Hopefully I can get some perspective from everyone. I spent the day Saturday at a trainer's kennel here in South Texas. Sofie was getting snake trained. I'd rather not use their name so there isn't any bias.
Here's my opportunity. The trainer has offered to take Sofie for the next two months for basic gun dog training. Then he would keep her for the peak quail season in January and February to hunt with his dogs. Of course, if I head out to hunt on the weekends I can usually pick her up if she isn't already out of town hunting. The trainer has around 20 years experience with gun dogs, but doesn't train for field trials. I'm not so crazy about the training as I am the chance to get her to hunt wild birds.
I see this as a tremendous opportunity to get Sofie exposed to wild birds, and she'd probably see more wild birds in two months than I'd get her to find for the rest of her life. Granted, I'm giving the trainer my dog for a few months, and I would be paying him to have my dog, but I can't imagine a better opportunity for Sofie to learn to hunt.
Could I be missing something here? Or should I jump at this opportunity?
Sounds like a good opportunity, but I know personally I couldn't do it. I would miss my kiddo too much. So, I am looking into doing the training myself. I have contacted the local Texas NAVDHA chapter for help.
I had the opportunity to do something similar with Belle when she was a youngster, and I just couldn't bring myself to send her off for several months of training.