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Thread: Time for FF?

  1. #1
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    Default Time for FF?

    Pup is about 7 months - all teeth are in. Birdy but not CRAZY (how I would prefer) and likes to retrieve ... does not seam to LOVE to retrieve.

    Drive is good heading out for a bumper ... then the usual post on RTF regarding pups occurs ... either picks it up and lays down with it or / just sniffs around it and walks away. EVEN in water - the same occurs. He will swim out witha big wake and then fiddle with the bumper and leave it out there floating.

    Long line? I know ... on land and water / The slightests nudge back towards me with the rope once he has the bumper in his mouth makes him drop it. Happy encouragement - tried it of course.

    My instinct is to try to build drive a bit ... more bird exposure ... fun bumpers (like puppy marks) and just making it exciting ... but ... as the weeks go on - FF is looking more and more tempting. Feel like I've gotten all I can out of him as far as desire goes. Its there - he's just not "on fire."

    He is a bit better with birds naturally - but not much

    - what do you think? FF time?

  2. #2
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    I think I might put off FF & concentrate on developing retrieving desire - JMO. Also you might want to do some early here/come training with the e-collar, not a formal conditioning to the pup's threshold, just enough pressure to motivate the pup to return reliably so that you can get away from the checkcord. To help with the desire issues, I'd limit the pup's exposure to other dogs & activities aside from retrieving & the OB work for a while, with the idea that this might help the pup get his fun retrieving not in other activities.
    David Didier, GA

  3. #3
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    My instinct is to try to build drive a bit ... more bird exposure ... fun bumpers (like puppy marks) and just making it exciting
    I'd trust your instincts here. When the pup is an old dog of 10 it won't have have a wit's difference whether you ff'd him at 7 months or 14 months.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  4. #4
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    As Granddaddy suggests, you may want to focus on formalizing the here command. With my pup, I found that using Evan's approach for CC on here made a huge difference in getting the dog to bring back anything it picked up. She has huge drive but enjoyed torturing me by picking things up and heading out of state to play, picking things up and lying down to chew, and picking things up and bringing them back only in an effort to entice me to play chase the puppy. Once I solidified her on the here command, all of these problems pretty much disappeared.

  5. #5
    Kristie Wilder
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    I wouldn't force fetch a dog that's not doing minimal retrieving mechanics.

    Shackled live birds can help. Lots of teasing with the bumper. 1-2 retrieves max per session. 1-2 sessions per day. Very little play outside of training (training should be play).

    Some dogs just do not have the desire. I have worked with dogs 2-3 months to get it going and in most cases it's worked. But how much time do YOU want to spend bringing it out.

    You CAN go ahead and FF if you feel you are "running out of time" (maybe training this dog for someone else?). I usually won't do it because it can typically remove what little is there.

    Part of the issue is... How far do you want to go in training? If the dog doesn't have good, basic desire to retrieve... Then it will be very hard to balance training down the line.

    ONE OTHER THING TO LOOK AT... How was the dog raised?

    Often, I see this particular behavior (go out, look, fiddle, not retrieve) with a dog that's been raised with other dogs, has retrieved in a GROUP and has been dominated by other dogs (as far as the other dogs being the one to always get the retrieve). I've had about 3-4 dogs like this in training and it usually takes about 60 days of good solid fun marks, little at a time, lots of encouragement, etc.

    I would say shackled birds are the NUMBER ONE idea for a pup like you describe.

    I've also gone so far as to throw RAWHIDE BONES!! Just so they'll pick it up.

    Also... don't keep throwing if he's not interested and always try to quit before he does.

    Make sure all marks are very easy to get to and find. Try not to do anything to distract him while he's working. If he doesn't pick up the bird/bumper, go out like YOU want it, act crazy and grab the bumper, wave it, whoop, holler, tease him with it, etc. I actually TRY to get these dogs to borderline tug with me by waving it in their face and messing around with it. If they go to grab it, I quickly flip it a few feet away. If they get it in their mouth, I excitedly holler and run the other way. If they drop it, I'll repeat.

    I'll try each step a 2-3 times. If they lose interest at any time, I take the bumper and walk away from them. Basically, they also learn that I'm not interested in playing with them or giving them attention if they aren't retrieving...

    -K

  6. #6
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    Drive is good heading out for a bumper ... then the usual post on RTF regarding pups occurs ... either picks it up and lays down with it or / just sniffs around it and walks away. EVEN in water - the same occurs. He will swim out witha big wake and then fiddle with the bumper and leave it out there floating.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm going to focus on this part of the OP and give the alternate answer from those responding thus far.

    The dog has good drive to the bumper but will not pick it up and return with it. Something happened to make him not want to pick it up and bring it back or he's just an independent, stubborn kind of dog. You can "atta boy" and "run away from him to make it fun" all you want, but some dogs need to be made to do it right. I'd FF this sucker starting yesterday. If done right, I bet he hates it and sulks for the first two weeks (and the dog won't like it either!), but at the end, he'll pick up that damn bumper when he's out there, especially if you have to say the "F" word.

    take it FWIW.
    "it all starts with sit" -- me

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristie Wilder
    Shackled live birds can help. Lots of teasing with the bumper. 1-2 retrieves max per session. 1-2 sessions per day. Very little play outside of training (training should be play).

