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The assumption here is the dog would know the difference and that it doesn't enjoy being at the office it's whole life. A little anthropomorphic on your part.
The very best are bred and live for being at the office.
I disagree. I think the best live to retrieve, not to live in a kennel.

The bond between handler and dog is important in performance. I trained for decades with Cherylon Loveland and watched hundreds of young dogs come in over the years.

You could immediately tell the difference between a dog that had been raised in the home and a dog that had been raised in a kennel. The latter were always behind, slightly (sometimes significantly) fearful, and lacked trust.

Now, once that trust is established, the dog can live in a kennel, I suppose. But, that's not for me.

When I go south to train, the dogs come into my AirBnB, Hotel room, etc. The same is true when I travel to field trials. I want them to be able to stretch out and relax. That's me, I do this because I love the time with the dogs, training, competing, and hanging out.
 

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I have known some wonderful dogs whose lives have been lived in a kennel and/or on a dog truck never having the opportunity to get to enjoy the pleasures of being a dog as someone’s companion free to explore, sniff, and lounge in fresh green grass on a warm spring day. I have come to feel sorry for those dogs who sole reason for existence is to salve some person’s ego. Imagine spending your whole life at the office.


Completely agree.
In my experience as in everything else some dogs do fine as a kennel dog some do not. I have personally known dogs that have excelled at home after coming off a life on a dog truck after two to three years. I have to personally connect with any dog that comes my way before it starts any kind of training. I cannot do assembly line type of training.
 

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I think with it is unfortunate as full time kennel/truck dogs will never be quite as well rounded in my opinion, as they could be had they had the connection that comes with closer contact of being a companion as well as a working dog with purpose.
I agree.
The other side of that people often lower their standards around the house, when they hunting, etc. They undo things they are trying to train. How many of us are guilty of giving commands and not enforcing them when airing dogs?
I have heard people complain about faults in their dogs after watching them unwittingly instill them.
 
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I disagree. I think the best live to retrieve, not to live in a kennel.

The bond between handler and dog is important in performance. I trained for decades with Cherylon Loveland and watched hundreds of young dogs come in over the years.

You could immediately tell the difference between a dog that had been raised in the home and a dog that had been raised in a kennel. The latter were always behind, slightly (sometimes significantly) fearful, and lacked trust.

Now, once that trust is established, the dog can live in a kennel, I suppose. But, that's not for me.

When I go south to train, the dogs come into my AirBnB, Hotel room, etc. The same is true when I travel to field trials. I want them to be able to stretch out and relax. That's me, I do this because I love the time with the dogs, training, competing, and hanging out.
Not really disagreeing here. The best do indeed live to retrieve and I'm not sure exactly what you are disagreeing with in my statement. Perhaps some clarity on my part would better serve the communication here.
When I think of "the office" I think of the place where the work is done. Given that, a dog bred and living for "office" work would love being at the office.
I did not interpret the "office" as Ed A wrote it as solely being the kennel or truck minus the training and work.
You may have also skipped over the part in my post where I wrote that in my opinion the dog living the kennel/truck life will never be as well rounded as it could be.
 

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I agree.
The other side of that people often lower their standards around the house, when they hunting, etc. They undo things they are trying to train. How many of us are guilty of giving commands and not enforcing them when airing dogs?
I have heard people complain about faults in their dogs after watching them unwittingly instill them.
Absolutely agree.
I will also comment on Ted Shih writing that dogs raised in the kennel, living the truck life are always behind and I'm not discounting that in his experience that was the case.
BUT, I have not observed this, not always anyway. In a number of cases I have observed these are the better dogs. Certainly not the most well rounded and perhaps not the very best they could be, however, with some of these dogs individual personalities very much play a part here.
I've encountered dogs that were probably the best they could be and I'm convinced it was because they didn't have some of the influences you mention here (lowered standards due to complacency because of how day to day living was structured).
The work was all they knew and it was their sole specialty in life. They really (in my opinion) were not suited to being a house dog in 99% of most homes and it would only have taken away from their working abilities.
Of course that is merely opinion as perhaps in the right home with the right proper structure they would have indeed been better AND more well rounded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Ok, so let's say, your puppy that picked out the long gun easily has now reached 2 years of age. Maybe she is getting ready for qualifyings? Maybe she isn't quite there yet? What are you looking for now? Some dogs blow through the qualifying stake early, some take longer. I believe Dr. Ed has mentioned before that some dogs may not be truly ready for AA stakes until they are 4. (if i recall he had an example of a dog that he didn't know if he was going to make an AA dog but then became great at 4+..or did I dream this?).

