You are correct in that the dog is ultimately in charge of the decision making. Making the right decision ultimately gets him what he wants.
Originally Posted by sixpacklabs
My point here is that the 'fire breathing dog' we are discussing is focused on what 'he' wants and not what the 'master' wants, therefore, the dog is in the driver's seat.
Randy seems to have found the lack of obedience and lack of focus on the 'master' here and now can work on redirecting that focus back on the handler.
Once focus is redirected to the master, the noise should be drastically reduced. The 'master' will now be in control of every facet of the dog's life beginning at home. 'Master' tells dog when to get out of crate/truck, not 'dog'. 'Master' tells dog when to eat, not 'dog'. 'Master' goes through door first, not 'dog' etc.
In the field redirect focus to 'master' not 'marks'. Dog gets 'marks' when he has done what 'master' directs. For you 'treat' oriented trainers which I am not opposed to at all, my 'fire breathing dragon' won't touch a treat when there is a bumper down, much less a bird. So for them the 'treat' is the 'retrieve'. You can also use a marker such as 'good' when they actually are doing what you want.
Remember that each dog is different and the amount of obedience will vary from dog to dog. No obedience does not diminish desire, it simply controls it. And yes, most of this can be done with very little collar correction, but the varies from dog to dog also.
Once last point that 'fire breathing dragon' owners need to remember is that the dog does need to release his immense energy frequently. Don't expect them to sit for hours.....it is simply not fair. They need to run and explode just like a kid at recess. So give them plenty of 'recesses' whether it is fun bumpers, 4 wheeling, biking whatever you and they enjoy!
This has been a very informative thread.
I'm a new trainer, too, but I do want to comment on this statement.
I disagree. I firmly believe, in all dog sport venues, that it's not the corrections they get that takes the drive out of dogs, it's the corrections they get that they don't understand.
Maybe just true of goldens, dunno, never trained a lab. But a well deserved correction, given in a timely manner, is typically not a problem. When you have a problem is when the dog doesn't know what he did to deserve the correction. (As in your example, if the dog thought he was being corrected for retrieving, it might cause an issue. If the dog KNEW he was being corrected for going before being sent, no problem).
Originally Posted by dpate
There's obedience and then there's obedience. The obedience I routinely see applied to retrievers, much like the rest of the training process, tends to be almost completely based in compulsion (corrections) once the dog reaches field maturity. This method definitely reins in the high drive dog and puts him in a frame of mind where compliance is more likely, hence the success of strong (compulsion based) obedience in the trial world. Also, consistency and the patience to "win the battle of wills" that Randy was talking about will definitely create a new set of habits in a dog if they are not there already. Randy and many others here have been very successful with those methods. Randy in particular with the high drive models we all love so much.
Originally Posted by dpate
We also hear routinely though about dogs that are good in training and otherwise (who knows what those standards are or how consistent) and then blow up at a trial. I think the main reason for this is drive. The drive that comes on in that environment can be very hard to recreate in training and if someone has been squashing the dog in training, they sometimes lose their minds with all the excitement at a trial/test.
I think a balanced and consistent approach to obedience would have some legs in terms of helping folks with that problem. Randy, Tammy and many others here have working approaches but they are experienced folks with many many dogs and tests under their belt. I think some of the less experienced folks (myself included) benefit from thinking about teaching dogs to think and perform in a high drive state outside the test environment, where you really can't train.
The patience and clear cut consistency you hear in Randy's step by step process (correct for movement ONLY, let the dog figure out the rest on his own) is by and large lost on a lot of people. That's why you hear of so many problems with these kinds of issues. Until I spent all day every day with a truck load of dogs to train I had no IDEA what patience and consistency really meant. Thanks to that experience and a bunch of good trainers I worked for/with, I learned.
I am simply putting another point of view out here based on the obedience and other work done in other worlds/sports such as Schutzund, competitive obedience and detection dogs. I think a more balanced approach to rewards/corrections would be useful for our world and also in others. Some trainers rely almost exclusively on rewards to accomplish their task, others rely on compulsion (correction). To rely on one too heavily at the expense of the other, in my mind anyway, is to handicap yourself.
People here aren't going to change by and large. No way, shape or form for many who have accomplishments far outreaching my own. I could have equal accomplishments and people are still going to do what they believe is right based on their experiences and what they have been taught by mentors and other sources.
I just thought this was an opportunity for good discussion and it has been.
Oh man.....love this thread.....brings back so many memories!!!!
Originally Posted by Randy Bohn
Thanks for the step by step! Very informative!
