both with the pro and with the amatuer.

    There are dogs with pros, that spend half a year on the truck, and half a year with a kennel every night, because the pro travels south/north.

    There are dogs with pros, that just train and run trials/tests, and never see an "owner", just the pro trainer.

    This does not even go into the wide range of treatment/interaction that a dog can receive whether it is with a pro, or with an amatuer trainer or with a family.

    I think there is no way to really answer your question of which has the best life, because there is too large a spectrum of circumstances. I think that at least some breeders ask a multitude of questions, trying to make sure that their dogs end up in the kind of home they want their dogs to be in. Some are more concerned about 'Performance homes' some are more interested in 'Active homes', some in 'caring homes'
    This is the gold standard answer. That said, the last paragraph sums it up. There are pros that are in this because of a passion and because they have a gift to get the most out of a dog and not make a myriad of excuses-whether it's their inability to communicate with a dog or a dog that simply doesn't have "it" and should just go home. Sadly, there are plenty who just hang out a shingle.

    I'm sure there are dogs out there bonded to the good pros and enjoying a good life doing what they were bred to do and respected in the process. LOTS of truly great amateur trainers (albeit money and circumstances are a plus) who give their dogs the best of worlds. Sadly, there are just as many square pegs in round holes filling a hole in a pro truck who would be much happier living a life with someone who appreciated them as more than a commodity.

    If this sounds too touch feely-so be it, but I think it should be a dog's birthright to be appreciated at the end of the day. Ask them to do what they are capable of and don't expect more than that.

    Last edited by Miriam Wade; 09-10-2013 at 05:52 PM.
    "You can put pressure on a dog, you canít take it backÖ"

    Mitch Patterson '07

    MHR Wadin's Katie Lied CD, SH, WCX (11/25/93-1/27/07 Rest Well Kate)
    Brassfire's Brass in Pocket JH, WCX ** (4 Master passes)
    Brassfire's New England Patriot (New Pup!!!)

  11. #39
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2003


    Originally Posted by pcarpenter
    This was my point. I think most of you missed the question I asked. Who has a better life, a dog from FT stock that is trained, lives with a family and swims/runs/retrieves every day (ie, what they want to do) or a FT dog that competes in high stakes. I'm honestly curious.

    With 24 dogs in training, if the pro never sleeps they would have 1 hr per day per dog . Realistically it is more like 12 hr days with 1/2 hr per day per dog.
    Add in some (2)help at 1/2 hr each per dog and you are now up to 1 1/2 MH hrs per day per dog to. Air the dog, wash down the kennel, load up, pick up the airing yard, drive to the training grounds, set up the ''setup", run the setup, set up and run another, run a few blinds, feed and air the dogs, drive back to the kennel , unload.........

    While you aren't doing anything, you can cook, eat, clean up the kitchen, go to the vet, catch feed and water the fliers, pick up or drop off a few dogs at the air port. ,try to get a few bitches bred, clean the truck, clean the house,do your laundry, grocery shop etc,etc,etc.........

    I went on enough winter trips to know..... There just is not enough hours in the day for much "1 on 1" ( touch feely)with the dogs
    Last edited by john fallon; 09-10-2013 at 06:53 PM.
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

  12. #40
    Senior Member firehouselabs's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Currently middle of the "Great" Plains- Ord NE


    And here is what happens in the average day to day life of a family dog:
    Alarms go off, people running around getting ready to go to work, school, daycare, church, what have you. People starting talking louder as they rush to shower, shave, the other "s" word, get dressed, get others dressed, fix breakfast, do last minute homework, fix lunches, find a new outfit because someone spilled syrup on you, find car keys, backpacks, books, phones, etc..
    All the while poor fido is looking for attention, food, and needing to go to the bathroom. He is being told to go lay down, get out of the way, others are trying to sneak him food under the table so he is now under foot again. If he is lucky, he gets banished to the back yard, "finally! I get to pee!". If he is REALLY lucky, someone on the way out will remember to let him back in, and maybe throw him some kibble and refill his bowl. Of course if that is the responsibility of the one of the teenagers who is out for three different sports, or the one with the brand new boyfriend that she is trying to impress- and after all, dog hair and slobber are NOT cool- then that just might get left off their "things to do" list.
    During the day, fido will either: a) lounge in the yard b) lounge in the crate in the house c) lounge in kennel in the yard or d) lounge on the furniture in house, for which he may or may not have privileges. That day could be 8 hours, but most likely closer to 11 depending on where owners work, traffic, how many other stops they make on the way home, etc.. Once they get home, it's homework time, supper time, and for half the year, its dark outside. If the kids have sports and practices, its even later for most of the family, if not all of them. Next comes bath time, a favorite tv show, and by golly its already 10:00pm and time for the news, weather, and bed!
    But hey, the weekend is free, right? Depends on how good your wife is with chores, housecleaning, and laundry. And if you are the one having to do this by your self, you know that the little fairies don't come nearly as often to do it in real life, unlike all those cute little stories. Then there is that pesky lawn that keeps growing, leaves that need raked, that leaky roof, banging shutter, the strange noise that your car is making, your 3rd cousin twice removed's wedding that your spouse/mother is making you go to, and then your beer drinking buddies come over with an invite for a game of poker, BBQ, or you wife decides that you owe her and the kids some quality time at a flea market, not to mention that basketball game that your star son is playing in an hour and a half up the road.

    Life is busy. Dogs, by their patient and loving manner, often get left behind in the shuffle. They go about their day, trying to garner some affection and attention, but until or unless they implode into a quivering, barking, bouncing off the walls, destructive beast, they rarely get all that they need or deserve. I am talking about those dogs that are very low key, laid back animals. Put a FT bred to the hilt working dog into a situation evenly remotely like this, and you will make that dog a neurotic mess.

    Given the choice of laying on the couch and getting her belly rubbed for two hours while I am watching a movie, and 2 or 3 hours a week training or spending as totally "dog time", or being able to spend 6 out of 7 days a week in the field training for that same amount of time a day (I use a smaller business trainer, only takes on 6 dogs)? My dog will rocket off that couch to plow over the trainer at the door and will be doing the happy dance in front of "her" box on the trailer, if she isn't already riding on top of it.
    My dog loves me....but she LOVES her trainer. And since I am paying him to bring out the very best of her FT breeding, that is the way it should be. If I should breed her down the road, I want her pups to have the same opportunity, which means that the best buyers would be those that are already well established in the hunt test/field trial game with either the talent or the money to bring out those same qualities in the pup that they get.

    According to this BMI chart, I am too short !!!

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