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Thread: Thoughts on controlling excitement on the line . . .

  1. #1
    Senior Member Meleagris1's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on controlling excitement on the line . . .

    I'm planning on running Q's next year with my CLM, he'll be 2 in December. His training has been going very well and at this point he is through the bulk of transition and we are working on advanced concepts needed for FT's.

    This guy is a big, powerful dog that is FULL of desire. When I cue him on "Mark", he actually starts drooling on the line. He is intense, never gets down, he always wants more marks, blinds etc, he loves to work and we train him 5-6 days a week.

    That said, I've noticed a problem developing over the last few months and I'm not really sure the best way to correct it. Whenever we do big multiple mark setups, especially with live birds, 5-6 other dogs, 4 white coats in the field etc, he becomes extremely hard to control on line. He gets vocal and jumpy, which of course affects his marking. When this happens I will take him off line and put him back into the holding blind, or back into the truck, and then take him out again when he calms down (not reward the behavior). The problem is that the more I take him on and off the line, the more tweaked he gets, he never gets any calmer. He is an intelligent dog and has always been very quick to learn concepts, so the fact that he really isn't getting this is making me a little concerned.

    I just looking for some thoughts from some of the more experienced trainers here on ways of managing this behavior. I am willing to commit to taking him off-line every time he gets this way, but seeing how it has only amplified his excitement in the past, I just wanted to see if maybe there are other tactics that can be used to control this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    Adopt a zero tolerance for any movement on line whether working or honoring. Make him honor from the flyer station again zero tolerance for any movement.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Zero tolerance on sit, preferably with a whip stick, and run nothing but singles out of the multi-gun setups. Oh, and slow way down, with slow calm movements on your part including a slow walk from the holding blind to the line. Calm, quiet voice too.

    John

    Ed and I were writing at the same time...

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    This is a great thread that discusses this. I am having similar issues.

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ion-My-Version

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    I'm sure many good ideas will be offered about this; drills, tips, tricks, etc. I would just like to offer insight into how to make any measures effective in the long term. What will ultimately affect your dog's demeanor, and behavior in the field will be his expectations. Correction is going to be an important component of his treatment. But to affect a long term relationship that both we and our dogs can enjoy we need to form expectations that being obedient and under control on line will produce the most favorable outcomes.

    Sometimes that will mean what they expect to happen by breaking and/or creeping will produce an outcome opposed to gratification. "Sit"/stick/"sit", pick up the bird, and do it over until he's sitting quietly and steady on line. That is what produces the result he desires; the bird. The more steadfast you are about that, the steadier he'll be, and the fewer corrections you may need to give.

    Evan
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Charles C.'s Avatar
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    DON'T take him off the line or back in the holding blind. That's a monumental waste of time, and I'm not sure dogs learn anything from it. DO deny him the retriever if you have to give a correction. Have everyone pick up the birds and start over.

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles C. View Post
    DON'T take him off the line or back in the holding blind. That's a monumental waste of time, and I'm not sure dogs learn anything from it. DO deny him the retriever if you have to give a correction. Have everyone pick up the birds and start over.
    Good point, Charles. Keep him right there on line so he can learn in the moment. That's how dogs live; in the moment. That's why they tend to learn best if we teach the lessons as things unfold. They don't learn those lessons while sitting in the truck.

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw


    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    Also stop cuing him with "mark" - make him become responsible for looking out and finding the gunners.
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    I've got a beast like you describe. I don't take him off line. I might have the long gun throw and pick up bird several times before sending. I think one thing that helps is to change his expectations and do things like shoot the mark and run a blind before sending for the bird.

  10. #10
    Senior Member savage25xtreme's Avatar
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    In training I try to always put a blind out in case I get to the line and my dog is too amped. I will pull him off the guns in the field and run a short blind, just something to put some control on him.

    With some dogs the more pressure you put on them to get a good sit the more amped they get.

    Too much getting them out of the box running them on marks and putting them back up.
    Gavin B.

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