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Thread: FF and Head Shaking

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    115

    Default FF and Head Shaking

    I'm working my pup (7 mo) through the FF process. I used a bench and started with a dowel then moved to a small bumper and then a large bumper. I have now moved to the floor (of the garage) and am working on the ear pinch. When I place the bumper on the floor about 4-5 paces away he runs out, retreives and when coming back starts to shake his head. Not violently but enough that when he gets back to heeling and sitting the bumper is just in his mouth, often cockeyed and with a tap I can knock it out of his mouth. On the bench I didn't have this problem and he doesn't mouth the bird. He does have a very soft mouth however.

    I've tried to correct by repeating the command, 'hold' on his way back and it doesn't seem to help. When he gets back I place the bumper in his mouth the correct way and can walk away from him and he will hold it properly. Wondering if I just continue with this until it sorts itself out or is there something else I can try.

    I haven't introduced birds into the FF process yet. That is the next step and I usually start with a frozen pigeon, frozen duck and then repeat with them thawed. Also wondering if he would hold a thawed bird better.

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamid View Post
    I'm working my pup (7 mo) through the FF process. I used a bench and started with a dowel then moved to a small bumper and then a large bumper. I have now moved to the floor (of the garage) and am working on the ear pinch. When I place the bumper on the floor about 4-5 paces away he runs out, retreives and when coming back starts to shake his head. Not violently but enough that when he gets back to heeling and sitting the bumper is just in his mouth, often cockeyed and with a tap I can knock it out of his mouth. On the bench I didn't have this problem and he doesn't mouth the bird. He does have a very soft mouth however.

    I've tried to correct by repeating the command, 'hold' on his way back and it doesn't seem to help. When he gets back I place the bumper in his mouth the correct way and can walk away from him and he will hold it properly. Wondering if I just continue with this until it sorts itself out or is there something else I can try.

    I haven't introduced birds into the FF process yet. That is the next step and I usually start with a frozen pigeon, frozen duck and then repeat with them thawed. Also wondering if he would hold a thawed bird better.

    This is not sort itself out. You have a hole in your FF program that you need to go back and fill. He is telling you that he does not understand "hold", that he needs more structure and is not ready to retrieve away from your side.

    Give him the "hold" command and make him heel beside you with the bumper in his mouth. Correct with either the leash or with a pop on his muzzle every time he shakes his head. Do this on the table, and again on the ground. Do it for several sessions until he shows total understanding.

    He needs to understnad that "hold" means holding the object quietly in his mouth when sitting and in motion. Make sure he is holding the bumper steady before you introduce birds.

    "Hold" is key to the FF process: if he (or your) does not fully understand the hold command there is little use continuing with the FF process.

    After you finish the FF process and begin forcing to the bumper pile you can use the EE to indirectly correct any head shaking or bumper mouthing while in motion.

    If he is CC'd for "here", you can correct it as he is returning from the bumper pile. If he shakes his head or plays with the bumper as his is coming back to you, give a low button correction for "Here". Say "Here"-Zap-"here". If you are consistent, he will stop shaking his head or playing with the bumper, as he will correlate that with the indirect pressure attached to the "here" command.

    BTW, this is a fairly common problem. You just need to go back a few steps and take your time to make sure his foundation is solid!

    Good luck!
    Pheasanttomeetyou

    Refine Your Awareness

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2007
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    Default

    Thanks. Your right, I missed a step. That step was to walk him up and down the bench with the bumper in his mouth and make him hold it properly. More control on the bench if he drops it, etc. It's been about 8 years since I last FF'd a dog and I guess I've forgot a few steps.

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