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Thread: E collar transition to force fetch

  1. #1

    Post E collar transition to force fetch

    I started force breaking my retriever about a month ago. The results have been positive and I have had no issues thus far. He has been on an e collar for the last year and I have only had positive effects. However, I have not used the continuous mode until now. As far as force fetching, it is working well. The problem I am having is that he no longer sits unless it is right at my left heel. I will throw a dummy 20 feet away, command sit, and as soon as I step away from him he breaks and runs towards me. He refuses to sit unless it is at my heel. He acts as though the continuous mode of the collar is too painful but I am using it on a lower setting than before. Any time I command sit without the collar on or without dummies on the ground, he obeys the same as before we started force breaking. It seems like he knows when we are going to work on ff and immediately gets scared of being away from me. I searched the forum and could not find anything similar to this.

    Has anybody had this issue?
    I may not be explaining this problem very clearly so pm if you have any questions.

  2. #2
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    Re-teach "Sit" Go back to basics and work forward slowly to be sure he has all the basics down. Then back to basics on FF. With the collar it is all about timing. If your timing is off you will have problems. Let me assume your following a good retriever program that includes FF.
    Sounds like your putting to much pressure on the pup with the collar and he does not know what your asking. He knows that he will not get shocked if sitting at your left heel so he defaults to that safe zone. Might get someone who is good with a collar to help you and follow their lead. Not sure how "throw a dummy 20 feet away" enters in to the equasion but I would loose the bumper until he has "sit" down and solid. Good Luck.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the advice, Don. I know that go back to basics or "2 steps forard 1 step back" is the name of the game with ff. when I focus only on sit he does fine. It's not until I pull dummies out that he refuses to sit away from me.

    To clarify, if working on fetch to pile or trying to incorporate ff into the home plate drill with hand signals, I will put Gus at the pitchers mound, command him to sit, take 3 steps towards home plate and he will start slinking towards me regardless of what I say or do. I'm kind of at a loss.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    It is not all that unusual for a dog that is part way through ecollar conditioning to want to come to you rather than remain at sit position. When you are conditioning to "here" they figure out quickly that being beside you is safer.
    I have a couple of times had to put a 30' ft check cord on the dog, set the dog beside a pole, loop the check cord around the pole, walk away holding the lead with tension on the cord. This holds the dog in place. When you say here, drop the cord and it will slip around the pole as he runs to you. This should only take a session or so for them to catch on if properly conditioned to sit.

    I am terribly confused about the path you are following. But a couple of questions:
    Are you following a program?
    When you push the button in continuous mode, how long do you hold it down? It should only be a second, one thousand one count.
    Did you go through an established cc program? Because it would teach "sit" on the way back from a "here" command.
    Or how did you use the ecollar for the first year he wore it before doing ff?

    Edit: you can't pm until you have ten posts. You can go to the test forum and do the remaining posts in less than a minute.
    Last edited by Wayne Nutt; 07-15-2013 at 05:56 AM.
    Wayne Nutt
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    Consider putting him on a long cord with a pinch collar or choke chain. You can pop the lead for obedience correction instead of having to use the collar. Another option would be to just FTP from your side. Contrary to what the video says some dogs just don't do well when starting out with a front finish. What is he doing if you throw one over his head to the pile. Is this a confusion issue? I wouldn't be quick to think that this is the fault of the collar. It sounds like your dog is plenty old enough and that you have taken your time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robwilliams10 View Post
    I started force breaking my retriever about a month ago. The results have been positive and I have had no issues thus far. He has been on an e collar for the last year and I have only had positive effects. However, I have not used the continuous mode until now. As far as force fetching, it is working well. The problem I am having is that he no longer sits unless it is right at my left heel. I will throw a dummy 20 feet away, command sit, and as soon as I step away from him he breaks and runs towards me. He refuses to sit unless it is at my heel. He acts as though the continuous mode of the collar is too painful but I am using it on a lower setting than before. Any time I command sit without the collar on or without dummies on the ground, he obeys the same as before we started force breaking. It seems like he knows when we are going to work on ff and immediately gets scared of being away from me. I searched the forum and could not find anything similar to this.

    Has anybody had this issue?
    I may not be explaining this problem very clearly so pm if you have any questions.

    Last question first ...Yes ,several have had this problem in the past...no big issue though....As Don has mentioned you are out of balance in the training...The dog is just trying to find a safe place to be...He is confused as to what your wishes are....Revisit sit, at a distance and by your side to gt this portion ironed out...I'm with Don ...good advice Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    I agree, except it's not a matter of re-teaching it, so much as formalizing it. That's why in sequential programs "sit" is well formalized, not just taught, prior to beginning FF. Your dog should sit promptly, squarely, and remain stable in that position even when he's distracted. That transcends mere teaching. Stabilize your dog. Then force fetch.

    Evan
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  8. #8

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    I appreciate all of the responses and will go back to solidifying sit/stay prior to taking any more steps with ff.

    Wayne, to answer your questions: everything I have done so far has followed Dokken's retriever training.

    From the way I interpreted the Dokken's book, I was using continuous mode from the time I gave him the command until he picked up the object. I was not aware it should be a 1sec pulse only. Although I have it on a low enough setting to prevent adverse reactions for such a long pulse, I will absolutely re visit my techniques.

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    Wayne, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on holding the continuous down for only one second. As an inexperienced trainer, it seems like that would pretty much convert it to momentary mode. What am I missing, other than a whole bunch of knowledge and experience?
    Steve Wyatt

    HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Somewhere on this site there is an indepth discussion of the two modes on TT collars. My recollection is that the momentary mode is very, very short. Like 1/10 of a second. It is impossible for a human to duplicate the momentary mode as it is so short. The continous will time out at about 4 seconds, I think.

    While the comments are mine, I learned the process from Mike Lardy's TRT 2d where he had a discussion on the two modes.

    Generally speaking, Mike teaches to use continuous (one second) for cc and ff and then switches to momentary when starting FTP.

    Hope this helps.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

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