I think Peggy summed most of it up with this post. Especially the money part. Like she said, a person may weed through alot of dogs to find the one dog that can and will do it. I think she gave some good examples of how quick the money can add up especially when you sink alot into a dog and it doesn't turn out. But like she said, we all still love it.redline said:I think my husband's post was too cryptic!!
We live in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are NO good training areas around. We sneak in and out of factory complexes to train with bumpers only. Obviously, that is not enough. So, at some point we tend to send our dogs away to pros for training. And yes, like Howard, we love to train our dogs.
I will give you two personal examples of the money issue. Actually, I can give you more. I'll give you the success story first. As we have mentioned, we were very lucky and had a wonderful FC/AFC. For a few winters we sent her south with Mike Lardy. She also qualified and ran umteen National Amateurs. So, training was usually over $1,000 a month. pre-National training could be around $1,000, and then add up all the years of motels and meals and entry fees. Was it worth it? You bet.
Currently, we have a really nice male who probably won't get any further than what he has already accomplished. We've spent at least $12,000-15,000 on pro bills for him. He won a Q, got an Amateur 4th and JAMMed Opens while he was two. This past year he got his MH and was a finalist at the Master National. For three years he did nothing in trials. Quite frankly, I don't know if I can ever run another field trial with him.
We just spent about $6,000 on a young dog for basics training. She is a real puzzle and has decided she doesn't want to run for us. So as good as she supposedly looked at the trainer's, she has been dreadful in a couple of Derby's and certainly in training.
And we are not wealthy. We are average working people. We can't compete in field trials with those who have the money for a number of dogs in full-time training, who can also go out and buy the best if their current dogs are not competitive. It is SO tough. And the game is constantly changing and demanding such tough standards for tests and for dogs. An amateur dog has to be absolutely exceptional to compete. And the trainer has to have the resources - training places, training partners - time - and then money.
But ask any of us in this game - we still love it. It's addictive and serves our compulsiveness and perfectionist traits!