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Thread: no marks during ff?

  1. #1

    Default no marks during ff?

    I have heard people say they don't throw bumpers while teaching ff. What is the reason for this? Any opinions? I've been teaching hold for 3 weeks and he's ready for ff. Also, I have been shooting some crows for my pup and he seems apprehensive about picking them up. If I bring them home and tease him he will retrieve them sometimes. crows are the only thing I can legally use right now. Will ff help with this?
    Last edited by Brad n Drake; 07-17-2008 at 07:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JeffLusk's Avatar
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    dang man!! give that dog some real birds!!!

    i think some people do throw marks if they are "responsible" not necessarily holding it to a heel, but good at coming back and bringing the bird.. if they lolly gag around and leave the bird out there then you are taking a step backwards and ff will take even longer. you'll get other responses but thats my look on it..

  3. #3

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    I wish I could use some real birds. Its not legal here. Thanks

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad n Drake View Post
    I have heard people say they don't throw bumpers while teaching ff. What is the reason for this? Any opinions? I've been teaching hold for 3 weeks and he's ready for ff. Also, I have been shooting some crows for my pup and he seems apprehensive about picking them up. If I bring them home and tease him he will retrieve them sometimes. crows are the only thing I can legally use right now. Will ff help with this?
    Go ahead and throw marks -- using dead ducks. It will calm him down. But make these marks "sure things" thrown in the middle of a lightly covered field. All you want to do is keep up his interest in retrieving and burn off his anxiety during FF. Don't try to steady him too long, just call for the mark and let him go just as it hits the ground.

    If you can't get dead ducks, than use bumpers or DFTs. Don't tease!
    Pheasanttomeetyou

    Refine Your Awareness

  5. #5
    Kristie Wilder
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    Old school method was that you removed your dog entirely from marks and the field while you force fetched.

    New school theory is that you can balance the pressure of force fetch with marking and it makes the whole thing easier, the dog a lot happier and really even makes it more fun for you as a trainer.

    The OLD SCHOOL reason is that FF is such a big deal, the dog needs to concentrate... If you do marks during force fetch, before the dog is through, you're reinforcing bad habits because he's not FF'd yet, but is still retrieving birds.

    The majority of us have found this is no longer necessary.

    My rule of thumb is this...

    UNLESS my dogs are having major issues in the field (very rare), they will get marks during FF. The marks will be simple and fun. When working in the field, I will "require" that they are about two steps behind on the quality of delivery.

    For example... I guess this will be the easiest example. If your dog JUST started picking the bird up from the ground in the yard. I would NOT require that in the field. In the field, I would have the dog return (he might drop the bird, that's ok). If he returns to hand, great -- no harm, no foul. If he drops before delivering to hand, I would pick the bird up, hold it at eye level and have him fetch. He would ONLY receive pressure if he didn't fetch.

    So in the yard, he's required to pick it up off the ground. AT THE SAME TIME, in the FIELD, I'm only requiring him to fetch from my hand.

    Whatever your STANDARD for delivery and fetching is in your yardwork, your standard in the field is 2-3 steps behind that. I break force fetch down into probably 8-10 steps... (including the hold process, but before walking/collar fetch)

    1) Hold while I help
    2) Hold on your own
    3) Hold while walking
    4) Open mount on pinch (I insert bumper)
    5) Make an effort to move towards bumper on pinch (bumper held at eye level)
    6) Fetching at eye level
    7) Fetching as bumper is moved toward ground (but not off ground)
    8) Fetching off ground

    So if dog is at #8, I'm enforcing #6 in the field and so on and so forth. I think this is pretty much exactly the steps.

    And in the field, I will help the dog AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE before I will pinch and use pressure for fetch. I'll try to help them to remember to hold and deliver to hand by talking to them as they return. I'll try to stay calm and still so my movements don't cause them to drop. Stuff like that -- because, honestly, once force fetch is over (and it's usually just a week or two away at the point you're enforcing it in the field) you just don't have to worry about this stuff anymore...

    BUT, if I find there's a lack of effort, I will reinforce just as we do in the yard.

    -K

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad n Drake View Post
    I have heard people say they don't throw bumpers while teaching ff. What is the reason for this? Any opinions? I've been teaching hold for 3 weeks and he's ready for ff. Also, I have been shooting some crows for my pup and he seems apprehensive about picking them up. If I bring them home and tease him he will retrieve them sometimes. crows are the only thing I can legally use right now. Will ff help with this?
    Go ahead and mark your pup while doing force fetch. The only and I mean the ONLY time you stop marking the puppy is when your puppy will not pick up the mark in the field or will not bring the bird back to you. They can drop that bird maybe 10 ft from me when returning but no more then that.

    Crows??? Yuck..... Contact a local pro or retriever club to pick up some ducks. Take some of the feathers from those birds and duct tape them to your bumpers when you run out of birds. But then again you could get more birds......

    Angie

  7. #7
    Kristie Wilder
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    I have to take back one thing I said... With MOST dogs, I'll use bumpers for marks in the field during FF because it's what they RECOGNIZE is associated with fetch at this point in the game. I will usually try some birds, but some dogs will get confused with the "different material" and I don't want to be forcing them on birds yet... In most cases...

  8. #8
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    I will almost always use birds in the field while the dogs are force fetching. Because they associate bumpers with the ff process. If they're not through with ff, that can be a problem.

    Just another take on it.....

    Angie

  9. #9
    Kristie Wilder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angie B View Post
    I will almost always use birds in the field while the dogs are force fetching. Because they associate bumpers with the ff process. If they're not through with ff, that can be a problem.

    Just another take on it.....

    Angie
    I take FF pretty slow and it just seems to prevent any phobia towards the bumper... But am glad to use birds as long as there are no bad habits and they don't need a lot of forcing on them. I've just never had many attitude problems during FF except with dogs that are just not highly driven.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad n Drake View Post
    I wish I could use some real birds. Its not legal here. Thanks
    Where do you live???

    Angie

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