The most common theme I see amongst newcomers to the dogs is a lack of patience. Everyone wants overnight success. Few are willing to put in the hard work to earn it. Patience is much underestimated when it comes to breeding and campaigning winning dogs. Before any of you knew who I was, I was putting in the work. From the age of 16 I was becoming obsessed with the American Pit Bull Terrier. I was reading every bit of literature I could find. I was becoming familiar with all of the top breeders of the time and learning the history of the dogs and breeders before them. I was meeting as many people as I could. I was traveling as much as I could to meet new people and see new yards. I was getting addresses out of the SDJ, AGDT and ADBA Gazette and handwriting letters. I was waiting weeks for replies. There was no email yet. There was no Facebook or cell phones either. I had to buy pre-paid calling cards and cold call the top breeders. I had to hope they would give me the time of day because I wasn’t interested in buying dogs from them. I wanted something far more valuable. I wanted their knowledge and experience. While my friends were hitting snooze on their alarms clocks, I was doing roadwork with my dogs before school. While my friends were using their college student loan money to go on spring break, I was using mine to buy dogs and treadmills. The point I’m trying to make is that there are no short-cuts. Sure, money can buy you an accomplished dog but unless you have put in your time and paid your dues, you won’t have the knowledge or skills to maximize the return on your investment. I’ve seen this song and dance played out one hundred times. A guy buys the newest champion, breeds him a bunch, gets a low percentage of good dogs and the quality of his yard never improves.
No one has ever made it overnight. Not Tom Brady. Not Connor McGregor. Not even Beyonce. For half their lives they put in actual work before anyone ever knew their names. Patience. It is a requirement. Hard work, dedication and sacrifice are also requirements. Truth is, most of you reading this article won’t have dogs in five years. The juice won’t be worth the squeeze and that’s OK. I get it. It’s a long, grueling process to do it the right way.
Stop looking for the short cut. Stop hoping for luck. Put in the hours. Become obsessed. Out work your competition. While everyone else is hoping and dreaming, you need to be executing your long term plan. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them. That’s how you grow. The harder your work, the luckier you will get.
The good news for me is I am 23 years in and I feel like I’m just getting started…