Genetics vs. Training

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Garrison
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Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:24 pm

I had a short discussion with a friend today about some well known trainers. I was killing some time watching some videos on YouTube and looked up one of the trainers, Hall of Fame trainer and Cover Dog Trialer Dave Hughes. He was being interviewed about his dogs. A question about dogs running in cover vs in a field/horseback was asked. He started off my by saying, it is all training and exposure. He supported his claim by discussing a conversation that he and George Tracy had with an owner about each other’s dogs. They both agreed that they could trade the top 5 dogs on each other’s strings and win with them in a matter of months in their respective venues.

I am not experienced enough to agree or disagree with the statement, but I am experienced enough to know that they have both forgotten more about dogs than I will ever know in this lifetime. I found it really interesting and was wondering if there is much crossover between venues and breedings.

On the far end of the spectrum I noticed some crossover in pedigrees of some successful All Age dogs for example, CH True Confidence is down the line a bit from Hard Driving Bev and CH Erin’s Hidden Shamrock is down the line from Northwoods dogs.

Begs the question, are trial bred horseback and foot hunting dogs really much more similar than what it seems they are made out to be?

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by mask » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:21 pm

yes!

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:13 am

I've had the pleasure of competing against both gentlemen. Perhaps "pleasure" is the wrong word. :lol:
Actually, I like to think of them more as friends than competitors although we always entered dogs with the same goal - winning 1st. They aren't just HOF trainers, they are truly gentlemen. I cherish those memories to this day!
And, you're right, they have forgotten more than most of us know.
Dogs just need the exposure to figure out the habitat/species....that's all. And yes, I have won in those arenas (horseback trials/cover trials) with the same hunting dogs.
Simply put, "A good dog is a good dog" and then, there are GREAT ones! ……aaaah yes.
Last edited by Featherfinder on Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 am

Well between featherfinder, mask and the two aforementioned Hall of Famers, that is give or take, 400 years of experience. :D

Its interesting that the winningest guys in the game seem to have proven that the type of dog they seek will get it done in multiple venues. While at the same time it’s agreed that certain lines of dogs are known for more of trait X and others are known for trait z, which lend themselves to certain venues more than others. We also have word associations like smaller, snappy and animated vs big, rangey, bottom end, tough. Not to mention “the trial dog is just too much dog for the average Joe” and not suited to foot hunting crowd.

Lots of grey area and misunderstanding that falls under the one undeniable truth, that a good dog is a good dog.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:52 am

Most trainers will tell you that a good dog is a good dog regardless of color and breed.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:09 am

Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 am
Well between featherfinder, mask and the two aforementioned Hall of Famers, that is give or take, 400 years of experience. :D

Its interesting that the winningest guys in the game seem to have proven that the type of dog they seek will get it done no matter the venue. While at the same time certain lines of dogs are known for more of trait X and others are known for trait z, which lend themselves to certain venues more than others. We also have word associations like smaller, snappy and animated vs rangey, bottom end, tough. Not to mention “the trial dog is just too much dog for the average Joe” and not suited to foot hunting crowd.

Lots of grey area and misunderstanding that falls under the one undeniable truth, that a good dog is a good dog.
Interesting side note relative to the two gentlemen mentioned above:

About 5 years ago, I judged George Tracy and his dogs at Wye Is. I was particularly impressed with Erin's War Creek. His effort was borderline all age, in terms of range, but he responded to his handler and was never out of contact. I was actually kind of upset that Great River Ice put down such an amazing shooting dog performance that we had to give War Creek a second place in the trial. I LIKE a balls to the wall, hard charging, big running dog. I contacted George and Mary about puppies out of War Creek and they gave me several contacts. Mike Husenits had a litter out of his winning cover dog female that was eventually in the hands of his trainer, Dave Hughes, and I was able to reserve two pups from Mr. Husenits, one for me and one for my son. We went up to Mr. Hughes' kennel and selected our pups. He was the consummate gentleman.

Fast forward a couple of years. Both youngsters could run into the next zip code if they chose to...but they do not. They both have an incredible amount of comeback. They both actually seem to want to stay with me. This was absolutely not what I expected, given their breeding, but at my age, it is a VERY welcome change. Keep in mind that the five generation pedigree of these dogs has 30 field trial champions and 10 Hall of Fame dogs in the 64 dogs listed. It don't get much better than that genetics wise, if you want a field trial dog.

