I really appreciate all the advice and help everyone. I have a good training group and local help but I was getting suggestions to go backwards and look for holes since the dog looked confused when he was playing dumb.
After reading these replies, talking to Bridget and reflecting on this situation a little, I think I have a few shortcomings to focus on.
This dog is the most eager to please and fastest of the three I have trained. He was also so bonkers about retrieving when he was younger (backflips, barking, etc.) that I completely stopped doing marks and much fun stuff for awhile. He continued to have a bark problem on marks with any extra excitement at the line so I actually did everything possible to make marks a mundane task. I continued through the program without many marks.
When we got to FTP it was hard to actually force him to the pile other than from front sit since he was going so fast. FTP actually made him slow down a bit and I am not sure he understands the complete concept. I now wait patiently for any inkling of an opportunity (slow down/hesitation) to establish force to the pile but it may only happen once a session.
Indirect pressure is tough to time correctly due to his speed and eagerness to please. He will watch my hands, facial expressions and general body language to try and anticipate what is going to happen next. He anticipates so quickly that if I slack in the slightest, I am behind him in the correction.
He also got twice as much obedience work as I would normally do due to me trying to tame some of his craziness and the extra long winter. His line manners are now test worthy but to the detriment of his boredom.
I have lightened up on drills and added lots more enthusiasm to his successes. I heel-nick-heeled him almost all the way to the pile yesterday and have not had a no go since. I have already seen an improvement in his attitude but he still will not focus on a line. When I lined him up he may look at the line but will quickly look away to one side or another. I sent him anyway and he went like a bat out of hell each time and did the task at his typical 110% each way.
I plan on doing some shot flyers this weekend and a few cold blinds with the freshly killed birds.
Last edited by RetrieverNation; 07-11-2013 at 08:49 PM.
Reason: completed post
I have lightened up on drills and added lots more enthusiasm to his successes. I heel-nick-heeled him almost all the way to the pile yesterday and have not had a no go since. I have already seen an improvement in his attitude but he still will not focus on a line. When I lined him up he may look at the line but will quickly look away to one side or another. I sent him anyway and he went like a bat out of hell each time and did the task at his typical 110% each way.iii
I am sure you will find the right combo. Sound like you have plenty of help.
Good luck Keith
Thanks for checking back Keith. I think i'm getting back on track. Saturday I got him focusing on one line for a new three legged pattern I am setting up. I sent him from my side and he barked once each time I sent him but the focus was good to see. This morning I ran him on one site blind and two cold blinds in a field with some short cover at about 50-75 yds. He had great focus, carried a line and had no noise for each of them.
He is also getting a little noisy on his marks again with some whimpering at the line and the occasional yip when sent. I am going to move forward and not worry about the noise too much. I think its going to be a balancing act for awhile.
Last edited by RetrieverNation; 07-14-2013 at 05:39 PM.
Good to hear have fun.
BTW; Just for my notes, where are you on your flow chart.