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Thread: question about positive training

  1. #41
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
    I was going to enter KKK's tests Feb. 9 and 10,
    GEEZE Barb!! Attending KKK events, using a "shock" collar! What's next - you gonna buy a black lab???

  2. #42
    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    Barb, using an e-collar in Wales is unlawful, so I have no choice in that regard, and I enjoy the challenge of remedial training using as much as I can of positive teaching / training / reinforcement.

    Darrin has pointed one way forward that looks perfectly feasible; I do something roughly similar in principle but with a UK Spaniel trainers twist.

    My first reaction would be to revisit the OB tasks that were obviously faulty and ill trained, first in the yard then in a couple of other locations, with a big concentration on sitting to the whistle as a drill in itself, and sitting to flush with hand thrown dummies and then dead birds. You can spin / throw a dead pheasant in such a way as to make it really flappy and attractive, right within a yard of the dog. I have access to pens full of pheasant and partridges and do these exercises around them, varying the distance to suit so that there is a slowly increasing or decreasing level of temptation. The reward for good performance is a dummy thrown by hand. After a few good responses I move to the rabbit pen (rabbits running about plus loose domestic fowl) where he'll be at heel to start with, and then questing in the brush piles. I repeat the drills using thrown live pigeons, and move up to a shot pigeon as a reinforcer. This is one of the similarities to Darrins approach, the dog offers the right behaviour and gets his reward.

    Once we are good to go, it's pudding and proving time. I can train on game shoots five months of the year, and shoot woodpigeon all year round, so I can give or withhold a retrieve on the real thing depending on how we get on. Apart from this approach I've used all sorts of dodges and wheezes (mostly) successfully, but this is a long enough post as it is.

    If I think it's needed in any of the stages, I use a slip lead restraint, often held by a helper. "Aversives" in descending order of frequency might be lead pop, harsh voice, threatening body posture. I've used a scruff shake in the past, but not recently.

    Eug

    PS I do own a modern variable power e-collar plus the usual instructional and training DVDs; I could walk over the hill into England and use it lawfully. I choose not to do so.
    Last edited by Colonel Blimp; 01-22-2013 at 04:19 PM.
    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

  3. #43
    Senior Member duckheads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    Is it warm there then??

    Maybe we will come and hang out and watch.
    Since I hunted my pup, instead of giving him treats, it's 50/50 or so on steady to flush!!!
    We can only hope!

    If only you would have used treats........oh well maybe next time!
    CPR HRCH Scott's Sweet Brandy
    Kankakee River HRC
    NRA Life Member
    Pheasants Forever
    Delta Waterfowl

  4. #44
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Barb said "or Mostly Positive", so that's where I'm coming from. Among the positive training crowd, there is an acronym: LIMA = Least Intensive Minimally Aversive. Most, if not all pos trainers use a leash. I use "No" and "Leave it". But mainly I train the behavior I want to happen by using baby steps and clearly defining the goal for the dog, then I add the word/command to that trained behavior. After that, if dog is making the wrong decision or needs to be warned not to kill the kitty, I use "no" etc.

    As for skunks and porcupines, I live in very rural California, I walk my 3 dogs off leash in the wild every day and we encounter porcupines and skunks and deer and wild cats regularly. My 2 Goldens, who I trained well, can be no'd off them with out a problem. It happens at least once a week. The 9 yr old Berner was not well trained and did get porcupined two years ago.

    Edit: I have to know the skunk or Porc is there to prevent an incident. If it's dark or the porc is deep in a bush and I don't realize what the dogs are after, I'm screwed.
    Ok, I didn't get what she meant by "mostly."

    But your response has me thinking, why is a leash correction considered minimal but the ecollar is the other extreme?

