Ted started a thread about being tired of many things including the lack of what I would call elevated discourse. I chimed in with a post that I have been thinking of starting a thread with. It is cut and pasted from Ted's thread. Take it for whatever it is worth, but I would wager it reflects the sentiments of many people who frequent this forum, but are intimidated to join, much less start a thread and ask questions...
"I will say this. I am new to retrievers. I run my dog in hunt tests. I will likely never run my dog in field trials because of time, money, choices etc... I would hazard to guess that I am as committed to my dog and train as hard, and consistently as you folks who run field trials at the highest levels, though I will make many mistakes, likely on a daily basis. I have thrown birds at both trials and hunt tests to gain experience and learn. I have read just about every single post over the last few years so I can learn and do well by my dog. I try my best to have thick skin, and will ask questions when I encounter problems and need answers.
What I will say, and you can flame me all you want, is that there are a number of elitist, first class arseholes on this forum who obviously think their feces don't stink. They are what I call "Equal Opportunity Arseholes" who talk down to people who are at their level, who may be new to the sport if they ask what some may consider an obvious or elementary question, if they only run hunt tests and not field trials, or just want a good hunting dog. I say that, fully acknowledging that the incredible dogs in field trials are the pinnacle of canine athletes, and do things that make you just shake your head in awe.
Last I checked though, this forum is called Retriever Training Forum not Field Trial Training Forum. If you want this forum to just be a small little circle jerk of people that dies a slow death, carry on. If you want more people to join your sport, try becoming an encouraging person who is willing to help out even with questions that have become repetitive or simplistic.
Mike Lardy and Danny Farmer were new at one point too, and if this forum were around when they started, they probably would have seemed annoying with all their questions. Why? Because they wanted to learn all they could. Just remember that the next time you are tempted to talk down to someone.
From a personal standpoint, I am thankful for the many kind, helpful people who have offered me their advice both on the threads I started, and via pm, including the OP of this thread (Ted)."