I would guess some owners (especially ones paying a pro) may not have the patience to wait for that 4 year old to "turn it on," unless the dogs had some "signs of promise" (as Lardy calls it).
 

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...I think it is unfortunate as full time kennel/truck dogs will never be quite as well rounded in my opinion, as they could be had they had the connection that comes with closer contact of being a companion as well as a working dog with purpose.
All I know is, full-time FT dog status would deprive me of telling them how (gently) mischievous they're allowed to be on the hearth, of how they're guaranteed a daily shot of "dogs being dogs" with each other, of "dining in" for din-din of fresh ingredients -

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Collar Liver


- and most of all, that their being housed on a pro's truck would deprive me of the mainlined serotonin jolt that they hit you with every morning. The downside is the Pope would be damning me to eternity in a kennel, or maybe posting my future callback for Limbo for having field trial dogs instead of babies!

MG
 

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“Turning it on” and becoming competitive in all age stakes are very different in my dog dictionary. I have seen dogs that didn’t turn it on until 9 or 10 months and I have observed older dogs flourishing in a new environment but if they aren’t seriously interested in retrieving without mitigating circumstances by 9 or 10
months they are probably not suitable competitors for field trials. I not longer consider 6 months to be a make ir break age having washed out a couple, with later remorse, prematurely. I will add that I have seen more than one two year old super star fizzle out at 4 or 5, the age when most all age dogs become competitive:
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I will add that I have seen more than one two year old super star fizzle out at 4 or 5, the age when most all age dogs become competitive:
Why do you think that is? Too much rigorous training? Too much too soon? Isn't there a quote out there somewhere that says something like "QAA at 24 months and hunting dog at 4?"
 

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Ok, so let's say, your puppy that picked out the long gun easily has now reached 2 years of age. Maybe she is getting ready for qualifyings? Maybe she isn't quite there yet? What are you looking for now? Some dogs blow through the qualifying stake early, some take longer. I believe Dr. Ed has mentioned before that some dogs may not be truly ready for AA stakes until they are 4. (if i recall he had an example of a dog that he didn't know if he was going to make an AA dog but then became great at 4+..or did I dream this?).

I would guess some owners (especially ones paying a pro) may not have the patience to wait for that 4 year old to "turn it on," unless the dogs had some "signs of promise" (as Lardy calls it).
I don't have an answer that would be very useful to you - or others. It is unique to me.

If there is something that stands out about the dog, that catches my eye, I will keep it in training. It may be marking. It may be problem solving. It may be water attitude. It may be willingness to work with me. I will keep it - so long as I think it is a good marker. It doesn't need to be a great marker, but it must be a good marker. And don't ask me to tell you what that means to me. I know it when I see it.

I raise my puppies before sending them off for training, so I have a good idea of who they are.

After a year of training, if they are not good (not necessarily great) markers, and don't have something special about them, I will find a home for them. I have found homes for lots of my dogs. Otherwise, I keep them. Usually, I know if I want to keep investing in them by the time they are two. Sometimes, three years of age. The ones I have kept, I have titled.

My best dog, FC/AFC Freeridin Vampire Slayer (Buffy), ran two derbies, ran and won a Qualifying at North Texas (Ed's club) when she turned two, placed in an Amateur when she was two and a half, and I think was an FC/AFC at four and was very competitive until I retired her at 8 years of age with 70+ AA points. She had had two cruciate surgeries and didn't want to do it anymore, so she came home. Buffy was a very good, but not great marker. Ran good, not great land blinds. Excellent water blinds. She was a great team player, a fabulous problem solver, and deadly on big water marks. She rarely got in trouble and when she did, she got out of it quickly.

Another great dog I had, FC/AFC Freeridin Smooth Operator (Mootsie), the product of FC/AFC Code Blue and FC/AFC Trumarc's Lean Cuisine, was a fabulous marker, but did nothing until she turned five. She came on hard at year 5. From year 5 until year 9, I accumulated 70+ AA points with her. I felt she was special and stuck with her. Of all of my dogs, Mootsie was the best at finding guns. When I came out of the blind, I could see her pick out each of the guns, then settle into the flyer. Then when I came to the mat, I just needed to spend some time on the money bird. I have never had an easier dog to work with on the mat. Would regularly line land blinds. Competent on water blinds and on big water marks. Deadly on technical water.

I had Buffy and Mootsie at the same time, and they complemented one another well.