As I have said on multiple occasions, I do not have the finances to have two sets of dogs, one for trialing and one for hunting. I trial my hunting dogs and hunt my trial dogs...most often on relatively small preserves. A good dog has a certain amount of "elasticity" in its range and knows when to suck it in and when to stretch it out. A good dog is also aware of the difference between running at a trial in front of a horse, running in front of a walking handler at a trial and also what needs to happen when the shotgun comes out.

Same dog... three different types of performances. Most all of my dogs, over the years, have been able to make the necessary adjustments.

The genetics put those abilities in there. The training shapes, molds and directs those genetic abilities to the specific task at hand. It is usually the trainer that is the weak link in the chain. I know that is certainly true in my case. The abilities ARE very often there, but not ever trainer is able to make the most of them.

RayG

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:10 am

gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:52 am
Most trainers will tell you that a good dog is a good dog regardless of color and breed.
Did you mean to say regardless of any color and white? :lol:

Sorry, couldn’t resist!

I know not every dog can be really good and even fewer great. But for the majority, maybe the confusion lies in the fact that it’s easier to project the failings as the trainer on to the dog than on to ones self.
Last edited by Garrison on Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:34 am

True birddogger2/Garrison. More-often-than-not, it is the trainer/handler/owner or can we simply say, the human contingent that struggles along? Not always but...
Let's not undermine genetics. It's also why that pedigree is such a salient aspect of the prospective buyer's research. NO, it's not a guarantee but it sure plays a part. It's sort-of-like a canvas on which to create your next master-piece!

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:40 am

birddogger2 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:09 am
Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 am
Well between featherfinder, mask and the two aforementioned Hall of Famers, that is give or take, 400 years of experience. :D

Its interesting that the winningest guys in the game seem to have proven that the type of dog they seek will get it done no matter the venue. While at the same time certain lines of dogs are known for more of trait X and others are known for trait z, which lend themselves to certain venues more than others. We also have word associations like smaller, snappy and animated vs rangey, bottom end, tough. Not to mention “the trial dog is just too much dog for the average Joe” and not suited to foot hunting crowd.

Lots of grey area and misunderstanding that falls under the one undeniable truth, that a good dog is a good dog.
Interesting side note relative to the two gentlemen mentioned above:

About 5 years ago, I judged George Tracy and his dogs at Wye Is. I was particularly impressed with Erin's War Creek. His effort was borderline all age, in terms of range, but he responded to his handler and was never out of contact. I was actually kind of upset that Great River Ice put down such an amazing shooting dog performance that we had to give War Creek a second place in the trial. I LIKE a balls to the wall, hard charging, big running dog. I contacted George and Mary about puppies out of War Creek and they gave me several contacts. Mike Husenits had a litter out of his winning cover dog female that was eventually in the hands of his trainer, Dave Hughes, and I was able to reserve two pups from Mr. Husenits, one for me and one for my son. We went up to Mr. Hughes' kennel and selected our pups. He was the consummate gentleman.

Fast forward a couple of years. Both youngsters could run into the next zip code if they chose to...but they do not. They both have an incredible amount of comeback. They both actually seem to want to stay with me. This was absolutely not what I expected, given their breeding, but at my age, it is a VERY welcome change. Keep in mind that the five generation pedigree of these dogs has 30 field trial champions and 10 Hall of Fame dogs in the 64 dogs listed. It don't get much better than that genetics wise, if you want a field trial dog.

As I have said on multiple occasions, I do not have the finances to have two sets of dogs, one for trialing and one for hunting. I trial my hunting dogs and hunt my trial dogs...most often on relatively small preserves. A good dog has a certain amount of "elasticity" in its range and knows when to suck it in and when to stretch it out. A good dog is also aware of the difference between running at a trial in front of a horse, running in front of a walking handler at a trial and also what needs to happen when the shotgun comes out.

Same dog... three different types of performances. Most all of my dogs, over the years, have been able to make the necessary adjustments.

The genetics put those abilities in there. The training shapes, molds and directs those genetic abilities to the specific task at hand. It is usually the trainer that is the weak link in the chain. I know that is certainly true in my case. The abilities ARE very often there, but not ever trainer is able to make the most of them.

