Kevin (AFC Coolwater’s Hawkeye aka “Legend” X AFC Coolwater’s Storm Chaser aka “Chase”) is 6 months old today.
I have been training him in a manner modeling his training very closely to Bill Hillman’s puppy video. I did not steady him to sit as Bill does, but wish now I had. I have done OB and FF’ed many dogs for a lot of clients and a reasonably successfully pro trainer and this is the first I have done this with very little of what we traditionally call pressure, just almost all positive. He is my dog and although he was somewhat expensive, and worth it, I had little to lose in trying a different method. From the start he was very intelligent, birdy, attentive with a lot of eye contact and seemed easy to train. I have done enough of them in the more traditional manner that my back up plan was to go that route if I was not satisfied where we were headed.
I have him CC’ed to HERE, HEEL, and SIT and his OB is pretty good but not great. That is by design. i wanted to keep him crazy for retrieving, knowing I could slow him down later. You will see in the videos, he is ready to go. I will tighten it up in the next few weeks.
Normally I am just starting Hold and Fetch at this age because of teething, but we have moved right through this at an earlier than “normal” age and not far from really getting into field training. He retrieves Bumper Boy marks already at 150 yards, we just have not worked real hard on proper delivery in the field. If he can mark, I hope to have a competitive candidate with this guy. The DNA is there for sure.
I used a Dokken for these videos because the guts were falling out of my duck and I did not have any more thawed.
You can see that he drops the Dokken a couple times but immediately picks it right back up. I think his mouth is a little sore from teething now, but all positive comments and praise from me and he does his job. Return SIT is a little off position but he moves with me to correct it. All of these little things will resolve themselves over time with repetition.
Kevin so far is giving me a lot of reason to go the “Hillman” route on my next few dogs.
Nice videos Mike.We are doing the same here using Hillman's for the first time
I'm extremely happy where were at.At nine months were through both single and doublet
Starting swim by using Hillman's also and he's just cruising through everything.I think I may have one of those "once in a lifetime dogs".
I'm going to slow down and review everything with Him.Were using BumperBoys also and His marking ability is fair so were working on that as well.I'm hooked on Bill Hillman's method money well spent.
When you guys are using the Hillman puppy method in the first couple of days did you use a release command for the puppy to know he can get up? I can't tell from the video if he uses a consistent release command or just excitement to communicate to the dog he can get up. Later, when the pup retrieves, he says to use the pups name or back or fetch. Wasn't sure how to release the pup in the early stages of puppy training. I usually have a release command and am thinking I should still use it from day one. Any comments? Thanks
He makes a point of not letting the pup come to him. That is how he gets the real solid sit.
Watch the beginning again and see that he always goes to the pup when he is sitting.
I did not do this with Kevin. Wish I had. I was wanting to be sure he had a lot of go go go and I know I can slow him down and get the line manners I need. As it turns out, he has plenty of drive and is very trainable and intelligent and I could have done exactly like Bill does and still had the drive.
Originally Posted by M Hassman
Originally Posted by Mike Perry
I think you're on the right track. In addition to what Mike says, I believe Hillmann consistently communicates the end of the "sit" (release) with "Let's Go" as he steps off with the pup for the next activity in the session ... or the end of the session where Bill usually goes for a walk off leash, with less structure, to explore and have fun.
Mike, nice bold pup, I like him.
You'll be clicker training that sit position next! :)
LOL why not Eug? I use a verbal marker system that's the exact same thing and it works great.
Originally Posted by Colonel Blimp
We've only seen Kevin in a couple of video clips, but to my mind he'd be a natural; bright and willing. I don't teach the basic body movements any other way now, but Mike is free to choose and won't mind me pulling his leg a bit.