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Thread: The Myth of the Amateur Trained FC/AFC Dog

  1. #11
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    I don't know Mike but as I recall David runs his own construction company, or is retired at this point, and has several years experience serving as a professional trainer of both handlers and dogs. Dave is a great guy who I have a good deal of respect for, but I wouldn't consider him a "blue collar guy training nights and weekends".
    Darrin Greene

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  3. #12
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    Personally, contrary to the title of the initial post, I don’t consider the Amateur Trained FC/AFC dog to be a "myth." While it may be difficult, frustrating, time consuming, sacrificial, and require a degree of luck (i.e., getting the right puppy), it’s something for which those of us who work full time jobs and train our own dogs strive.
    Frankly, while I enjoy field trials, my love is for training my dogs. If I happen to do well at a trial, it’s a great feeling, but even if I never receive another ribbon I’ll keep on training and keep on competing … and continue striving to create that mythical dog.
    Andy

  4. #13
    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    My point is not that the "Mythical Amateur" does not exist, but that they are exceedingly rare. Take a look at the 130 dogs entered in the 2019 NARC and see how many fit the bill.
    Competition does not build character - It reveals it.

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  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    I don't know Mike but as I recall David runs his own construction company, or is retired at this point, and has several years experience serving as a professional trainer of both handlers and dogs. Dave is a great guy who I have a good deal of respect for, but I wouldn't consider him a "blue collar guy training nights and weekends".
    Are you saying he has been a professional retriever trainer? I know he has worked for K2 or whatever the name of that is. The rest is a little bit beside the point to me. Blue collar is probably better for training dogs.

  7. #15
    Senior Member RetrieversONLINE's Avatar
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    Never been categorized as a "myth" before. Never sent a dog to a Pro. Raised all from puppies except one! Very limited campaigning in USA but 9 Champions including FC/AFC and FTCH/AFTCH and 3 CDN National wins. Yes, since retiring, I train on superb winter grounds with small Amateur group but that's only 3 months of the year. The rest I am 90% training alone on limited grounds or hunting my dogs!

    I also disagree that the Amateur that handles their Pro trained dog has a harder challenge or is a bigger accomplishment. Just try and 100% manage all your dogs' training from puppy to Basics to Advanced and then solve all the problems that arise yourself as well as decide what to do everyday to keep your dog competitive. Designing your set-ups and balancing all is huge. And, often with a blue collar job or other interests/schedules (family, farm, garden, horses, fishing, hunting, photography for example!). Moreover, often Amateurs stick with the current dog(s) despite realizing that their talent level may not be in top 10%.

    So I am here to say it can be done but it takes a lot of work, passion, study and time. I agree it is rare these days but it is not a myth! I can name others who have also been mythical Amateur Trainers.
    Dennis Voigt
    Visit our new Website: www.retrieversonline.com

  8. #16
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DL View Post
    Are you saying he has been a professional retriever trainer? I know he has worked for K2 or whatever the name of that is. The rest is a little bit beside the point to me. Blue collar is probably better for training dogs.
    I'm talking about his K2 experience.
    Darrin Greene

  9. #17

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    TED: Your DESCRIPTION is SADLY the TRUTH !!! But was the AMATEUR really intended to be for the PRO's GUPPIES ??? Or for the REAL AMATEUR ??? If ANYONE wonders why the average age of the players are getting older please call me and be ready for an ADULT conversation !!!! My number is 515-571-4995 !!! And if YOU are one of the people that wonder WHY it is getting near impossible to find help to play your fake game LOOK in the MIRROR !!!

  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagon Wheel Retrievers View Post
    TED: Your DESCRIPTION is SADLY the TRUTH !!! But was the AMATEUR really intended to be for the PRO's GUPPIES ??? Or for the REAL AMATEUR ??? If ANYONE wonders why the average age of the players are getting older please call me and be ready for an ADULT conversation !!!! My number is 515-571-4995 !!! And if YOU are one of the people that wonder WHY it is getting near impossible to find help to play your fake game LOOK in the MIRROR !!!
    ...and I thought I had a drinking problem

  11. #19
    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shih View Post
    My point is not that the "Mythical Amateur" does not exist, but that they are exceedingly rare. Take a look at the 130 dogs entered in the 2019 NARC and see how many fit the bill.
    I know of 2 without looking at the entries.
    Daren Galloway

    FTCH AFTCH HRCH Hank's Settin' The Marsh On Fire

  12. #20
    Member Gray_Chin's Avatar
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    Mr. Voigt said it all, but I’ll add this…If you look at the etymology of the word myth, it comes from the ancient Greek “mythos” with the specific lack of distinction between true and false. Aristotle positioned that the “mythos” was the spirit of the theatrical play and the “mythos” was the background of the Greek tragedy, dealing mainly with gods and heroes. In our case, with the mythology of the successful amateur, to homeschooled amateurs, this has great symbolic significance, with the picture of the working class hero taking his dog to the upper echelons of the game. It provides a way to find hope and motivation, even if the lines of fantasy and reality are blurred.

    Unlike fantasy that is nobody’s truth, and history that seeks to be everybody’s truth, mythology is somebody’s truth. To the boot strappers, this is our truth, even if it is only rooted in our subjective experience. I don’t think it can be understood by non-boot strappers, because they have not gone through the challenge, frustration, and heartache involved in learning the game and building their own dog. With that, they will also never understand the immense joy, satisfaction and pride that can be achieved when things work out. Raising and training is not always fun, but I have learned more about my dogs, and myself, going through the process than if I had payed someone else to do it. Neither is right or wrong, just a personal choice with its own set of rewards and consequences….and part of the myth may be believing that the extra care, detail, bond, and knowledge gained through the process, will be the edge, on the last bird in the fourth…if not there is only one thing to blame, yourself…and this can be difficult and a barrage to the ego.

    In the end, whether ones story ends in triumph or tragedy can be objectively or subjectively measured, yet ultimately, history will dictate the factual objectivity of a blue ribbon. I’m sure there are those who think the musings of an old duck hunter, with a seal chasing bird monster that moonlights in the game, are pointless, but I’ll argue that the myth is very important to those with the grit and rugged individualism, that strive to attain the unattainable, and these same individuals are still relevant and important to the sport.
    "You've got to suffer!" - Gordon MacQuarrie



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