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Thread: Winners and Losers

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    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    Default Winners and Losers

    In obedience, in some parts of the country, the same dog wins almost every single weekend. Obedience can be like field trials in that everyone is looking to win the class for OTCH points. When you walk in the door and see certain dogs/handlers setting up, you pretty much know that your chances of winning just went way down.

    In field trials, are there areas where the same dog wins every time out? Or is it there alot of variability?

    I see alot of people being discouraged in obedience because there are a few dogs that seem to do almost all the winning.

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    In obedience, in some parts of the country, the same dog wins almost every single weekend. Obedience can be like field trials in that everyone is looking to win the class for OTCH points. When you walk in the door and see certain dogs/handlers setting up, you pretty much know that your chances of winning just went way down.

    In field trials, are there areas where the same dog wins every time out? Or is it there alot of variability?

    I see alot of people being discouraged in obedience because there are a few dogs that seem to do almost all the winning.
    I think there may be some dogs that earn a well deserved reputation for being a great dog, by week in week out being spectacular. That said I think that occasionally some judges give those dogs a bit of a break on the rare occasions when they are not running at their normal high level. I don't know if it's intentional or if the dog's reputation temporarily blinds them. To your larger point, in field trials, if your dog is at the top of his game that whole weekend, you can beat anybody. People don't get discouraged because some dogs are very good week in-week out, they get depressed because it is so bleeping hard to get your dog to that level on a consistent basis.

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    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    In obedience, in some parts of the country, the same dog wins almost every single weekend. Obedience can be like field trials in that everyone is looking to win the class for OTCH points. When you walk in the door and see certain dogs/handlers setting up, you pretty much know that your chances of winning just went way down.

    In field trials, are there areas where the same dog wins every time out? Or is it there alot of variability?

    I see alot of people being discouraged in obedience because there are a few dogs that seem to do almost all the winning.
    Humm? Could it be that winners just train and train to win? If you fail in obedience categories, who's fault is it?
    Just my humble opinion.
    Don

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    Senior Member Jeannie Greenlee's Avatar
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    It seems to me that those dogs that consistently win in the obedience ring are the ones that are talented and have talented, dedicated trainers. I would think in that respect it would be much the same in the field. These are dog games though and there is the factor of dogs being dogs and handlers making errors too. I don't get discouraged when I go to an obedience trail and see the consistent winner there, I just try to ramp up my game and make sure that I do the best I can to be a winning team mate with my dog. I always think about how glorious it would be if I beat ________________ ! I have found out in the obedience ring how much fun it is to bring home that blue ribbon and hope to find out how it feels to do that at a field trial one day.
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    Senior Member sdnordahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Lietzau View Post
    Humm? Could it be that winners just train and train to win? If you fail in obedience categories, who's fault is it?
    Just my humble opinion.
    Don
    I knew a comment like that was coming. If your dog isn't performing as well as another they should win. Or are you claiming favoritism on the judges part?
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    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    In obedience, in some parts of the country, the same dog wins almost every single weekend. Obedience can be like field trials in that everyone is looking to win the class for OTCH points. When you walk in the door and see certain dogs/handlers setting up, you pretty much know that your chances of winning just went way down.

    In field trials, are there areas where the same dog wins every time out? Or is it there alot of variability?

    I see alot of people being discouraged in obedience because there are a few dogs that seem to do almost all the winning.
    To not be discouraged in FTs, the average person has to define what they measure as success. It runs the gambit from expecting an FC and running Nationals to feeling great that you made it in good shape to the water blind in an All Age stake. Some think a jam isn't worth bringing home and to others it means all your hard work just paid off by finishing a trial. I remember waiting for placements and not hearing my dog's number when they called the JAMs. I thought, "It's ok. I am happy with my dog today". I ended up with a 4th, which again, doesn't mean much to a lot of folks, but it meant the world to me.

    It's not much different in obedience in terms of anything from just wanting 3 legs however you can get them for a title to not being happy unless you get that OTCH. However, there is a HUGE difference in variables between FTs and obedience. Obedience is rote for lack of a better way to put it. A stand for exam is a stand for exam and a jump is a jump, etc. Sure, your dog better be flashy and a sharp heeling dog, but the exercises are always the same at each level.

    In a FT you have no idea what you're going to get. Triple with a long retired, poison bird blind, mixed bag with hen pheasants and it goes on and on. Then factor in weather, lighting, no birds, etc. and you just pray that your dog gets the chance to show how talented he is without any bad luck. The best dogs have bad days. But, if you've trained hard and are willing to put your big girl panties on and come back & try again there isn't a bigger thrill than hearing your number called.

    M
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    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    And this was a rhetorical question. I do more than my share of winning in obedience, but in my neck of the woods, the same group of folks compete together regularly, we all train hard, have good dogs, and you never know who is going to win. But in looking at the results in other geographic areas it appears that certain dogs dominate consistently. And in these areas I see people getting very discouraged.

    Miriam, your dog Finn is Toby's uncle!

    I was guessing that FTs are much more suspenseful because the test changes every time...whereas in obedience it is the same basic conditions week after week which certainly favors a particular mode of training.

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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Field Trials are tough to win. The current edition of Retriever News has a very enlightening interview with Dennis Bath. In that article about Dennis 2x NAFC Lawhorn's Cadillac Mack, Dennis said "There are so many good dogs today, almost every dog that shows up could win ..." I think that is a bit of exaggeration, but not much. The depth of competitive dogs is amazing.

    That being said, I also believe that the "name" dog gets a bigger strike zone, with some judges. A number of years ago, I was running a FT where a "name" dog brought back a stick on the water blind and was still called back. I have heard a judge say "I want to see more of _______" and brought back a name dog, when the other judge did not.

    However, the tougher the tests, more likely it is that the dog - name or not - that deserves to win, does win. It is those tests that make FT fun for me.
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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    a dog's prime FT career window is relatively short. I expect to see certain handler-dog teams in the mix in the 4th series in both the Open and the Amateur,mainly because these teams dont seem to make the unforced errors and beat themselves

    If stats were kept on how many trials a dog finished or what their average completion rate was, my guess it that it would be the same cast of characters that were the favorites in the National Pick Em contest
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    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    And this was a rhetorical question. I do more than my share of winning in obedience, but in my neck of the woods, the same group of folks compete together regularly, we all train hard, have good dogs, and you never know who is going to win. But in looking at the results in other geographic areas it appears that certain dogs dominate consistently. And in these areas I see people getting very discouraged.

    Miriam, your dog Finn is Toby's uncle!

    I was guessing that FTs are much more suspenseful because the test changes every time...whereas in obedience it is the same basic conditions week after week which certainly favors a particular mode of training.
    One thing I do think is that you have to have actually seen or judged the dogs to know why the same dogs are winning. I stewarded in the obedience ring a couple months ago and it was clear which handlers had poor timing, which dogs were not motivated and those that were poetry in motion. Also, we all know some breeds lend themselves better to the obedience rings. You have better odds with a Border Collie, Golden, Sheltie, etc. Some trainers may be outstanding, but have a dog who just doesn't want to do the work.

    It's no different in FTs. You can tell who the dogs are that really want to be there (and are talented enough to be) and the gifted handlers who are going to give them every advantage.

    ** How do you like your "pup"? I have an 8 month old Finn nephew. He didn't come to me until he was 5 months old, but I really like him!

    M
    "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!!!)

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