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Thread: Is mouthing/freezing on the bird a genetic trait or learned behavior. Thoughts please

  1. #21
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    The dog completely zoned out, and couldn't be reached.
    It was mentally "gone". Might as well have been in a coma.

    I don't believe that a dog is able to consciously control this type of response.
    But, that doesn't mean that it isn't a conditioned response.
    In my experience, that describes the true 'freezing' as well. The dog is just not there any more. It's eyes are all bugged out and crazy--it is not seeing the handler.

  2. #22
    Senior Member RJG's Avatar
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    Many years ago my BLF Cleo (that's her in my avatar) went through a short time of freezing on the bird. I am sure I initiated it by taking a bird from her too quickly in a HT. In that case, she wasn't zoned out - 'knew' what she was doing (IMO) - "it's mine". We revisited the concept of 'drop' and fortunately with practice and corrections, she got over it. It was a nerve racking experience and I must always be very careful how I take the bird from her.
    Randall

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  3. #23
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I've only seen 2 (what I would consider) true freezes in my running experience; Interestingly enough both yellow dogs one male/one female. Both dogs had to be carried off the line, one handler in the back/one handler in the front. They wouldn't move; completely froze in a four leg stance and the dogs wouldn't respond to external stimuli; they just weren't there. Pretty freaky looks in their eyes. I've seen a few that had to be walked off line with a bird in their mouth, but they were still interacting with their handler; with a definite "this is mine" look. After seeing a frozen dog be carried off the line, I wouldn't call the "No; this is mine" look freezing.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 05-05-2014 at 11:50 AM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Jeff Bartlett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat daignault View Post
    In my opinion it is seen MOST of the time with amateur trainers/handlers and stems from the way they take the birds from the dog. Pulling or ripping from the dogs mouth and not being consistent from training to trials. If you really look close it's often the same people year after year with mouth problems with their dogs and quite often if they use a professional the professional does not have the problem. Again this was just my opinion and what I have seen in the last fourteen years never having one stick.
    I completely agree and I also think it comes from nit picking

  5. #25
    Senior Member limiman12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    I find freezing on the last bird to be the most fascinating behavior that can be exhibited in a Retriever.

    As far as whether it's genetic or conditioned, I believe that it's a classically conditioned behavior.
    Learning ability is genetic, while learning is not.

    The first time I witnessed a dog freezing on a bird up close, I was amazed.
    Clamming, internalizing, withdrawing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,none of those words really describe it.

    The dog completely zoned out, and couldn't be reached.
    It was mentally "gone". Might as well have been in a coma.

    I don't believe that a dog is able to consciously control this type of response.
    But, that doesn't mean that it isn't a conditioned response.

    And I think that I've seen just as many bitches do it, as I have males.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    In my experience, that describes the true 'freezing' as well. The dog is just not there any more. It's eyes are all bugged out and crazy--it is not seeing the handler.
    This is coming from a guy with PLs.....

    I am not saying that there is not some training holes that can cause sticking, but I agree with the above two quotes ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!

    I have seen several dogs from the same line that would freeze, All got that glazed over look....... Reminded me of what a dog that has been on point for a long time. Just "stoned"

    A dog that really points glazes over and freezes at a certain concentration of scent or what ever triggers the FREEZE behavior that is point in the upland. When they do it they can not be forced off of point.....

    I believe that at the end of a series the stimuli sometimes just hits the dog and the freeze behavior is a similar response to point.

    I am no way suggesting PLs are more likely to freeze on a bird, have never seen a dog truly freeze at a PL test, but not saying they are less likely either. Just saying the first time I saw a dog freeze up close I recognized the eyes being glazed, took a while to get it placed but on the way home that night it hit me, I truly think the true glazed over freeze is a expression of a similar behavior to pointing which is an epigenetics trait in labs IMO. It is there far more often then people realize, and is only expressed when it is allowed to develop, not saying I can train a flusher to point, but I guarantee I can train a pointer to flush, likewise I don't think every dog could be conditioned to freeze, but those with the genetic tendancy could be programmed not to if done early and correctly from ff on...... Jmho
    Last edited by limiman12; 05-05-2014 at 11:31 PM.
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  6. #26
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    You received a lot of sound thinking in the previous posts. One thing I think is that it helps to stress what hold means, prior to the pressure part of force fetching. I've had a couple chessies that have wanted to chomp or eat the bird and I didn't view that as a bad thing (I feel the same way around a snickers bar), but you have to instill in them what they are supposed to be doing, and that includes the release. Freezing is an issue I've seen others have, but have never witnessed anyone overcome it.

  7. #27
    Senior Member duckdawg27's Avatar
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    One thing I've noticed about the subject is that many times people are not talking apples to apples when it comes to freezing. Mouthing and even severely sticky are "NOT" the same thing as freezing. There may well be several "degrees" of it but most of the time you hear some "cues" . One of them is the "counting birds" and then the "glossy eyed look" and not letting go until back at the truck etc.

    I have only had one and that one was enough. I hope I never have another. The dog was already 5 and running Master HT when it developed. He had never ever done it in training and the first time he did it was during the third series of a test and was a complete surprise. There was no warning. No gradually "got worse" to it and force fetch training was years behind him. I offer only an opinion and it would be that it is NOT a training issue it is a behavioral issue. A behavior that is possibly brought on by stress not so necessarily by pressure. Most training issues can be corrected. Even if it were corrected by someone else. I have heard only recommendations of "how I would fix it" but I do not believe you will hear a "this is how I fixed it." I do not believe it can be fixed. I believe that you can only "band aid" the problem.
    Whether the "behavior" is transferable to offspring or not I do not have an opinion because I do not have enough "data". I trained several of that dog's sons and had no known issues but that does not mean much on such a limited sample size. I certainly think some behavioral traits can be passed along.
    Kenneth Farris

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  8. #28
    Senior Member roseberry's Avatar
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    everything is genetic!
    john mccallie

  9. #29
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    From my experience owning one dog that froze on birds, it is not hereditary. Neither the dog's parents, grandparents or offspring have showed this trait. It does have to do with control and being collar-wise. The dog that we owned will not freeze when wearing an e-collar and now is an excellent hunting dog with the collar on. He would count, do a triple and then a blind and freeze on returning with the blind bird. Had him with around 4 trainers, 2 of them for over a year. Don't believe the trainer who tells you they can fix anything. They can't.

  10. #30
    Senior Member limiman12's Avatar
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    Pat,

    Just because it hasn't been expressed for a couple generattions does not mean it is not genetic....
    Fritz Baier
    owned, trained and handled by:

    GMHRCH-II MPR Baier's Mighty Waldimar
    MHR CPR Baier's Lady Gabrielle
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