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But what I can't understand is where the satisfaction would be in buying a trained dog to compete in trials with. Isn't the satisfaction in travelling the road to excellence together?


A beginner and the trained dog s/he buys are just starting out on the long road to excellence together, believe me. This ain't noughts and crosses.


Happy for you, ObeytheBC. Good luck to you and Beck.

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I bought Lou from a person I knew a bit already, and she was very patient with my questions. I had seen him at trials so I knew (as much as someone who knows nothing about herding could know!) that I liked how he worked. He seemed quiet, the sheep were calm around him, and there wasn't a lot of yelling.


My questions to his owner largely revolved around how she thought he would adapt to a pet home. At the time, I lived in a condo in a big city, and the idea of making him an urban pet was bit daunting. She told me how Lou was travelling, and how he had been to lots of different places, and nothing much fizzed on him. We decided that it might be a good fit, so I bought him.


As this picture shows, Lou took to life as a house pet rather well. smile.gif



I just had to comment on the photo! He is way too cute for words!! :wub:

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I really should have known that, without me saying what dog I was trying out, someone would have figured it out! I just did not want to identify the dog and handler on a forum, just in case.


Alchemist, I do have to say that being a below-novice handler and purchasing an open level dog is an adventure. It was a huge wake up call to everything I have to teach my below-novice dog and is certainly introducing me to other aspects of the work that I did not have the exposure to. The information I am coming off of the field with has quadrupled and is all encompassing - just in my last lesson we were working on smoothing out an outrun, teaching me when to call out the stop at the top, enforcing a gentle and steady lift, how to position and work the sheep around an post and then drive the sheep back to the other end of the field calmly - without a whistle (and this was just 10-15 minutes of what we worked on!). My puppy is no where near this so it is a major change in everything - from the work itself to just how much more I am learning. So while I have only had Beck for a month, I have to say that those recomendations to get a trained dog to help you learn more and quicker are definately on to something.


I will also say - and this can be disagreed with, but it is my current feeling - that I am taken that much more seriously now that I have purchased Beck. I am recieving advice from a lot more people and I am getting much more complete answers. Other handlers that would be around when I was working my puppy never really paid me any attention and were not giving me advice. With Beck, I have these other handlers approaching me, helping guide me and my dog through the paces, and are really encouraging me - which is great, but a definate change from where I was before.


All in all, this has been a great experience and the right thing for me.

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ONe of the things I found when I purchased an open level dog was that I could now understand what people were trying to tell me. Things that people had pointed out in other runs, i could now do. Learning was quick and very helpful.


Some dogs will come back down a few notches (ok lots of them) and one of my students trained dog that he purchased tests him much more than I would want. I know it is a lot of money but it is very very very helpful!



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Maybe one reason you feel that you are being taken "more seriously" is because you have chosen to do a very smart thing - get a trained dog and allow him to help train you. I did not and it has been a struggle for both my dogs and myself.


Wise decision, and very best wishes!

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Dear Would be Sheepdoggers,


The advice: "Buy a Trained Dog" may be the best, most disregarded advice in sheepdogging. Congratulations. You've saved yourself months/years of time.


Some people figure trained sheepdogs are too expensive.


Promising puppy; $750, three years of vet bills: $600, dogfood: $500, 200 hours of training at minimum wage: 1450, (entries,travel) testing at eight trials: $2400.


Plus the clinics and coaching.


Donald McCaig

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I too purchased a trained dog earlier this year (April). She was run in Nursery and Pro-Novice in 2009. For personal reasons her handler sold her and she worked on a farm for a couple of years where I guess she didn't quite work out. She came to my trainer to find a better fit and I guess that was with me. I wasn't looking for another dog really... But sometimes things just happen! :lol: Teak has been a joy to work with and learn from. She has already helped me in my ongoing learning/training and also my training with Devon, whom I am trying to train myself.

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I think the reason you're getting more advice and more complete answers is because people see a trained dog and figure that maybe you'll *understand* the advice better. As you said, Beck has shown you that you didn't even know what you didn't know. But because he's capable of doing the work, it's easier to explain to you the "whys" and "wherefores" because you now have a dog who can illustrate/respond to that those comments and bits of advice. Hopefully you'll be able to apply all the good advice you're getting to your less-than-novice dog too!



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