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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what are some things you folks do to build drive and add excitement into your training?

It takes a lot to get my dog excited. I just havent found the magic button yet...looking for ideas...
 

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Someone here can give an answer I am too new but are you acting excited? make it a big deal? then stop with the dog wanting more?
 

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what are some things you folks do to build drive and add excitement into your training?

It takes a lot to get my dog excited. I just havent found the magic button yet...looking for ideas...
Only advice...There are a couple...First....There is eye contact and then there is body language, and last is your voice. This will bring excitement, or contint(sp) but not drive. Drive comes from the dog, not you.
 

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Newf,

I'm not sure either, beyond using only live birds to tease dog.

Just want to tell you, I went through this with my current 2 year old when he was a pup til he was about 16 months old. No amount of acting excited and being the light of his life would help. I could've lit fire crackers to no avail. But magically, at some point around 16 months, he turned on! You can't throw too many retrieves for him now. Doesn't matter what you throw, either!

Mind you, he had two junior passes before this turn on. Only because he had a willingness to please and the judges were nice about his slowness. I didn't and couldn't have used an e collar on him nor a true force fetch. His force fetch was rediculously easy and required very little ear pinch.

anyway, now, miraculously at the age of 2 yrs, he is a retrieving machine. Didn't do anything but almost gave up on him. He just came around on his own.
For what it's worth,
Jennifer
 

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SUCCESS! One of,, if not THE most important thing to consider.

JMHDAO

Gooser
 

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Do alot of fireman drills on marks. Have thrower out in the field and Shoot, throw, shoot, throw, shoot throw all the way out to the mark to keep them driving hard and with confidence, running straight lines and pinning the marks and not having to hunt them. Repeat the same mark with less "help" from the thrower until the dog is running hard directly to the mark, pinning it and bringing the bird back. Make a big deal out of it when the dog comes back and throw a happy bird or two straight out from where you sent the dog on the same line as the mark following the last mark of that drill. When they bring back the happy bird make them come to back to heel/sit and let the dog sit there with the bird in their mouth and praise the dog while stroking them down their side a few times. Let the dog sit there with bird still in their mouth after you stop stroking their side, stand straight up while the dog is still holding the bird nicely and then reach down, say SIT and take the bird using your hand from the opposite side of where the dog is sitting. If you don't do this after getting them cranked up on happy birds, they can start developing other bad habits while delivering the bird which will create a lot of extra work to undo.

Also, as someone else mentioned the tone and enthusiasm in your voice can have a huge bearing on the dog. Make sure their is no gruffness in your voice and be consistent with your voice in how you send the dog whether you are using "Back" or the dog's name to send your dog.

Good Luck!

John & Deb Lenon
www.mamaslabs.com
 

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Good boy/Girl will get you far! A fun bumper after that and now we're cookin with peanut oil
 

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Do alot of fireman drills on marks. Have thrower out in the field and Shoot, throw, shoot, throw, shoot throw all the way out to the mark to keep them driving hard and with confidence, running straight lines and pinning the marks and not having to hunt them. Repeat the same mark with less "help" from the thrower until the dog is running hard directly to the mark, pinning it and bringing the bird back. Make a big deal out of it when the dog comes back and throw a happy bird or two straight out from where you sent the dog on the same line as the mark following the last mark of that drill. When they bring back the happy bird make them come to back to heel/sit and let the dog sit there with the bird in their mouth and praise the dog while stroking them down their side a few times. Let the dog sit there with bird still in their mouth after you stop stroking their side, stand straight up while the dog is still holding the bird nicely and then reach down, say SIT and take the bird using your hand from the opposite side of where the dog is sitting. If you don't do this after getting them cranked up on happy birds, they can start developing other bad habits while delivering the bird which will create a lot of extra work to undo.

Also, as someone else mentioned the tone and enthusiasm in your voice can have a huge bearing on the dog. Make sure their is no gruffness in your voice and be consistent with your voice in how you send the dog whether you are using "Back" or the dog's name to send your dog.

Good Luck!

John & Deb Lenon
www.mamaslabs.com
John and Deb.....
Touché
Benny
 

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what are some things you folks do to build drive and add excitement into your training?