    I think to myself, would I rather have my neck yanked when I run out of leash, or a nick on low 2? Or even low 3 or 4? How about a tap with the heeling stick?
    Renee P

  5. #45
    Member JimB's Avatar
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    What if the leash was not on the dog...but on the bird being thrown by a gunner (use a thin rope or fishing line)? If the dog breaks, the gunner reels in the bird and the dog does not get a retrieve (no reward). Re-heel the dog and try it again until they sit steady to the release by the handler. A second bird could be tossed out by the gunner for the reward/retrieve to avoid the dog running back with a bird on a string that can tangle in their legs.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    If you're sitting in a garage right next to your dog, or standing in the field right next to your dog with an assistant handling the bird for a steadiness drill, the dog's neck is not going to get yanked. Hopefully, one has enough common sense to hold the dog's collar or at least low down on the leash, knowing it will try to jump to the bird. It's a matter of going through the steps to teach the dog what you want, instead of just correcting it with the collar for breaking on a bird. Not to say all those who use an e collar don't teach the steps, too - just following Renee's analogy - which has a false premise.

  7. #47
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Jennifer I'm totally confused by myself as well.

    I think the retriever is supposed to be steady before you bring him upland hunting. If he can't sit, then you go back and patch the training.

    If I had lots of birds, I would do what some flusher people do to train sit to flush: hide bird, let dog find/flush bird, bird flies away: if dog sits to flush you throw it a bird to retrieve (from your pocket), if it won't sit it doesn't get the reward.
    Renee P

  8. #48
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    Homing pigeon in launcher. If dog is steady handler bangs and throws shackled bird. If dog moves in on bird pigeon flies away. No shot or reward bird is thrown.

    Old school steadying drill from a fc pointer guy. Posted this about 3 times in the last year. Seems some folks feel like its a new drill?
    Last edited by Paul "Happy" Gilmore; 01-22-2013 at 05:46 PM.

  9. #49
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    Homing pigeon in launcher. If dog is steady handler bangs and throws shackled bird. If dog moves in on bird pigeon flies away. No shot or reward bird is thrown.

    Old school steadying drill from a fc pointer guy. Posted this about 3 times in the last year. Seems some folks feel like its a new drill?
    Yup except with the (flushing) retriever I think you want it to be steady after it moves in on the bird, not before?
    Last edited by mitty; 01-22-2013 at 05:58 PM. Reason: added flushing
    Renee P

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    Barb, you could absolutely get it done with a purely positive method. Not sure how reliable it would be without the ability to make a correction but you absolutely could teach an auto sit response every time he sees a bird he wants to retrieve. If I wanted to do this:

    I would start out playing "two toy" to get him dropping things on command. Then I would lure into a sit position with a bird just like a treat, and roll the bird as a reward. I would keep doing this until he sat at the site/smell of a bird in my hand. I would then get between the dog and the bird and block/keep him in sit until I released him. I would build distance on this until I was a few feet from him and he would sit until released. I would then bring in another person and I would probably go to a flat buckle collar and lead. Have the person tease a little with the bird with the dog standing. The dog should sit, at which point they would throw and you would release. Patience is key. You have to wait silently for the offered behavior before you reward. I would say nothing throughout this process. Let him learn to sit before he get released each and every time.

    It's purely positive until you get to the point where some restraint MAY be required. If you did it thoroughly enough you may never need it or only one or two times.

    Obviously you progress the level of drive and excitement in small increments, from almost nothing (static bird in hand) all the way to shot fliers.

    I have a puppy right now at 8.5 mos old that will, if she's standing, sit at the sight of a thrown bumper, focus and wait for release. I trained this behavior pretty much like I outlined above (I'm clearly not done yet).

    I have trained a bunch of Goldens from 6 mos to 3 years old recently and one common thread in all of them has been that they will offer a behavior to earn a reward very readily. One with higher drive is most prone to doing this. I've had dogs sit, lay down, roll over, give paw and bark, all in sequence, trying to get the treat I'm holding. It's this kind of problem solving you leverage to work a strategy like I outlined.

    Would I do this with a three year old dog? HECK NO. I would do what you did rather than spend 2 months creating a behavior that will only be somewhat reliable in the field with a running flush. I'll go out on a flaming limb and admit that I believe there is a place for a certain amount of fairly applied correction in each and every dog training program. Re-enforcing a stationary command in a high drive situation is certainly a fair and reasonable place to employ it. Especially since sitting steady to shot and flush might save the dog from being accidentally shot.
    Is this where the bird thrower walks out ,pickups the bird and gets ready to repeat ,if he dog moves ...? Or like putting the food bowl down and the dog moves from the sit position, remove the bowl and repeat until the dog will sit and wait ...? ......What happens after the UNTIL? .....Go get the collar...Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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