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Thread: FF- How do i know when my pup "Gets it"?

  1. #1
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    Default FF- How do i know when my pup "Gets it"?

    "I looked back on the FF posts to see if my particular problem has been asked and answered and i don't see it addressed so i hope someone can help me out.

    7 month old BLF, Obd. trained, here, heel, sit, hold, with Collar. I started on a table, using ear pinch method, using SmartFetch, and we seemed to sail right through it. I progressed with e-collar, .5 and worked up to 1.5 which is where my pup seemed to respond appropriately. Stayed on table for about 3 weeks, training 15 min. sessions, 3 times a day, with fun bumpers at the end. When i could step away from the table, command fetch, and she grabbed it fast, and sat and held, consistently, we moved to ground. Ladder drill went fine. fetching smartly, and appropriately, holding while heeling. I then added birds into the mix, and pup balked at birds, so we went back to table, again with ear pinch, and got that corrected. Worked on ground work with birds which went great. Saturday, i trained with a pro. We worked on long fetches, which she did fine. A little nick here and there to speed up the return, but that was all. We then decided to do walking drills. When i nicked her to correct a non-honoring behaviour she "amped out". She ran away from me, rolled on the ground, in the mud, and refused to pay any attention to me. I had to grab her by her collar to get her to stop, calm down. The pro suggested that i have not done adequate " Pressure" work with her. He instructed me to start over, on the table, and apply more pressure to her. I went home and we started back on the table, at a 2.

    She started laying down a couple of times at the higher pressure, but i think we have worked through that. She is fetching smartly at each fetch, and sitting and holding as directed. She has had about 2 issues yesterday with laying down, and 1 today, however she is obviously under diress.

    Right now, i am feeling bewildered. She is snapping up the fetch, sitting and holding perfectly on the table. I am very carefully monitoring the timing of my nicks in correlation to the fetch command. We seem to be in sinc. I understand that i am teaching her that completing the fetch relieves the pressure,but when she does it perfectly each time, what am i doing? It was suggested that i do not move off the table until she understands how to react to pressure. What further indications will i have that i am not seeing right now. No yipping? no jumping around on the table? I am missing something vital here I know. And I need help understanding what it is. She had wonderful natural ability, and i do not want to damage that in any way.

    Any help and suggestions you can give, with be gratefully accepted.
    Dazed

  2. #2
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I read your post but it is not clear to me where you are struggling. It sounds as if you are working on collar conditioning to fetch, but are upset because your dog does not understand collar pressure when you nick it for disobeying "here" and "sit". Have you collar conditioned her to those commands?

    What collar do you have? On my tritronics collar, 2 is relatively low pressure.

    Is your pro friend familiar with Smartworks?
    Renee P

  3. #3
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Dazed,

    If you use a collar correction for a "fetch", for a "here - hurry up" and a "sit on the honor" all in close proximity, it can become almost random for a young dog not thoroughly conditioned on these things. The dog can become "boxed in" and confused.

    Do you think maybe she was confused when nicked on the honor and did not realize what she was supposed to do?

    If you think about the other things, the collar pressure on "fetch" means move. Get that bumper or Bird. The collar nick on the "here" to hurry her up means move. Come to me faster. It is not written clearly, but i can envision her being boxed in and confused if nicked on an honor. It sounds like she may have chosen to move - which is what she may have been trained to do, even if you think she was trained to "sit" and stay put. She may be confused.

    7 months is a youngster with lots of time ahead of her. It may be a bit early to be using collar pressure on an honor situation. I think I'd be using a check cord, which can still apply "pressure", but can also allow you to physically show here where you want to be if she chooses to move.

    Good luck and welcome to RTF! Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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    Thank you so much for the replies. I wil try to clarify the issue I am having; When the pup broke at the other dogs retrieve, i commanded here, with a here, nick, here. she returned to my side, heeled and sat. When the other dog retrieved the bird and began to return to his owner, my pup again broke and tried to chase him. I again commanded here, with a here, nick, here, and that is when she amped out, rolling on the ground etc. The pro suggested that by rolling on the ground,she did not understand the "pressure" applied via stimulation, and the pup thought the only way to alleviate the pressure was to roll on the ground, not by obeying the command. The pro said that was an indication that the pup was not FF using enough stimulation, and that i should return to the table and start over.

    My question is when she is performing the fetch command perfectly on the table, how will i know that she understands that stimulation is stopped by her compliance. It appears that she understands, by her perfect compliance, however yesterday after our last session, i threw a few fun bumpers for her. She refused one of the fetches, i ran over to where she stood, and grabbed her collar and commanded fetch, while stimulating her, and she tried to run off. She eventually fetched the bumper, and received much praise, but it is apparent that she does not understand the "Pressure" alleviation concept.(the fun bumper fetch was only about 15'). The next fetch, she performed reluctantly, which is entirely new for her. She is a fetching fool and absolutely loves it. It seems that after that one instance, she associated the fetch with "Pressure" and did not want to fetch with the same enthusiasm. I gave her much praise for fetching, but i do not want her to become "afraid" of fetching.

    The pup has been CC, continues with her obd work, with no problems.

    the pro is familiar with smartfetch, and suggested it to me to follow.

