Originally Posted by DarrinGreene
To start with when I got this puppy, the one behavior I wanted to start early was the sit and I wanted a very crisp sit. I started from 8 weeks old by luring. Within a couple of weeks I introduced the whistle. I then "superconditioned" the whistle sit. All this done very close. Next I started to spring the whistle on her at other distances. All this was done initially with a food reward. Once I did this, I started to mark the whistle sit and then reward with a retrieve. I just let her go. Then I did whistle sit at a bigger distance, she would turn to look at me, and I would throw to different points around her. She started to learn that by looking more directly at me she would get a better look and quicker start for the retrieve. Then I started to shape the whistle sit when I did Mini T. I would never send her for the retrieve (i.e. cast) unless she gave me a straight sit. If it was crooked, I blew the whistle for come in and then stop quickly, then wait and then send. Now for the surprise. The last couple of times that I stopped her doing T, I just looked at her and did not send her. She then adjusted herself to a straight sit, I marked it and sent her.
The operant dog will try different behaviors to earn a reward. My dog was operant just by the fact that she tried a different sit position to get the retrieve. BTW, it is difficult to extremely difficult to do with a dog that has not had any training this way. I see it in my obedience class.
Superconditioning means that the response was made automatic.
What I think is also important is that every time I use the whistle, it is followed by a retrieve at some point, even at the line.
Teaching a square sit should be started early on in the program, stopping to a pile with a rope on the dog you can control the direction of sit easily. Whatever you as a trainer promote early in training will carry over to the mini t and then the big t and then to the field. If the dog sits crooked counter the direction with a tug on the rope the opposite direction. If they regress to crooked sits in transition work use the cast that is harder for them to turn to and they usually fix their own crooked sits thru training down the road. Sometimes a quick tweet tweet and a nick at same time if used in basics may help them also. Never had to resort to crazy things to fix a sit, don't reinvent the wheel just go back to basics...Randy
Randy, my respect to you. When you comment, I listen.
A little background on what I described: Luring---SOP in an obedience class; Superconditioning---term and procedure from Milner's book RETRIEVER TRAINING FOR THE DUCKHUNTER (1983); shaping---we are all shaping our dog's behavior, term also appears on P. 4 of Lardy's Training With Mike Lardy; reinforcing the sit and attention with a retrieve---from my mentor who trains Amish style who trained side by side with Augie Belmont and Roger Vasselais. We are all from Long Island. I feel that I just took what is old news and tweaked it. I have said in the past, I am not a pro, I am retired, I have time and I enjoy a little experiment.