a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dog for sale....NOT

I was thinking the other day about when I showed horses. I showed horses all over the U.S. I had my saddlebreds boarded at a training barn. They were professionally trained. All I had to do was take lessons and climb aboard when it came time for show time. My quarter mare I kept at home and did my own training. The wins on my horses that were professionally trained were exciting, but none compared to the major wins I had on the quarter mare I trained by myself. Especially the year I didn't win the Saddleseat championship at the American Royal, but I won the Stockseat championship with well over 200 riders entered. That was so sweet.

I think it is the same way with my dogs. I'm sure I could handle a trained dog and be happy with my winnings, but no win would be as sweet as the time and effort I put into my own training. And, time and effort it takes. And how. I enjoy every minute of it.

So many people today want "instant" gratification.  I guess if you have a wallet full of money you can go out and buy yourself a trained open dog to trial.   And, if you don't want to do the training yourself, you can send your dog to somebody else to train for you.  That's really appealing for lots of folks.  Not so, for me, though.

And, no I'm not selling Yoko because she isn't exactly what I would buy in a sheepdog. I'm not going to replace her with a puppy because she shows signs of stress at the trials. What I am going to do is work with her. Set small goals. Try to train consistently. Give her more varied experiences.

Heck, the breeder of Kilt offered to replace her with a trained dog, because she felt Kilt was too much dog for me. I said, "No thanks." Kilt has taught me more in the last 5 years than any ranch/trial bought trained dog. We have made it to open and have received our first open points. I think we will do even better in the years to come. Progress has been slow, but oh, so sweet.

I think "Too many people miss the silver lining, because they are expecting gold." The partnership one creates from hard work and teaming up with their dog is what this sport is all about to me.


Kathy said...

You are so right. I, too, have only trained and trialed my own dogs and haven't sent them out for training. I do it all myself, so when they do well I can enjoy it myself.

gvmama said...

Life long journey it is!

Karen said...

Like I've said before, I really like your mindset, the way you 'think'. And I agree totally, nothing like being successful with a dog or horse that you have worked through the issues with all by yourself.

And on a side note,
it seems that so many people that are now really 'into' dogs started out in horses. I was never into horses in a big way, but savoured my small successes with my problem hooved children.
Dogs though, are so much more fun and more portable. No huge animal to bathe before a show, no tack to clean, and they fit in your car:)

Emma Rose said...

Excellent post.

Monique said...

I do like your post. However, I do feel lucky that I have a trained dog for my first dog. While I took part in a fair lot of her training, I did not by any means train her myself.

I was not looking for a trained dog, but one found me. I bought her because she is my friend, not because of what kind of sheepdog she is, if that makes sense.

It does not make our success any less sweet to me... but I am looking forward to my next dog being a home-trained pup.

Erin O said...

I find my wins with my "trained" dog are just as gratifying as with the dogs I have trained up myself.

Mick ran Nursery with Scott Glen, but was not a seasoned trained up Open dog when I bought him at 3. we spent time and energy running in PN for 2 years before we were ready for Open. He is not an easy dog to run. I learned a ton from this dog and we are an amazing team.
I also purchased Z @ 1.5 years old already started. He certainly wasn't running a Nursery course at the time. So the those consistent wins are mine. That Monday at Whidbey was his first at home loss in 5 home starts. As are the bubble placements in Open and the the awesomeness at the Bluegrass, those are my training. Just because I dog has buttons doesn't mean a handler knows when and how to use them.

It wasn't about instant gratification. It was about knowing myself and what I needed in a dog and where I wanted to go in my trialing. I certainly don't have a big wallet either.

The better trainer I become and the more experience I gain the less I feel the need to send my own dog away. However, if I felt it was in the best interest of the dog to be sent out, I'd do it.

Don't lump us all in the same heap.

gvmama said...

You are a beautiful team. I love to watch you run :0)

gvmama said...

Erin O.....no way would I try to lump evereyone in the same heap. My blog just expresses my own feelings. Different strokes for different folks. I can't speak for other people, nor should I. I have lots to learn and not a whole lot to brag about, :0) I'm a Capricorn....slow and steady.