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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for pointers on how to train my dog to not cheat the shoreline? I want to avoid collar use if at all possible...
 

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Trying to recall the stories from the old timers.
I think, back before the E-collar they would hide a worker in a bush at the waters edge in a spot the dog was expected to cheat.
Then as the dog passed the worker he would jump out of the bush, smack the living snot out of the dog, lift it up in the air and throw it into the water.
Ether that or attrition.
One or the other.
 

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I have done this mostly through attrition, basically teach them what they are supposed do. But once taught, the collar is a good tool.
basically I start out close to the water, gradually move back, and if they try to cheat, stop, call back and resend. It did not take my pup Eli long to figure this out. Now he gets the occasional knick for being a dog and trying to cheat when he know better.
 

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Looking for pointers on how to train my dog to not cheat the shoreline? I want to avoid collar use if at all possible...
Good. I'm glad you're approaching it that way. I don't think decheating should be done with an e-collar. It should be done with trained skills. As usual, a collar conditioned dog should have his trained skills supported with the temperate use of the e-collar, but the e-collar is not what should decheat the dog.

Cheating singles, Tune up drills, and many good cold water blinds with appropriate cheating factors will provide the exposure. Handle to provide the dog with information about how to negotiate them. Beyond that, what are you looking for?

Evan
 

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I'm working on this now. I have used attrition (call back and rerun) but have also had the BB use a buggy whip at the waters edge to discourage cheating. Just slapping the water is usually enough, my dog is pretty intense so he actually needed a lick or two to the rear end intially. It might be old school but it works!
 

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Not quite. We jumped out, slapped the ground with a buggy whip, wasn't ever nec. to throw the dog in the water.
Walt
Dancing around and making a show while slapping the ground is always good.
 

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The old fashioned BB scare can also backfire on you also as far as water attitude. I would decheat after handling skills are good and use attrition.
 

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Looking for pointers on how to train my dog to not cheat the shoreline? I want to avoid collar use if at all possible...
I am curious. Why?
I have always used the e collar to de cheat mine and never had any trouble with water attitude. I do it after T and do it about the same time as my water T. t water They learn if the e collar is used correctly that water is good, land and the shore is bad, Simple as that.
Not busting chops, just interested.
MP
 

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I started with my E.P.P. pup at 12 weeks throwing obvious path cheating singles with somebody else running him and me in the field throwing and helping as necessary. Since he didn't handle everything was well though out and help planned ahead so there were no surprises. You can't do anything ridiculously tight at that age but he has the best water attitude of any dog that I have had, he is naturally watery so there have never beenn any problems keeping him wet. According to Pat Burns his dad was a big water dog that was unintimidated by long open water swims and he seems to have passed that on. Ray Ray has been going through a formal de-cheating program all summer and he has made the process really fun, we look foward to fall derby.
 

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This is an interesting question and I would genuinely like to know some non-collar drills for decheating (or, "approximate" decheating).
I am a firm believer in the decheating process outlined in Mitch White's handbook, which DOES rely on the collar. It is a thing of beauty and for my own dogs I have used that to great success.
HOWEVER I often find myself helping others with either young dogs not ready for this or people who do not use the collar. Of course their dogs are major cheaters. The owners are obsessed with fixing the cheating, which is completely fruitless. I would like to be able to show them some drills they can do on their own to encourage water habits but I find most of the non-collar decheating methods to be annoying and ineffective. Anyhow........
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cheating

My dog typically doesnt handle pressure well, so I am trying to avoid it as much as I can. Right now he has a good water attitude and i'd like to keep it that way. However, he does like to cheat the shore when he can. I have tried the helper splashing the water near the shore, and it shut him down, and it was a day or two before his water attitude came back to normal.

This past weekend we ran in a NAHRA Started hunt test, and the water marks were singles, and both not a cheating type setup. Approximately 50 yards. My dog ended up running around the pond, and it resulted in a large hunt. So much so, that the judges suggested I try to handle him to the bird. I declined and let him hunt for the bird himself. He eventually found the bird, and with a whistle he swam back across the pond. The second mark went well, straight line in both directions.

We still managed to pass the test, but it showed me that my dog needs to learn not to cheat. I drew a little sketch to illustrated the setup: (the X's are a heavy band of cattails)
 

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Good. I'm glad you're approaching it that way. I don't think decheating should be done with an e-collar. It should be done with trained skills. As usual, a collar conditioned dog should have his trained skills supported with the temperate use of the e-collar, but the e-collar is not what should decheat the dog.

Cheating singles, Tune up drills, and many good cold water blinds with appropriate cheating factors will provide the exposure. Handle to provide the dog with information about how to negotiate them. Beyond that, what are you looking for?

Evan
OK Evan, since you water force with the ecollar prior to de-cheating & you do handling drills (double T, etc) prior to that with the ecollar, I think you are confusing folks or baiting. I understand your point, teaching rather than punishing...the ecollar doesn't teach, the trainer does, etc but you have to provide the background to be clear, don't you think?

