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Thread: Front finish

  1. #1

    Default Front finish

    Hi all,

    I've got a 16 month old YLM that I am trying to work through 3 handed casting. He comes right back on "here", but doesn't front finish. I've been doing the drill with a rope, but when I get him to sit in front of me he faces off to the side instead of looking at me. I try to straighten him out by hand at this point, but it doesn't seem like he is understanding that I expect him to face me.

    I've tried to go back and work on just "here" with front finish and I get this same behavior. I've tried using a hallway and that helps get him in the right spot, but he still tends to turn sideways/face away from me. It's almost like he isn't sure if he is supposed to sit there facing me or heel and sit so he just halfway does both in front of me. Any advice on a drill to fix this? This is my first dog and I'm trying to follow TRT.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member T. Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildonretrievers View Post
    Hi all,

    I've got a 16 month old YLM that I am trying to work through 3 handed casting. He comes right back on "here", but doesn't front finish. I've been doing the drill with a rope, but when I get him to sit in front of me he faces off to the side instead of looking at me. I try to straighten him out by hand at this point, but it doesn't seem like he is understanding that I expect him to face me.

    I've tried to go back and work on just "here" with front finish and I get this same behavior. I've tried using a hallway and that helps get him in the right spot, but he still tends to turn sideways/face away from me. It's almost like he isn't sure if he is supposed to sit there facing me or heel and sit so he just halfway does both in front of me. Any advice on a drill to fix this? This is my first dog and I'm trying to follow TRT.
    An obedience training fix is to make a chute using PVC or ABS pipe that is just a bit larger than the dogs width and length ( 2 elbows and 3 lengths of pipe). You want the pipe diameter to be ~ 1-1/2" such that the dog will not sit on it. Then, condition the dog to sit within that chute either by luring or physical positioning for a simple recall (here) and work up from there.
    In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

  4. #3
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    What works for me is having that next bumper in my hand when he is coming back so he'll be focusing on it before I get the one out of his mouth, and good quick rope work to get him turned and sitting looking at me. Soon he'll be anticipating that next one an looking for you to provide it. This should be a game for him - so keep it fun.

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  6. #4

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    Hello wild and welcome to the retriever training forum. What you need to do is take the retrieve part out. Your dog is trying to do the right thing it feels you want him at your side. Simply use one training bumper and your 6-foot leash. Get the bumper into your dog's mouth either by tossing it to him placing it on the ground and having him fetch it up anyway you want to end up with the dog holding the bumper. Then go for a little walk in your training yard. Randomly have your dog sit while holding its bumper. With the dog sitting walk around your dog in a circle you're still holding the leash of course. End up beside your dog so your dog is at the heel position take the bumper good dog praise. Give the bumper back to the dog walk a little more have the dog sit do more circles around the dog may be in the other direction. End up in front of your dog front Finnish position. Take the bumper from your dog good dog praise. Mixing the hand signals you're going to be using on retrieves. left arm down towards your side out a little bit on an angle que dog come to heel on left side. Right arm, right side. both arms down towards your knees slight bend at waist. Front finish. Lots of praise lots of good dogs this is a game or I should say you can make it a game. Mix in fun happy verbal cues. I'm a fan of the rhetorical question myself. "Where do I want you? I want you on this side. I want you on the other side I want you in front of me" as the dog matures and gets more accustomed to your speech patterns you can simply say to the dog other side and it'll move to the other side. And that is a whole lot easier than stepping over your dog at the line under judgment. But of course we all have seen that as well having to we?

  7. #5
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    What Lardy says is “ Whenever I give a “here” command, I receive the dog with a front finish- that is, sitting in front of me, facing me.. After the dog is in the front position , I direct him to the heel position..

    This is his first steps in Basic (Formal) Obedience..

    If your dog has a sloppy front finish. I agree with Ken,,ato take the retrieve out of it, and go back and review “Here” with a front finish “ Sit” Demand a high standard..

    If the dog sits wrong (Not facing you) The way I feel makes the most sense, is when the dog sits wrong, Immediately command “here” again and walk backwards, and command “Here” again,,STOP,,, and guide the dog with the 10 foot leash he is on, into the correct position.. He MUST “SIT” facing you.. He must stay sitting too, until he is told to do other.. IMHO, this IS THE drill you are asking for.. Keep repeating it,untill it is VERY solid..

    I would also Proof the “sit” by walking to the end of the lead (Dog cant move) and give gentle tugs on the leash, and require the dog to remain seated..
    He should only leave the sit position on a “Here” or “Heel” command..

    The very basic. Is to ONLY teach “HERE” with a “Sit” at front finish and require a very high standard.
    You can (if you want to keep things simple) teach the Pivot the dog must take when told to “Heel” later..

    I would simply not proceed with “ simple casting” (3 handed) and go back and solidify the front finish position,as explained above..

    When the dog sits wrong on its return to you from the “Here” command, Immediately command “Here” again, backing away from the dog, and guiding him to you with the leash, and into the correct position..

    Has you dog been Force Fetched? Force fetch is the step after Basic (Formal) obedience.. (Lardy) How was the dogs sit during that step?

    Simple casting comes quite a bit after Force Fetch, and Walking Fetch, and Stick fetch.. (again,Lardy).
    How was the dogs “sit” during those steps, and how was the review of the prior steps you had already taught? I would think you might had seen an issue with the front finish during review sessions..

    The “Here” and “sit” at front Finish is very important (as you have found out) and you should make SURE that basic command is VERY solid.. before moving on to any other steps..
    Again JMHO.
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 02-23-2020 at 11:24 PM.
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  8. #6
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    If you look ahead in Lardy's training, you willsee that a Lot of Pile work, T and TT will require the dog to be run from a remote sit most of the duration.. Side sends come near the end..