Another dog I had, who might have been great, FC/AFC Freeridin Miss Kitty, won an Amateur immediately after she turned two, and then basically did nothing for three years. She started to come on hard in 2015, when she turned 5. Then in early 2017, I accumulated 18 AA points in three months. Unfortunately, I had to retire her after the 2017 NARC. She had no fluid in her discs (she ran very hard), so she came home just as she was reaching her competitive peak. Exceptional marker. Very headstrong. Independent. Didn't really become a team player until she turned 5. If she hadn't retired, I think she would have been there with Buffy and Mootsie.

Each of those three dogs had something special about them that prompted me to keep them. The decision to keep training Buffy was easy. The Mootsie and Kitty less so. But, once I decide to keep a dog, I am pretty patient about the process. I know Buffy was exceptional and don't expect my dogs to ascend as she did. What I am looking for is progress. Each of my dogs is unique and so is their competitive path. I run the dogs in competition when I think they are ready to compete or when I want a barometer on where they are. There is no set recipe.

I will say this. I like training. I don't like dogs that don't like to train, no matter how talented they are on game day. I don't like dogs that require frequent and hard correction, no matter how good they are on game day. The dog needs to be a dog I enjoy training. If they aren't, they are gone.

I don't know that I will be competing in this sport too much longer. I would like to have one more great dog before I quit. We'll see if I get lucky.
 

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Why do you think that is? Too much rigorous training? Too much too soon? Isn't there a quote out there somewhere that says something like "QAA at 24 months and hunting dog at 4?"
The saying is Field Champion at 2, gun dog at 4.
 
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I don't have an answer that would be very useful to you - or others. It is unique to me.

If there is something that stands out about the dog, that catches my eye, I will keep it in training. It may be marking. It may be problem solving. It may be water attitude. It may be willingness to work with me. I will keep it - so long as I think it is a good marker. It doesn't need to be a great marker, but it must be a good marker. And don't ask me to tell you what that means to me. I know it when I see it.

I raise my puppies before sending them off for training, so I have a good idea of who they are.

After a year of training, if they are not good (not necessarily great) markers, and don't have something special about them, I will find a home for them. I have found homes for lots of my dogs. Otherwise, I keep them. Usually, I know if I want to keep investing in them by the time they are two. Sometimes, three years of age. The ones I have kept, I have titled.

My best dog, FC/AFC Freeridin Vampire Slayer (Buffy), ran two derbies, ran and won a Qualifying at North Texas (Ed's club) when she turned two, placed in an Amateur when she was two and a half, and I think was an FC/AFC at four and was very competitive until I retired her at 8 years of age with 70+ AA points. She had had two cruciate surgeries and didn't want to do it anymore, so she came home. Buffy was a very good, but not great marker. Ran good, not great land blinds. Excellent water blinds. She was a great team player, a fabulous problem solver, and deadly on big water marks. She rarely got in trouble and when she did, she got out of it quickly.

Another great dog I had, FC/AFC Freeridin Smooth Operator (Mootsie), the product of FC/AFC Code Blue and FC/AFC Trumarc's Lean Cuisine, was a fabulous marker, but did nothing until she turned five. She came on hard at year 5. From year 5 until year 9, I accumulated 70+ AA points with her. I felt she was special and stuck with her. Of all of my dogs, Mootsie was the best at finding guns. When I came out of the blind, I could see her pick out each of the guns, then settle into the flyer. Then when I came to the mat, I just needed to spend some time on the money bird. I have never had an easier dog to work with on the mat. Would regularly line land blinds. Competent on water blinds and on big water marks. Deadly on technical water.

I had Buffy and Mootsie at the same time, and they complemented one another well.

Another dog I had, who might have been great, FC/AFC Freeridin Miss Kitty, won an Amateur immediately after she turned two, and then basically did nothing for three years. She started to come on hard in 2015, when she turned 5. Then in early 2017, I accumulated 18 AA points in three months. Unfortunately, I had to retire her after the 2017 NARC. She had no fluid in her discs (she ran very hard), so she came home just as she was reaching her competitive peak. Exceptional marker. Very headstrong. Independent. Didn't really become a team player until she turned 5. If she hadn't retired, I think she would have been there with Buffy and Mootsie.

Each of those three dogs had something special about them that prompted me to keep them. The decision to keep training Buffy was easy. The Mootsie and Kitty less so. But, once I decide to keep a dog, I am pretty patient about the process. I know Buffy was exceptional and don't expect my dogs to ascend as she did. What I am looking for is progress. Each of my dogs is unique and so is their competitive path. I run the dogs in competition when I think they are ready to compete or when I want a barometer on where they are. There is no set recipe.

