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Thread: How does a new person find a mentor?

  1. #21
    Senior Member LESTER LANGLEY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Monroe, La


    A strong, willing, throwing arm has allowed me to train with several people through the years.

    Strong Back, Weak Mind, Regards..........

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    owings mills, md


    " When the student is ready the teacher will appear."

    Mentoring can only occur when the student is committed. Most training groups would welcome that new person with one dog that is dedicated, reliable and shows up on time. The occassional "drop in" doesn't usually benefit anybody.


    You order a Lab; ask a Golden; but negotiate with a Chesapeake!

  3. #23
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Roscoe, IL


    X2 on what Tim said.

    "I keep seeing new people being advised to find a mentor, but I wonder how a person new to do training can track one down. How does one go about imposing himself upon a stranger? How does one go about even finding who to ask?"

    Guilty as charged................

    However, I've often noticed RTF members go out of their way to provide links to retriever clubs or possible pro trainers in the area of an OP. To a certain extent making someone become proactive about getting help is determined by just how "into it" they are. Until the "hook" is in deep, seeking help for a fun pastime may not be part of the agenda. Therefore, when an RFT member suggests a mentor....the expectation is that “seekers of help” will shift gears and become more proactive. Self-motivation is not often enhanced by suggestions. Frankly, the information is out there. Personal initiative is required.Ya' gotta want it badly enough to act.

    Usually, a person that decides to “tackle” training a retriever thinks they can. Admitting help is needed is a major change in tactics. The hope that “maybe things will change” inhibits the realization and “It's not the dog” is usually last on the list.

    The common obstacles for seeking a mentor are acceptance of the premise, convenience, and/or motivation. Will it make a difference? How badly do I want help? Frankly, I think the "how to” is available, but the “want to” is often weak. “Where there is a will, there is a way”.
    Jim Boyer KwickLabs (new)

  4. #24
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Mohawk Valley


    Simple really. Find a retriever club, join, then go stand in gunners station and throw birds for a few years. You will be amazed at what you get from that.

    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)
    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

  5. #25
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Salt Lake City


    Ok, phew, there is no dial-a-mentor type program in other parts of the country that I simply did not know about.

    It appears that the consensus is that a new trainer needs to show he is serious about dog training and that he is committed to seeing it through for an amateur mentor to take him on.

    On the one hand the new trainer has to demonstrate he is serious, on the other, he is going to be frustrated trying to train a dog for the first time without any help.

    I learned early on that it takes a huge time commitment to train the dog to a high level and I wasn't sure I could make the time commitment, at least on a regular basis. Thank goodness for RTF!
    Last edited by mitty; 02-07-2014 at 09:22 AM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Souf Joisy


    I found my original training group through a duck hunting website. Treated it like hunting... You're an invited GUEST until you become a real part of the core group. Show up on time or early. Do more than your share. LISTEN and execute the advice you're given. Be committed and do your yard work at home. Ask questions respectfully and LISTEN to the answers.

    The bigger your work ethic and the smaller your ego, the more likely you will have success.
    Darrin Greene

  7. #27
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    HMM No Idea, people just told me where all the Dog people hung out; I showed up; clubs were having a training day-or a test or something. Started a conversation, with different groups. Who won't talk to someone with a 3mt. old lab pup on a string . I wanted a hunting dog, one group had a bunch of old hunters who trained one morning a weekend, off season. Mentors & hunting buddies arrived together. Got me passed the SH level, When we got into the higher testing stuff, and I had a few things that needed fixing, they told me who to take advice from and who not to .\

    After being in several clubs for several years, I can tell you there are usually groups within groups, and you can pretty much tell who wants it, who will do the work to get it, vs. those who just want a good time with their dogs. Train with and take advice from those who have dogs at the level where you eventually want to be.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 02-07-2014 at 01:28 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
    "I train dogs, Not papers"

    GMRH-I HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
    MHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
    HR Storm.. the Pup (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Kent WA


    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002 View Post
    go stand in gunners station and throw birds for a few years. You will be amazed at what you get from that.

    Hands that smell like dead ducks?

  9. #29
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    North Carolina 4 now


    Sometimes you just get lucky. My first dog was about 16 months old when somebody, (honestly, cant remember who or how) pointed me to a well known and successful trainer in SC that did OB and FT. Even though that person was a long way away, one of the staff there told me about a gentleman who lived literally a couple of miles from my place that competed and trained his own dogs as an amateur and that he was always looking for someone to train with. After the first meeting at a local sod farm, we trained 3 or more days a week for the next 3 years. Swinton Anderson is one of the finest people I've ever met and introduced me to so very many great dog people, including Bach Doar and Connie Cleveland. We trained rain or shine, hot or cold and his patience with me was great. Through him I discovered some of the clubs and groups around and got more opportunities than I probably deserved! If I were to make a suggestion to a newbie now, I would say call one of the pros, and ask them about amateurs that train in your area. And above all . . . . DO NOT MOVE TO NEW MEXICO!
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, SH

  10. #30
    Senior Member shawninthesticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    north east mo


    My 1st ever time of seeing a FT ,my son and I drove to St. Louis and entered a puppy event. My dog was around 5-6 months old I think ans she had never seen a "field setup" (me either for that matter) we walked up to the line and she just sit there as pretty as could be for the marks, I called for the marks and said her name and she looked up at me with the "what in the hell an I supposed to do now " look , came back to the truck and a crazy white headed guy offered me some cheese dip and a little advise. He asked me where I lived and then told me a pro had just moved back to my area and he was running another event that day at the trial..."go find him and be willing to do the dirty work and he will help you and your dog" . Then he slapped me in the chest with a Lardy training book and said "GET THIS AND READ IT " The cheese dip was really good.

    I'm in an area that it is a 2 hour drive for a training group and have only found one other pro in my area ,but he doesnt run any events that I know of.

    I now go to my pro's anywhere from 3-5 days a week and help clean kennels ,throw birds and get yelled at for doing "stupid sh!t" to my dog for 3-5 hours a day. Cant wait till him and my dog get back from the winter trip ,so I can do it some more.

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