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Thread: Very Good Approach to "Creeping"

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jeffrey Towler's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this. I am going to try this with a high drive female lab I have been working with.



    JT

  2. #12
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    Thanks for posting.

  3. #13
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Great article! Thanks for sharing, Stan!

    Karen, I'm curious if your situation was like mine. My dog would creep 5' or 6' on honor and even broke on honor, but would not come close to this when she was the working dog.

    Here's what I finally figured out:

    When we are the working pair at the line, we line up like most do. She knows she must be at heel or re-heel herself from a slight creep before being sent. As said before, she knows it's her responsibility to take steps to be sent.

    While honoring, I was acting completely differently. I was standing sideways, whispering to her and generally letting her know we were not the working pair. In her mind, we were out of context, she had no responsibility to follow the normal steps to be steady before the reward. Once I guessed that may be the problem, I started standing as if we were the working pair during honor, even cued her with a soft "sit, mark". It was like a miracle. No more 4-6' creeps and no breaks. We practiced a lot in training with a friend and his dog for her to honor.

    Then the ultimate test - she was double staked in a senior and a master in one day. She went through two series of senior, getting 6 birds, then went through first 4 birds of the Master. The honor position was set between the dog and the marks. I was sweating bullets, but she did great. Crept two inches and reheeled herself. I was amazed.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    I can't get inside Pete's head on this but having spoken with him a bunch of times I get what he's doing pretty well.

    If I could add some detail (magazine articles can't be war and peace) to a great article, I teach these skills to a wide variety of completely inexperienced handlers and dogs in my obedience practice.

    One tip on getting the dog to move "Straight" back is to place the dog between yourself and a wall or fence line while also using a "suit case" leash (as was suggested) keep the back end in alignment.

    I also use a different verbal cue "back up" as opposed to "heel" when going straight back, simply because I like to parse things out a bit more for the dog. Heel can mean a lot of things in most trainer's language. Get in position, pivot backward, etc... I find that inexperienced handlers with totally green dogs have a better chance if I spell things out more clearly for them.

    I haven't talked to Pete in a while but I would imagine in the suggested process heel is meant to mean "maintain your position". I'm surely not arguing that logic. Pete has helped me numerous times with a wide variety of challenging problems, just by speaking to me on the phone. I just like to give the dog separate cues for each action so...

    When my dog comes back in to me I either say "left" or "right" to indicate what side I want him/her on... "back up" to back straight up, "heel" to mean pivot with me backward (push) and "here" to pivot with me forward (pull).

    Also, just to clarify for people who use the e-collar in a more "corrective" type manner, when the term "low level stimulation" is used here I believe (with 99% certainty) that Pete is referring to a level of stim that produces a change in the dog's behavior but with very little, if any physical or vocal reaction from the dog. You want to reinforce the behavior but preserve the dog's drive in this process, so if the ears go down and the dog vocalizes and goes flat on you, the stim level was probably too high.

    The idea is to promote and "Recondition" an appropriate response while the dog is in a high state of drive. If you hit the collar too hard and knock them out of that state of mind, you lose the effect.

    As one really great dog man once told me "Teach her to think in that state of mind". Meaning make the right decisions when she was extremely excited.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 04-25-2014 at 07:44 AM.
    Darrin Greene

  5. #15
    Senior Member Maxs Mom's Avatar
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    I find this interesting. I have not had a big issue with creeping, but my dog is high drive, and she knows she is a lot smarter than I am. She is trained in "obedience" and does have good obedience in the field but it is a firm handle that keeps her in line. She LOVES the game. I want to work on this.

    My question.... Darrin you say you teach new handlers to do this and to give the command "back up". I have been corrected by my trainer using that word since "back" has a very specific meaning in field training. Dogs are situational, so I am very careful to not use anything with "back" when training field unless I am sending my dog on a blind, pile etc. Does "back up" confuse the dogs in the field?? I know I can use any word as long as I am consistant. Just wondering..... My dog understands back up (not necessarily in heel position) I want to clarify the command and behavior. I know it will come in handy especially in the field.

    I am a new handler, this is my first dog. She is pretty awesome. Ran my first senior test last summer. I was a nervous nellie. First was a walk up then the shot flyer. I thought for SURE my dog would break on the walk up (nope she is well trained thanks to my trainers help) then when we had to turn for the flyer... I was talking with the judge after the briefing, he said when I pivot "step back". Sure enough, I step back and my dog pivoted backward. She does know... I just don't know all she knows...if you get my meaning. I have a good trainer who has put some good time into her.

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  6. #16
    Senior Member Karen Klotthor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Great article! Thanks for sharing, Stan!

    Karen, I'm curious if your situation was like mine. My dog would creep 5' or 6' on honor and even broke on honor, but would not come close to this when she was the working dog.

    Here's what I finally figured out:

    When we are the working pair at the line, we line up like most do. She knows she must be at heel or re-heel herself from a slight creep before being sent. As said before, she knows it's her responsibility to take steps to be sent.

    While honoring, I was acting completely differently. I was standing sideways, whispering to her and generally letting her know we were not the working pair. In her mind, we were out of context, she had no responsibility to follow the normal steps to be steady before the reward. Once I guessed that may be the problem, I started standing as if we were the working pair during honor, even cued her with a soft "sit, mark". It was like a miracle. No more 4-6' creeps and no breaks. We practiced a lot in training with a friend and his dog for her to honor.

