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Yes we did! Thank you :rolleyes: (do you have ESP or something?)


The class was very small so it was "big fish-small pond" but it was still fun. I actually EARNED $$$....doing my most favorite thing ever! I can't believe it really. I am going to frame the bills-LOL!


ETA: I actually had someone say that I shouldn't win Novice too many times(!) or people would get mad! My response - "We can't move up until we get our Driver's License!"


Cindy (who's wondering if I might recognize Karen if I saw her????)



I understand you had a good weekend? Congrats to you both.
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Dear Novice Sheepdoggers,


In the east most Novice/Novice trials are held on the Monday after or Friday before the Open. Here's a for-instance:


Suppose the trial is three hours from home (which is pretty close). Suppose you leave home Sunday night and return home Monday (vacation time? Sick time?) after you run. Costs: 400 miles at 25 mpg gas at $2.50 = $40. Motel: $60. Dinner: $12, Breakfast: $3, entry fee: 20$Total:$135 for a four minute run: $34 per minute.


What will your dog have learned? If this is his first or second trial he may have learned trial ground manners. He is unlikely to have learned anything desirable on the course. What will you have learned? First or second trial? Trial protocol. You may also have discovered that you should have trained your dog (and yourself) to a higher standard.


At the trial, you'll have met some friendly open handlers, suppose you call them and ask if you can come over to work sheep. If it's convenient, most will say " sure".


Drive three hours Friday after work, work dogs that evening and the next morning, perhaps half an hour each time.

Costs: $40 plus either you take your host out to dinner or produce a hostess gift - say $30. That's pennies more than $1 a minute. Your open handler host way offer advice (free) and you and your dog will learn a lot.


If you pay for that lesson - figure $80 an hour - and stay in a motel (see above) your total costs: $195 that's a little more than $3 a working/learning minute (and it's not vacation time).


Do the math.


Donald McCaig

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I've already done the math. Off to a Bobby D. clinic in a few weeks. Eight days of working dogs and learning from one of the best. Much better money spent than on a few weekends of trialing.

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Dear Novicve Sheepdoggers,


In response to my calculations comparing costs of giving dogs more experience at Novice/novice trials, vs visiting (and perhaps getting coached by) open handlers, Ms. Susan responded:



" I'm glad that my stockdog training experience - and life in general - is not so easily reduced to cost per minute."


Very good. But consider how much money handlers make training and trialing. At the end of many open trials I've received a check - for PLACING - that I phoned my wife about: "Honey, we can make the house payment this month!"


And it just gets better when you have more than one dog: MORE THAN ONE CHANCE TO WIN . Four dogs don't take up much more room than three dogs, two dogs than one and you can extend dogfood with (pine) sawdust - Are sheepdogs gourmets?. Once you're on the inside of this game you'll be stunned at the fees trainers get! Forget about the clinicians - have you gandered their rides? Many, many top open handlers hire H&R BLOCK to do their taxes! Lehman Brothers should have been so lucky!


It's like I tell my friends: "Sheepdogs are smelly and hairy, have to poop at least once a day and you're not gonna score at the sports bar with a damn dog at your side. If you're not in it for the money, what ARE you in it for?"


Donald McCaig

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Don't forget the endorsements, Donald.




Personally, I have managed to create an extremely strong financial relationship with my vet AND my local RV parts supplier.


The way things are going, I may just be ready to retire. My boss thinks I already have!



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  • 5 months later...
I believe most rules apply only if the dog has been trialed. I am certain that in most cases if the dog has been trailed in open they need to run in pro-novice. But what if the dog is trained for open-level work, to run an open course just has never been trialed.



if the dog has never trialed in open, then it is NOT an open dog. Doesnt matter if the dog has been TRAINED to the level of competence. with that in mind ANY dog can be a open dog, pay the entry fee and send the dog from the post at any sanctioned trial and it (as well as you) are considered OPEN and no training is necessary


wally dury


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