RayG
I posted my reply to gonehunting at the same time you posted this. Failing a dog as a trainer is a bitter pill to swallow and it takes a long time to rinse the taste out of your mouth. I am making no inference to your abilities as a trainer rather just a reflection of my own.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:41 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:34 am
True birddogger2/Garrison. More-often-than-not, it is the trainer/handler/owner or can we simply say, the human contingent that struggles along? Not always but...
Let's not undermine genetics. It's also why that pedigree is such a salient aspect of the prospective buyer's research. NO, it's not a guarantee but it sure plays a part. It's sort-of-like a canvas on which to create your next master-piece!
The top handlers have the ability to run the genetics that they desire. I would be curious to know how many don’t make it to worthy of competing, and how many make it to CH out of the pool that they start with.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:14 am

Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:41 am


The top handlers have the ability to run the genetics that they desire. I would be curious to know how many don’t make it to worthy of competing, and how many make to CH out of the pool that they start with.
This is just a slightly educated guess, so take it for what it is worth.

In the open horseback shooting dog game, the average trainer will start out with, perhaps 50 - 100 puppies that they will fairly quickly sort through to come up with ten to twenty or so, by the time the pups are 6 months old. They will take that ten or twenty on in their training into their derby season, losing half or more of them through the process. By the time that crop of puppies had become first year shooting dogs, there may be five or six that have shown enough promise to continue. Of those five or six...one or two may end up being an open horseback shooting dog champion, if the owner has the finances and the desire to campaign the dog.

It takes on the order of $10,000 a year to campaign a dog in the top tier of open horseback shooting dog competition. Entry fees alone are typically $200 - 500 per trial and that does not include handling fees, special transportation fees or board and training expenses. If the dog is entered in just ten, one hour trials a year, that is three grand...minimum... in entry and handling fees. Boarding and training is typically on the order of $500 a month for at least 8 months of the year.

The dogs that are "passed over", from the very start...are all very well bred and virtually all have the ability to make excellent bird dogs...for somebody. But they might not fit with that particular trainers program, might not have the range or style appropriate for the venue the trainer competes in, or simply might not find an owner willing to carry the expenses going forward. Many, many dogs that "don't make it" are sold to preserves and plantations where they provide sport for paying guests, so these are not culls...by any means. They are often dogs that any hunter would be proud to hunt behind.

RayG

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:20 am

Garrison, I have tons of experience being unsuccessful! Wait...that's not so good is it?!? :oops:
We set out on a journey as dog owners/handlers/trainers. To say that you've never sailed into a storm tells me you don't sail often enough.
Sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn't.
When you try to get your teeth around field trial pros and winning, you start to realize one thing I told ALL of my prospective clients. The toughest part about trialing is that the "best" dog doesn't always win! NO...it isn't politics or favoritism or whatever. Sometimes, it just how the situation unfolds for that dog on that particular day at that particular time with that particular brace-mate, etc. etc. If you can't handle that, forget about trialing.
Here is my best example: 2 guys see a young lady. One says, "OMG....she is SO hot!" The other guy that also saw her spins around thinking, "Did I miss something?" Which one is lying? (Neither.)
The odds assuredly favor a super-capable and consistent dog but it isn't a guarantee or we could give placements without ever leaving our homes.
Dogs, like us, can have great days and not-so-good days. Ditto for trainers - another thing I have a great deal of experience in. :oops:
At the end of the day, you work on those things you have control over and make sure you have done the due diligence so as to be physically and mentally prepared - that means both you and your dog. After that, you run because you LOVE dogs and the sport that provides you with that buzz and....what a buzz when the wins comes your/your dog's way!! It can be addictive.
I've run/seen/judged MANY wonderful dogs that will never have the letters CH on them. How incredible is it to make HOF?!?!?
A chap once said to me, "Aahh…"____" got lucky again today."
I said, "Yup...yup...he/that dog have been consistently lucky."

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:23 pm

That adds some perspective.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:49 pm

Garrison-

To broaden that perspective a bit... one needs to consider this:

In a field trial there is ONE winner. In a championship stake, there is ONE champion selected.

You may have 20, and sometimes as many as 50 dogs in any competition..with only ONE winner.

