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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after training/tuning up my 2 labs for the past 5 years, this was the first year I took my female, Maggie, to a pro. My new job has me working 12-14 hrs/day. She just wasn't getting the time or exercise in prep for the season. I know it was the right thing to do, but I miss her already...been 3 weeks.

He said she's doing well and I know she'll be well beyond where I could have taken her. Anyway, I digress...

Mike
 

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Picked her up after 4 weeks. Man I missed her. The trainer worked a lot on steadiness, handling and conditioning. He told me something I always felt...he said had I taken her to a pro from the beginning she had all the tools to make a MH, FC, etc. He runs in HTs, FTs, and SRS. However, she's 5 already and she's the first dog I trained so she has some issues. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with her progress over the month. It was a great tune-up.

I'm not the only one happy she's home. Hailey missed her "Maggie girl."

 

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Four weeks?? Try four to six monthes at a time, then you'll know what it's like to miss your dog. J/K 4 weeks is a long time, when they have never been gone befor.

It's hard to send them away. Glad your pleased with the results.

Bodey went South the first winter when he was 8 monthes from Jan. 1 through April and then stayed with Rick until the end of June it was a long 6 monthes. Then went last winter from X-mass day untill the end of April. and will go again this year for three to four monthes, each year it gets harder but I know he would rather be picking up birds every day than laying on the couch and peeing in the snow.
 

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Hey Mike!

Great story and awesome pic!

A few questions for you...

How much should I expect to pay for something like that? I suppose it varies widely.

I'll be taking Chaz in to a trainer in about 4-5 months depending on his progress at obedience school, and the timing with the weather and our travel plans.

What should I expect? What performance measures can I use to determine progress ? What "issues" did yours have that you accidentally gave her, that maybe I can avoid repeating?

Most importantly to me.... as someone who is new to all of this stuff... what should be a rough timeline expectation for entering him in field trials etc... Will the trainer help me enough as a "rookie" that I will know what I am doing at them? What should I be doing now to prep for that future time?

You'll have to stop over here when you get out to WA to meet the Chaz man in person.. he's quite the pup already.

Thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
R y a n said:
Hey Mike!

Great story and awesome pic!

A few questions for you...

How much should I expect to pay for something like that? I suppose it varies widely.

I'll be taking Chaz in to a trainer in about 4-5 months depending on his progress at obedience school, and the timing with the weather and our travel plans.

What should I expect? What performance measures can I use to determine progress ? What "issues" did yours have that you accidentally gave her, that maybe I can avoid repeating?

Most importantly to me.... as someone who is new to all of this stuff... what should be a rough timeline expectation for entering him in field trials etc... Will the trainer help me enough as a "rookie" that I will know what I am doing at them? What should I be doing now to prep for that future time?

You'll have to stop over here when you get out to WA to meet the Chaz man in person.. he's quite the pup already.

Thanks !
Ryan,

My opinion only here.

1. Good pros will charge between $500-$750 mo. + birds.

2. At 6-8 months is when the real work begins. Up until then, OB and socialization are extremely important. Be careful in puppy classes...they are good if the dogs are good. There are also terrible dogs there that can hurt your pup. One of the best things you can do now is walk the dog and expose him to everything possible.

3. Issues? Shiat, I'm her owner, that's issue enough! :D Just simple things like I used to hunt her out of my layout, she'd jump when I'd pop up...hence she wasn't steady. I allowed her to get away with creeping. I trained by myself so it's awfully hard to throw 100 yd marks and keep an eye on her.

4. As far as FTs, I can't speak to them too much. Just know not every dog is made to run in that environment. The Hunt Test circuit seems to be more conducive to a beginner.

Overall, it sounds like you need to find a good trainer and hit him/her up with your questions. WA is full of quality trainers. One thing to remember, if you expect to trial this dog, it will cost a lot of money in training and related expenses.

You also need to get some good reading material and video. Call Darin from McLabs Training (site sponsor). He'll hook you up

Lastly, my approach to training is CPR:
Consistency
Patience
Repitition

Good luck...

Mike
 

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Most importantly to me.... as someone who is new to all of this stuff... what should be a rough timeline expectation for entering him in field trials etc... Will the trainer help me enough as a "rookie" that I will know what I am doing at them? What should I be doing now to prep for that future time?
If you plan on running him in trials as a young dog the first minor stake will be Derby. Typically a young dog goes to a pro for basics around 6 to 8 monthes of age and it usually takes 8 monthes or so to get the pup ready to run at the derby level, most derby dogs don't start campaining untill they are 16 months or older. They have to VERY honest around the water and bottom line they have to mark, it's not just about picking up the birds it's about going out there and stepping on them, one medium size hunt can nock you down in a hurry. For a minor stake the Derby is Very competitive with about 75% of all dogs run by pro's, you can run your dog in Derbys untill he is two. Next is the Qualifying, some dogs are ready to run a Q when they age out some aren't it varies dog to dog. Unless you have the grounds to train at this level on (most importantly technical water) and you have the knowlege it is almost impossible to gat a dog to this level with out the help of a pro. Prices vary but I would say it costs six to seven thousand to get a dog to a competitive Derby level and double that or more to get him to a Qualifying level. And like taddy said "Not all dogs are suited envirment" Id'e go as far as to say very few dogs are suited for this envirment or are talented to do this and be competitive. Most of those dogs are washed out of the FT circut but go on to make exceptional hunting or HT dogs and in most cases are sold at a fraction of the cost of what has been put into them. FT are tough. I know because we have spent the last two summers chassing ribbons and don't have a whole lot to show for it YET :lol:

