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Thread: Question: FF training progress expectations

  1. #1
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    Default Question: FF training progress expectations

    I have a 6 month old lab, all baby teeth are shed. I have been working 4 days now on FF and am wondering if my progress expectations are set to high. I train a lot, I work at home and have the fortunate opportunity to be able to train 2 to 3 times a day. I keep the sessions short, 10 to 15 minutes each.

    The dog is very well trained to the sit stay command. He is reaching for the bumper provided he doesn't have to extend and break sit. In the last few sessions I have began extending and lowering the bumper out where he has to break sit while commanding fetch, but I have to drag him along to reach for it while pinching his ear. Last night he tried the alligator roll but I didn't let him win and got the bumper in his mouth before releasing his ear.

    My question is at what point should I expect to not be having to drag him while ear pinching to reach for the bumper if its beyond his reach from sit? Am I expecting too much at this point or should I keep the bumper within his reach?

    Thanks for the replies in advance.

  2. #2
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    Someone with more experience will probably chime in. But it sounds to me like he hasn't quite made the association with getting the bumper in his mouth and the pressure turning off. I would bring it closer to him, once he is really reaching for it getting him moving shouldn't be a problem. Just keep extending the distance bit by bit and eventually he is moving. If there is confusion bring it in a little closer and repeat. Just be patient and try to read is it confusion or refusal/avoidance. Sounds like you are on the right track. Good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    This doesn't address the exact issue but more your understanding of how to progress his training.

    Remember training is about you reading the dog, not just going through the motions.

    He tells you when to move forward, you don't tell him. You challenge when he seems to "get it". You simplify when he fails then challenge again. You move at his pace, he doesn't move at yours. Often you're taking 1 step forward then 2 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 1 step back.

    Keeping those couple of things in mind back up to where he's being successful and give him a few reps there, then move forward a few inches and see what happens. If he fails, help him succeed but then back up on the next rep and let him succeed again on his own. As his understanding increases you will find yourself pushing forward, but you have to do it at his pace, not yours.

    Each time he fails back up and let him succeed a couple of times, then push forward again.

    This overall process kind of applies to everything really.
    Last edited by DarrinGreene; 01-09-2013 at 11:56 AM.
    Darrin Greene

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Sounds like the normal FF process to me, you've found his challenge point and you'll have 2 work through it until he gets it. Might take a day, might take a week, might take longer, but one day the Eureka will come and you wont have the battle. Good news is if you get through the challenge point on the bench, you might not have as big of one on the ground, depends on the dog. In my experience most dogs have one or two challenge points, during FF this is when they test you before deciding doing it your way is easiest and that throwing a fit does not work. So keep challenging him until he gets it. Balance challenge then going back and ending with the simpler more positive fetches that he already knows.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 01-09-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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    I agree about going at the dog's pace, not the trainer's. I've had one dog take 8 days (twice a day sessions), one take 10 days, one take 13 days and one take 21 days. It depends on the dog.
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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    One thing, I think 10 minutes with a six month old pup is to much for beginning force fetch sessions. 5 minutes sounds more normal. You can increase it to 10 minutes in the later stages of ff.

    I believe you get through ff with fewer problems and baggage with shorter sessions. There is more thinking time between sessions and less total pressure.
    Howard Niemi

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    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard N View Post
    One thing, I think 10 minutes with a six month old pup is to much for beginning force fetch sessions. 5 minutes sounds more normal. You can increase it to 10 minutes in the later stages of ff.

    I believe you get through ff with fewer problems and baggage with shorter sessions. There is more thinking time between sessions and less total pressure.
    This was a hard lesson for me to learn ,but in the dogs I've ff it seems to be very accurate.
    Shawn White

    HR Big Creek Retrievers Independence Day JH QAA "Indy "

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