It takes a lot to get my dog excited. I just havent found the magic button yet...looking for ideas...

Just a thought Newf. . . Is training the high point of your dog's day? Or does he get the run of the yard, playing with kids, other dogs, etc? If so you might want to try kenneling him except for airing times, until you are ready to train. Then show up with birds, live ones if possible, and get ready to make a fool out of yourself by showing huge excitement and enthusiasm.

But if he truly does not have the desire or drive for the games, don't beat him up over it. Find something else you like doing together. It might be hunting, it might be playing with kids. Give it your best shot and have a good time with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input folks.

Thing is, i can jump, dance, "atta boy" and generally act like a fool, but it just dosent crank him up when it comes to work.

He dosent get excited for bumpers, but birds he does great. (for marks) But we still have ALOT of training to do to use birds exclusively. The only other thing that gets him going is orange "chuck it" balls. And they are losing their charm.
It seems like he just dosent like to work.


I've even tried various food treats but there dosent seem to be the one food he goes nuts for...
 

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More marks, less obedience.
 

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How old is he?

Some dogs just don't get real excited about bumpers. Doesn't mean they won't do their jobs, it's just not exciting for them. My daughters golden is that way but shoot a couple pigeon flyers for her and she gets fired up real quick. My lab on the other hand doesn't care what we're throwing, as long as he gets to retrieve he's excited.

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Here is what worked for our dog that lacked drive and was lazy... Took him to a hunt test and let or should I say made him watch. We did this last weekend with our three year old that lacked drive. By Sunday he passed a started test with flying colors. Now in full disclosure, he has had lots of training in efforts to get him "intersted" so he wasn't going in raw. He still is not the fastest dog on the grounds but he does get the job done and delivers to hand beautifully.
 

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I'll take a contrarian view on "building drive". IMO, you can't. All you can do is develop what the dog is born with. And that means you can't put drive in a dog that has low desire and you can damage the drive a dog has by incorrect training/too much force.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My dog will be two in June.

Last fall was his first season hunting and we picked up 50-60 ducks, a couple geese and a few pheasants. We picked up two passes towards our NAHRA started title last summer, and hopfully two more passes this summer to earn our title. Recently i had him at a local retriever event and he was pretty cranked up. His OB was pretty sloppy due to his excitement.

So that should be enough to say he does have desire for birds and hunt test type stuff.

The main problem I encounter is teaching/training new concepts. He just dosent get excited enough to want to do it, even when he is successful. For example basic three handed casting. Ive taught it, he knows the casts but still isnt eager to take the cast. He will kind of just wander in the direction I send him.

I try to keep things upbeat and pressure free to enhance the fun.
 

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Thanks for the input folks.

Thing is, i can jump, dance, "atta boy" and generally act like a fool, but it just dosent crank him up when it comes to work.

He dosent get excited for bumpers, but birds he does great. (for marks) But we still have ALOT of training to do to use birds exclusively. The only other thing that gets him going is orange "chuck it" balls. And they are losing their charm.
It seems like he just dosent like to work.


I've even tried various food treats but there dosent seem to be the one food he goes nuts for...
Yep, even though my 2 yr old Buck finally turned on, he's still not born for this work or game. I love him and will take him hunting - he's a great pheasant dog - and do some fun training with him, but my real solution was to buy a new pup out of killer field lines. I am having fun with the new pup and her natural talents and spunk. Also having fun watching Buck enjoy his new playmate. I have to say that having the new pup around has awakened a new spirit in him, too.
 

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Newf,

Take a look at the Michael Ellis stuff on leerburg.com. I think I've told you about this guy but he has a lot of stuff on what he calls "engagement training" and building drive and focus I've also got a DVD from him I can loan you. He's the best trainer I've ever seen IMO... just in the wrong sport.

Not sure if there is anything there that will help your particular case but it's worth a look.
 

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Try going out with other dogs - peg him out and let him watch the others - need to be beginner dogs so marks not too far away so your dog can see it all happening in front of him.
Jealousy can be a powerful motivator for dogs as well as humans!
 
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