Go check out a FT in your area and then go check out a HT AKC or HRC and see what you think. Remember FT the dogs are judged against other dogs, so you have winner and looser. And in HT you and your dog are judged against a standard in the book Pass/Fail.

I'll post some links that list events in your area.

http://www.entryexpress.net/

http://working-retriever.com/07nrc/

http://www.hrc-ukc.com/

Have fun with your pup.
 

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BROWNDOG said:
Most importantly to me.... as someone who is new to all of this stuff... what should be a rough timeline expectation for entering him in field trials etc... Will the trainer help me enough as a "rookie" that I will know what I am doing at them? What should I be doing now to prep for that future time?
If you plan on running him in trials as a young dog the first minor stake will be Derby. Typically a young dog goes to a pro for basics around 6 to 8 monthes of age and it usually takes 8 monthes or so to get the pup ready to run at the derby level, most derby dogs don't start campaining untill they are 16 months or older. They have to VERY honest around the water and bottom line they have to mark, it's not just about picking up the birds it's about going out there and stepping on them, one medium size hunt can nock you down in a hurry.

FT are tough. I know because we have spent the last two summers chassing ribbons and don't have a whole lot to show for it YET :lol:

Go check out a FT in your area and then go check out a HT AKC or HRC and see what you think. Remember FT the dogs are judged against other dogs, so you have winner and looser. And in HT you and your dog are judged against a standard in the book Pass/Fail.

Have fun with your pup.
Thanks a ton for the advice. I'll re-read this again tonite!

Chaz's father is Mallard (Tiger Mountains "Mallard" Chaser CPR, 1.5x GMPR MH http://www.stkpointers.com/?page_id=8). He went on to get his JH at 2, and his MH a year? later.

I'm stoked to have such potential in this pup and don't want to mess up what could be an incredible dog.

I just want to get some decent credentials for him, without committing to spending more than $5,000 on him. We have him penciled in for next spring to go to a Pro trainer for 8 weeks or so to get him ready for his derby. After that... I'd be happy for him to get his pointing lab certifications and Master Hunter and call it good.

Thanks!
 

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Holy Ryan, you have some high aspirations. Are you planning on doing retriever field trials? I kind of got the impression you were into the pointing games.

The people in the ndrc that are competitive in FT's almost all send their dogs south with a pro for the winter EVERY year. There is one woman who has been doing great with her young dog that has been all trained amaturely. They train basically every night of the week, with lots of good help. If you havent yet, look for a retriever club in the area or a training group because your going to need one to even think about competing in FT's.

As far as a pro goes. Do a lot of research to find a pro you trust. After you have found someone you trust you cant worry about how fast your pup is progressing. Rushing the dog through things will only hurt so you have to trust the trainer has the best interest of the dog at heart. Taddy is on the money about how much to spend, 500 seems pretty low but maybe they are out there.

If you are going to play the retriever games start out with HT's to get the feel for things. The atmosphere isn't as competitive and people are more willing to help you. The experience will be really helpful in learning how to handle your dog in the games. A lot more of success has to do with the handler then you might think.

Taddy- who did you send your pup to?
 

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Ryan,,

Here are a couple of links to the National Open and the National Amerature FT. Granted these dogs qualifyed for each of these venues and are the best in the county, but these are the same dogs that run liscensed trials every weekend across the country. this will give you an idea of some of the marks and blinds these dogs have to run. There are videos of running dogs from each series.

Enjoy watching some great dog work, you might want to note the same guy won both the National Open, and the National AM with two different dogs.

http://www.akc.org/events/field_trials/ ... /nrc/2007/

http://www.akc.org/events/field_trials/ ... narc/2007/
 

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A lot more of success has to do with the handler then you might think.
Or maybe better put "failure has alot to do with the handler" I'm pretty sure Rick was ready to choke me after watching Bodey have two REALLY good first series two weeks in a row and then have me mishandle at the end of the land blind two trial in a row, and go out because of my bad handling. :eyeroll:
 

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BROWNDOG said:
A lot more of success has to do with the handler then you might think.
Or maybe better put "failure has alot to do with the handler" I'm pretty sure Rick was ready to choke me after watching Bodey have two REALLY good first series two weeks in a row and then have me mishandle at the end of the land blind two trial in a row, and go out because of my bad handling. :eyeroll:
Gee, I thought once you paid a pro the whole handling thing was easy. Don't you just have to put your hand to the direction you want the dog to go? You must not be very smart. Either that or your dog is no good. :poke: :D
 
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