Thank you so much Randy for this thread and the distribution of your knowledge. Have you or anyone else out there employed a chain gang close to the line of a training set up for young pups (ten weeks and older) to get the young dogs used to watching marks and knowing that all of the marks they see aren't for them?
The correction I use is what they've been trained on prior...Collar Condition sit nick...heel nick...here nick..most of the corrections are done prior to getting to the line. Remember very little correction is needed because you can change the dogs mind, the dog doesn't want to get corrected again but if you correct them and it's still not the reaction you wanted wait them out.
Example:True Story...Candidate was a Running With The Devil male 3 yrs of age, I corrected on a heel because the dog was forging, reaction on his part was 75% effort on coming back to me.(collar by my knee is my standard) I watched his eyes and I saw him glance over quickly to probably see if I was coming with him or exactly why I wasn't by HIS SIDE. From his reaction I knew that he knew he was wrong and he was digging in his heels and he wasn't coming back to me.
WHAT TO DO NEXT IS VITAL TO SUCCESS: DON'T MOVE AN INCH.. I waited for him to come back by my side about 10 minutes, I grabbed my phone and text clients about next days training, about todays training, text my mom said HI, and the whole time what I was doing was waiting for the dog to change his mental state of mind. I said the command once with a correction,heel nick...FINALLY (between texts) I saw his eyes looking up towards me and he finally laid his ears back little by little and he decided to come back to my knee, prior to that he didn't care but I waited him out with no physical contact except 1 tap on the collar. What happens next is the neat part, does the dog forge again?? you bet..do I stop and wait you bet, how long did it take until the dog came back by my side the 2nd time?? About 5 seconds because he knew I wasn't giving in.. I WIN!!! Are they all that mentally tough? Course Not but that's what he needed done. This is why most pros don't take on dogs like this because of time,but it works.
Thanks for your emphasis on being patient.
Amongst other ideas, what I got out of this, that is new to me, is waiting them out for that period of time.
My older dog (now retired ) is one of those fire breathers. I wish I'd had this knowledge back when he was a youngster.
I'm sure I'll be applying this stuff with my 10 month old.
Thanks for the help Randy.
If only more parents understood and acted on this concept. Mean what you say and enforce it. If its not worth the effort to enforce, don't say it to begin with. With dogs or children, sounds simple, but it's not so easy to remember to uniformly enforce a standard. It's definitely the right thing to do, but follow through is another thing. If you don't believe your dog needs standards, just watch a 3 year old child manipulating his parents in a store, listen to the number of times a parent will repeat the same command with no attention from the child, listen to every escalating threat be ignored while the bad behavior continues. Thanks Randy! I'm committed to uphold the standards but I know I'm not consistent enough....yet...
Your opportunity to train with all of those dogs and pros is invaluable. Thank you for your interest in the retriever game and thank you for trying to get us to look 'outside' of the box.
Unfortunately, in the hunt test/field trial world there is no set training standard and no 'school' you can go to and learn to train your dog. Just try and get someone who has competitive dogs to teach you! Finding someone with knowledge and the grounds to train these very talented dogs is HARD, VERY HARD.
Programs such as Carr/Farmer/Aycock are all very much 'pressure' based programs. Lardy's program is a little less pressure base and Bill Hillmann's puppy video is the best low pressure training method I've seen.
We tried everything with my noisy, fire breathing dog to make him comply with sit. Pinch collars, nicks, sticks, wiffle ball bats, platforms you name it. My training partners called it Rip's 'chamber of horrors'. I finally took him to Bill Hillmann, and he kept Rip a month and came back and showed me something that changed the way I trained my dogs. He said that the dog was a mental wreck on the line, but he was still willing to endure it all to get the retrieve. That's when Bill's puppy video came out, so I spent the next few months retraining Rip.
I was convinced that he really did not understand what 'sit' meant. He always had forward movement when a mark was thrown. So I started from step one of Bill's puppy video. I never let him make a retrieve if he even moved a muscle. I just went and picked it up and threw again. He would move just when the gun went off, so he would sit and listen to gunshot after gunshot with a few retrieves mixed in.
I would watch him every time I threw it, and when I caught him sitting calmly and relaxed with no movement, I would say 'GOOD DOG' and then walk over to him and send him for the retrieve. It was amazing to watch the look on his face, like 'that's what you wanted'. Training after that was fun. He now knew the rules.
