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Thread: The future of retriever clubs

  1. #11
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Field trials have become too competitive requiring a substantial investment in time and money with the availability of good training grounds and to be successful having an above average dog is essential. It is not a pursuit that is compatible with the requirements of young people with families, sadly we are an aging activity which could disappear in a generation.

  2. #12
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    You have to have a good dog.

    Dogs have to be your primary, if not only interest.

    You have to be willing to give up a few weekends a year to judge and work at putting on a trial or trials. Actually it's amazing that trials still happen.
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

  3. #13
    Senior Member Sabireley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman1001 View Post
    Your last sentence really gives you the answer. There is nothing you can do. Every club / organization. / etc that I am involved in has this problem. Life is different today than 10-20 and everyone's time is limited, no matter the type of club.

    It also is hard for newcomers as the old timers do not always want to give up the power, or even be open to mew ideas. I am not sure how many times I have heard tradition as a reason why a suggestion would not work. You hear enough of that and it does not take much to say forget it
    When it comes down to it, few people help at the events, and those that do help are invaluable and appreciated. You help at your club events, and at the Blue Ridge events, which does not go unnoticed. We are all a little irrational about this sport when you consider the amount of time, money, and luck it takes to have even a little success. Stick around and you'll be an old timer before you know it.

  4. #14

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    Clubs should be able to host what events possible for clubs to manage . Each club has limited help and grounds. The rules of the game according to AKC states a club must have an open. Many clubs lack the help to host and grounds for trials . We host 4 major trials and 1 double header dq.This weekend we are hosting a double header hunt test. Our help at the end of the season is tired of hosting trials for many who make a living at this game or do very little to help and don't appreciate the work involved in host these events.I have approached the retriever advisory board several times to allow clubs to have amatuers, derby , and qual events . If clubs needed the cash you could still have the open. It is about people having a good time with their dogs.

  5. #15
    Senior Member J. Walker's Avatar
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    Since no one else has said it, I will. One issue, frankly, is the treatment of dogs at some training days. The last couple of club training days I attended, there were several people absolutely lighting up young dogs with the collar. One horse's rear end in particular thought it would be a good idea to hold up the cheaty water blind scenario we were running to revisit swim-by with his young, poorly trained, inexperienced dog right in the middle of the line to the blind after his dog hacked up the water blind and, by gosh, that dog had to pay the price. The poor dog was screaming for all he was worth. (This same guy keeps handling and burning the same young dog on marks and wonders, I'm sure, why the dog still cannot mark. That poor dog hasn't been taught anything but has been punished for everything.) That same session, an old member who I've literally never seen lift a finger to help with anything not even so much as sitting in a chair and occasionally planting blinds, was burning up her young dog while he was out of sight after overrunning a blind when he had no idea why he was getting burned. When I say "burning up," I mean transmitter all the way up and holding the buttons down continuously so the dog was wrong no matter what he did. Afterward, she said, "If he keeps this up, I swear I'm going to kill him!" This was a dog about two years-old at the time. I wish I were joking or exaggerating but that is her actual quote. Fortunately, a club officer pulled the lady aside afterward and basically told her the she didn't want to see that kind of stuff at the training days. At a previous session, another older member just had to show a first time attendee how to get a reliable fetch so he took the dog behind the trucks and was literally dragging the horrified young dog by his ear while pinching it the whole time all the way to the bumper. That's the last time I saw that man and his young dog. Ask yourself, if you were new to training dogs and really wanted just a decent hunting dog to also be your buddy, if you witnessed that kind of thing early on, would you come back let alone brings your kids??? All it takes is one incident like this to sour any newcomer to retriever clubs and events. By no means am I saying it's the only issue or that everyone at training days is putting dogs through this kind of thing. However, the fact that this stuff is not unusual at all sure isn't helping things.
    "When a good trainer stops learning about dogs, he stops being a good trainer." the late Gene Hill

    "If you want to find out what kind of trainer you are, leave your transmitter in the truck." the late Rex Carr

    http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood..../dog_formulas/

  6. #16
    Senior Member roseberry's Avatar
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    i am a member of two different retriever clubs. both have an extremely different focus.

    first is the chattanooga retriever club. CRC is a field trial "event" club. we hold two four stake field trials in spring and fall. as best i can tell we have ~8 active members. i say, "as best i can tell" since there are no annual dues, no member lists, no membership drives, etc. i have declared myself a member by working the last four field trials and i observed that most all the other 7 i have declared as members were working those trials as well. our trial committee is made up of credible dog folk. i think most participants would say the CRC always puts on a pretty nice trial. we had 144 dogs in the fall event with a 30 pup derby. since "the crew of 8" can put on the event(usually with the help of a few participants/spouses) i don't really see this club growing. i am not sure it needs to?
    note: carter hughes is event chair and he has saturday training at his place every weekend he is not at a trial. most of the CRC members attend these sessions periodically.

    second is the north alabama hrc. nahrc is a "training" based club. we hold one spring hrc hunt test and have monthly club "training days" except for duck season. since this club was formed by several "small training groups" we all still train with our original groups and also "cross train" with the other small groups. we formed the club almost two years ago and have ~45 dues paying members. nahrc has different club members host the monthly training days on their grounds each month. we serve lunch, have drawings for prizes and venues for dogs of all ages and training levels monthly. our first hunt test was well attended and profitable and we had plenty of working members. we also have a christmas party where new officers are announced and our "nahrc dog of the year" traveling trophy is awarded. our membership's interests are diverse. for instanceto my recolection) we had at least twelve member dogs qualify for master national with five getting a plate, we have had four new MH titles, we have had seven HRCH, over a dozen HR and SH, we had one SRS am winner and other SRS placements, we had one QAA and two make national derby list and last but not least four that rank corporal or higher in the USMC. i know it is easy to get new folk interested in a new club and much harder to keep a club active and fresh throughout the life cycle.

