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Thread: Goofing Around with Mutt Dogs (Retriever training with non-retriever Shelter Dog)

  1. #21
    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Atkinson View Post
    Molson was an incredible dog. Shawn Matla was an obnoxious dude who was lucky to have a great dog. They did dote upon each other, which was cool to see. They both adored each other. Every dog person and every dog deserves such a relationship. Shawn was a goob. Molson loved that goob. That goob loved Shawn. There was a TV show that they were featured in, that talked about the relationship between dogs and their owners. Shawn talked about how he and his wife had to get a king sized bed to accomodate that big lab in an interview on that show.

    My good pal Paul Young used to talk about how far Shawn and Molson could have potentially gone, had they run Field Trials.

    I didn't understand then what he meant back then.

    Now I do. He was right. Shawn and Molson could have been a force to be reckoned with in the FT game.

    Has anyone run into Shawn since then?
    That really says a lot that Paul (& you) saw them as FT contenders. Molson was a natural. I do understand that Shawn was "different", but all Molson cared about and what I respected about Shawn was that he gave him a very, very good life. I have vivid memories of Shawn toweling Molson off before he hopped back in the car. Yes, a car. I never saw Molson crated. He just hung out in the car-ambled out and ate up every test he ever ran. That is documented fact. I think he may have failed one test in his whole career. The connection Shawn and I had was that we both hadn't force fetched or collar conditioned our dogs. He went further with Molson than I did with Kate (who started at age 6) and I will say again that I have rarely seen a dog/handler relationship like theirs.

    I haven't run NAHRA in forever, but to the best of my knowledge Shawn dropped out of dog games after Molson passed. A shame because quirky or not with people he knew how to connect with a dog. Molson wasn't replaceable, but Shawn would have given another good dog a chance to show what he had.

    M
    "You can put pressure on a dog, you canít take it backÖ"

    Mitch Patterson '07

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  2. #22
    Senior Member Peter G Lippert's Avatar
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    This is awesome!! I have a soft spot for people in this retriever community that give rescues a chance being that my dog is a rescue/mutt (Golden X black lab mutt). Before I knew anything about this game I got him for free off craigslist. He is three now and we are doing blinds up to 300 yrds!

    The previous post about the border collie highlights something that I have expericened as well. Some that I have been around in this same community did not share my excitement for my pup being that he is a mutt. But the current club I train with has been awesome and i have to admit a little surprised to see what the dog can do.

  3. #23
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    My old training and hunting pal Jimmy Mueller used to say that he felt he could go into just about any dog pound and pick out a dog that he could train into a serviceable gundog. I think Jimmy probably could!

    I have no interest in running any of these rescues in any hunt test or organized venue, even if the rules allow it.

    I do, however, put on a couple local retriever demos, both as part of fundraisers for the local animal shelter. I run two of our three pit/mutt/bully mix dogs in those. It's pretty fun.
    "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"

  4. #24
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miriam Wade View Post
    That really says a lot that Paul (& you) saw them as FT contenders. Molson was a natural. I do understand that Shawn was "different", but all Molson cared about and what I respected about Shawn was that he gave him a very, very good life. I have vivid memories of Shawn toweling Molson off before he hopped back in the car. Yes, a car. I never saw Molson crated. He just hung out in the car-ambled out and ate up every test he ever ran. That is documented fact. I think he may have failed one test in his whole career. The connection Shawn and I had was that we both hadn't force fetched or collar conditioned our dogs. He went further with Molson than I did with Kate (who started at age 6) and I will say again that I have rarely seen a dog/handler relationship like theirs.

    I haven't run NAHRA in forever, but to the best of my knowledge Shawn dropped out of dog games after Molson passed. A shame because quirky or not with people he knew how to connect with a dog. Molson wasn't replaceable, but Shawn would have given another good dog a chance to show what he had.

    M
    Shawn used an e collar with Molson for his training. Shawn actually said some things to me that were quite similar to stuff written/said by folks such as: Bill Hillmann, Fred Hassan, our own Pete here on RTF, Packleader Jamie, and Pat Nolan.

    I think Shawn was very lucky to have a good dog. But I also think Shawn had an intuitive ability to connect with his dog and find the compromise between what he wanted and what the dog wanted. For that pair, there was not much compromise. I think they could read each others' minds.

    I remember Shawn bragging about, but then my observing, Molson coming to the line. Then Molson would scope things out and pause, as if he was saying. "OK, one mark there." then he'd turn his head and pause, "another right there", looking off to the side a gain, "and there's the third." Molson did the same with blinds.

    Shawn ran blinds, as Miriam has already indicated, with his hands in his pockets. I don't remember Shawn giving Molson a cast other than their first season running hunt tests.

    I was there at Granite State when Shawn showed up with Molson, not quite full grown. He entered Started, Intermediate and Senior. He passed all three both days taking home 6 ribbons at his first showing. When asked why he bothered with the Started and Intermediate, he simply said "Because there are titles to be gotten."

    Shawn if you're out there, you made the NAHRA game a special venue, in a very special era of its history.

    You goob!
    "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. #25
    Super Moderator Vicky Trainor's Avatar
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    Many years ago, I trained with Robin and Travis. To be working a gun station and have that dog come flying out toward you with that intense look on his face and showing in his body was a sight to behold. I don't think I have ever seen such an intense stare!!!

    Wow, this thread has brought up many memories of when I first started running in NAHRA and then going on to run in AKC when our local NAHRA club went by the wayside. I bet I have Chelsea's first plaque in the attic.
    Vicky
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    That's great Chris!
    Wayne Nutt
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