Kimber has made some huge strides in the past few weeks. She is now almost 8 months old and we are into simple casting. She's also getting a good dose of singles from the winger and occasional BB help as well as lots of stand-alones and Y-drill.
I switched from Hillmann to TRT2 because I guess I was just to inept to get continue with the Hillmann program and had kind of hit a wall. I was wanting to follow through with the Hillmann program but was getting a little frustrated that I could not get the proper response and attitude from my pup needed.
Every step has been a new challenge and first time experience for me as a begginer. I was at times like a ship without sail being tossed around wondering if I was making big mistakes. However, I believe we have taken our time and progressed only when it was time according to her.
Since starting the TRT things have gone much smoother than expected and probably because of the foundation that the Hillmann puppy program gave us even if I didn't follow it perfectly.
Formal obedience went very well.
I was nervous to start FF due to the varying opinions on the ear pinch method and how it can effect your dogs attitude and your relationship. I have to say that it was overall an excellent experience for us both.
I learned so much about my pup. We worked on hold for two sessions on the tail gate then moved to the ground and after two more we were doing out basic obedience while holding a bumper. We then started on the tail gate of my mule and in the first session she was slightly reaching for the bumper and after two we were already moving to the ground.
The first little hiccup we had was in walking fetch. My timing was bad and the mechanics of it all just didn't flow. We got better and after about three sessions we moved to stick fetch.
For us it seemed that we learned every thing in 3s. 1 to figure out how it all worked and another to get the idea and the third to clean it all up.
Through the entire process so far she has maintained the best attitude and in many ways her attitude has improved greatly. I think it is because my attitude got better as I saw her light come on.
Then we got our second hiccup and I learned something about my pup and training that will help me from here on out.
One morning after a very good session and our last session of stick fetch I threw her a mark. She came to heel nicely and promptly dropped the bumper at my feet. Well I thought "WTH we just finished a great session of stick fetch...I though we were through this crap" I pinched her ear pretty good and she picked it up. Next mark.....dropped about 20 feet in front of me. Well.... It went down hill from there.
Ill stop here to say that Captainjack was very very helpful through this process and help me tremendously.
I learned that just because she knew something in one setting didn't mean she knew it in another. I also learned that with my pup butting heads and getting in a pissing match gets us nowhere but frustrated.
So I thought about the advise I was given and couldn't wait to get back in the field. First toss....Kimber came to heel and dropped. I put in her mouth, said "hold", gave her a little pat on the head, good girl and took the bumper. Well what would you know she hasn't dropped a bumper since!...
Almost the same thing happen with the first bird she had after stick fetch. I picked it up, put in her mouth, "hold", "good girl"....hasn't dropped a bird since.
We are now into simple casting and she's doing great but I'm in no hurry to move on. We both are having probably the most fun "training" that we've had in a while.
Her drive, desire and overall attitude is better than it's ever been. She is a goofy, crazy puppy still and I like it.
I was very nervous about going through the FF process and I know it's not done but it's been a great for both of us. I'm lucky I have a dog that is very forgiving and is able to overcome my stupid mistakes.
I know we will face more obstacles in the future and she will have to overcome more of my inept training to accomplish our goals but I'm in no hurry.
Last edited by Bryan Parks; 07-21-2016 at 04:47 PM.
I am in process as well training my first pup. It is definitely a process for both of us.
The 3 steps you mentioned are exactly what i am going through. And the key is to not get frustrated in the process (I am still learning this one).
Keep it up, sounds like you are headed in the right direction.
Joey's Clemson Tiger "Case"
(certified adrenaline junky, too jacked for her own good, best house dog though, go figure)
HBR's One Lucky Duck "Pearl"
(beastmode, calm and collected, ready to roll whenever, lapdog and sweetheart)
I can relate to most everything in your post, the frustrations, successes, and failures. We put so much time and effort in, we just want it to be perfect. Slowing down, staying calm, and not letting frustration ruin a session has made training very enjoyable for me and my pup. Keep at it, the really fun(sometimes frustrating) stuff is yet to come!