...If those show folks amongst the group here and those field trial folks amongst the group here all worked together and "swapped" dogs (or even just got together and "trained" each other) for a couple of months to see what each could do in the others' venues? It sounds like perhaps we *could* get another DC down the road if we all worked together...those with knowledge about grooming and handling and what it takes to be a show dog could see what they could do with the most "showy" field dogs and those who have the knowledge about field-trial training, casts, etc. could take some of the instinctive retrieving show dogs and see what they could do to train them to run in a field trial? Having recently joined our "local" retriever club and looking forward to training in the field after rattlesnake season is over, this was actually part of a dream I had last night...and sounds like a lot of fun (though I'm sure many of us are so protective over our dogs that we probably wouldn't let them out of our sights, LOL)!
This isn't meant to be some sort of kumbaya song... but it is a fun daydream, isn't it? I think to truly appreciate what another does, whether it be in the show ring or in a field trial, I think you have to try to participate. I'm sure that both are extremely political and extremely difficult venues...but having seen some pretty nice-looking field dogs and some pretty driven show dogs....
Okay, back to your regular scheduled programming...
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
Fun daydream but don't see it happining. :-[ I seriously doubt that anyone 'big' in the game of FT would give a second look to a 'show' bred dog, and I doubt anyone 'big' in the game of Conformation would give a second look to a 'field' dog. So sad.... Our wonderful bred HAS split into two VERY different dogs...(though it hasn't been just recently)
Saddly, I don't see a DC in our lifetime (and for me thats still a long time! ;D )
It would be interesting. And, if one can't dream, what would we aspire to?
I too have my doubts about the possiblity of another Lab Dual Ch. My head says it will never happen again but, I also know that where there is a will, there is a way.
The rewards would be many. Mainly the gratification. The recognition and financial rewards would be secondary.
In my opinion, this is what it would take;
1) One would have to start with a pup that has the physical characteristics to be Show potential. That same pup would have to have the inherited smarts, desire and physical ability to perform the most difficult of task. There is a huge difference between dogs that like to retrieve toys and dogs that want to retrieve a bird so badly that they will go through anything to get to that bird. One would will need the latter to be successful in FT's. The adult dog must be a living example of the Standard!
2) The first six months after they leave the litter is extremely critical. This is when the dog developes the attitude it will carry for life. There is a certain amount of mental conditioning that the pup has to go through. Everyting must be fun and games. All retrieving has to be highly successful to help keep confidence to the max. The biggest mistake most trainers make is in trying to teach too much too early, using too much pressure too soon and testing rather than teaching.
During this phase, the pup will learn how to be a good citizen, how to live in the house, and how to deal with little increments of pressure. Pinch collar while walking at heel, heeling stick for a snappy sit etc. By the time the pup is 7 months old, it should know: sit, here, no, hold, drop. In the yard, the pup should learn no pressure simple casting.
The pup would have to learn to stack and whatever else they are taught to get them ready for the ring.
3) At around 7-8 months of age, if all the above has been done, then the pup needs to go to an accomplished trainer. That is if the pup shows some real desire, that it can mark puppy marks well and has a great training attitude.
The average age that a dog earns his FC is six years of age. Remember, only 50-60 dogs per year earn an FC. six years with a proven Pro will run 10k per year. That includes training, bird fees, entry fees and handling fees. Vet expenses are additional. ICL injuries in top Field bred dogs are rare. It is important that whatever pup is selected for this venture be moderate in build. Bigger dogs are more prone to injury.
Then, you have the Show expenses!
Anyone interested in syndicating a prospect? I'll raise the pup till it goes off to a pro and the dog can live with me after it is retired. I'll go up to a 30% interest in the dog.
Also, where would we look for a prospect. I'm not real big on complete outcrossing. Too unpredictable but, maybe the only way?