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rushdoggie

started vs more trained dog for green handler

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So...I have a dog. He is the only dog I have trained in stockwork. I didn't start with him until he was 4 and he has an old injury that affects his gait so his speed overall is slow.

I have worked him with a wonderful terrific trainer, and I am proud of us and what I have learned and what he and I have accomplished.

He's simply too slow to do much with USBCHA trials, a little Novice and fumbling through Ranch, but anything bigger he simply can't cover. He looses his sheep and he gets frustrated and slices and I certainly don't help fumbling handler that I am. SO its cool, we do AHBA and we have had a great time doing teh various AHBA courses (Ranch, Large Flock, arena, mini BC style) with ducks and sheep. Hes almost 10, and hes going to age poorly due to his old injury.

I am ready to start looking for a new dog.  I would like to make it to at least ProNov. I live in an area thats friendly to newbies and has a lot of USBCHA trials.

My trainer feels I would benefit from an adult dog that is started at least or more well trained, I tend to agree....eI guess I could send a pup out for training but buying a pup is a crapshoot and I am getting old and I would like to stack the odds in my favor.

I am not sure if a started dog with just some foundations would be a better fit or a more well trained dog.

A trained dog kind of feels like...cheating. There's also the cost factor. I am guessing that more well trained = more money. Whats reasonable? Is it kosher to tell people "this is my budget" or will they feel like I am cheap? How will I know if the dog is well trained or just trained? How does one find a dog that "fits" without going through a bunch of dogs?

A started dog is probably less, but whats less? And what does "started" mean? If someone says a dog is started, what can I expect the dog to know?

Drowning in options.

Cute Argos picture for tax.

dork argos.jpg

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The best teacher for you would be an open dog that is being retired because it was no longer competitive in open.  I don’t view this as cheating any more than having an instructor/mentor is cheating.

In this situation you are providing work to a dog that would not get much with the open handler and more one on one time with this dog than in a household with many dogs being trained/schooled.  The dog will teach you stock work and handling faster than if you have to also be training a green dog.

These situations are not always available but I highly recommend you look for one.

We have been on both sides of these situations; learning a lot from open dogs (thank you June) and placing retiring open dogs into homes where they continued to thrive and were teachers. 

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I second Mark's excellent advice.  Many of us out there in the USBCHA trialing world dread the day we have to hang up our aging dog's spurs because they can't quite manage the Open work, and we can't trial them in PN ourselves. Active Open handlers usually have a younger dog or three waiting in the wings, and the oldster gets put aside.  Finding the right person to take the retiree is a huge gift to all - the dog, the newbie, and the wistful original handler.  I speak from experience.  

Best of luck!

Amy

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I like the idea, but the cost of an Open dog is likely out of my budget.  I was looking at a dog who is owned by a well respected person who said the dog would be ready for ProNov with that person, but who hadn't been trialed and that dog was pretty expensive, like double my budget.

 

 

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The cost of an open dog early in its open career can be high; this is not the open dog Amy and I are describing.  We’re talking about a 9+ year old open dog that is being retired because the open corses are too large for the aging dog.

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3 hours ago, Mark Billadeau said:

The cost of an open dog early in its open career can be high; this is not the open dog Amy and I are describing.  We’re talking about a 9+ year old open dog that is being retired because the open corses are too large for the aging dog.

Ah, OK that makes sense.

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Another option may be to network and see if there's a dog that just isn't quite going to make it on the circuit, maybe not a highly competitive open trial dog..that would possibly be in your budget and of an age that you'd have many years ahead of you for learning and trialling in PN.

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Agree 100% with what Mark and others have said. There are often fully trained Open dogs available, in addition to dogs not quite at that level, for prices less than stratospheric. I learned legions from such a dog. Sometimes they just aren’t competitive with other dogs owned by the same handler (you’re lucky to be able to run 3 dogs in Open at any particular trial). Sometimes they’re just creeping up in age and would be better suited to (Shorter) novice courses than to (bigger outrun) Open ones. Sometimes they just don’t work range sheep well but would be well-suited to farm flocks. Lots of reasons why people would be willing to part with a fully trained dog. Don’t assume it’s necessarily a sheep-killing or hard-headed menace. I was approached by an Open handler at a trial just yesterday seeking placements for two Open dogs on the older end of things - one of whom has enough points to qualify for the 2020 Finals (but on the opposite coast from the OP). Sadly, we’re already one dog over our 3-dog max. 

A good place to research classifieds for started/trained dogs (or to post such ads oneself): http://handlerspost.com/classifieds.html

Best of luck!

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