Step 5) Most important thing to watch for is a change in the dogs attitude, is he still fighting you or did you really break him down?
After this puppy calmed down we walked him under control to the truck and put him away for a few minutes, went thru the same process again from the truck to the honor box doing obedience and making sure the dog is now considering the owner a part of the team...if they don't watch or pay attention to you the battle is being lost by you. When the puppy was calm we pretended that the next working dog was going to run, pup on honor mat, working dog on mat and shot the marks. Mentally the pup said that mark isn't for me it's for the other dog, proceeded to send the puppy and guess what??? Noise was gone!! We took him out of his element and put him back into ours. Received him with a nice slow and controlled delivery and shot another mark, he whined a little and we immediately went into obedience mode and put him back to the state of mind of paying attention to the handler.Working dog came back shot another mark and the puppy was quiet so the owner sent the dog. Piece of cake...
Step 6) If this is all new to you make sure all steps are 100% before moving on!!!
Always use the same chaining of events from now on, your group has to understand that you need your space awhile so your dog may not get marks till you and the dog are aligned. If you have to work on obedience take your dog out to the station with you and while your shooting and throwing make him do a sit and stay, shooting flyers while your dog is at a sit is awesome obedience work. Who do you think would win that battle of wills, you or your dog??
That's pretty much the story of our little crazy 10 month old puppy, that process took about 7 days to complete, the first few steps if it's your first challenging dog can be mentally demanding to say the least. more to come...
My fire breather became vocal at 6 months (last April) right about the time the formal obedience started. She was always quiet and steady up to this point on marks. At a marking session, she got some really nice exciting retrieves and was totally quiet & steady. The next she was vocal at the line which continued all summer. Knowing that this is the worst possible nightmare to have, I started researching and trying different methods to eliminate the noise. After working on this all summer (very frustrating), the noise appears to be gone. What appears to have worked for me was (1) Total obedience, in the house, in the yard and in the field. I hold her and myself to a high standard. Sit, here & heel.This includes walking out the door, entering/exiting the vehicle, walking to the holding blind, etc. (2) Lots of single marks, any noise, no retrieve. I also used Lardy's method of 4-5 single marks with noise, and then one more mark with no noise. She would be vocal on the marks with noise, but however it works, she would be quiet on the last mark and I would then send her. By doing this, I was able to create an atmosphere to train in and teach her what I wanted. (3) NO TESTS. As much as I wanted to, knowing she could compete, I didn't. I was working too hard to eliminate this problem. I had also decided to let her mature some.
As she progressed and got better, I decided to take her dove hunting in September with my older dog to see where I was at in the training. If she got vocal, she wouldn't hunt the rest of the fall. Both dogs honored and were steady with no problems. Because of no calling of doves, the shots were not expected by the dogs and she wouldn't have a chance to think about the mark. Also with my numerous misses, the dogs were surrounded by excitement. Every now and then I got lucky and shot a dove and would then send one of the dogs. She whined quietly once, received a "sit" correction, then shut up and has not whined since. Even in training, she has not whined on marks. I decided to duck hunt in October with her, this time calling. Here again, plenty of noise and numerous misses, no noisefrom her. When I did get lucky, she got the retrieve. I have not had any noise since early September. What she has learned is that not every mark is hers and if she is quiet, she will get a retrieve. Now, I do not consider her fixed, as I will be running her in tests next spring. I already plan on pulling her at the line if she gets vocal, time will tell. Hope this helps.
Bottom line for most noise and line issues are the owners, we all love our dogs but when we work we work when we play we play. Amateur time is crucial but don't put the retrieve before obedience if you have issues with the dog already.
Young dogs with noise issues you must be careful with, there is no dvd or tape that teaches you how to read dogs, I've seen people really hammer down on pups and they don't forget.
Older dogs that need to be rehabbed are just plain thick headed, usually they have been allowed to become what you really don't want them to be for so long it's a trained response for them.
I wrote down a list of dogs that I've had come in to be rehabbed in the past 6 years and out of the appr. 30 dogs thru here 1/3 of them were Running With The Devil lines, tough tough dogs. If you have one of those dogs high standards are a must, BUT when you get them repaired they're a beautiful sight to watch and to run.
I had one private email sent that said his dog marks better when he doesn't get corrected with a whiffle ball bat on line...probably right but if you got hammered with a bat you couldn't do your job properly either. Are you fixing the problem or putting a band aid on the problem using a whip or bat??
Good Luck everyone...it's not that hard just dig in your heels and be more stubborn than your dog...Randy
Anyone have questions fire away here or pm, will answer real early or later in the day...Randy