Each and every one of the owners of those dogs paid their money to compete...and win. Each and every owner believes their dog is capable of putting down a winning performance and, in truth, many of those dogs ARE capable of putting down a winning performance...or they wouldn't be entered.

Nobody enters with the intent of losing, but in a 50 dog championship there are 49 losers.

That is the way it is. There are many, many successful business types who make a foray into field trialing and quickly get disenchanted. Folks that are used to winning often have a real hard time with losing and in field trialing...you lose...often. As mentioned, even the very best dog may not have what it takes on a particular day, or something unforseen and unfortunate may happen.

If the birds aren't moving and the scenting quits because a front moves in, even the very best bird finder in the world will struggle to find birds. Lots of things can happen and not all of them are helpful.

RayG

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by polmaise » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:56 pm

[quote=Garrison post_id=501212 time=1587573704 user_id=13645
The top handlers have the ability to run the genetics that they desire. I would be curious to know how many don’t make it to worthy of competing, and how many make it to CH out of the pool that they start with.
[/quote]
Ask them ? :wink:
Or you could look around you and see how many are not with them :roll: :lol:

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by shags » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:05 pm

Well ya know pros only have so many dog boxes in their rigs, so they can't take every good dog that comes down the pike :D

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by polmaise » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:08 pm

well ya know pros have a string of clients good dogs in their rigs :lol: ..

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:14 pm

polmaise wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:56 pm
[quote=Garrison post_id=501212 time=1587573704 user_id=13645
The top handlers have the ability to run the genetics that they desire. I would be curious to know how many don’t make it to worthy of competing, and how many make it to CH out of the pool that they start with.
Ask them ? :wink:
Or you could look around you and see how many are not with them :roll: :lol:
[/quote]

I have only had the chance to unsuccessfully dabble in some local weekend trials. Don’t know or have ever got the opportunity to meet any of the top trainers or handlers. That’s why I asked these gentlemen. But thanks for the suggestion. :roll:

Sorry quick edit, Asked these Ladies and Gentlemen.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by polmaise » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:45 pm

Your curiosity is fulfilled :roll:

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:56 pm

polmaise wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:45 pm
Your curiosity is fulfilled :roll:
It was thanks, there were some really informative posts. They also answered some other questions that I had.

Seems you have taken a keen interest or should I say curiosity in my curiosities. Has your curiosity been fullfilled?

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Sharon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:12 pm

Excellent thread Garrison. I learned a lot too.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by polmaise » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:25 pm

Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:26 am

Lots of grey area and misunderstanding that falls under the one undeniable truth, that a good dog is a good dog.
Pretty much !

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:28 pm

Sharon wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:12 pm
Excellent thread Garrison. I learned a lot too.
A lot of helpful and knowledgeable folks here. I hope my 622 posts over the last 10 years hasn’t been too bothersome.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Sharon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:34 pm

Are you kidding? You've made an excellent contribution as have many others.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:58 pm

Wouldn't be the same without you and others too Garrison!
We're in this together. Hmmm....where have I heard that before? :D

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:45 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:58 pm
Wouldn't be the same without you and others too Garrison!
We're in this together. Hmmm....where have I heard that before? :D
That does sound vaguely familiar.🤔 This COVID cabin fever, and the promise of picking up the pup has this guy’s brain swimming with bird dogs lately!

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:59 pm

Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:10 am
gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:52 am
Most trainers will tell you that a good dog is a good dog regardless of color and breed.
Did you mean to say regardless of any color and white? :lol:

Sorry, couldn’t resist!

I know not every dog can be really good and even fewer great. But for the majority, maybe the confusion lies in the fact that it’s easier to project the failings as the trainer on to the dog than on to ones self.
I come from the retriever world though I've trained pointing dogs since 80 and owned them for the last 25 years. So to your point. People in the gallery used to watch me at the trials and I'd watch every dog run, not talking much to anyone. They asked why. Well, I'm there to win. By watching all the dog's run I have a fair idea of what that larcenous devil at my side WILLS do on line. Sometimes the dog wins a trial, sometimes the handler but one thing is for certain. YOU WILL ONLY WIN WHEN YOU STOP LOOKING AT YOUR DOG WITH ROSE COLORED GLASSES.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:19 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:59 pm
Garrison wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:10 am
gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:52 am
Most trainers will tell you that a good dog is a good dog regardless of color and breed.
Did you mean to say regardless of any color and white? :lol:

Sorry, couldn’t resist!

