Jump to content


Photo

Red Zone Dog


  • Please log in to reply
77 replies to this topic

#21 C Crocker

C Crocker

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 380 posts

Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:38 PM

Yeah, the old money and time issue of what to do with that one of kind animal that we somehow end up with.

Several years back a local horse trainer discovered a young stallion prospect that was to be sold. So she got one of her clients to buy him and foot the bill. She went on to show this horse to the highest level and he was an important part to get her name in the standings.
Anyway, after the show career was over (as in past the aged events that pay all the money) the owner wanted to show him. You should have heard the outcry! Being that the owner was not a particularly gifted or talented rider. But of course her point was that she was only going to have a horse of that quality once in her life and she paid for him. So she was darn sure going to enjoy him to the best of her ability.
Was it a waste? Ask most trainers and you would have heard a hearty yes!
But he went on to the stallion shed, bred and produced well despite spending the last years in the show ring looking like a lower level non pro horse. But I reckon he really did not care one bit. And the owner had a ball! And after all, is that not what it is all about?



My own experience with both a stallion I owned all of his 24 years and a Border Collie I presently own was similar to the woman in your post. I had a wonderfully talented cowhorse that was trained and shown by my trainer. When he was done showing him I showed him in the Non-Pro classes. My trainer was 100% behind me and very supportive. I was hesitent as I still wanted the horse to attract outside mares. My trainer told me not to worry , with me showing my horse it would demonstate how good minded the horse was!

With my Border Collie I knew I wanted a dog trained up better than I could so she was trained/trialed as a Nursery dog age. When it came time for me to trial her I was hesitent to as I knew I could no where near do as well as my trainer with her, and I did care that my dog looked trained out there on the field. My trainer's answer was--get out there , trial and enjoy your dog. The dog won't care that you are learning. We did share my dog on and off for a few years , and that worked great. My dog got to go to the big trials and I got to trial her in the P/N and learn along the way and move up the levels.

So bottom line, each has to work it out the way that suits themselves, and it is necessary to find the right professionals for the journey.

#22 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 1,775 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:11 AM

Okay, I've been thinking about this today, and pondering Debbie's original question:

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?

For my own self, the question I would ask myself is, "Does my dog truly have 'something' that would improve the breed?" If the answer is, "Yes, I truly think so," then I'd just continue trying to bring out the best in my dog. I'd do my utmost to give him quality training and good opportunities to live the best life he could have. I'd give him chances to do good work, to show his worth, to be the best damn dog he can be.

And if I could afford to trial him, if I am able to push my own learning curve to give him that extra edge, I'd do it. I'd do it because I love this partnership with my dog, because something magic happens every time we step out on the field. If we managed to become something fine enough that others, my peers, took note ... that's all just gravy.

And that's all I could or would do. Whether or not anyone would ever bring their nice bitch to him is a question to be pondered if the time came.

The word that comes to my mind, in pondering the whole evaluative process, is "subjective." What Top Handler A thinks constitutes a "bullseye" dog may not be what Top Handler B looks for, and may be different yet from what Top Handler C likes. And if someone lives out on a ranch in the middle of Montana, never to see a trial field, the big hats might never know of the very good dog who's the talk of the Stinky Boot Valley.

I like Denise's article particularly because she demonstrates the value of the not-quite-red-zone dogs. The gene pool of the breed requires stepping outside the qualifiers for National Finals, or whatever other criteria some debates arrive at. Red zone dogs, bulls-eye dogs may be an ideal, but they are neither the Alpha nor the Omega. They are vital! But they are not the end all, and the manner by which one decides a dog is red zone or not is rather subjective.

If one thinks they have a red zone dog, if they've spent enough time contemplating and knowing the breed to feel they've got that magic ... just use the dog. Learn him, teach him, show him the way to his potential. Delight in the journey. But know that for every peer who agrees your dog is magnificent, someone out there will grimace and tilt their hand "so-so."

And know that a helluva lot is going to depend on whose neck the whistle lanyard hangs around. I know my dog would look a lot fancier if he lived with someone like Suzy Applegate, instead of the two of us just taking lessons from her once a month. ;)
Respectfully submitted ~

Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#23 Debbie Meier

Debbie Meier

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,377 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Alden, Iowa
  • Interests:Pretty much all stockdogs...for now

Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:11 AM

But know that for every peer who agrees your dog is magnificent, someone out there will grimace and tilt their hand "so-so."


So true.


I asked the original question the way I did so as to hear what others would do if they found themselves in the situation. It's so much different applying it to yourself then it is when giving someone else advise based on what you perceive is ideal. I've found that it's easy to spend someone else's money especially when you don't have any idea as to how much they have or what their expenses are.


At this point it is all just a dream for me, but I'm one that dreams with reality in mind. I remind myself that dreams are nice, but I also have to consider if the dream is based on a expensive champagn budget when I'm only able to buy cheap beer.
Posted Image


http://leaningtreebcs.blogspot.com/

"Every poor one you continue to work with equates to a good one that you never get the opportunity to own"- M. Christopher

#24 workindogs

workindogs

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 986 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:00 PM

You know there are a handful of Top Handlers that don't really participate in the "trailer race" for points. They earn 'enough' points at some regional trials and attend one or two of the Big Events (Finals, Meeker, SH, Bluegrass, Kingston). There are a few UK handlers that do the same....do just enough to get into the Nationals/International....and then go in for the "kill".

