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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to help out a fellow club member here...Yesterday I was out training at the local club grounds and I met a fellow there training his dog. From what I can tell he's got a pretty good dog, judging from its appearance and drive I'm going to guess and say its from field trial lines. I watched their training session for a bit, they were doing some doubles and triples which were going great. The dog was nailing them. BUT every time the dog brough the bird back, it would drop the bird a few feet in front of the guy. Not once did the dog deliver to hand.

After they finished up I got talking with the guy and he told me about the his delivery to hand problem. He dosent really know how it started, and now he dosent know how to fix it. He was considering revisiting "force to here" but the recall is great. I suggested revisiting HOLD, and as the dog returns command HOLD/HEEL.

I've actually seen this very same problem when I attended our first hunt test. One of the handlers in the started stakes had this exact same problem...

Wondering if anybody on here might have seen this type of problem before, and/or knows how to fix it?

Thanks Folks!
 

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Before a dog is force fetched, delivery to the area of the line is acceptable. After a dog is force fetched, you should demand delivery to hand. If the dog drops a bird or bumper (other than a one time deal) you deal with it the same way you did while doing force fetch. Ear pinch, fetch-nick-fetch, whatever you did during force fetch.

This handler has not been properly force fetched. The dog may or may not have been properly force fetched, you won't know that until you reach for the ear.
 

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How many feet is a few feet? Has the handler stepped toward the dog or away from the dog? How has the handler taught hold? What has he done to fix it? There are several drills to address this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dont really know much about the background info. