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I am not entirely sure what you are getting at here.

 

So I can understand someone asking the question of how you KNOW you have such a dog. Ownership of red zone dogs has never been exclusive to the very best handlers in the world.

 

This wasn't really the question, this was..

 

 

If you realized that you HAD produced or purchased and raised a red zone dog possibly even a bullseye, what would you do with it?

 

My reply simply meant that if you have to ask the question of what you would do with a red zone dog, you probably won't have one. You may have the luck/fortune/ability to acquire one, but unless you know how to properly raise, train and handle that dog, it probably will never achieve that potential.

 

The question wasn't how you would KNOW you have such a dog, but if you did have a red zone dog, what would you do with it.

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My reply simply meant that if you have to ask the question of what you would do with a red zone dog, you probably won't have one. You may have the luck/fortune/ability to acquire one, but unless you know how to properly raise, train and handle that dog, it probably will never achieve that potential.

 

Red Zone via training or Red Zone via breeding...

 

 

ETA: Does a dog have to be proven on the Open Trial Field via competition to be considered a Red Zone dog?

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Red Zone via training or Red Zone via breeding...

 

 

ETA: Does a dog have to be proven on the Open Trial Field via competition to be considered a Red Zone dog?

 

 

"Proven" ranch work being what in your eyes?

 

"Proven" trial work being what in your eyes?

 

I am not sure what that means red zone training?

 

I am sure we don't all have the same definition of "proven", but i would say arena trials, broke/farm stock ( trial or ranch) and every day ranch chores would not be in my definition of a proven dog. Useful yes, proven no.

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Red Zone via training or Red Zone via breeding...

 

 

ETA: Does a dog have to be proven on the Open Trial Field via competition to be considered a Red Zone dog?

 

I am assuming you are asking me if I mean a dog trained up to red zone status vs a dog bred that is red zone status? If so you can't answer that one until the one you bred is trained. It is a shame they aren't born with a red marking to tell you this one is THE one, but if you want to know what you have then you will have to put time and effort into the training.

My personal opinion is this. A dog can't be labeled "red zone" unless he has been proved in many areas. Not just day to day work on the farm, but work away from the farm in different situations. Not necessarily on the trial field, but the trial field at least lets you see how your dog compares with many other dogs on a fairly level playing field. By red zone I think we are talking those once in a lifetime (if we are lucky) dogs. Not only a dog that can do great work in many different situations, but that can also pass along his qualities to his progeny.

Again, I don't think a novice person can answer this question. In order to determine the quality of a dog you need many years of the right kind of experience and probably a bit of natural insight would also be helpful.

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My reply simply meant that if you have to ask the question of what you would do with a red zone dog, you probably won't have one. You may have the luck/fortune/ability to acquire one, but unless you know how to properly raise, train and handle that dog, it probably will never achieve that potential.

 

Much more clear!

 

Now that I know exactly what you mean I can say that I mostly agree. I have known the very rare dog owned by someone who doesn't have a clue what they are doing that still proves itself to genetically be a red zone dog. Their natural, raw talent was so incredible that they figured out how to get things done despite their handlers. As far as training goes they looked like orange zone dogs, but their offspring were clearly red zone when owned by experienced handlers.

 

Again, these dogs are rare but very precious for what they have to offer the breed. I think the ultimate goal of breeders should be to produce dogs that can still be considered orange zone, even if trained by a novice.

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Does a dog have to be proven on the Open Trial Field via competition to be considered a Red Zone dog?

No, but it should be assessed on sufficiently diverse stock (not necessarily species but more temperament), on sufficiently diverse terrain and working situations, and by handler(s)/trainer(s) who have seen enough dogs to be able to assess the dog's ability.

 

 

 

If I find myself with the good fortune to have one of these dogs I will learn as much as I can from the dog and enjoy the time I have with this dog.

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A tiny bit off topic and along the lines of my personal belief that there are many jobs out there and different ways dogs (of many breeds) are used that are of huge value to the people in real life. And I also believe that many of those are never seen out side of their jobs. In my heart are the true blue collar working dogs.

So I re read the red zone definition again.

Red circle (bull’s eye) = The very best quality of working border collies. A working definition might be dogs that are exceptional enough to save a great deal of time and manpower for a livestock operation.

I had a dog like that. And had no clue! :lol: (I am kidding...)

You tell me, based on this job description, did she qualify?

(this was many years ago and it is not about her value for breeding just for fun to see on the definition of a red zone dog via Denise Wall's analogy which I very much enjoy and appreciate)

We ran right around a 100 head of brood mares at one point. Everyone that deals with moms and baby's and AI knows that there is a time where babies like to go off and explore and are less interested in following mom. This can be annoying and a hassle considering time is money! :angry: And the fact that a worried mom is a huge pain in the rear.

