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    1. #1
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      Interesting Article

      http://www.onlinedigitalpubs.com/publication/index.php?i=398532&m=&l=&p=356&pre=&ver=html5#{"page":356,"issue_id":398532}

    2. #2
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      I saw this the other day, but didn't realize that the article I read was only half, so thanks for posting it again!

      At a 30,000 ft. level, I agree. And it's not because I am being whiny; we went four for four in JH and there were many high rolling, bred for the field dogs with many being handled by pros, and the pass rates were not always high. I found the tests to be fair and we were well-prepared for them, which is how I tend to roll.

      If it is a test of the dog's natural ability, why do people send their dogs to a pro? Why do pretty much only pros run Masters? About half, if not more, of the Senior dogs are run by pros. And seriously, like a third of the Junior dogs are also run by pros. It's a pass/fail situation so it's not that amateurs are competing against pros, but if the tests are set up to be a challenge to the typical handler, which is a pro, it certainly makes things more difficult than they need to be for an amateur. Many of the dogs are trained and handled with a remote control aka e-collar, so what does anyone expect other than a dog to run like a robot? And what does the e-collar have to do with "natural ability" anyway, especially when you have to force the dog to fetch, hold or go into water? Dogs are being bred without natural ability because you can always depend on the e-collar to make them do it. Such is life though; we humans are always looking for shortcuts and convenience, even when it means we must pay in other ways!
      Last edited by Labradorks; 04-29-2017 at 04:16 PM.

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    4. #3
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      I read this also. The basic facts in it are true, though I may disagree with the opinions and conclusions.) HT's came along in response to the absurd tests that were being used in FT's when (presumably) judges had to decide placements for 1rst, 2nd, 3rd, etc. And HT's were supposed to simulate a hunt. (Camo, shoulder a gun, can't point out the gun stations before calling for the birds... etc.) I think probably the major contributor to the problem was the Master National. (And we'll see, but maybe the Master Invitational for Amateurs).

      And the e-collar was a big part of the increasing difficulty in FT's. Rex Carr was the pioneer and he revolutionized training, not just with the use of the tool, but in the whole way he analyzed dog training. Apparently he is the progenitor of all the big-time training programs in use today. Folks have definitely refined his stuff since then, but he started it. And the dog that made the case for the collar was NFC-2XNAFC Super Chief. "Supy" was, I am told, the archetypal hard-charging, high-roller. And he was the major stud for field labs during his life time. Here is an article from 1967...

      The Belmont's and Rex Carr from the SI vault [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

      So I have to agree with the facts in the article. I think the reason most people use a pro is because they just don't know how to get a handle on the project a young dog presents. It's easier to turn it over to someone who knows what they're doing. And the other reason people turn to pros is their lack of time. People often have more money than time. But they want a well trained dog and they are drawn to field performance because they either hunt or... they're just masochists (like me.)

      BUT!! The dirty little secret most pros will tell you (if you ask) is that an amateur who has a close bond with their one or two dogs, knows what they're doing (or has someone to tutor them) and maybe the time and grounds and training water and a support system to get the necessary training in... and if they began with a well bred dog... that amateur will beat out the pros every time. (Or most times.) Think about it... a pro may have 20 dogs to run through in a day. How much actual time do they have to spend with YOUR dog?

      I use and have used a pro. I wanted Rocket Dog's basic training and force fetch to be flawless. And it was. And she was and is always rock steady when the pro runs her. But not so much for me. A year ago, she was a screaming, insane banshee when I tried to run her. It was bloody awful. With no other recourse, I began working her on heel, sit, stay, wait, place literally a hundred times a day with her throughout the fall, winter and spring. No collar. Just NILIF. Nothing good happens if you're noisy, if you move. Not 20 minutes a day with a pro. But all day long here at the house and drills in the park (largely.) And since February 3-5 times/week out in the field with the group.

      So, I don't know what to tell you. The jury is still out. Last summer she hammered her first Senior (except her awful creeping... not tolerable.) We'll see what this year brings. But my goal (if RD and I live long enough) is to go to the Master National. You gotta dream big.

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      I read this also. The basic facts in it are true, though I may disagree with the opinions and conclusions.) HT's came along in response to the absurd tests that were being used in FT's when (presumably) judges had to decide placements for 1rst, 2nd, 3rd, etc. And HT's were supposed to simulate a hunt. (Camo, shoulder a gun, can't point out the gun stations before calling for the birds... etc.) I think probably the major contributor to the problem was the Master National. (And we'll see, but maybe the Master Invitational for Amateurs).

      And the e-collar was a big part of the increasing difficulty in FT's. Rex Carr was the pioneer and he revolutionized training, not just with the use of the tool, but in the whole way he analyzed dog training. Apparently he is the progenitor of all the big-time training programs in use today. Folks have definitely refined his stuff since then, but he started it. And the dog that made the case for the collar was NFC-2XNAFC Super Chief. "Supy" was, I am told, the archetypal hard-charging, high-roller. And he was the major stud for field labs during his life time. Here is an article from 1967...

      The Belmont's and Rex Carr from the SI vault [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

      So I have to agree with the facts in the article. I think the reason most people use a pro is because they just don't know how to get a handle on the project a young dog presents. It's easier to turn it over to someone who knows what they're doing. And the other reason people turn to pros is their lack of time. People often have more money than time. But they want a well trained dog and they are drawn to field performance because they either hunt or... they're just masochists (like me.)