And to Newf I'd say you are entering tests (for you) before your dog is ready/properly trained...and by doing so, you are re-inforcing bad habits. And there is a simple training progression on the marks you graphed. You train on similar marks in the water on the line to the eventual marks on the opposite shore, so that cheating is not rewarded with the retrieve.. You build proper success by repetition (not the same marks repeated but similar marks) of doing things right (& in your example by tossing the bird progressively further from the line until the dog demonstrates a learned, successful response).
 

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IMHO this was my simple way of doing the concept!:) Attrition and setting the dog up so he has to run to the middle of the water. Your gunner at first throws to the middle. Stay close up to shore with your dog and send him. If he went to the side, I blew the whistle made him sit and then called him back to me. For second offence, I blew the whistle for sit, said NO and called him back. After time, if he appears to understand you can start to move back from the shore. Praise him. It is hard at first because it is easier for them to scoot around the shore rather than take the direct route?? Lardy's video shows decheating to give you an idea. Just don't use the collar. I did a lot of DT, advanced DT and swimby work prior. It is an ongoing process.
 

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My dog typically doesnt handle pressure well, so I am trying to avoid it as much as I can. Right now he has a good water attitude and i'd like to keep it that way. However, he does like to cheat the shore when he can. I have tried the helper splashing the water near the shore, and it shut him down, and it was a day or two before his water attitude came back to normal.

This past weekend we ran in a NAHRA Started hunt test, and the water marks were singles, and both not a cheating type setup. Approximately 50 yards. My dog ended up running around the pond, and it resulted in a large hunt. So much so, that the judges suggested I try to handle him to the bird. I declined and let him hunt for the bird himself. He eventually found the bird, and with a whistle he swam back across the pond. The second mark went well, straight line in both directions.

We still managed to pass the test, but it showed me that my dog needs to learn not to cheat. I drew a little sketch to illustrated the setup: (the X's are a heavy band of cattails)
Newf--Be careful here. Most of us don't think of attrition as pressure but, it is. And dogs feel it. Some dogs comply quickly and get on with the program. Some are stubborn and will try to wear you down with attrition. And, some will quit. I'm not saying put the collar on your dog, just don't think that you can decheat your dog through attrition without any side effects. Good luck.
 

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My dog typically doesnt handle pressure well, so I am trying to avoid it as much as I can. Right now he has a good water attitude and i'd like to keep it that way. However, he does like to cheat the shore when he can. I have tried the helper splashing the water near the shore, and it shut him down, and it was a day or two before his water attitude came back to normal.

This past weekend we ran in a NAHRA Started hunt test, and the water marks were singles, and both not a cheating type setup. Approximately 50 yards. My dog ended up running around the pond, and it resulted in a large hunt. So much so, that the judges suggested I try to handle him to the bird. I declined and let him hunt for the bird himself. He eventually found the bird, and with a whistle he swam back across the pond. The second mark went well, straight line in both directions.

We still managed to pass the test, but it showed me that my dog needs to learn not to cheat. I drew a little sketch to illustrated the setup: (the X's are a heavy band of cattails)
I had this same problem last year. My first "competition" dog (show line Golden who wouldn't handle pressure). His nick name is the "Bank Robber". After letting the problem develop, and asking several people how to fix the problem, my advisers convinced me that I must first really formalize his and my handling skills. They said, the only way to fix it without the collar or BB gun is to handle him back into the water or back to the line when he starts to cheat. Then eventually, he'll learn not to cheat. Though I had done the drills of handling on land and some little bit of handling practice on water, we hadn't really done the necessary work for water handling.

So the conclusion I was told: Stop doing any cheating marks period. Formalize your handling drill work. Then start with easy cheating marks close the water's edge and handle dog when he tries to cheat. Eventually, he'll hopefully realize cheating won't do.

I know this is just repeating what many have said in above posts, but maybe it sinks in better when you see it more than once.

Good Luck, And wish me luck, too cause I"m the same boat.

Jennifer

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I just Went through about half of my decheating work with a boykin that didnt do well initially with collar pressure around water. I used attrition for several weeks every day teaching swimby , correct entry points, channel blinds then adding cheating singles through attrition hes now responding much better to the collar nicks and knows the nick with the command "water" means to get in the water. Taking a little longer but now that ive gotten to this point its going much quicker.
 

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My dog typically doesnt handle pressure well, so I am trying to avoid it as much as I can. Right now he has a good water attitude and i'd like to keep it that way. However, he does like to cheat the shore when he can. I have tried the helper splashing the water near the shore, and it shut him down, and it was a day or two before his water attitude came back to normal.

This past weekend we ran in a NAHRA Started hunt test, and the water marks were singles, and both not a cheating type setup. Approximately 50 yards. My dog ended up running around the pond, and it resulted in a large hunt. So much so, that the judges suggested I try to handle him to the bird. I declined and let him hunt for the bird himself. He eventually found the bird, and with a whistle he swam back across the pond. The second mark went well, straight line in both directions.

We still managed to pass the test, but it showed me that my dog needs to learn not to cheat. I drew a little sketch to illustrated the setup: (the X's are a heavy band of cattails)
Part of why dogs cheat water is because they want to get to the bird the fastest route ... they know they can run faster than they can swim. So it's not only about "liking" the water.

