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Thread: Does 100% positive reinforcement retriever training exist?

  1. #1
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    Default Does 100% positive reinforcement retriever training exist?

    I might be opening up a can of worms here, but here goes...

    Cannyn my 4.5 month old female golden retriever is finishing up some puppy obedience group classes while I am going through Jackie's Sound Beginnings with her on my own. The trainer of the class knows she is field bred and will be sent to retriever training once she is 6th months. She asked my girlfriend who was with me if she was going to a positive reinforcement trainer, like 100% positive retriever trainer. This group of trainers is the typical always positive, no negative ever training type that you would expect from an obedience trainer. I am fine with giving my pup some negative reinforcement, and know she will definitely go through it during FF and collar conditioning etc.. I think it is expected in the gun dog retriever world.


    My questions is does 100% positive reinforcement retriever trainers or programs even exist? I feel as though anyone outside of the retriever training world is naive and soft to think that any other way of training a retriever is possible.


    On a side-note, it finally warmed up enough to get her actually swimming in the water this weekend. She had her first water single on a bumper, I was so proud!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Charles C.'s Avatar
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    I'm not sure it exists, and even if it did, I have my doubts about how effective it would be. Probably the closest thing you would find would be Hillman, who uses a "soft collar" method, but it's still a long way from positive only.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    I have news for your pet smart trainer. There is no such thing as 100% positive dog training period.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

    https://www.facebook.com/BlackIceRetrievers
    http://gundog2002.blogspot.com/
    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

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    Member teacher504's Avatar
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    danjor,

    I know and train on occasion with a fella named Lindsay Ridgeway. He is by far...and I mean by far, the person who knows more about this than anyone I can think of. I am not advocating training by this approach, by any means. I think that a balanced approached of positive reinforcement, attrition, and timely corrections has proven itself to be far more productive, efficient, and, perhaps even, ethical method than trying to eliminate all corrections or aversives (is that a word?).

    However, to answer your questions about a 100% positive training approach and with goldens in particular, Lindsay is no doubt the guy you should talk to first. He is intelligent and kind, as well. He'd be honored to discuss this topic with you. He is not on RTF and if you private message me, I'll send his contact info. I've already contacted him and gotten his okay.

    Lastly, be careful what you wish for.
    Bobby Baldwin
    Troy Creek Chesapeakes
    www.troycreekchesapeakes.com
    Fredericksburg, VA

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002 View Post
    I have news for your pet smart trainer. There is no such thing as 100% positive dog training period.

    /Paul
    Stop being so negative, I positively couldn't resist, sorry.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckstruck View Post
    Stop being so negative, I positively couldn't resist, sorry.
    If I withhold the truth then that would be negative, therefore telling the truth is a positive even if the truth is negative.

    /paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

    https://www.facebook.com/BlackIceRetrievers
    http://gundog2002.blogspot.com/
    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    I don't mean to read into your post, and may be totally off on this, but if you're concerned about your dog being able to handle conventional training because she is a Golden, don't be. Golden's, by and large train very much the same as Labs. To be sure there are some soft dogs that might not handle the pressure as well as most Labs, but most Golden's out of field lines do just fine in well proven conventional training programs. I have had six Golden's over the past 20 years, only one was too soft, the rest have all done very well.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002 View Post
    If I withhold the truth then that would be negative, therefore telling the truth is a positive even if the truth is negative.

    /paul
    Would that be true if the truth were in fact a piece of chicken ?

    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john fallon View Post
    Would that be true if the truth were in fact a piece of chicken ?

    john
    Your highlighting the fact that the truth being a positive or a negative is completely in the opinion of the one receiving it.

    /paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

    https://www.facebook.com/BlackIceRetrievers
    http://gundog2002.blogspot.com/
    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    I don't mean to read into your post, and may be totally off on this, but if you're concerned about your dog being able to handle conventional training because she is a Golden, don't be. Golden's, by and large train very much the same as Labs. To be sure there are some soft dogs that might not handle the pressure as well as most Labs, but most Golden's out of field lines do just fine in well proven conventional training programs. I have had six Golden's over the past 20 years, only one was too soft, the rest have all done very well.

    John


    In noo way am I worried about my golden. I know she will be tough and handle training well. I am in no way worried about her, I plan for my dog to be trained the good ole traditional way. I started this thread out of pure curiosity. Since I had never talked to or read of a retriever trainer who didnt use ecollars or FF.

    Why is it that the modern/casual obedience trainer believes so strongly against the things that are staples in our side of the game? Is it simply the fact of what the dogs are bred for, job is, etc. A dog that has to work in the field needs that adversity to perform correctly, as where a house dog would never require that type of training.

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