      BUT!! The dirty little secret most pros will tell you (if you ask) is that an amateur who has a close bond with their one or two dogs, knows what they're doing (or has someone to tutor them) and maybe the time and grounds and training water and a support system to get the necessary training in... and if they began with a well bred dog... that amateur will beat out the pros every time. (Or most times.) Think about it... a pro may have 20 dogs to run through in a day. How much actual time do they have to spend with YOUR dog?

      I use and have used a pro. I wanted Rocket Dog's basic training and force fetch to be flawless. And it was. And she was and is always rock steady when the pro runs her. But not so much for me. A year ago, she was a screaming, insane banshee when I tried to run her. It was bloody awful. With no other recourse, I began working her on heel, sit, stay, wait, place literally a hundred times a day with her throughout the fall, winter and spring. No collar. Just NILIF. Nothing good happens if you're noisy, if you move. Not 20 minutes a day with a pro. But all day long here at the house and drills in the park (largely.) And since February 3-5 times/week out in the field with the group.

      So, I don't know what to tell you. The jury is still out. Last summer she hammered her first Senior (except her awful creeping... not tolerable.) We'll see what this year brings. But my goal (if RD and I live long enough) is to go to the Master National. You gotta dream big.
      Even with the limited knowledge I have for training a dog, I lack the needed land and water to train on a regular basis. I believe Brooks has the capability and desire to retrieve at a very high level, but there is no way I could make it happen as I don't have the resources needed to do it. My present situation allows me to train maybe once a week, 4 or 5 months per year on a site that would serve as a hunt test ground. Other than that, I'd have to send the little monster off to a pro to train, which is something I have no inclination to do.

      It's kinda sad that a competitive series design for the average guy like me is basically unobtainable.

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    8. #5
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      My recent experience with what we've done over the winter, is that even working in a park with nice groomed short grass and in my pretty small backyard, I've been able to do way more than I thought I could. I think Labradorks is doing a great deal of good field work with her pooch. Just don't rule it out completely.

    9. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      Even with the limited knowledge I have for training a dog, I lack the needed land and water to train on a regular basis. I believe Brooks has the capability and desire to retrieve at a very high level, but there is no way I could make it happen as I don't have the resources needed to do it. My present situation allows me to train maybe once a week, 4 or 5 months per year on a site that would serve as a hunt test ground. Other than that, I'd have to send the little monster off to a pro to train, which is something I have no inclination to do.

      It's kinda sad that a competitive series design for the average guy like me is basically unobtainable.
      I don't think it's unobtainable at all! It might take longer because of your experience level and lack of 24/7 access to a technical field, but who cares? Your dog should be able to run a test through his very early teens, so realistically, you should have about 10 years to get through MH! You have plenty of time to train and make those once a week, 4-5 months per year count. The rest of it is obedience and which can be done in your yard and in a relatively featureless field (school yard, soccer field, etc.), where much of your foundations should be trained anyway and you can do drills - wagon wheel, I or T drills, etc. If you like to train for field and your dog loves it, what do you have to lose? The worst thing that might happen is that you learn a ton, have a good time and make your dog happy.

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    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I don't think it's unobtainable at all! It might take longer because of your experience level and lack of 24/7 access to a technical field, but who cares? Your dog should be able to run a test through his very early teens, so realistically, you should have about 10 years to get through MH! You have plenty of time to train and make those once a week, 4-5 months per year count. The rest of it is obedience and which can be done in your yard and in a relatively featureless field (school yard, soccer field, etc.), where much of your foundations should be trained anyway and you can do drills - wagon wheel, I or T drills, etc. If you like to train for field and your dog loves it, what do you have to lose? The worst thing that might happen is that you learn a ton, have a good time and make your dog happy.
      I have in no way given up on doing field work, and we'll go as far as we can go. I don't have my sights set on obtaining any particular title. I just want to have fun with my dog.

    12. #8
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      The biggest hurtle for most FT/HT dogs is obedience. Don't ask me how I know this! So, I'm serious when I say you're laying the foundation for any field work you want to do with Brooks. You know that heeling stuff? The way she has to stay aligned with your leg and move with you? Oh, yes. No matter how much training water and terrain you have, if you can't get the dog from the holding blind to the line, and if you don't have the dog push-pulling in concert with your body as marks go down... it don't matter.

      I maintain that you ARE doing "field work" with Brooks right now.

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    14. #9
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      Obedience and yard work are the foundation for field work. We often complain that those coming to train want to do marks all the time and what they really need is basic obedience and drill work. Right now M is having a problem looking past an indented gun to run a blind between marks so we are doing a lot of work with the mannequins. The days we do marks are really designed to see where the weaknesses are and what concepts and drills we need to set up on our yard work days.
      I read your thread about the shot pheasant I know that M would have broke. She escape the other day when a couple of friends were working their upland dogs on live chucker. Richard said she was just like a kangaroo jumping up and down at his tailgate She as wired. She needs one pass to finish her senior.I have entries ready for 2quals but we will be short on water work as it is just too cold right now. Maybe in the Fall we will get to work on the sit to flush. Again this is obedience work.

    15. #10
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      Barry, I can't see your article. It looks like I have to be a member of Canine Chronicle to see it?

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