I will say this. I like training. I don't like dogs that don't like to train, no matter how talented they are on game day. I don't like dogs that require frequent and hard correction, no matter how good they are on game day. The dog needs to be a dog I enjoy training. If they aren't, they are gone.

I don't know that I will be competing in this sport too much longer. I would like to have one more great dog before I quit. We'll see if I get lucky.
This is the good stuff that I find interesting. Thank you for taking the time to write it up.
 

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I don't have the history that Ed or some of these other guys do, but the last three dogs (that are old enough) that I brought on have all won all age stakes. They're different, but each had common traits:
1) Lots of desire, but no disqualifying side effects like vocalizing on the line, feezing on birds, etc.
2) In the absense of heavy duty factors, they were pretty sharp markers at a relatively young age. Some dogs are "area markers" and rarely pin anything. Whether it's training, genetics or some combination of the two, it's hard to compete at the highest level with an area marker.
3) Call it bottom or whatever you want, but they are all willing to keep going even after correction or failure. Some dogs are flashy or wild, but don't have the heart to try again after they get in trouble or get lost. How badly do they really want it?
 

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Here's something I have done with the pups I have gotten --- simple memory game when they are about 3-4 months old. By then they know the place board and they understand sit and wait for for release to food dish. I put them on the place board/sit with lead on their flat collar. I toss 3 pieces of kibble in random locations in front of them. (between 70-90 degrees apart, but different distances up to 10 feet, or more (as the room/space allowed). You'd be surprised to know that some puppies do not have a memory for more than one or two pieces of kibble other than 'sort of remembering it is out there - and they hunt their way around til they find the other pieces, rather than make a beeline to them). And some go from one to the next without hesitation/smelling/hunting. I have yet to try this outside, where the kibble is not so easy to see. I find this easier to do than to throw toys or bumpers as 'multiples'.
 

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I am still in the old fashioned (apparently) camp of just concentrating on Go' and Come back' with something in yer Gob. At 4 months old , if the dog has Gusto , it requires no mat, either on the way out or when it comes back ,if the desire is to go get ,it doesn't matter what it gets, whether it is food or a bird or a shoe, but when it brings it back to hand ....the eyes will tell you if it is a 'retriever' . :)
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal Companion dog
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal Companion dog

Dog Carnivore Jaw Collar Dog breed
 

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Why do you think that is? Too much rigorous training? Too much too soon? Isn't there a quote out there somewhere that says something like "QAA at 24 months and hunting dog at 4?"
Maybe to accomplish so much so young they are under a lot of mental pressure and just say to hell with it, the dog version if a nervous breakdown. Some of it is, I think, that they are so talented they start to do complicated things from natural ability and not training. When things start to go bad which they ultimately do at some point for almost all dogs they haven’t had the depth of training to work through the problems and regain their confidence. I have known two of this type dog very well, one of them decided that he was no longer interested in doing water blinds, the other just suffered an over all collapse to mediocrity.
 

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I’ve only had two that had any FT success. One was QAA and one became an FC AFC. The QAA dog had drive for days even as a puppy but didn’t quite have the brains. The one that’s FC AFC was just different. From the time I brought her home, different is the only way to describe her. Quiet, very clean (never had an accident), would pretty much deliver to hand from the start and picked things so quickly that I would often question if she really knew it. She wouldn’t step on every mark but she’d come close. And when she didn’t pin it, she’d stay right there until she came up with the bird.
 

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Maybe not a talent, an asset would be a better description. My current pup (10 months tomorrow) has natural tendency to run very straight. From the start she has been very good about shouldering into the wind, holding a hillside, angling through cover, water, etc. I know the owners of three litter mates that see the same thing in their pups.
 

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Welcome. His approach with young dogs is pretty progressive. And "linear" on the fast-tracking. While I relished listening for how it sorta aligns with my thinking of bringing them on alone (shoe leather and stick men - and, heh-heh, snow geese for poison bird blinds, 'cause you can't get more "black and white" than that) - to deploy his young dog gameplan would mean you're in a training group where 3-4 members have pups essentially the same age. Either that or you've got some mighty patient training partners deferring to your pup set-up every time out on a daily basis for a month - or you've got the luxury of three birdbo--er, bird-thems... That was my take, at least.

But even at that risk of pushing 'em to "FC by 2, gun dog at 4," his method seems viable for balancing the nature vs. nurture angle of a strong FT (or HT) pedigree, and not terribly pressuring on a pup.

MG
 
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