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Thread: Getting started in field trials

  1. #31
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Adams View Post
    Great info so far.
    Russ gave you the details you were looking for.
    The resources you mention prove that you are on the right track.
    IMO there is a HUGE value in hooking up as much as possible with people who are current and active. They will give you the best perspective on the demands you face in the field & otherwise. Be prepared to prove that you are worth their effort to teach you. For every 20 newbies that come along maybe one is not a time waster for us. Be patient and measure your expectations against your experience.
    Ignore the naysayers.
    There is far more to this than ribbons and titles. Field trials people and dogs are entertaining from all angles.
    Scott explain time waster? so someone has an idea what you are expecting from a newcomer. ML
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  2. #32
    Senior Member Scott Adams's Avatar
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    A time waster is someone who comes out to learn how to train, regularly for a week or month, and in that time gets all kinds of advice for the price of throwing a few birds, and then "POOF" they are gone.
    Each session an hr or more is taken to go over all the basic details of training etc. Then they are gone. Despite their claims they never really were keeners. Out our way we have not seen a dedicated person join us in a least 6 years.
    NAFTCH FTCH AFTCH Mjolnir Bluebill Of Allanport
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    If you want to get into field trials, jump all in that is, you will have a better experience and better chance of succeding if you connect to the hip of a well connected mentor whom you can train with on a regular basis. (Daily or at least all weekend, every weekend) Secondly besides just helping you learn dog training your mentor will ideally be grooming you to judge trials and if you're a good enough student help set you up with judging assignments. You would be well advised to have at least 2 judging assignments on your circuit yearly starting as soon as possible.
    "Darla" AFC Candlewoods Lil Smokin Tequila (2002-2013)(fondly remembered)
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  4. #34
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breck View Post
    You would be well advised to have at least 2 judging assignments on your circuit yearly starting as soon as possible.
    I would suggest tapping the brakes on that one until said person has participated in the last series more than occasionally.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Ed I agree with you, of course, and was always loth to run a 4th when one judge had never ever finished AA stake and likely had never hung around late Sunday afternoon to have even seen one.
    But the point of my advice is that if one wants to be taken seriously they need to let folks know they will be seeing them in the chair often.
    "Darla" AFC Candlewoods Lil Smokin Tequila (2002-2013)(fondly remembered)
    "Smoke" Smokin Auggies Menace, QAA (2003- )(retired nut case, ask Rando)
    "Simba" Humewood Simba (1999-2014)(my 1st dog)

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    Per favore, non mi rompere i coglioni.
    Grazie




  6. #36
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    There's a lot of good advice here. I'll just add that because most dogs don't measure up, the question often arises what to do with those that don't. Some folks wash them out, sell them, and start over with a new prospect. Some see that dog through and may compete with it for its entire working life, even if it's not a strong prospect (you see this some with Chesapeakes); they start again when the current dog gets old. There are a few people out there who have repeatedly had good/great dogs, Derby champions, National winners and finalists, who if you go visit them you will meet their washouts hanging around the kitchen. People in the last category have an exceptional success ratio or they couldn't do this; the kitchen would be too crowded.

    Amy Dahl

  7. #37
    Senior Member Huff's Avatar
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    There are lots of other ways to prove that you are serious about the trial game than judging. Too much knowledge needed to judge for a beginner to just jump in the chair to prove that. You can volunteer as trial chairman or secretary for your local club and see what goes on behind the scenes to put on a trial. It is a ton of work that not many people are willing to do. Its a job that is important because without someone orchestrating the event there are no events. Same with judges.

    Russell
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  8. #38
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    "Money hole" Call name Pit...
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

  9. #39
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    I agree with those who have said you need successful, real life mentors to help you prepare a dog for trial. You can hire a pro or do it yourself, depending on your situation/goals/desires/resources.

    There are a few things that I think are critical for a newer person in terms of being accepted and getting others to give you the help you need. I say this having trained with many FT amateurs and more dog training professionals than most people will ever see. Just to qualify that last statement, I worked a job for two years where there were 90-100 trainers on board at any given time. There were pros from HT/FT, Military and Law Enforcement, all kinds of dog sports including agility and schutzund. 40 year old guys who legitimately had been training professionally for more than 20 years.

    Some things to be aware of about the environment you are entering:

    1. Remember that anyone whose not getting paid to help you most certainly doesn't have to put up with you. even if they are getting paid there will be a limit to their patience.

    2. You know NOTHING about dog training in the eyes of someone who has trained 1000's of dogs, unless you too have trained 1000's and even then you may not know anything about their venue. I don't care how talented you are.

    3. If you are talented in one venue or another you might get some respect from people in another venue but they still view themselves as being superior in terms of knowledge (and in many cases they are).

    4. There are many many people who are VERY set in their ways, due to success over many dogs and years. They may not be open to new ideas.

    5. Personalities still exist. Someone can be an excellent dog trainer and not do very well interacting with people. Be prepared to either seek out an interpersonal style that matches your needs or adapt to what you find in the pursuit of knowledge.

    Some things you should do when interacting with experienced trainers.

    1. Remember my first 5 points, ALWAYS.

    2. Talk less and listen more.

    2a. Other than animal abuse, don't come with any pre-disposed notions of how YOU want to train, unless you know the group agrees with your philosophy.

    3. Practice your personal handling/training skills away from the group.

    4. Be respectful of people's time. Be punctual. Do your share of the work. Be dedicated.

    5. Remember that everyone's success in a training group depends on everyone else pitching in and doing a quality job. The bird boy can be more important than the handler in a lot of situations. Learn how to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.

    6. Be gracious and grateful.

    7. Ask questions and LISTEN to the answers. Put the answers into practice. Advice given but not applied (within a group of experienced people who are on the same page) is viewed as a waste of effort. Wasted effort = lack of effort later. People will stop advising you if they don't see you put their advice into practice.

    Finally...

    A good dog really helps, so start with the best dog you can find and don't be afraid to change dogs if necessary.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #40
    Senior Member Huff's Avatar
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    Good post Darrin.

    Russell
    CH Chisholm Trail's Backdraft Bay MH**
    Chisholm Trail's Crossfire Sophie JH**
    "I say goodbye to my weakness, so long to the regrets"

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