In your diagram where the dog cheated #1, have your BB through the mark in the middle of the pond on this same line so it's faster to get in than it is to run around. Then, in small increments, gradually make the fall closer and closer to the far shore. You will find the point where he deems it easier/quicker to cheat. Call back and resend, throwing another bumper or a rock if you can't get him to go in at all. Over time you may be able to have the fall up out of the water further and further (20-30-40 yds).

Then you can start sending the dog from back away from the bank ... just a few yards at first. Then further and further back. As you move back from the bank, the temptation to cheat gets greater so when you reach the point where he cheats, call back, move up closer and resend.

All this, though, is just the TEACHING. You are not yet training. When you go to a different pond, you will probably find you have to do it all over again. All dogs cheat water if the temptation is great enough. Even well trained FCs will cheat given the chance. Don't listen to anyone who says their dog doesn't. The aversive you use, whatever you decide upon, HAS to be stronger than the dog's perceived benefit of running the bank. That simple. So TEACH him what you want first. Then TRAIN him to do it even when he doesn't want to.

BTW, not to be critical of your dog at all, but that cheat in your diagram is HUGE. He ran almost 90 degrees off line to get there. I just say that hoping you realize you have a lot to do. It takes time and is a lifelong process. Set your standard high and take baby steps to get there. Your goal should be to move the line gradually around to the end of the pond, near where the word "the" is in your notation, and send him from there.

JS
 

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OK Evan, since you water force with the ecollar prior to de-cheating & you do handling drills (double T, etc) prior to that with the ecollar, I think you are confusing folks or baiting. I understand your point, teaching rather than punishing...the ecollar doesn't teach, the trainer does, etc but you have to provide the background to be clear, don't you think?
Newf and I have had numerous training discussions in the past. I believe he's following my program, and has a dog with Basics on board. But for discussion on the board, "yes", these processes are what you can constructively run with a dog that has a full set of Basics on board, including Swim-by.

The main point I was attempting to make is that the e-collar won't do the training. It won't do any teaching, or deliver any information. It will only support known commands if you're using it right. So, if you don't train with an e-collar, use whatever means you normally would to uphold your obedience, and handle to show your dog what to do and how to do it.

You sent him one way, and he went another. With your whistle in your mouth, that should have been the first course; stop the dog - effectively telling him "no, not that way" - then cast, telling him "that way". That's how handling communicates. The role of the collar, again, would only be to assure he obeys the commands given. Use whatever aversive you understand and are willing to use.

Evan
 

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Another RTF-er described a method for de-cheating when I asked a related question. My problem is that I don't really have access to good water for the purpose of de-cheating without driving nearly 2 hours. I probably won't do the method full justice, but here's my adaption of it.

The dog doesn't necessarily need to be able to handle, or have gone through swim-by, but those skill help a LOT when the dog makes a mistake, especially as the drill progresses. I think the method and sequence proposed in the standard programs (Lardy, Graham, etc.) is the best way to go, but this exercise is not contrary to those programs, and can be used (at least to a point) with a young dog that doesn't have all the foundational skills to handle formal de-cheating.

Also, some dogs pick up on this better than others. My dog is a cheater at heart, and a little slow to pick up on some things that he doesn't want to do. I saw another dog respond very positively to this after her first 10-minute session of it. Trainability is a wonderful trait in a dog!

Find a narrow channel or swim-by pond, or whatever water you can adapt this drill to (see illustration below). Sit the dog, right at the water's edge, and walk around to the other side. You want to set the dog up for success, and make it easy, and clearly communicate to the dog what it is that you're looking for, so make sure that you position the dog with LOTS of water on either side, with a square entry and exit, as pictured in the line marked 1.

Violet Line Diagram Electric blue Rectangle

Call the dog to you. If the dog tries to cheat, command him to sit (quickly- don't let him get far). Walk him back to the same spot, and start over. Gradually move him back from the water's edge, until he's making a fairly long entry. The further you move away from the water, the stronger the temptation will be to cheat the end of the pond. Simplify as much as possible until you get success. When the dog is consistently performing leg one, move on to leg two, and so forth. Don't move on to legs 5-8 yet though. Now that the dog is consistently returning to you without cheating, start over at leg 1 (right at the water's edge), but instead of sitting him on the opposite side, sit him next to you, and toss the bumper to the opposite side (or have a helper toss it for you). If he starts to cheat, stop him, simplify (even if you have to review the sit/recall stage for that leg a few times), and try again. Again, extend the entry/exit distances gradually, and once you have consistent success, move on to the next leg.

Once the dog is performing the square entries and exits, start on the angled entries/exits in legs 5-8. It's probably best not to do all of these on the same corner of the pond as shown, because the dog may tend to go back to the same entry/exit point each time, frustrating both of you. So if possible, move to another corner of the pond for each leg, and work the angles illustrated. Teach the line with the sit/recall method, extending the distances. Then, as previously described, run the dog from your side (right at the water's edge) and toss the bumper to the other side and send for the retrieve, and gradually extend the distance. Keep it fun, use lots of praise, and keep your frustration in check. Simplify as necessary to get success.

I hope this helps you, as it did me and my dog.
 
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