    Thanks for all the help. I feel confused and bewildered right now, and unsure of what i am trying to accomplish.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rboudet's Avatar
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    Why would you have a 7 month old puppy honor another dog? Your not even done with FF

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    To teach her to "wait her turn", and so i don't have to correct a bad behaviour in the future. I thought i should nip her chasing another dog while it was fetching in the bud. The pro appreciated my correcting my dog, not to interfere with his dogs performance.

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    Dazed, I think you missed most of what Chris was trying to convey. Maybe he can try again.
    It sounds to me like your moving to fast for your 7 month old pup to keep up with understanding. It sounds like I would be back on the check cord and then check cord and e-collar to shore up the return command. Then back to FF. I my humble opinion 15 minutes 3x per day is a lot on FF. I like 3-5 minute sessions, but thats not a make or break deal. I think it sounds like you have a nice pup there. Slow down and get it done faster. You did not mention what training program you are following. Good Luck. Don

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Dazed, if I were you I'd get the rest of the Smartworks basics package. Then you would have a better understanding of how Smartfetch fits in to the big scheme of things.

    I have just the experience of one dog, but Chris' advice sounds right to me. Your pup is confused. You just got done teaching her a nick means "quick pick up the bumper" now you are nicking her because she is trying to pick the bumper up. Also I'd be careful about correcting your pup near another dog, you don't want to take the chance that your pup will think the pressure is caused by the other dog.

    Good luck---RTF is a great resource, welcome!
    Renee P

  9. #9
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Dazed,

    I am not telling you that my view is absolute. Some on here do that and I want to acknowledge that you can accept, or not, my opinion.

    I'll start with a question. How many times had your dog honored in this situation on lead? How did that work out for you? Did your dog try to break? If so, what did you do about it? How did your pup respond? What lead you to decide that it was time to honor with a 7 month old puppy offlead?

    Here's what I'm trying to highlight for you: If you find yourself saying "I wonder if pup can do X". There is a pretty good chance that you are about to test, your puppy. We should test very little. We should TRAIN virtually always. Your puppy will only be young and in this absorbent sponge for exposure phase, for a brief time. You get only one chance to introduce a pup to a concept the first time. It makes sense to me to optimize the chance for success - not to "test".

    In contrast, in my personal opinion, if you are training at a good pace, you should be pretty darn confident that pup WILL do the next task. Or at least that pup darn SHOULD do the next task.

    My concern on what's written about the e-collar use is that it feels like there may be too much focus on turning the collar into a remote control. The collar is not and won't be a remote. It is a tool just like your voice, your lead, a sit stick, a mat, a bumper....they are all tools to train and handle our dogs. The e collar is a communication tool. It is not a joystick.

    If you want your dog to honor off lead, your dog must first be exposed to obedience under gradually increasing levels of distraction. The good news is that apparently your up WANTS the bumper, wants the retrieve. That is a good thing.

    I'll gladly spend more time trying to communicate my view if you'd like.

    My suggestion is that you try to sever a mental connection between force fetching, levels of e-collar settings, and "turning off pressure" with the concept of being steady when honoring.

    I feel like you're trying to jump ahead many steps in advance and test your puppy.

    Again, the e-collar is just at tool to communicate to the dog. It is not a remote control.

    Make any sense? It's OK to say "No". (Feel free to print this thread out and show it to your pro!)

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  10. #10
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    Default more clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Atkinson View Post
    Hi Dazed,

    If you use a collar correction for a "fetch", for a "here - hurry up" and a "sit on the honor" all in close proximity, it can become almost random for a young dog not thoroughly conditioned on these things. The dog can become "boxed in" and confused.

    Do you think maybe she was confused when nicked on the honor and did not realize what she was supposed to do?

    Yes, I think this was part of the problem. It was the first time she has worked around another dog. I understood that she was excited, and gave her a firm Here, and praise when she returned to my side. She seemed to get it.

    If you think about the other things, the collar pressure on "fetch" means move. Get that bumper or Bird. The collar nick on the "here" to hurry her up means move. Come to me faster. It is not written clearly, but i can envision her being boxed in and confused if nicked on an honor. It sounds like she may have chosen to move - which is what she may have been trained to do, even if you think she was trained to "sit" and stay put. She may be confused.

    7 months is a youngster with lots of time ahead of her. It may be a bit early to be using collar pressure on an honor situation. I think I'd be using a check cord, which can still apply "pressure", but can also allow you to physically show here where you want to be if she chooses to move.

    Good luck and welcome to RTF! Chris
    I wasn't super concerned with her exuberance at trying to fetch the other dogs bird, i know that will be rectified with time and experience. I did however want to set a foundation that she isn't allowed to interfere with another dogs work, instead of letting her continue to think she gets to fetch everything herself, then have a problem to fix in the future.

    I am much more concerned with the observation of the pro that she does not understand the concept of "Pressure". Especially when she responds so well to the command of fetch, both ladder drills, and now back on the table.

    I haven't started force to pile yet, because if she isn't understanding the concept of "Pressure", it seems futile, and damaging. I guess the problem is that I thought she understood "pressure", nothing has changed in her (snappy)reactions, and i don't feel confident progressing any further until I can get this figured out.

    According to smartfetch, she has it figured out, but according to the pro, her rolling on the ground, trying to get away from the stimulation of the here, nick, here command, means she doesnt understand the "Pressure" concept yet.

    I really really don't want to push her faster than she is capable, and am trying to be very careful and observant of her behaviour.

    Thanks so much.
    Last edited by Dazed; 04-08-2013 at 11:16 AM.

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