There were multiple mentions of the idea of "paying you dues" on the judging bias thread, and I'm not sure we are all taking that comment the same way. I think some believe a newcomer won't get a fair shake in a field trial as in call backs and or placements until they have proven themselves worthy, regardless of how well the dog-handler team actually performed. I'm not sure, and I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth, but I don't think that's what they meant. To me paying your dues is working hard, trying to be a student of the game, humbly soaking in as much knowledge about dog training and handling as possible from the more experienced. If you do that and have a very good dog, you are way more likely to be successful than someone who doesn't.
I mentioned on the other thread that I knew of multiple new people who jumped into the sport and were successful right away. I mentioned that as a rebuttal to the people who thought that judges wouldn't respect the newcomers and withhold placements. Three names pop off the top of my head, Nancy White, Lynn Nelson and Tim Averett. These people are all pretty well known now with all three having nice field champions, but I remember when they were new to field trials.
- Nancy had been running hunt test for some time with a very nice overachieving Nova Scotia Duck Toller then ran her dog in some Quals, and by God got that Toller QAA. Next
thing you know she's got a very nice little Lab bitch and she's eating up the derby circuit, over 50 points as I recall off the top of my head. She went on to title that dog in short
- I met Lynn Nelson while training my year old young dog at Carol Cackelmeyer's. Lynn and I shared a gun station shooting the flyer, (she's a crack shot with a Beretta over-under by the way).
we hit it off because we both had Goldens with wavy, red coats. That was six years ago, since then Lynn has titled one Golden and the other has at least one AA win and numerous placements
as well as 21 derby points.
- I judged Tim Averett in one of his first trials. He's a younger working guy from a small town in eastern Montana, to training group and no pro anywhere near him, buy one hell of a talented dog.
I complimented his dog and made small talk about where he lived and what resources he had. He ended up putting the dog with a quality Montana pro, learned better how to handle and titled
the dog in short order.
I can think of other examples, but you get the idea. The main thing Nancy, Lynn and Tim have in common is a great dog. Without the talented dog it doesn't matter how hard you work, how good a trainer and handler you are, you won't make it. On the other hand the great dog is just your entrance ticket to the university, the rest does depend on hard work and dedication.