If you have to use many nicks or resort to a stick to make your dog sit or heel, then your dog has not been properly taught to comply with your commands. Go back and read everything that Randy wrote. When the dog complies with your standards, then proceed. Until then the dog is running the show.
Darren, I went and watched the 'Michael Ellis' videos and was very impressed. What a beautiful world it would be for our young fire breathing dragons to learn without whips and e-collars. His statement in the video that the easiest dogs to train were the high ones. Wow! The idea of turning the high prey drive around and working for you instead of against you would be amazing. I hope you can teach me how to train a competitive retriever one day with those methods!
That is where our problem lies with testing and our dogs getting out of control or 'test wise'. Since we rely so heavily on collars to train our dogs, when the collar is 'off' all weekend at a test or trial the high dogs come unglued. I am finding that the better teacher/trainer that I become, the less I need to use the e-collar.
Good training and good thread. I, like Randy, am willing to help. If you are in my area, come by and train!
If you have a food motivated dog, doing OB with the food bowl down is a good way to work with a dog that is in drive. I have found that it translates into the field as well. I have not trained that many dogs, but all of the ones I have had are high and will drive the bus if given the opportunity. Doing drills with the food bowl down requires them to focus on me when they would rather focus on the food. The first few times were very telling and the behavior similar to FT behavior. Now, the OB is part of the feeding chain. I put down the bowl and she looks at me instead of the bowl. I do here, heel, sit, down, until I get good effort, then release to eat. Interestingly, after several months of this, she started getting silly and made a game of the OB. Sillyness is not effort, so I just stop and wait a couple of minutes, then continue. I transferred the same drills as a warmup to field training and before we go to the line at a trial. It just another training opportunity where you can demand high standards in the presence of a major distraction.
leemac.....( Have you or anyone else out there employed a chain gang close to the line of a training set up for young pups (ten weeks and older) to get the young dogs used to watching marks and knowing that all of the marks they see aren't for them?)
While researching the "noisey firebreather", I found that Charles Jurney uses the chain gang with success while training young dogs. I train with a small group of about 12 dogs, with 4 of them being noisey along with my firebreather. While we tried the chain gang and still use it, I found out that I got better results leaving my dog in her crate in the vehicle. The other dogs are still whining while on the chain gang, mine is quiet in the crate. Hope this helps.
One of the problem areas in field trials anyway most of these "ground pounders or Firebreathers" are great markers. We as amateur trainers like those ribbons. The trial game is very difficult at best and we start them off in the minor stakes (derby) we win or place and put them on the Derby List. We deal with the creeping, noise, not heeling to the line etc the best we can. We make them "test wise" now we want to fix it after all that excitement over a two year period. We watch while they do none of the antics in training, so we have nothing to work on except toenail moves dog gets corrected (slight movement in inches because feet in trial) We bust dog on the butt with the stick, we bring dog to the line, any noise dog gets put up, we stake dog out while other dogs work, we shoot many flyers, we use popper guns, we train in large groups to duplicate trial/test conditons and the list goes on and on. We go to the trial on the weekend and maybe get a few series in without problems, then the roof caves in by Sunday (especially in the all-age) but we are winning the trial. We take our ribbon and we think it's really great until the following weekend, then it starts all over again. More pressure is applied, dog starts sticking on birds(push in one area something else comes out) dog now runs out of the holding blind to the line leaving you standing trying to heel, heel, here here , your dog. You finaly get the the line and maybe the dog smacks the marks or the hampsters run around in the cage and the dog doesn't see anything but the flyer.
The above can be applied to the Hunt Test game too. I have been there and done that many times with some truley great dogs including one National Open Finalist. I just wonder how many of those 2nd places or JAMS were really wins but, due to line manners, noise, etc. well you will never no. I just don't seem to learn, but now I am a old man and have a young talented Derby dog who has run one derby and was pulled in the third series because I didn't like her demeanor! I may never run her in another Derby and just train for the all-age until she is ready to run. Maybe I have learned my lesson after all these years and maybe not I sure love those ribbons!
Randy has the best advice and obviously is very sucessful , start young keep the standard up and get to know what you have or get a experienced amateur or professional to evaluate. There is a difference between a puppy whine with excitement or whinning as they go for the bird vrs a very potential serious noise problem . That Derby, Junior, Started don't mean nothing if the risk is great down the road.
One man's opinion.