    Then the ultimate test - she was double staked in a senior and a master in one day. She went through two series of senior, getting 6 birds, then went through first 4 birds of the Master. The honor position was set between the dog and the marks. I was sweating bullets, but she did great. Crept two inches and reheeled herself. I was amazed.
    Jennifer, I learned to stand also on honor unless the judges tell you to sit. I started this drill and every time in training when a bird game out I took a step back and said Heel until she got the message. Than started just taking that step without saying anything. Just standing on the honor will not always work. She heels on my left so now on honor I just barely move my left foot back and she steps back. This slight movement is not distracting to the working dog and I try not to say too much to her. It just makes her more excited if do. Hopefully , since I just bred , it might slow her down some.

  7. #17
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxs Mom View Post
    I find this interesting. I have not had a big issue with creeping, but my dog is high drive, and she knows she is a lot smarter than I am. She is trained in "obedience" and does have good obedience in the field but it is a firm handle that keeps her in line. She LOVES the game. I want to work on this.

    My question.... Darrin you say you teach new handlers to do this and to give the command "back up". I have been corrected by my trainer using that word since "back" has a very specific meaning in field training. Dogs are situational, so I am very careful to not use anything with "back" when training field unless I am sending my dog on a blind, pile etc. Does "back up" confuse the dogs in the field?? I know I can use any word as long as I am consistant. Just wondering..... My dog understands back up (not necessarily in heel position) I want to clarify the command and behavior. I know it will come in handy especially in the field.

    I am a new handler, this is my first dog. She is pretty awesome. Ran my first senior test last summer. I was a nervous nellie. First was a walk up then the shot flyer. I thought for SURE my dog would break on the walk up (nope she is well trained thanks to my trainers help) then when we had to turn for the flyer... I was talking with the judge after the briefing, he said when I pivot "step back". Sure enough, I step back and my dog pivoted backward. She does know... I just don't know all she knows...if you get my meaning. I have a good trainer who has put some good time into her.

    Ann
    Ann, saying "reverse" or even just using "heel" with a step straight back is just fine and will produce the clarity your trainer is looking for between "back up" and "back".

    In my case I use "back up" and "back" with different body language and since the body language is more influential than the verbal cue, there is no confusion.
    Darrin Greene

  8. #18
    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    Darrin, doesn't the same thing apply to heel? Your body language is different so the dogs going to clue in on that.

    Seems like heel should mean the relative position beside you with his front feet in line with your legs/heel and his head beside your knee facing squarely forward. So if you back up, the heel command should keep the dog in that position relative to you. So heel would be used as a command for the dog to get in and remain in that relative position. At the line it would mean to square up with you in that specific location. Perhaps using here to pull him forward to you if he's too far back.

    If you want to back the dog up independent of your movement you'd need another command.

    Not trying to be critical, just trying to understand.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Beil View Post
    Darrin, doesn't the same thing apply to heel? Your body language is different so the dogs going to clue in on that.

    Seems like heel should mean the relative position beside you with his front feet in line with your legs/heel and his head beside your knee facing squarely forward. So if you back up, the heel command should keep the dog in that position relative to you. So heel would be used as a command for the dog to get in and remain in that relative position. At the line it would mean to square up with you in that specific location. Perhaps using here to pull him forward to you if he's too far back.

    If you want to back the dog up independent of your movement you'd need another command.

    Not trying to be critical, just trying to understand.
    That's the way most people do it and it works fine Jerry. Heel = maintain your position.

    I so some things differently because my dogs are 95% obedience demo dogs and 5% hunting test retrievers.

    I design my obedience to accommodate consumers more-so than myself. I even say "stay" to people's dogs because I learned that a large percentage of them, whether I taught them to do it or not, would be saying "stay" when I wasn't around and the dog wouldn't get it because it wasn't being trained properly.
    Darrin Greene

  10. #20
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Great article! Thanks for sharing, Stan!

    Karen, I'm curious if your situation was like mine. My dog would creep 5' or 6' on honor and even broke on honor, but would not come close to this when she was the working dog.

    Here's what I finally figured out:

    When we are the working pair at the line, we line up like most do. She knows she must be at heel or re-heel herself from a slight creep before being sent. As said before, she knows it's her responsibility to take steps to be sent.

    While honoring, I was acting completely differently. I was standing sideways, whispering to her and generally letting her know we were not the working pair. In her mind, we were out of context, she had no responsibility to follow the normal steps to be steady before the reward. Once I guessed that may be the problem, I started standing as if we were the working pair during honor, even cued her with a soft "sit, mark". It was like a miracle. No more 4-6' creeps and no breaks. We practiced a lot in training with a friend and his dog for her to honor.

    Then the ultimate test - she was double staked in a senior and a master in one day. She went through two series of senior, getting 6 birds, then went through first 4 birds of the Master. The honor position was set between the dog and the marks. I was sweating bullets, but she did great. Crept two inches and reheeled herself. I was amazed.
    I have the flip side of this one. A high drive dog that could keep it together on the marks but was 2-2 in SH - 2-2 in breaking on honor. We have not run in a test since last November. We did run test dog a couple weeks ago and survived two honors and a walkup flyer, so maybe we are making some progress.

    In conjunction with my pro, I took a two-pronged approach to the problem. First, I went back and really reinforced the fact that he is not to leave the line, even if I call his name or say back, unless my hand is down, and the consequences for doing so are dire. Obviously I will never put my hand down on honor, so hopefully that helps.

    My dog is two-sided, so what I have also done is started pretty much working him off the left side. This means that we honor on the right side. The message of course being that you never get to go from the right side, so just cool your engines there big fella. I also turn sideways into him, because I never send him like that either. This dog is going to break every once in a while, but obviously you'd like it to be the rare exception rather than the rule. We will see this fall when we ramp up enough courage to run again.

    Another thing that helps is to heed Mr. Rorem's advice that it all starts on the way to and in the holding blind. If you get control of it there, it will help out everywhere else. I wish I would have really understood what he meant about 2 years ago. Along with what "sit means sit" really means.
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