    imho, growth means making training the focus and hosting tests and trials another "fun club activity". spread the responsibility and geography of training days. expect attrition as many people are in and out.....but when you identify those guys and girls in their twenties that really have the bug.....talk them into a two hole box and a new pup, step aside and make them club secretary.
    john mccallie

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    Field trials have become too competitive requiring a substantial investment in time and money with the availability of good training grounds and to be successful having an above average dog is essential. It is not a pursuit that is compatible with the requirements of young people with families, sadly we are an aging activity which could disappear in a generation.
    Sadly I have to agree with Ed.
    "Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training." Sharon Potter.

  8. #18
    Senior Member hughest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Walker View Post
    Since no one else has said it, I will. One issue, frankly, is the treatment of dogs at some training days. The last couple of club training days I attended, there were several people absolutely lighting up young dogs with the collar. One horse's rear end in particular thought it would be a good idea to hold up the cheaty water blind scenario we were running to revisit swim-by with his young, poorly trained, inexperienced dog right in the middle of the line to the blind after his dog hacked up the water blind and, by gosh, that dog had to pay the price. The poor dog was screaming for all he was worth. (This same guy keeps handling and burning the same young dog on marks and wonders, I'm sure, why the dog still cannot mark. That poor dog hasn't been taught anything but has been punished for everything.) That same session, an old member who I've literally never seen lift a finger to help with anything not even so much as sitting in a chair and occasionally planting blinds, was burning up her young dog while he was out of sight after overrunning a blind when he had no idea why he was getting burned. When I say "burning up," I mean transmitter all the way up and holding the buttons down continuously so the dog was wrong no matter what he did. Afterward, she said, "If he keeps this up, I swear I'm going to kill him!" This was a dog about two years-old at the time. I wish I were joking or exaggerating but that is her actual quote. Fortunately, a club officer pulled the lady aside afterward and basically told her the she didn't want to see that kind of stuff at the training days. At a previous session, another older member just had to show a first time attendee how to get a reliable fetch so he took the dog behind the trucks and was literally dragging the horrified young dog by his ear while pinching it the whole time all the way to the bumper. That's the last time I saw that man and his young dog. Ask yourself, if you were new to training dogs and really wanted just a decent hunting dog to also be your buddy, if you witnessed that kind of thing early on, would you come back let alone brings your kids??? All it takes is one incident like this to sour any newcomer to retriever clubs and events. By no means am I saying it's the only issue or that everyone at training days is putting dogs through this kind of thing. However, the fact that this stuff is not unusual at all sure isn't helping things.
    Oh.my.goodness. I am 36 years old and have been involved in the HT game for 7 or 8 years now. Had my first experience been one like you have described I would have been OUT. Probably called the humane society or the police. Never to return to this game I now love. Today, with now 8 MH dogs, and 7 MN plates on the shelf, and on the board of my local club, someone else would probably be calling the police. Because I would come unglued on that freaking idiot. Grrrrrrr.
    Tracy Hughes - Crimson Kennels
    www.crimsonkennels.com

    Jessica's Chocolate Cait, MH
    Mosby's Big Jake, MH
    Tubby's Maxximum Trouble, MH
    Double G Cosmo's Dream Girl, MH
    Crimson's Coriander Dream, MH
    Johnson's Redwind, MH
    Crimson's TNT By Design, MH
    Crimson's Black Powder Girl, MH

  9. #19

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    As a beginner has intended to join a somewhat local club for months (if not years)... I already feel guilty about not being able to give back enough as I'm such a beginner. I know I likely wouldn't be able to work both days at an event, maybe only one day or two half days. On the other hand, I know that's a bit unreasonable as that's part of the point of many clubs, and I have access to some land that they would probably like to use and I'm pretty invested in my dog doing well...meaning longer term involvement from me.

    At two other clubs.... just didn't work out for me. I wanted to train to a different level than the other club members and though I'm a beginner, I didn't want to take advice that could potentially set myself and my dog back in our training. It just wasn't a good fit for us, though I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the group and I appreciated their offers for help.

  10. #20
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedDog View Post
    As a beginner has intended to join a somewhat local club for months (if not years)... I already feel guilty about not being able to give back enough as I'm such a beginner. I know I likely wouldn't be able to work both days at an event, maybe only one day or two half days. On the other hand, I know that's a bit unreasonable as that's part of the point of many clubs, and I have access to some land that they would probably like to use and I'm pretty invested in my dog doing well...meaning longer term involvement from me.

    At two other clubs.... just didn't work out for me. I wanted to train to a different level than the other club members and though I'm a beginner, I didn't want to take advice that could potentially set myself and my dog back in our training. It just wasn't a good fit for us, though I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the group and I appreciated their offers for help.
    You bring up another dynamic that has been around since retriever clubs have probably been in existence..the retriever games are an individual sport,especially at a FT level

    When a new member arrives if they are not at the same level of the general consenus of the club/training group they can either be a drag to that group, or the group can be a drag to the individual, add to that the fact that Mon -Thurs its all for one and one for all, but come Fri-Sun its may the best dog win

    Retriever clubs and the tireless and unselfish people that make them go are the lifeblood of the sport, but sooner or later those people either get out of the game and if someone isnt around to pick up the slack or carry the torch, that club withers away
    All my Exes live in Texas

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    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"

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