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Thread: FTP eye contact

  1. #1

    Default FTP eye contact

    Working on Force to Pile and having a hard time getting the dog to look at me... Tried holding a bumper and saying hey hey and then sending him after he makes eye contact, but he figured that trick out really quick. I have a lead on him and even when I tug on it and get him to square up he still doesn't want to look at me and wait for my hand signal. He runs great from my side, sits on the whistle and will come in from the pile so he definitely knows what's expected he just doesn't want to look at me in remote sit. I can't tell if he is just so glued to the pile that he doesn't want to look at me or if it is avoidance behavior... I'm starting to think it is avoidance... Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    You might go back to three handed casting and work on the eye contact as he will be very close to you. And then on FTP try stopping very close to you and gradually work out longer. The other thing you could try is put him in a remote sit position, very close to you, and send him just like on the back on three handed casting except the pile is further.

    I am assuming you had good eye contact orginally on three handed casting. If you didn't that is the place to work on the problem.

    I should have asked how far was he when you stopped him in route to the pile? How far is the bumper pile?
    Last edited by Wayne Nutt; 12-30-2012 at 02:38 PM.
    Wayne Nutt
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  3. #3
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    Very normal avoidance behavior (bugging to pressure). You just have to work through it.
    Bert Rodgers

  4. #4

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    Wayne, definitely a good suggestion to go back and review three handed casting... The pile is about 50 yards... I've been stopping him on the return and just started stopping him as he goes out... I usually stop him about 20 yards out. He doesn't have any problem turning around and sitting, but the way he responds to the sit whistle is almost like it is a correction rather than a command. He has a tendency to hang his head when I blow the whistle.

    we'll back up a step to 3 handed casting and see how that helps with eye contact.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyLight View Post
    Working on Force to Pile and having a hard time getting the dog to look at me... Tried holding a bumper and saying hey hey and then sending him after he makes eye contact, but he figured that trick out really quick. I have a lead on him and even when I tug on it and get him to square up he still doesn't want to look at me and wait for my hand signal. He runs great from my side, sits on the whistle and will come in from the pile so he definitely knows what's expected he just doesn't want to look at me in remote sit. I can't tell if he is just so glued to the pile that he doesn't want to look at me or if it is avoidance behavior... I'm starting to think it is avoidance... Any suggestions?
    Try tossing that bumper a few times and see if he will loosen up .....as stated, I too believe it is avoidance behavior due to pressure ...lighten up ...more free stuff...By tossing the bumper he has to make a conscious effort to pay more attention to what is going to happen next...Steve S

  6. #6
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Bobby, I am training one now who did the same. Classic avoidance, I started sending from my side and stopping in route and the problem fixed its self. Sweating them before second cast back to pile usually will get them looking at ya then.
    Just Win

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brokengunz's Avatar
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    have the dog sit in front of you, hold a biscuit just below your chin, tell him "look", do that several times, and when you say look, he will look at you,

  8. #8

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    I've tried the "look" command... tried going back to 3 handed casting... and tried sending from the side and stopping him half way out... still wants to stair at that back pile so I'm confident that it is strictly avoidance behavior...

    My initial thought is to correct with indirect pressure by doing "sit" nick "sit"... but if he is having trouble handling the pressure already will that help or make the problem worse? I throw lots of fun bumpers during out pile work to keep his spirits up, and he does have a tendency to be a little softer under pressure, but I also don't want him to exploit that softness and take advantage of it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyLight View Post
    I've tried the "look" command... tried going back to 3 handed casting... and tried sending from the side and stopping him half way out... still wants to stair at that back pile so I'm confident that it is strictly avoidance behavior...
    I wouldn't look at it as avoidance, but rather that he attracted to the pile he knows, and has been forced to. He's eager to get there. You should feel good about that because it's a result of successful training. Three-handed casting is the logical venue to work on this.

    I'm not a fan of the "look" cue. To me, that's begging a dog to do his job, rather than providing him reason to do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyLight View Post
    My initial thought is to correct with indirect pressure by doing "sit" nick "sit"... but if he is having trouble handling the pressure already will that help or make the problem worse?
    Yes. But don't forget to condition him to pressure, and use it appropriately. Nicking him to get eye contact is likely to cause bugging for a couple reasons. First, he very likely won't connect eye contact as a way to turn off the pressure. But I'm wondering if he's been trained in two-hands Back? If he has, that may lead to a workable solution.

    Evan
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  10. #10

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    Evan,

    Thanks for the response... yes we have been working on two-hands back, but it is by no means firmed up... he definitely has drive a desire to get to the pile, and I havn't had to fight him on no goes, but he will not look at me which makes giving and teaching hand signals for the back cast difficult.

    He has been conditioned to pressure, and I've been using very little with him lately trying to let him build up some confidence. I may try removing the back pile for three handed casting and just work the over piles for a while to see if that gets him to focus on me more.

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