I know not every dog can be really good and even fewer great. But for the majority, maybe the confusion lies in the fact that it’s easier to project the failings as the trainer on to the dog than on to ones self.
I come from the retriever world though I've trained pointing dogs since 80 and owned them for the last 25 years. So to your point. People in the gallery used to watch me at the trials and I'd watch every dog run, not talking much to anyone. They asked why. Well, I'm there to win. By watching all the dog's run I have a fair idea of what that larcenous devil at my side WILLS do on line. Sometimes the dog wins a trial, sometimes the handler but one thing is for certain. YOU WILL ONLY WIN WHEN YOU STOP LOOKING AT YOUR DOG WITH ROSE COLORED GLASSES.
Gonehuntin,

I imagine it has to be a challenging job when you have a bunch of clients that do have rose colored glasses, high expectations and a chunk of money laid out. Especially in the retriever world.

I could see how the whole world and the mystique of it all could be really enjoyable/addicting for those who are passionate about it and make it a big part of their life. It’s a bucket list item to go witness and experience one of the major trials at some point in my life.

I came to the conclusion after just the handful of weekend trials that I visited and participated in that A. my personality type is probably not a good fit. B. It would never be financially reasonable/feasible to compete C. I’m nowhere skilled enough to do it on my own. I do applaud and a bit envious of those who are because it is pretty awesome deal.

The motivation behind the post has nothing to do with aspirations of trialing and much more to do with diving in to pedigrees and the nature vs nurture aspect of it. I sought out professional assistance with my current pup for many reasons. When I did, I went with someone who didn’t trial for a few reasons, mainly because he trains the way I hunt (on foot), on the wild birds that I hunt and in the terrain that I hunt. His clients are either western wing shooting guides or hunters. He was very familiar with the line of dogs my pup is from and deep down inside maybe I am a little afraid in the off chance that I had a special dog I would get sucked in to the trial game. :)

I just love taking my dogs out in big spaces to run, point and let me move birds. I can’t really think of anything much more enjoyable and it doesn’t matter what color glasses I put on as long as they put a smile on my face.

After working with the trainer, reading Ray and featherfinders post I have to say I have a lot of respect for what you guys do. Especially if competition is involved.

Garrison
Last edited by Garrison on Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:05 pm

Every good trainer was a horrible loser. Once a client of mine asked my wife " Does Mac still stay mad all the way home?" She replied, " No, he's much better now. He's only mad for the first 250 miles."

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by bustingcover » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:46 am

It’s a bit of both. I’m sure any of those guys’ top 5 dogs could make the switch after a while lay-off to get acclimated but the majority probably wouldn’t be competitive with the switch. You would also have to consider the grounds where the tighter grounds in the East are more receptive of a handier dog than if you tried to take a cover dog to a HB Shooting Dog trial out west

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Trekmoor » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:46 am

Genetics versus Training - - - - - There should be no such thing. Sensible folk buy pups likely to have the genes for the things they want …...and then they complement those good genes with good training.

Bill T.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:54 am

bustingcover wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:46 am
It’s a bit of both. I’m sure any of those guys’ top 5 dogs could make the switch after a while lay-off to get acclimated but the majority probably wouldn’t be competitive with the switch. You would also have to consider the grounds where the tighter grounds in the East are more receptive of a handier dog than if you tried to take a cover dog to a HB Shooting Dog trial out west
Bustingcover,
Your comment sparked my interest. I started to look up HB Shooting dog results out West so I could look at some of the pedigrees. I know this sounds crazy, but the first competition I looked up was last year’s, the 2019 Western Open Shooting Dog Championship held in Reno. Both the winner a pointer (Tian Elhew Verbena) and the RU a setter (Northwoods Charles) are from the same grouse hunting/cover dog kennel.