    I agree but your assumption was correct ... not my dog and I have little control over what happens when he is not with me.

    You CAN go ahead and FF if you feel you are "running out of time" (maybe training this dog for someone else?). I usually won't do it because it can typically remove what little is there.

    Part of the issue is... How far do you want to go in training? If the dog doesn't have good, basic desire to retrieve... Then it will be very hard to balance training down the line.

    First time retriever owner - wants to just dip his toes in the HT water - JH is probably as far as he needs. Just wants him to hunt and possibly put 4 orange ribbons on the wall.

    ONE OTHER THING TO LOOK AT... How was the dog raised?
    Not by me - LOL
    Often, I see this particular behavior (go out, look, fiddle, not retrieve) with a dog that's been raised with other dogs, has retrieved in a GROUP and has been dominated by other dogs (as far as the other dogs being the one to always get the retrieve). I've had about 3-4 dogs like this in training and it usually takes about 60 days of good solid fun marks, little at a time, lots of encouragement, etc.

    I would say shackled birds are the NUMBER ONE idea for a pup like you describe.
    OK - my bird exposure (live) is little) I'll make sure we get some before FFI've also gone so far as to throw RAWHIDE BONES!! Just so they'll pick it up.

    Also... don't keep throwing if he's not interested and always try to quit before he does.

    Make sure all marks are very easy to get to and find. Try not to do anything to distract him while he's working. If he doesn't pick up the bird/bumper, go out like YOU want it, act crazy and grab the bumper, wave it, whoop, holler, tease him with it, etc. I actually TRY to get these dogs to borderline tug with me by waving it in their face and messing around with it. If they go to grab it, I quickly flip it a few feet away. If they get it in their mouth, I excitedly holler and run the other way. If they drop it, I'll repeat.

    I feel like you just described my daily "work" with him problem is - Owner comes and takes him home at night ... you know I have begged for him to just leave him in a crate and not touch him! but ... thats not whats happening. Can't help that ... its frustrating.

    I'll try each step a 2-3 times. If they lose interest at any time, I take the bumper and walk away from them. Basically, they also learn that I'm not interested in playing with them or giving them attention if they aren't retrieving...

    -K
    [/b]

    I'm at a tough spot here b/c of the way the arrangements are with the owner ... I'll keep you posted. I think plan is to get some birds birds birds for a week and then perhaps I'll give FF a go ... if not responding ... then, well - Either the plan will change with the owner or he'll have to have a house dog. His choice. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for all the advice ...
    Mr. D ... Hope to get to meet you sometime this fall

  8. #8
    Kristie Wilder
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    You are going to have a REALLY REALLY hard time force fetching a dog that's going home at night... Professionally, if it was with me, I'd say no way. The inconsistency is going to be very unfair to the dog and make it hard on EVERYONE.

    If the guy doesn't want to stick it out, then I wouldn't waste my time.

    There's a reason why they stay with us as professional trainers. It's for the consistency. And the downtime after training is just as important as the training time during the day.

    So here you have a dog that SHOULD be resting at 5pm, 6pm whatever time he gets the dog. And instead you have a dog receiving more stimulation, probably improper play and possibly the owner attempting to do some of the "lessons" at home without your supervision.

    I would NOT waste my time on force fetch. It's not fair to the dog.

    If the owner isn't willing to put him in your care for a month or so, I wouldn't do it.

    The combination your describing leads to one thing a far a your efforts -- A WASTE OF TIME...

    The situation explains it ALL. If the dog was with you, in a routine, you'd see improvement.

    But since you have two different people with two different standards, and an overstimulated dog... You're pretty much screwed.

    I'm not saying 100% it won't happen, but I certainly would NOT waste my time and definately, IN FAVOR OF THE DOG, wouldn't even try it.

    PS -- what's funny is that everyone is so quick to jump on the FORCE FETCH, FORCE FETCH, FORCE FETCH bandwagon. But there's a LOT more behind successful training than just what happens in the field or yard. Behavior and daily lifestyle are probably MORE THAN HALF your battle!!

    -K

  9. #9
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    Agreed, thanks K - I knew my gut was right. Just looking for approval from the "higher ups" ...

    Sticky situation, so I'll keep you posted.

    Be carful training today - its gonna be a HOT one!

  10. #10
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    Yeh definitely only 1 or 2 retrieves per session and judge whether 2 sessions will work for you in a day. Then slowly increase the number leaving her wanting more. That's the hardest part stopping while your pup is bouncing.

    Make sure you kennel the pup first so he's pumped to see you when it's time to retrieve. Even if it's at home. Kennel him for 1/2 hour then bring him out straight to the yard and throw some fun short retrieves on a check cord.

    When he's hot for that.. then formalize the here command.

    I made the mistake of FF'ing when she had little drive and it erased all her drive. I had to stop FF'ing and just do fun marks.

    Also, I went to a tennis ball and freesbie for almost 3 weeks to get her drive back because she didn't want anything to do with a bumper. We also used real birds to help boost her drive.

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