Watch What They Don’t Say
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This particular blog is about picking trained dogs. Something that I feel I can not do effectively at all. To my mind, great trainers can train most dogs to be far better then that dogs quality. Sometimes the only way you find out is if that person sells that dog to someone who doesn't run the way they do. Before anyone thinks that I'm doing a bitter rant after I got burned, that's not the case at all. I've been happy with all the dogs I've bought and have no regrets about them whatsoever. I do, however, make a point of watching all dogs and seeing if there's something I'd like to buy, or something I want to replicate at home. I mostly do this by watching live streams or recorded runs from handlers I admire. Watching those hero's have taught me some things. Related to this topic, they taught me that they can train a dog to levels I'm still only dreaming of. That also means that they can take good dogs and make them look exceptional and they can take exceptional dogs and make them look truly great. I know training isn't everything in this sport, otherwise great trainers would win with any dog they found on the side of the road. Yet training does make judging dog quality difficult. It also goes the other way to. There are trainers that run dogs that don't suit them. Then they force that dog to be something that the dog isn't and it looks worse for it. So if you can't trust training then how do you judge dogs? Well, watch what they don't say. Watch the dog between commands. How does it look penning flighty sheep? How does it wear a tough single? What does it do on a 500 yard outrun in the wind? What is that dogs quality when it can't rely on anybody else? It's the moments between commands that tell you everything. Or the moments that can't be commanded through. I mean I could probably cook a fine dining dinner if Gordon Ramsey told me every step over top of my shoulder. But I certainly can't do it by myself. That's what talent is. What can that dog accomplish by itself? What can it do in spite of its training, one way or another?