..unless they have rope attached to the bird when thrown, then pull it in...as dog is on the way to the incorrect aof..dog doesn't see that happening.
A planned set up for a particular dog.
Last edited by Judy Chute; 03-03-2013 at 12:57 PM.
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That is great. Skylarking! I will remember that!
I had a dog FC/AFC Sky Hy Husker Power (Ace) littermate to my FC/AFC Freeridin Wowie Zowie (Zowie). Ace was always a little ADD. When he was young (under 4), he would run around like an idiot (and I mean an idiot) on a go bird flyer, then hammer the two retired birds - and get dropped for the monster flyer hunt.
Skylarking! That was Ace.
Or he would get fixated on the window of a house 500 yards away, and ignore the up gun station 150 yards away. Once in an Open in Idaho, he was swimming for the last bird in a triple, diverted to pick up what looked like a stick, grabbed it, then made a hard turn for the bird, and came back with it. The gunner at that station told us that Ace spit out the bird (not a stick) and then picked up the retired bird.
So much talent, and so little use of it. He won an Am and jammed an Open at 3, then did nothing for the next year and a half. He would break, and do stupid things that drove me crazy (monster flyer hunts, gawking at windows, and the like)
Anyway, I was getting ready to give up. Bill Schrader suggested I run him in as many trials in a row as I could and see what happened. So, I did. I think I ran 7 trials in a row (something I had never done, and have never done since). Here was the progression, Open JAM, Open 2nd, My very first Open Win (100+ dog Open, where I almost couldn't get the bird at the very end - very Ace like), Amateur 1st, then seven series at the National Open (where I pre-national trained with Bill Eckett, Bobby George, and Bill Fabian)
Anyway, a long way of saying that with dogs, you have to think outside the box sometimes. Thanks to Bill Schrader for that advice.
Ace was a character. I know I have told this story before, but it sums up the kind of dog he was.
He was nine, and getting creaky. I had a win and a point and a half for the National Am. I thought, "Let's qualify him and retire him after the National." All I needed was a fourth, and Ace was still a very good dog.
Anyway, Ace was running a nice Am at Lincoln. We were running a water blind where you started behind a large mound, sent the dog, then ran to the mound to handle. I sent Ace, ran to the mound, looked for him, and then saw him rolling around in cow crap at the base of the mound. One of the judges, Steve Adair, said "Is he okay? Is he sick?"
I said "Steve, he is sick. He's sick of Field Trials. And he's retired." And that's how Ace's career in FT ended.
Competition does not build character - It reveals it.
I would have to say that this was one of the best articles that I have read in the “ask the pro section”, including the one that I wrote a while back. The one thing that many trainers do not realize is the fact that a lot of the engrained behaviors (good and bad) in a dog are self-taught. The second thing, is that we often do not realize the value in this.
Take the two ways that a dog learns the correct behavior. Number one is a positive reinforcement for the correct behavior, and number two is a negative reinforcement for the incorrect behavior. Understand that there is every combination of these two reinforcers that you could possibly think of.
In the training of field trial dogs one often uses the dog’s desire along with the positive reinforcement of getting a bird or a bumper as the main reward. In combination with this, negative reinforcement is used to curb all of the unwanted behaviors that prevent the dog from winning a field trial. What we do not realize is all of the other positive reinforcement (besides the ultimate bird or retrieve) that these dogs are receiving for unwanted behavior. I have watched several dogs anxiety increase on the line every time the handler said “sit”, this is because to the dog(positive reinforcement of a bird coming) knew that each time they heard “sit” it meant that they were that much closer to shooting down the marks. To this dog “sit” was a marker signal that the birds were coming – not a command to “SIT”.
These un-realized positive reinforcers are what causes many of the bad behaviors that that I mentioned in the start of this post, and why they are so hard to correct with negative reinforcement. They key to Bobby’s article is that he wants you to let the dog teach itself, and then add a known positive reinforcer to the behavior. Once this happens, your dog will want to perform this new behavior, instead of have to perform it.
The best example I could give you is a 10 week old puppy that does not know sit. How could you teach him to sit without physically making him sit and not saying sit?
The answer is to just wait for the puppy to sit, and then reward him/her. Have some treats or a squeaky toy, and every time the puppy sits on its own accord, give a reward. I promise you that within a few days that puppy will be following you around showing you that it knows how to sit. Now you can add the command and this puppy will now sit forever. It taught itself!
Just take this idea to the level of training that you need.
Last edited by steve schreiner; 03-04-2013 at 10:09 PM.
"Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters