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NECarson

Thoughts on Field Trials? (for those that don't)

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NECarson

So I'm relatively new to bird dogs... Currently own dogs 3, 4, & 5. They've all been Pointers. All from field trial breeding. 

 

My first dog was a hunting dog only, steady to flush. I thought I'd never trial. I saw a value, but not to me. None of my friends with dogs trialed... 

 

I just lost dog #2, I tried a few shoot to retrieve trials, but he ran too big. I had fun, but the venue wasn't right for him. So we tried a judgment ceases at flush stake at an American Field trial. Took second. And I was hooked. 

 

It's actually a lot like how I hunt on the prairies, just minus the killing. 

 

I've currently got a broke dog, and will probably break the young one I have as well, both are with the intention of being trial dogs. But they'll still hunt wild birds as much as they would if they didn't trial. 

 

And they have all been in the house pets. 

 

So I guess my question for the people who don't trial (or maybe have a negative impression of them) is "what shapes your perception of trials or trial dogs"? 

 

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john mcg

Nick--I only ran in one trial when Tucker was 9 months old.

He won btw when run with an adult because the puppy stakes were filled up.

🙂 Sorry--I was quite proud of him.

It was fun, but I didn't much like all the hollering and the way I saw some dogs treated.

 

If you guys run one down at the 'Grounds' I would consider giving Max a whirl.

 

I reckon its different all over.

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Don Steese

Any  UJ thread about how people feel about field trials and field trial bred dogs tends to devolve quickly into more bombast than discussion, however I will say this; I've never attended a field trial but think I might enjoy doing so if the opportunity arises. If handlers mistreat dogs or are constantly yelling, I'd be put off, but then again, I've experienced that with hunters who don't field trial also. I will say that I'd not be interested in acquiring a dog that didn't have some field trial blood in their ancestry. Those are my thoughts on field trials.

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mccuha

I’ve done retriever field trials and have done a couple of bird dog field trial.  It was fun and good work for the dogs.  I just didn’t have the time with other hobbies  don’t know if it’s the norm but in the bird dog field trial. I just let my dog hunt and they did like I’d want them to do like in hunting  the guys I ran my dog with really overhandled the dog by constantly basically showing them where they should hunt and constantly talking to them . I don’t speak to my dog when I hunt. I give more hand signals unless we are hunting a dead bird or a single I saw go down. Usually the dog dictates where we hunt.  They should know better than us. 

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john mcg

I want to be clear that I wasn’t intending to be critical of field trials. Only just one experiences observation.

in my judgement, they are a great way to both have fun and as a yardstick for characteristics.

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ryanr

I enjoy watching good dogs work so I'm a fan of trials and hunt tests. I attended one wild bird "grouse and woodcock" walking trial and I really enjoyed it. The people were great and happy to answer any questions. When I was a kid I tagged along with my Uncle to a couple Nite Hunts. He raised and ran champion Bluetick Coonhounds. I enjoyed that too. 

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Ray Gubernat

NECarlson -

 

I know you directed this at folks who do not trial, but a couple of comments got me laughing...because when I went to my first trial or two, I though precisely the same things!!

 

The first time I went to a trial, I parked and walked up into the assembIy area. I honestly thought I was in the middle of a Chinese fire drill.  There were guys on horseback going this way and that, there were guys being dragged by dogs on leads and guys on horseback with dogs in harness.  There were folks standing around, in little groups, here and there, talking.  I got a couple of sideways looks, but since I didn't know anyone there, and no one knew me, that was about all the attention I got.

 

I had absolutely no clue what was going on, or where and when I tried to ask ... I either got ignored, or got a wave of the hand and a "go see so and so over there".  I hung around for about an hour and left.  Saw lots of dogs on stakeouts and lots of horses and horse trailers.  I did witness one breakaway with the dogs haulin' A$$, going up and over the hill well to the front of the horses.  THAT I liked. 

 

I do have one suggestion for those who are put off by all the hollering and such.  You  might want to watch a senior hunt test first or even an AKC walking gun dog.

 

RayG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DennisMcFeely

I've attended a handful of coverdog and "throwdown" quail trials along with some friends who compete in them.  I enjoy watching the dogs, the and I try to learn as much as possible from those there . 

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C.J.L.

I've never thought about running my dogs in competitive trails. In my mind my dogs already are the best there is and I'll explain. We hunt a lot.  They find, point, hold, retrieve 100's of birds a year.  They handle everything we hunt from the grouse woods to the prairies. They can cover ground in the open and manage their range in the thick stuff.  They have nothing to prove because they are proven in my eyes already.  And I'm not going to breed them and I don't register my dogs.  

 

Beside's, my competitive days are over.  When I was big into tournament fishing winning was everything.  Even if I finished second I was still just the first loser.  I was hard on myself.  I don't want that part of me to leak out toward my dogs if they didn't do well.  

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Tom Avent

I would love to participate in field trials. An old field trialer told me how to make $1million training and trialing dogs.........start with $2million.

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NECarson
2 hours ago, john mcg said:

Nick--I only ran in one trial when Tucker was 9 months old.

He won btw when run with an adult because the puppy stakes were filled up.

🙂 Sorry--I was quite proud of him.

It was fun, but I didn't much like all the hollering and the way I saw some dogs treated.

 

If you guys run one down at the 'Grounds' I would consider giving Max a whirl.

 

I reckon its different all over.

I actually thought of your story when I was typing the post... 

 

I probably won't be running there, but I'll get you the schedule. 

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Dick Sellers

I've dabbled in a couple of retriever trials with my first Chesapeake and a couple of upland trials with my first E. setter.  I wasn't embarrassed, but realized I was no where close to being ready to make the commitment to become competitive (much less get into horse ownership with all that entails).   But when it comes to buying pups, I think some field trial blood lines is very valuable.

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NECarson
38 minutes ago, Ray Gubernat said:

NECarlson -

 

I know you directed this at folks who do not trial, but a couple of comments got me laughing...because when I went to my first trial or two, I though precisely the same things!!

 

The first time I went to a trial, I parked and walked up into the assembIy area. I honestly thought I was in the middle of a Chinese fire drill.  There were guys on horseback going this way and that, there were guys being dragged by dogs on leads and guys on horseback with dogs in harness.  There were folks standing around, in little groups, here and there, talking.  I got a couple of sideways looks, but since I didn't know anyone there, and no one knew me, that was about all the attention I got.

 

 

I did, primarily at least... 

 

They can definitely be chaotic, that's for sure. I help run a championship every year. 3-4 long days of glorious chaos. 

 

You didn't trial for a long time, right? 

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Up North

I know my dogs are not near enough polished to be competitive, and I also won’t get into horse ownership. I wouldn’t get a pup without some trial bloodlines in the pedigree, but I also don’t want a big running dog. 

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bobman

I want to watch one and it’s actually on my bucket list. 

 

I have horses my wife and daughters ride them I haven’t ridden in many years, but field trials might get me back in the saddle.

 

Im glad they do it I like to try and get their rejects 

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