    That remote "sit" (front finish)is criticle..
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 02-24-2020 at 12:23 AM.
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
    Brynmoors Prairie Sage JH ​(Sage) Just a dang fool huntin Dawg
    HRCH Calypso Seven Bales High SH (Bailey)
    HR Calypso Zoomin Loosies Mad Hader (Maddi) We loved you baby. R.I.P.
    HRCH FlatLanders Broken Pistol Ricochet MH (Flinch)


    My Christian Name is Michael Baker..
    I have gone by "Gooser" since I was a "gossling"

  9. #7
    Senior Member Sabireley's Avatar
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    You can get the front finish pretty easily using the same drill you use to get them to focus and look at you. I sit the dog in front of me, then hold a bumper so up near my face. When the dog is looking intently, it toss the bumper to the dog to catch it. It may take a little practice before the dog actually catches it. That can be transitioned to a hand signal (flat hand up in front of you) meaning front finish. When using the hand only, have a bumper hidden behind you to toss to the dog to reward the front finish and good eye contact. In three handed casting you can have the rope in the hand you signal the front finish with.

  10. #8
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Guide board and food. Practice during dinner and breakfast. It'll take a month.
    Darrin Greene

  11. #9

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    Thanks everyone for the help. It definitely sounds like I need to go back to basic obedience and raise my standard before we can progress. One question I have: While I'm working on getting the front finish, should I stop throwing marks/fun bumpers? It seems like it would be hard to maintain a high standard in that situation. Keep him on a rope if I do throw them? I know Lardy mentions keeping his dog on a rope in the field during basic OB, but when I've tried that I have trouble getting ahold of the rope and making a correction fast enough when he comes back. May just be something I need to work on.

    Quote Originally Posted by MooseGooser View Post

    Has you dog been Force Fetched? Force fetch is the step after Basic (Formal) obedience.. (Lardy) How was the dogs sit during that step?
    Yes. I sent him off for about 6 months to a pro and he was force fetched and starting to do rough FTP from the side when I got him back about 2 months ago. I finished out hunting season with him and now I'm trying to resume training. He hasn't done any sends from remote sit before with the pro. I was starting to have issues with FTP and didn't know what to do. It looked like TRT was a tried and true method so I was trying to pick up on the flowchart where I thought he was at.

    As far as how his sit was during FF, when I was there watching I don't remember much sit being done so it's hard to say. In general, he sits when told, but is a little slow at times, and I can do the tug-lead while he sits without issue.
    Last edited by Wildonretrievers; 02-24-2020 at 09:59 AM.

  12. #10
    Senior Member MooseGooser's Avatar
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    Its hard (actually silly) to give much training advice without really knowing at what point a dog is really at ..
    After reading your last post, I would seriously have a conversation with the Pro. I would ask if he follows Lardy,or something very similar.
    If you look at Lardy’s flow chart,,FTP is a LONG ways down the list from “Simple Casting”..IF Simple casting was SOLID, then your Pro would have done E-collar conditioning next, Conditioning to Obedience commands. Then he would have done “De-Bolt”,then “Collar Fetch” and then “Introduction to Indirect pressure”..

    When ALL THAT WAS SOLID,,,. He would have moved to Pile work, starting with “Lining and casting to the Pile”,then “Stick to Pile” and then FINALLY “Force to pile”, which is where you said the dog was at, when you got him back from the Pro.. I would call the Pro, and confirm this,,and have a conversation with him,as to your thoughts and concerns..
    Again looking at Lardys flow chart.. If you look on the right hand side under “Field Progression” ,,Demanding “Delivery to hand” is required right after Force Fetch.. You say the Pro had the dog at the step “FTP”.. IMHO, If all concerned are following Lardy,, The dog should be doing Singles off multiple guns, Beginning “Double Marks” STEADY, with Limp Lead or no lead.. AND require deliver to hand.. for the dogs field work,,AS you continue with the “Yard” training..

    If your dog is truly at “FTP” Simple Casting with a Front finish,should be second nature to the dog..
    I would caution you to make sure, that steps were not skipped,or steps were not solid before moving on. I would again have a talk with the Pro, and find out for sure what was done, to make sure that your decision of wanting to Start using Lardy Now, wouldn’t be a bad decision in case different methods would confuse the dog..

    A GREAT resource for Lardys stuff is of course the Videos,, BUT There is a collection of Articles that Lardy wrote for “The Retriever Journal”. These articles explain each step in detail from early puppy work, through the Yard,and into transition.. IMHO, they are worth their weight in Gold, even if you are following a program that may not be Lardy,, but something VERY close..

    The articles are distributed by Younglove Broadcast services ,,and they are Titled “TRAINING WITH MIKE LARDY,, Volume 1.. They available at top pf RTF ,if you click on the “Training with Mike Lardy” ,and then click on “Articles” tab on his page.. Best $30.00 bucks you will spend..

    Keep in mind also,, You don't know me from Adam! Treat all Internet advice with caution.. JMHO.. All stuff like this does is create discussion, with varied OPINIONS!! I am in my underwear right now, typing, drinking Mountain dew, and eatin Pop Tarts! Just sayin..
    Last edited by MooseGooser; 02-24-2020 at 11:00 AM.
    It is far easier to spit on the work of others than it is to produce something better yourself.
    Brynmoors Prairie Sage JH ​(Sage) Just a dang fool huntin Dawg
    HRCH Calypso Seven Bales High SH (Bailey)
    HR Calypso Zoomin Loosies Mad Hader (Maddi) We loved you baby. R.I.P.
    HRCH FlatLanders Broken Pistol Ricochet MH (Flinch)


    My Christian Name is Michael Baker..
    I have gone by "Gooser" since I was a "gossling"

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