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Thread: FT- How much does it Cost?

  1. #21
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    I agree with Breck for most but not all assumptions. I don't run many derbies, maybe 5-6 at most with a pup. IMO training a young pup should be to get the dog to the level to be competitive in AA stakes. Derbies do NOTHING to get your dog to that goal. So I'd say run 5-6 derbies to get to know your dog and its personality running events & you do the handling. This alone will reduce your fees by several thousand but more importantly not contribute bad habits that running events inevitably cause & you get involved too. Further there are only 3-5 top pros in each time zone, again IMO, so try to get lined up with one of those to get the most out of your investment (you'll know by his accomplishments). Most important, look the pro in the eye and tell him you do not want to have him train your dog one day beyond a recognition by the pro that the pup will not be competitive in FTs. No use wasting your money on a dog that can't make it. At the outside, turning your pup over to a top-notch young dog trainer is a one-year investment, starting at 6-8 mos. If you are not willing to make that one year investment, don't even consider it. Within a year of turning your pup over to the pro, he/she should know the potential for the pup. Make sure the pro will tell you the potential as you progress, don't let the pro string you along & don't 2nd guess his opinion if it is not favorable. Just stop the bleeding & find another game for the pup or find another pup. Also top young dog pros, like Jim Van Engan (as an example), usually have a market for good FT washouts, so you could get some money back using an established young dog trainer if your dog doesn't make it. Prior to that time you get your pup to the pro, you should get to know your pup, do basic obedience & have fun with some retrieving.

    Forgot to add, if you are lucky enough to have a FT caliper pup, expect a $12,000 to $20,000 annual investment thereafter during the dog's competitive years.
    Last edited by Granddaddy; 06-23-2014 at 10:20 AM.
    David Didier, GA

  2. #22
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    Not going to dispute anyone's claim as to how much it costs, but you can save yourself some money by learning how to train and handle the dog yourself so you can take over the reins after the pro does the basics...Campaigning a dog can be costly but there are ways around it

    1. unless you are chasing the National Derby Championship, many people are VERY happy if the can get their dogs on the List (10 pts)

    2. run just enough Quals to get the dog QAA or QA2, then concentrate your financial efforts towards the AA events

    3. there is very little way around travel/lodging costs but by picking your schedule pragmatically you can soften the blow

    bottom line is the sooner you learn to train and handle your dog, the less dependant you will be on a pro
    All my Exes live in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by lanse brown View Post
    A few things that I learned still ring true. "Lanse when you get a gift, say thank you and walk away. When you get a screwing walk away. You are going to get a lot more screwings than gifts"

  3. #23
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granddaddy View Post
    I agree with Breck for most but not all assumptions. I don't run many derbies, maybe 5-6 at most with a pup. IMO training a young pup should be to get the dog to the level to be competitive in AA stakes. Derbies do NOTHING to get your dog to that goal. So I'd say run 5-6 derbies to get to know your dog and its personality running events & you do the handling. This alone will reduce your fees by several thousand but more importantly not contribute bad habits that running events inevitably cause & you get involved too. Further there are only 3-5 top pros in each time zone, again IMO, so try to get lined up with one of those to get the most out of your investment (you'll know by his accomplishments). Most important, look the pro in the eye and tell him you do not want to have him train your dog one day beyond a recognition by the pro that the pup will not be competitive in FTs. No use wasting your money on a dog that can't make it. At the outside, turning your pup over to a top-notch young dog trainer is a one-year investment, starting at 6-8 mos. If you are not willing to make that one year investment, don't even consider it. Within a year of turning your pup over to the pro, he/she should know the potential for the pup. Make sure the pro will tell you the potential as you progress, don't let the pro string you along & don't 2nd guess his opinion if it is not favorable. Just stop the bleeding & find another game for the pup or find another pup. Also top young dog pros, like Jim Van Engan (as an example), usually have a market for good FT washouts, so you could get some money back using an established young dog trainer if your dog doesn't make it. Prior to that time you get your pup to the pro, you should get to know your pup, do basic obedience & have fun with some retrieving.
    I totally agree with the comment about using a proven-good young dog pro that first year to build the proper foundation. After that you have options including, if you're lucky, joining a good amateur group. The stars have to line up right for this to happen, but if it does you can train and compete with the best for a lot less money. By stars lining up you need the following:
    1) A committed group of four or five guys, typically still working but willing to meet three to five times a week for training.
    2) At least one of the group, the group leader, has to be a very good dog person, good dog trainer who runs field trials.
    3) They, preferably the best trainer, need to be willing to take you under his or her wing.
    4) You have to have access to good training grounds, particularly good training water.

