Sunday, March 23, 2008

Can a "newbie" or oldtimer, for that matter, buy "too much dog"?

Can a person, new to gundogs and just starting out, buy too much dog?
I guess the answer, as I see it, is a definite, it depends. When it comes to the trial type Setters or Pointers, I think the answer can be yes. Some of these dogs can be extremely bold, and run very big. Also, they can be intellegent enough to know who has got a good handle on them and who doesn't.
On the other hand, that same intellegence, when combined with biddability, could allow a less experienced , but dominant, handler to fare well.
But, how many new folks to the sport have the knowledge or wherewithall to keep that genetically superior, and exhuberant dog, in control?
Another point... Is a lesser dog easier to handle?? Maybe yes, Maybe no. At least a dog bred to be closer working would be a help until some knowledge and experience is gained.
Now, for those of us with a few miles under our belts.. Can we buy too much dog?
Again, I think it depends on age and personal conditioning, but, this is an area where I'd lean towards a handler buying a dog that he, or she, can personally keep up with, and reel in, when necessary.
I think the dog for a senior needs to be under finer control than one for a younger person. The days of running a dog down to make a correction could be over, so, maybe a closer working dog would be desireable??
Even in training, creaking bones and less flexibility, can make what was once a time honored, and beloved, pastime a chore.
Maybe a different type of Setter, a bit slower and more methodical, for an oldster is just the ticket..
I'm not there yet. I've got a few small, racy dogs in my future, but, I'm gettin' there...
Stay tuned for my answers...

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