I started training dogs at a very young age. Any dog of mine or a dog that was out and about or a stray I would train for the time it was around me! I did not start training professionally until the 80's. I trained part time during the week and then on weekends while holding a full time job. I did not start competing with dogs until the late 80's. While in college as a research project I joined a club and presented myself as a novice. This was for my Psychology of Small Groups/ Group Dynamics class. When the research was completed and I came forward with what I was doing I was not very popular with some of the members. Of course many did not know until some of the study was published during a launch of my Gun Dog training Programs! I judged AKC hunt test for a time until a few club board members demanded that I pass dogs that should not be passed according to AKC rules. I stood my ground. Clubs and Competing has its rewards, titles for your dog, and extra people to train with. However, at times dealing with a few individuals that do not respect dogs, people or property can create problems. I am not one to remain silent. There is a standard of proper behavior when training in groups, but many individuals have absolutely no idea how to behave. There are many aspects in the dog world whether it is breeding, training or the basic responsibilities that go with ownership that can be very troubling. My love for the company of dogs and hunting is the most satisfying aspect and I am sure the dogs I have would agree if only they could talk! Being with our dogs and living in that moment should be a fun filled adventure every single day.
- Debra Lee, RAVE Retrievers