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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does ABC really mean?

I see all kinds of threads on RTF that deal with issues ranging from, “what set-ups to do”, to “what do you in a typical day?” to “how to sequence”, to “what to do next!” I find the answers are all over the map. I suggest that much training can be guided by using the ABC's of dog training.

I have often emphasized the importance of ABC which stands for Attitude, Balance and Control. And yet, I fear that few understand what I mean by that. I see many asking for a formula or a specific training sequence, or a daily schedule instead of using ABC to guide their training. ABC involves principles of sound training such as the Principles that Lardy and I have assembled (do you have them?) but it also always involves custom training for the dog that you have at the stage that he is at.

What ABC means to me-Attitude-Balance and Control.

Attitude is critical. Your dog has to have a good attitude to learn. He has to be excited about playing the game. He cannot be over-excited to the point of being in a frenzy. Everything you do must be tempered by your dog’s attitude. If he has a sour attitude that should be your priority to change. If he is a wild man, you need to temper it. If he has a good attitude you need to maintain it.

Attitude is everything.

Balance means seeking the over-all all-around dog. Your dog needs to be balanced in work on land and water, on marks and blinds, on simple and complex, on multiples and singles on simple blinds and diversions, on drills and field set-ups, on free decision-making and compliance, on excitement and control, on technical and drive, and so much more.
Control means compliance and tractability and willingness to be a partner. It means steadiness and playing the game with us rather than just to get the bird. It is so easy to lose control while achieving attitude and balance. In reality when you lose control you have lost balance-- I know-been there-done that- too many times with high-powered high talented dogs!

ABC should guide all your sequences.

Sequences are often great if we theme a concept such as angle entries or drive or check down during the day but sequences always should involve ABC also. For example, I do not believe in always doing marks before blinds each day. In reality sometimes blinds are better done first thing in the morning when dogs are full of go. Then again, in an all-age stake, you are often required to do a blind first thing Saturday morning in an all-age stake-be prepared!. Your dog needs to be in balance and ready to handle anything. He needs to run down the shore and not get in early but also angle in when required. That is what balance means.

So don’t look for automatic formulas but ask yourself what does my dog need for A, B and C?

ABC requires thinking about YOUR dog and not just some formula that somebody has found works for their dog!

Cheers
 

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Once again Dennis, Thank you.To me, this is one of the hardest parts of training. The drills are not tht big of deal, but planning the days and weeks events with balance is considerabley harder to learn.
 

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Thanks Dennis, the information you provide is Priceless!!!!
You always help to simplfy this complex game we play.

Gregg Leonard :D
 

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Thanks Dennis Good reminder!:)
 

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thanks for the great information
 

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Thanks Dennis...very helpful.....as always!

Chris
 

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Another excellent post! Thanks again for all the help you give!!
 

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Great Post! Very Informative!
 

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In the versatile dog world we call Balance -

Versatility

the smooth mental transfer from one task to the other

True, but I think this type of balance is more trainer related and how you instruct. Using methods that compiment each other.
 

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Thank you, Dennis..as the season is most likely here to stay now..

Also a breath of fresh air...

We are a "client" of yours :) ..as in print! ..

But, could you give a few pieces of advice on a very fast, fast retriever?....say..in training and running blinds? Your general thoughts?

Judy
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you, Dennis

But, could you give a few pieces of advice on a very fast, fast retriever?....say..in training and running blinds? Your general thoughts?

Judy
Does the dog have a problem with ABC? Is his attitude OK? Is he unbalanced? Is he out of control?

Many fast dogs don't have a problem but the handler does.

So, do you have the problem? Are you too slow in reacting? Do you handle too quickly?

Fast dogs need handlers who are faster too react and then slower to instruct.

Anticipate better and then slow it way down!!! . . . in everything you do.

Develop patience in yourself and in your dog!

Realize pressure can make fast dogs more frenetic!
 

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Thank you, Dennis...
 

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Does the dog have a problem with ABC? Is his attitude OK? Is he unbalanced? Is he out of control?

Many fast dogs don't have a problem but the handler does.

So, do you have the problem? Are you too slow in reacting? Do you handle too quickly?

Fast dogs need handlers who are faster too react and then slower to instruct.

Anticipate better and then slow it way down!!! . . . in everything you do.

Develop patience in yourself and in your dog!

Realize pressure can make fast dogs more frenetic!
Preaching to the choir! :D

God only knows how many times I've heard a voice from behind me: slow down!

God only knows how many times I've been that voice to others. LOL

It's so easy to fall into a fast pace, a frenetic pace. And with most dogs that I've seen, it's absolutely the wrong pace to be at.

I think I'm gonna get a sign made for our club's training grounds:
 

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Think that sign should be in clear view of each competitor on the way to the mat, or in my case starting pegs!
 

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LOL

I just noticed that the word "breathe" is spelled as "breath" DOH!

Ok, it won't be THAT sign.... LOL
 
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