We had to bring in mares from the fields for palpation. I had my dog. Simple fetch really. The mare is on my right and the baby was held on the mares right at the hip by my dog. If the juniors wanted to go off and explore, my girl would balance them right back to me essentially with the mare in the middle. She was never taught to do this and had only very beginning work on sheep at this point. But she did save lots of time and stress on all of us. No running juniors. No screaming mama's. No stressed out help (me!). It was all good.

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As Julie (and others) noted, really experienced people are going to appreciate raw talent even in novice hands. But maybe even more common, really experienced people are going to hear a novice, in excusing some fault, say something to the effect of "my dog would be so much better if he/she had another handler", and think to themselves, "probably not."

 

Lori Cunningham

Milton, PA

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G Festerling, your dog sounds like a very nice girl. However, it scares the pee-wad out of me to imagine a dog working horses! It's the work of a heartbeat for a horse to strike or kick and kill a dog, or cripple it for life. I've known of some good ones killed with a single blow. You and she were lucky.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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G Festerling, your dog sounds like a very nice girl. However, it scares the pee-wad out of me to imagine a dog working horses! It's the work of a heartbeat for a horse to strike or kick and kill a dog, or cripple it for life. I've known of some good ones killed with a single blow. You and she were lucky.

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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If I had a "red zone' dog I'd train it and work it, find suitable mates (keep semen from a male) and use the dog whenever stock needed working.

 

Many years ago I had such a dog, sent it off to Bill Berhow , who won the National Futurity with her. I then bred her and kept her line going. Looking for another now.

 

She taught me alot. (so did Bill FTM)

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I found this discussion fascinating. I'm kind of going through the "how good is my dog" questioning right now with my 14 mo. old. He's only my 3rd border collie and is so natural and quick that I'm always amazed by him. I doubt he's "red zone" although he feels like it to me (kind of like caviar after years of dumpster diving- not that my other dogs aren't awesome!). Of course, I'm even more amazed by him since he did had his first outrun lesson this weekend at his breeders and yes, he has a natural outrun. I didn't even know there was such a thing! He's being moved to the hayfield since its the largest area and we want to keep his wide outrun. My response was pure disbelief watching him do a nice wide outrun- where's the straight thru the middle, biting the last ewe in line, or simply being crazy like I'm used to seeing with other dogs? Have other people had this "OMG- that's my dog?" dog? Sadly, I know Loki will probably never be seen as "caviar" by others since I"m a beginner handler and I have limited means to train/trial/sheep. But he's definitely pure perfection to me!

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I also have my first natural out-runners - and my boy even has a propensity to run too wide, occasionally! :P Yes, I often look at my Nick with the "OMG, that's my dog" feeling of pure joy. Still no idea what zone he falls in, but he's awfully nice, a delight to work and train, and I'm convinced that his only hindrance is the fact his Mom is still learning how to train open field dogs. ;)

 

His baby sister isn't half bad, either, but she's the dog who's teaching me to *think* about what I do, as opposed to her brother who is all about the, "Just show me, ma, and I'll do it." How I love that wee girl! :)

 

~ Gloria

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I found this discussion fascinating. I'm kind of going through the "how good is my dog" questioning right now with my 14 mo. old. He's only my 3rd border collie and is so natural and quick that I'm always amazed by him. I doubt he's "red zone" although he feels like it to me (kind of like caviar after years of dumpster diving- not that my other dogs aren't awesome!). Of course, I'm even more amazed by him since he did had his first outrun lesson this weekend at his breeders and yes, he has a natural outrun. I didn't even know there was such a thing! He's being moved to the hayfield since its the largest area and we want to keep his wide outrun. My response was pure disbelief watching him do a nice wide outrun- where's the straight thru the middle, biting the last ewe in line, or simply being crazy like I'm used to seeing with other dogs? Have other people had this "OMG- that's my dog?" dog? Sadly, I know Loki will probably never be seen as "caviar" by others since I"m a beginner handler and I have limited means to train/trial/sheep. But he's definitely pure perfection to me!

 

 

Loki may be "caviar" to others, it is not far fetched, but it may hinge on the decisions you make over the next few months and what you can do to get a good foundation on him despite your current level of understanding. Some don't realize it, but a month or two at a established trainer that understands the line of dog that your dog is from and has proven that they can successfully train the line can really fast track both you and your dog, and also save you money. 30 days with your dog's sire's owner could give you alot of information as to just how much talent and ability your dog has. Also, if your dog is a talent, he would like to know it and have a chance to develop him some.

 

We went through the numbers this last winter when we opted to send Ricky out for a month, I knew I wanted help with him knowing that the right help would accelerate our progress along with confirm whether or not I had what I thought I had. The cost of the month of training was equal to going to one weekend clinic, motel and travel cost. The cost of getting him to the trainers and back was equal to two weekends of trial entries with the travel expense. My dog received more quality training and expirence in that month with the trainer then he would have gotten in a entire year with me learning as I go, using the three steps forward two steps back approach. Sending him to someone that was familuar with his lines and working style was really important, the trainer he went to trained both of his dams parents and was the breeder of his grandsire and also helped me to train his sire.