Heck, you don't need points to get to Meeker/Bluegrass/Kingston.....but you sure can earn alot points there. In fact, winning the Qualifying at just one of these trials is enough points to get you into most Sheepdog Finals. Winning the DL will earn you the financing to get to the Finals.

So all you really need to do it attend TWO trials to demonstrate that you've got the best dog in North America.

It will take a little advance preparation to pull this stunt off, but just think of the impression you'd make!

In cattle, so far it appears that all you need a point (and not many points) to attend the Cattle Finals.....so it shouldn't take much in the way of campaigning (trailer racing) to get to the Cattle Finals and show what your dog is made of.

So on minimal trialing you could also sweep up two National Finals Ch.....and why stop there....by default you'd win Stockdog of the Year, too.

Elizabeth
with Ross, Soot, Craig and Hattie
Steadfast Stockdogs
Oregon, USA


#25 Debbie Meier

Debbie Meier

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,377 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Alden, Iowa
  • Interests:Pretty much all stockdogs...for now

Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

The trainer that I worked with a long time back that helped me with a super nice Russian bred Arab gelding offered up a simular plan for Nationals, the trainer felt that my horse would have been a contender in the reining horse and working cow horse divisions. Even going that route he told me to plan on making a $10,000.00 investment. I didn't have access to money like that nor could I see any reason in investing that much just to prove I could do it.

It really hit home a few weeks back when I travelled down to a trial in Arkansas, spent $500.00 by the time I made it back home, I ran 2 dogs, won the open and was returned back $50.00. Ultimately trialling costs money that not everyone has easy access to. We are lucky to have cattledog finals in our back yard this year, I'm figuring that it's going to be a $1200.00 learning expirence by the time we get home.
Posted Image


http://leaningtreebcs.blogspot.com/

"Every poor one you continue to work with equates to a good one that you never get the opportunity to own"- M. Christopher

#26 ItsADogsLyfe

ItsADogsLyfe

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 408 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:East Tennessee
  • Interests:working my dogs

Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:43 PM

[quote]I am not entirely sure what you are getting at here.[/quote]

[quote]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.
[/quote]

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


[quote]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? [quote]

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.
Joan "There's no normal life, there's just life" Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday
Seth, Meg, Mike, Reign & Crue

http://itsadogslyfe.blogspot.com/

#27 Debbie Meier

Debbie Meier

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,377 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Alden, Iowa
  • Interests:Pretty much all stockdogs...for now

Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:59 PM

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?
Posted Image


http://leaningtreebcs.blogspot.com/

"Every poor one you continue to work with equates to a good one that you never get the opportunity to own"- M. Christopher

#28 Lana

Lana

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 548 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Oregon
  • Interests:stockdogs, sheep

Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:17 PM

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.
Lana Mockler Rowley
10-7 Ranch
Oregon
http://10-7ranch.blogspot.com/

#29 ItsADogsLyfe

ItsADogsLyfe

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 408 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:East Tennessee
  • Interests:working my dogs

Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:17 PM

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.
Joan "There's no normal life, there's just life" Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday
Seth, Meg, Mike, Reign & Crue

http://itsadogslyfe.blogspot.com/

#30 Liz P

Liz P

    optimistic realist

  • Registered Users
  • 4,399 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:somewhere inside my brain

Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:25 PM

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.

Posted Image
Dangerous Dreams Farm


#31 Mark Billadeau

Mark Billadeau

    Bill Nye Wannabe

  • Registered Users
  • 2,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Middletown, MD
  • Interests:science, working dogs, sheep

Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:17 AM

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.

There's nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.

Bill Nye


#32 G. Festerling

G. Festerling

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,265 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston, TX
  • Interests:Pretty much anything that involves horses and dogs.

Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:36 AM

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 (bullís 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.
Posted Image
Blimpie, Belle and Thor! Nothing but trouble!
Good thing that I thrive on trouble!

#33 Belleview

Belleview

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:31 AM

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

#34 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 1,775 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:21 PM

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
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#35 G. Festerling

G. Festerling

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,265 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston, TX
  • Interests:Pretty much anything that involves horses and dogs.

Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:07 PM

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


Posted Image
Blimpie, Belle and Thor! Nothing but trouble!
Good thing that I thrive on trouble!

#36 G. Festerling

G. Festerling

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,265 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston, TX
  • Interests:Pretty much anything that involves horses and dogs.

Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:10 PM

Yes. We were young and much more stupid. But she was much smarter than me and never even got a tiny scrape. Good thing too that one of us had brains enough for two.
Posted Image
Blimpie, Belle and Thor! Nothing but trouble!
Good thing that I thrive on trouble!

#37 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 1,775 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:23 PM

I hear ya! My hubby and I drove around with our first dog loose in the back of our truck for 12 years, because that was the cowboy way. Young and dumb! :P Nowadays I almost go into heart palpitations at the mere sight of an untethered dog in a truck. ;)

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#38 Pam Wolf

Pam Wolf

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 1,362 posts

Posted 08 February 2011 - 09:55 PM

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)
I'd rather be a shepherd than a sheepdogger

#39 Crawford Dogs

Crawford Dogs

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 180 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Huxley, IA
  • Interests:Training dogs, hiking, and photography.

Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:22 PM

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!

#40 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 1,775 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:46 PM

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
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright: All posts and images on this site are protected by copyright, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without permission. Banner photo courtesy of Denise Wall, ©2009 CDWall. For further information, contact info@bordercollie.org.