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…
Great article. As are your other articles. I wish more people would research and do their homework before bringing an APBT into their life (and any other breed for that matter). I have done countless classes over the years with my dogs (some classes just to get the socialization, others to target obedience, rally, CGC, TDI and more recent nose work). During these year’s I’ve seen and heard so many say they have the same long term goal yet they think they’ve “got it” after just one class. It takes so much more and even once you’ve achieved your goal (at least for me) I have always continued classes just as refreshers. I work two job yet I always find time to work and exercise my dogs. So many “want” yet don’t want to “work” for that “want” – much of how you put in your article. It takes time, patience, money (for proper nurishment, vet care, training equipment etc). I was thankful last summer, my first time ever having my dog do WP, that other competitors and even the judge gave me helpful tips to work on – their taking that time was greatly appreciated by me. I have always done the obedience, CGC, TDI type events but have found an interest in the WP and also nose work. My overall goal with my dogs (esp. the two APBT) is to have others see what a great breed they are and what work and patience can achieve. I know I’ve had many see the breed in a new positive light because of the work I’ve put into mine (instead of how the media has portrayed). My dogs are my life and I’d do anything for them (and if you jump over to your Veterinarians article) that includes having a good relationship with our vet and doing research – especially as they age and medical issues arise. One has to be willing to devote their time whole heartedly – I get saddened and disgusted by those that dump their animals because of behaviors (that had they devoted time, exercise and training could have been avoided). Anyways its awesome your devotion to the APBT.
February 28, 2017
Good article! And i hope your just getting started as you mentioned, have many years to come.