 

I believe it is not just a matter of getting help from someone that is a established, it's even better if you can get with the established trainer that has accomplished the most with the line your dog is from. Your dog's sire handled by his own/trainer won 2 out of three times this weekend, and placed 3rd when he didn't win. Granted it was on cattle and not sheep but he has been equally successful on sheep. You may have caviar and it would not be hard to get it confirmed.

 

Now my dog is teaching me what the trainer taught him. I still go three steps forward and two back trying to find the right places to be, but my dog has been there before, so when I find the right place he tells me. I saw it this weekend, at one point I was able to really relax while at the handlers post, when I found that place this beautiful scene played out in front of me, when we left the field I was met by other handlers that saw it too. I hold a vision of that moment, the "OMG, that's my dog" moment.

 

Aim high and don't be afraid to pull the trigger if you can. Naturally talented dogs don't come along every day.

 

Deb

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Denise's breeding metaphors have been bent into bizarre shapes. Permit me more pedestrian language and a simpler test.

 

A champion sheepdog is one that has won the National Finals Sheepdog Trials. This year's is Patrick Shannahan's Riggs. WHile I haven't studied Rigg's pedigree, doubtless he is well bred as were, I'd venture, every one of the top forty and most, if not all, of the 140 qualifiers.

 

This discussion has worried what to do with a dog capable of becoming a champion if one is inexperienced or unable - because of money or work pressures - to develop that dog's abilities.

 

Concentrating intently on half the working team this ignores the importance of the link dog and handler share.

 

I admire Patrick and RIggs. I was too busy working the trial to watch their run or evaluate Riggs.

 

But after the Finals, a Big Hat told me, quite seriously: “It’s too bad Riggs won. He’s not good enough.”

 

Please posters, lets shun a stupid argument about Riggs. Three good judges thought Riggs was better than any other sheepdog on that day. That’s good enough.

 

My point is: looking at the same dog, two Big Hats of equal experience and success

disagreed about the dog’s worth.

 

TS Elliot once said that you couldn’t trust any writer’s opinion about another writer because writers aren’t critics - writers only value what they’re learning from.

 

Well Big Hats aren’t critics either. They’re looking for the dog THEY can win with.

 

Different dogs suit different handlers. One hard-handed Texas handler I know works with very soft dogs because they force him to think. I’ve known handlers who were such good shedders - with zero dog help - that they wouldn’t have known what to do with a gifted shedding dog. Some top handlers read sheep exquisitely and seek biddable dogs that can stand the stress of endless schooling. Others - I’m one - need a dog that can read and react to sheep before I do.

 

I have seen dogs I thought hopeless win open trials. I have seen promising youngsters ruined by Big Hats who tried to press them into a too narrow mold.

 

Clinics, lessons, and retraining sheepdogs mean Big Hats understand a greater range of sheepdogs than you or I likely do. But their chosen trial dogs fall within a narrower range: the dogs that suit one particular human’s skills and understandings.

 

Every of us has a dream of a great dog and no two dreams are identical. When your dream finds your dog, you might just get a National Champion.

 

Donald McCaig

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> But after the Finals, a Big Hat told me, quite seriously: “It’s too bad Riggs won. He’s not good enough.”

 

Hilarious. People can be so stupid. Or maybe jealous.

 

For virtually all of his career, Riggs has been known as one of the very best dogs out here in the west.

He regularly wins or places near the top at every trial he goes to, where the competition is fierce,

the terrain is murder and the sheep can be worse. Nobody out here is surprised he won the whole enchilada.

 

charlie

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>

Hilarious. People can be so stupid. Or maybe jealous.

 

 

charlie

 

I think i would use the word vulgar...to say it and to repeat such drivel on a public forum.

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I don't believe Donald meant to belittle Riggs or his accomplishments by repeating this story, just to point out that different people have very different opinions about what constitutes a good dog. His story reminds me about when I asked a Very Big Hat about the offspring of a particular bitch. He said that they were "not his kind of dog". I liked that perspective much better than that of the handler in Donald's example - he didn't say they weren't good dogs but just not *his* kind of dog.

 

I'm leaning towards what Charlie said, it sounds like sour grapes to me but then it could just be a matter of opinion. To each their own. Patrick and Riggs have demonstrated their ability and capability more than enough to prove their worth.

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Since I wasn't making a stupid point about Riggs, in my original post I asked: "Please posters, lets shun a stupid argument about Riggs.Three good judges thought Riggs was better than any other sheepdog on that day. That’s good enough. "

 

Have I overestimated my fellow posters?

 

Donald McCaig

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A very big hat who worked with me and my dog when we started out once told me I had a really nice dog. Not a dog for him, but for me he was a really good dog. He was right. Also in buying a puppy this same person asked me why I'd want that puppy as due to his breeding would probably be a very hard and stubborn dog. Again, he was right and I have never gotten along with that dog. I love that dog, but I don't work him anymore due to his stubborness and my inability to want to deal with it. The perfect dog may not be perfect for every good handler.

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