Dog Creeping/Obedience at Tests VS Training
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Thread: Dog Creeping/Obedience at Tests VS Training

  1. #1
    Senior Member oneshotlu's Avatar
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    Default Dog Creeping/Obedience at Tests VS Training

    I just started AKC senior with my 16 month old black female. She had an obedience issue when we first started training and I posted on here about her whining problem a lot. I have mostly gotten that under control and in a training setting she is great at the line as far as obedience goes. Our first senior was a pass with no handles and a couple whistles on the blinds. She did great other than creeping about 5ft in front of me on the honor, which I have rarely seen her do in training. If she does I give her a pop on the a** with the heeling stick and she gets the idea. After the first senior, I bought some live ducks and worked on honor to correct the creeping issue even further. However, sure enough, we got to our second senior this weekend and what does she do? Creep about 5ft out in front on the honor. She also crept slightly at the line and I had to step up to send her. I'm afraid a few more tests and she'll either be breaking or creeping so bad I'm going to have to reheel her. We passed our first two tests, but by the water series of the 3rd test she was unruly at the line. I don't think I'm going to run anymore tests until I can figure out how to correct this behavior and keep her from becoming test wise. Does anyone have any ideas on how to correct this problem in training when the excitement level isn't near as high? I realize this is like beating a dead horse because this issue is so common, but any advice would help. Thanks!

    Alex

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    Senior Member Misty Marsh's Avatar
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    You have the right ideas about the dog being test wise, and discontinuing testing until you can better get a grip on it. A smart test wise dog can be a ongoing issue trust me, been there, fought it, and never get a real good hold on the problem. You can only try your best to recreate every aspect of a test/trial and correct as needed.

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    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    Take 2 steps back at the line in training and correct, and go back and do more obedience. Get her more conscious of being at heel and looking at you and where she is. Don't test again until she is with you.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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    Senior Member oneshotlu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErinsEdge View Post
    Take 2 steps back at the line in training and correct, and go back and do more obedience. Get her more conscious of being at heel and looking at you and where she is. Don't test again until she is with you.
    That's a great idea. Thank you!

  6. #5
    Senior Member oneshotlu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty Marsh View Post
    You have the right ideas about the dog being test wise, and discontinuing testing until you can better get a grip on it. A smart test wise dog can be a ongoing issue trust me, been there, fought it, and never get a real good hold on the problem. You can only try your best to recreate every aspect of a test/trial and correct as needed.
    Thanks, Misty. I agree. I am doing this for the fun of it, so I don't see any reason to rush through senior this spring and then have an even bigger issue going into master in the fall. Might as well take a few steps back, enjoy training, work on the problem, and then start again in the fall. I used to train alone more than I trained with people, I think this is part of the issue. Lately, I have been making a point to go with at least 2 or more people to train. She's starting to get more conditioned to all the excitement of other dogs (besides my own) and other people talking and making noises etc. I think stopping tests for now is a good idea. It will also save me some money!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
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    All of the above.... and be willing to eat your entry fee. The minute she creeps, put her lead on and tell the judges 'thank you'.

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    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErinsEdge View Post
    Take 2 steps back at the line in training and correct, and go back and do more obedience. Get her more conscious of being at heel and looking at you and where she is. Don't test again until she is with you.
    ^^^ this ^^^

    In addition - teach her that being calm gets her a retrieve and that it's not a "given" that she gets released every time she's on line.

    You can do this by staking her out to watch other dogs, making her honor or taking her to the line many, many times and arbitrarily not allowing her to retrieve. I call this type of exercise "the boy who cried wolf". If the boy cries wolf enough times people don't get excited then hey! a wolf!

    You can throw in an opposite behavior that earns the retrieve - many trainers teach their dog to back up a few steps before being released. A dog moving backward can't be moving forward at the same time.

    The big thing is not to just correct, correct, correct with her training equipment on but also teach her how to earn a retrieve with appropriate (calm) behavior.
    Darrin Greene

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    I learned a valuable lesson about OB at tests vs training last weekend. Obedience at the line was fine, but the holding blind and waiting for the holding blind was a different story. Ate my entry fee, contacted a professional, and we will work through it before entering any more tests... Essentially the solution is exactly what Darrin mentioned above. My dog needs to be taught what type of behavior is "rewarded" with a retrieve, and that every gunshot/bird isn't his.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Lynn Hanigan's Avatar
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    Your dog’s behavior is a typical response to coercion/intimidation type training.
    The end result of this type of approach is you want one thing and the dog wants something else.
    When you enter a test with all means of correction removed from the dog, you can expect the dog to do things her own way.
    The solution is to change the philosophy of your approach to obedience.
    Obviously hitting the dog with a stick is not working nor is punishing the dog for transgressions with any other tool.
    What you need to do is change the dog’s attitude toward your commands. If you can convince her that obeying you is in her best interests then she will see things your way and the conflict, as well as her attitude, goes away.
    The tool of choice is the e collar but instead of using it to punish, you should use it to motivate the dog to respect your command.

    Sit means sit
    Duckworth Retrievers

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    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Remember too: after the judge releases you, you are allowed to re-heel your dog. You might get marked down for trainability but you are not letting her get away with the creeping.
    Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981

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