    If you have all of that and are willing to pour a lot of effort into it, including giving up weekends of fishing, hiking, bike riding, whatever you used to do, then it can work, otherwise just send the dog off to a pro or day train with a local pro.

    John

  4. #24
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    As far as actually running a trial goes it can be cheaper for the pro to do it for you. If I travel out of town for a trial even with just 1 dog it can be a $500 weekend so if a pro charges $100 handler fee and even $100 travel expenses your saving $300 which would be well spent towards the monthly training fee. A lot of people would think, and I agree, what's the fun in that? You never see or handle your dog you just write a check.
    Some of the estimates here of $15,000 to 25,000 can be pretty accurate it just depends on how serious you want to be. A happy medium can be found you just have to do your homework. After all these responses I am curious as to what Clint thinks.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I totally agree with the comment about using a proven-good young dog pro that first year to build the proper foundation. After that you have options including, if you're lucky, joining a good amateur group. The stars have to line up right for this to happen, but if it does you can train and compete with the best for a lot less money. By stars lining up you need the following:
    1) A committed group of four or five guys, typically still working but willing to meet three to five times a week for training.
    2) At least one of the group, the group leader, has to be a very good dog person, good dog trainer who runs field trials.
    3) They, preferably the best trainer, need to be willing to take you under his or her wing.
    4) You have to have access to good training grounds, particularly good training water.

    If you have all of that and are willing to pour a lot of effort into it, including giving up weekends of fishing, hiking, bike riding, whatever you used to do, then it can work, otherwise just send the dog off to a pro or day train with a local pro.

    John
    Great post John
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shaver View Post
    As far as actually running a trial goes it can be cheaper for the pro to do it for you. If I travel out of town for a trial even with just 1 dog it can be a $500 weekend so if a pro charges $100 handler fee and even $100 travel expenses your saving $300 which would be well spent towards the monthly training fee. A lot of people would think, and I agree, what's the fun in that? You never see or handle your dog you just write a check.
    Some of the estimates here of $15,000 to 25,000 can be pretty accurate it just depends on how serious you want to be. A happy medium can be found you just have to do your homework. After all these responses I am curious as to what Clint thinks.
    Steve, if a guy doesn't train the dog, doesn't run the dog & doesn't go on the road to the see the dog what possible satisfaction can a owner get from owning the dog? If I carry that logic to its logical conclusion - at least to save money, it's much cheaper not to own a dog at all. I can just follow Tubb or Gracie, etc through event news and root for them like I own them. I understand the idea of travel expenses costing more than letting the pro do it but to what end?
    David Didier, GA

  7. #27
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    One other thing that hasnt been brought up on this thread is, having the funds to afford the sport does not insure success...the FT grounds are full of people who used up various levels of wealth, and achieved little success in return...

    To loosely paraphrase something mentioned at the NARC last week, where you spend your funds may be just as important as when you spend your funds..a little luck and good fortune might have a huge determination on one's success in the game, not just the size of the bank account
    All my Exes live in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by lanse brown View Post
    A few things that I learned still ring true. "Lanse when you get a gift, say thank you and walk away. When you get a screwing walk away. You are going to get a lot more screwings than gifts"

  8. #28
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    I hope we didn't scare the OP off. Sometimes a little naivete is helpful. I don't know where the OP is coming from regarding dogs, retrievers and the retrieving sports. If someone would have laid out where we would be heading in financial and time commitment terms by getting into hunt test and later field trials, my wife and I would have said, "that's crazy talk" and stuck with flying, hiking, sailing, fishing, hunting and traveling, saving lots of money and anguish in the process. But no, we had to have a fun, successful hunt test dog and caught the bug big time. Reading threads like this one, make me question my sanity.

    John

  9. #29
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    This; "How do you make a million dollars in NASCAR?", make sure you start with 20 million.
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

  10. #30
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    I joined the sport in 1981 wanting a better hunting dog, then Hunt Test, and a few trials when work and training would allow. Was told in 1988, by an oldtimer that it would be a good time to get out. STILL questioning my sanity, But it appears I have a lot of CRAZY FRIENDS ! Bill
    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I hope we didn't scare the OP off. Sometimes a little naivete is helpful. I don't know where the OP is coming from regarding dogs, retrievers and the retrieving sports. If someone would have laid out where we would be heading in financial and time commitment terms by getting into hunt test and later field trials, my wife and I would have said, "that's crazy talk" and stuck with flying, hiking, sailing, fishing, hunting and traveling, saving lots of money and anguish in the process. But no, we had to have a fun, successful hunt test dog and caught the bug big time. Reading threads like this one, make me question my sanity.

    John

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