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Thread: bill hillmann and mary tatum coming to australia

  1. #21
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Anchorage, AK


    i start with the term transition which i believe generally means to retriever trainers a set of procedures designed to move a dog from basics to advanced work and in particular to transition to cold blinds
    That's sort of the way I view it. Lardy, Graham, Fowl Dawgs, et al have their transition program. Hillman, by definition, has to have one too otherwise he could never run a cold blind. His might be way different, but somehow or other, his dogs have to get it or he could have never made an all age, or even MH or Q dog.
    Last edited by Howard N; 10-02-2013 at 11:27 AM.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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  3. #22
    Senior Member Mountain Duck's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Chilhowie, VA


    Quote Originally Posted by Howard N View Post
    That's sort of the way I view it. Lardy, Graham, Fowl Dawgs, et al have their transition program. Hillman, by definition, has to have one too otherwise he could never run a cold blind. His might be way different, but somehow or other, his dogs have to get it or he could have never made an all age, or even MH or Q dog.
    Howard, I asked Bill this question specifically, as even after viewing the DVDs and attending a seminar, I was still a little foggy on how he transitioned to cold blinds.

    He starts teaching blinds by doing walkout blinds, then double walkout blinds. That is, walk out to the spot (with the dog), drop a bumper, command "Fetch", then walk back to the line and run it. As the complexity of these walkouts progress, you get the opportunity to handle. After you've walked out a couple times (more or less), you run it in subsequent sessions as a school/known/taught/permanent blind. He told me to develop 15-20 scattered around if possible. You may come back and run them the next day, week, month or year. Said he had them all over the country.

    After you've developed the permenant blinds, have a dog that loves running them with a lot of momentum, then you can run a cold blind. He said the dog basically thinks it's a school blind that they have forgot.

    He told me NAFC Cutter was around 20 months (I believe) before he ever ran him on a cold blind.

    To me the big difference between Hillmann and traditional Carr based programs, are that Bill's way of training is designed to be used by one trainer and his one dog. It is truly a "custom" training program for YOUR specific dog. The other programs (IMO) are derived from a more traditional type Pro trainer with a truck load of dogs to train on a daily basis. Not to say they aren't flexible and can't be tweaked to suit different dogs, but they have evolved from Pros who have found a streamlined, efficient and successful way to train numerous dogs at a time, but individual trainers without a lot of resources, may have trouble implementing them.

    There's NO way a traditional Pro could train 24 dogs a day in the way Hillmann does. But conversely, the one guy amatuer with limited time and resources, can't train his one dog on a daily basis like Mike Lardy does either. I think Bill has developed some methods that really allow the one dog guy to develop a fairly capable retriever. It at least allows you to build a solid enough dog to really benefit, when you get the chance to run with a bigger training group.

    I had the opportunity to train with a top Pro and one of his training groups last month. It was quite an experience, and I learned alot, BUT it isn't something I have the opportunity to do on a frequency that would allow me to really benefit and progress my dog. With a wife and two young kids and a full time job, (and living in a relatively retriever scarce region) getting together with a group is somewhat of a luxury. I have learned a lot from Bill that can be done with just me, my dog and a bumper. May never make squat, but I at least feel like I'm training!!

    Please don't think I'm bashing any other programs, as I know there are multitudes that have been very successful. These programs and there availability have really brought the level of retriever work to a new level in the last 15-20 years.
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  4. #23
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2003


    The Hillman seminar was most interesting. My understanding was that the main thrust is to devlop an enormous amount of drive/momentum which he illustrated very well. Using sit and come He 'paired' low level collar stimulation with 'good' the intention being to make the low level in effect a reward for sitting on the whistle. He does not believe in punishment. However, I am unclear about the logic in how he transitions from the sit/nick/good (reward) to indirect pressure which he uses later on when needed (not very often). Did not get an opportunity to ask about this. Does anyone know?
    If you play their game train the way they train

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  6. #24
    Senior Member stoney's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    sydney australia


    a very very insightful post by mountain duck thankyou for that, what u say captures Bills philosophy as i understand it and Pru your question is a good one I can only surmise that his power castes as he calls them are done at the same intensity as his traffic cop sit and thus become a positive reinforcement procedure his nick back nick is to regular to be a straight forcing reinforcement technique alone if he was only going to apply pressure he would probably only force on one in 3 or so Am i reading this correctly? can someone help me out here please?

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