Garrison
Last edited by Garrison on Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Garrison
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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:58 am

gonehuntin' wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:05 pm
Every good trainer was a horrible loser. Once a client of mine asked my wife " Does Mac still stay mad all the way home?" She replied, " No, he's much better now. He's only mad for the first 250 miles."
:lol: That is pretty funny! Your better half must be an angel.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:07 am

That's right Garrison. So, I was away a LOT - training/trialing. One weekend I returned absolutely infuriated! It was the same weekend of the local fall fair. My dear wife took our 2 young sons without me - again.
As I was saying, I was fit-to-be-tied when I got home because I felt I got ripped-off at the trial. My wife - who knew better than to even make eye contact with the beast back then - walked up to me and said straight to my face, "OK...you went to the trial - weren't here all weekend. It's your passion, I get it. You were not here with me or your sons this weekend, again. AT LEAST tell me you're enjoying yourself!?!"
What could I say? It was a bit of an epiphany. It's a part of my past I'm not proud of.
We just celebrated our 43rd anniversary. She's a very special lady, my wife.
Trials are like a lot of sports. Learning to win comes easy. Learning to lose...not so easy for some. Throw AA personality clients (they have the BEST everything :roll: ) into that mix and...it can get ugly VERY fast!
I have to say, I don't miss that part of the business.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:07 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:07 am
That's right Garrison. So, I was away a LOT - training/trialing. One weekend I returned absolutely infuriated! It was the same weekend of the local fall fair. My dear wife took our 2 young sons without me - again.
As I was saying, I was fit-to-be-tied when I got home because I felt I got ripped-off at the trial. My wife - who knew better than to even make eye contact with the beast back then - walked up to me and said straight to my face, "OK...you went to the trial - weren't here all weekend. It's your passion, I get it. You were not here with me or your sons this weekend, again. AT LEAST tell me you're enjoying yourself!?!"
What could I say? It was a bit of an epiphany. It's a part of my past I'm not proud of.
We just celebrated our 43rd anniversary. She's a very special lady, my wife.
Trials are like a lot of sports. Learning to win comes easy. Learning to lose...not so easy for some. Throw AA personality clients (they have the BEST everything :roll: ) into that mix and...it can get ugly VERY fast!
I have to say, I don't miss that part of the business.
I bet you had to deal with all kinds of personalities, good and bad. Folks that were kind and helpful and folks that work on false assumptions and enjoy other’s misfortune. But I guess that can be found everywhere. Does seem like you have to deal with a lot of lows to reach the highs.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by mask » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:06 am

Hey Garrison if you want a real lesson in pulling your hair out try training performance horses and bird dogs for others. No wonder I feel 4oo years old. :lol:

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:24 am

Wow....now that would be challenging, mask!
Honestly, the bad apples weren't as numerous as you might imagine - not many really.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by bustingcover » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:31 pm

Garrison wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:54 am
bustingcover wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:46 am
It’s a bit of both. I’m sure any of those guys’ top 5 dogs could make the switch after a while lay-off to get acclimated but the majority probably wouldn’t be competitive with the switch. You would also have to consider the grounds where the tighter grounds in the East are more receptive of a handier dog than if you tried to take a cover dog to a HB Shooting Dog trial out west
Bustingcover,
Your comment sparked my interest. I started to look up HB Shooting dog results out West so I could look at some of the pedigrees. I know this sounds crazy, but the first competition I looked up was last year’s, the 2019 Western Open Shooting Dog Championship held in Reno. Both the winner a pointer (Tian Elhew Verbena) and the RU a setter (Northwoods Charles) are from the same grouse hunting/cover dog kennel.

Garrison
Both are VERY nice dogs. Tim and Angela are great and their Verbana bitch is out of a ah G Force an all age dog. I don’t believe the dam was trialed but Angela said she was a nice hunting dog. That dog can adapt nicely and has won all across the country. I don’t know too much about the setter in that trial other than he was out of Cody who was a very nice running dog. These dogs came from the East but were bred to be strong running dogs and were developed to do so. It would be much more difficult for an established east coast dog to replicate the same. I moved out west with a young Long Gone bitch and where got swallowed up by the grounds out here. Seen it happen to a lot of dogs. The best ones can get it done though.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:36 pm

mask wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:06 am
Hey Garrison if you want a real lesson in pulling your hair out try training performance horses and bird dogs for others. No wonder I feel 4oo years old. :lol:
And here I was stressing a little about trying to teach high school kids online because the schools are shut down. Shoot, this is smooth sailing! :)

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Garrison » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:26 pm

bustingcover wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:31 pm
Garrison wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:54 am
bustingcover wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:46 am
It’s a bit of both. I’m sure any of those guys’ top 5 dogs could make the switch after a while lay-off to get acclimated but the majority probably wouldn’t be competitive with the switch. You would also have to consider the grounds where the tighter grounds in the East are more receptive of a handier dog than if you tried to take a cover dog to a HB Shooting Dog trial out west
Bustingcover,
Your comment sparked my interest. I started to look up HB Shooting dog results out West so I could look at some of the pedigrees. I know this sounds crazy, but the first competition I looked up was last year’s, the 2019 Western Open Shooting Dog Championship held in Reno. Both the winner a pointer (Tian Elhew Verbena) and the RU a setter (Northwoods Charles) are from the same grouse hunting/cover dog kennel.

Garrison
Both are VERY nice dogs. Tim and Angela are great and their Verbana bitch is out of a ah G Force an all age dog. I don’t believe the dam was trialed but Angela said she was a nice hunting dog. That dog can adapt nicely and has won all across the country. I don’t know too much about the setter in that trial other than he was out of Cody who was a very nice running dog. These dogs came from the East but were bred to be strong running dogs and were developed to do so. It would be much more difficult for an established east coast dog to replicate the same. I moved out west with a young Long Gone bitch and where got swallowed up by the grounds out here. Seen it happen to a lot of dogs. The best ones can get it done though.
I have no doubt that it is the exception and not the rule, pretty crazy odds that those two popped up first and in the same trial. I was personally really surprised because my current pup is out of their kennel, his wife mentioned they had shipped a couple dogs to California and Montana previously, I‘m guessing maybe that these are them?

I had a dog out of Long Gone, I really loved that dog. Seemed like his wiring was right the day he was born.

Garrison

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by averageguy » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:42 pm

I have never had a perfect dog but have had several that were much closer to it than I am. I try to keep that in mind always when working with my dogs.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by birddogger2 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:24 am

averageguy wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:42 pm
I have never had a perfect dog but have had several that were much closer to it than I am. I try to keep that in mind always when working with my dogs.
AG -

Now THAT is a great statement. I give you fair notice that since it is out on a public domain, I am going to steal it!! :lol:

I will say that I have also never had a perfect dog... but I am satisfied with small windows of perfection.
Most often those windows occur in the training or hunting fields when I am the only witness, but they are burned into my memory.

On the rare occasions that one of those windows happens to occur when I am in competition, that is truly icing on the cake and I endeavor to "not mess it up".

RayG

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by cjhills » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:26 am

My one and only FC Passed his AKC master on a 120 acre grounds in Iowa, Won Open Gun Dog on 2 section grounds in mn. and hunted at 800 yards in Montana ,all in the same year. That was genetics, probably as much Pointer as GSP blood. He was also a very trainable dog. But I think it would have took a lot better trainer than me, to train him to do that if he didn't have the genetics to do it to start with. That was 22 years ago. I was not a good loser then and I still ain't. Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser. In everything You have to learn how to lose but you don't have to learn to like it...Cj

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by shags » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:38 am

In the dog game, I figured out that I'd better learn to lose gracefully because I'm gonna lose a lot. What other options are there...just quit cuz my widdle feewings are hurt, beat my dog, poke a knife into the judges' tires, go sit in the corner and eat worms? I guess I could go home and train some more, or sharpen my handling skills, or watch the winners for tips and tricks, or ride the gallery and watch and learn what not to do, or just ride and enjoy all the folks and the dogs and the good day God gave me.

Sometimes ya get robbed, but other times ya get a gift. So it evens out. If ya feel like ya get robbed every time out, it's time to take off those rose colored glasses that ya watch yer dog with.

The thing with competition, you and your dog can have the best performance you've ever had, but there might be some other team who does even better.

Time goes by and if you do things just right with the right dog , you start to win. A lot. So much that folks don't like to see you're entered. You enjoy that time in the sun because before you know it, it's gone and some other team shines. If you're lucky, and smart, and work hard, you get another turn at it. it's all good.

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Re: Genetics vs. Training

Post by Sharon » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:20 pm

"poke a knife into the judges' tires" quote

LOL never thought of that one. Hilarious.
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett

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