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Thread: Help !! Starting a 7 month old from scratch

  1. #11

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    Amy, Thanks for the info. This is kinda what I was thinking. How much obedience do you do before moving into force fetch ?? Do you collar reinforce sit and here before force fetch ?
    This dog was only thrown breaking marks. So when you try to have her sit with a little restraint one of two thinks happens: 1. She either turns inside out to try to get loose or #2 she will not go on her name cause she is used to no restraint !!

    Thanks
    Last edited by obsessed; 05-29-2013 at 03:12 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #12
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    Apart from the broad outlines you might not want to do what I do, as it's somewhat different from most of the published materials out there (including The 10-Minute Retriever; maybe it needs to be revised!). I am now using a very low-conflict approach to early training, treating "here," "sit," and "heel" as fun exercises with no punishment. Before I do those, I teach the dog to walk nicely on a lead without pulling and to give to the lead. I use the collar when the lead tightens. Giving to the lead means I can walk the dog through any exercise.

    After the dog is responding pretty well to "sit" I introduce a sit correction, usually an old-fashioned upward tug, which seems to make more sense to them than an e-collar correction. At that point I can begin force fetching, having the means to get the dog sitting again if he/she gets up to resist. All I do at first is put the dummy in the dog's mouth and take it out again--right away, with no requirement to "hold." ("Fetch"--"leave it.") In a few sessions they stop objecting to this, and I begin "hold" and go from there.

    In terms of time, typically 7-10 days from when the dog arrives until I start "Fetch"--"leave it."

    To be clear, no, I do not collar condition on "sit" or "here" before starting force fetch. I work on a lot of things concurrently, adding more stuff as soon as the dog is capable of doing it, while continuing to improve the standard on other topics. Using the collar on "sit" is pretty far down the road as it tends to confuse them. The collar is a bit more natural on "here," and of course is a big help in transitioning to off-lead work.

    Clear as mud, right?

    Amy Dahl

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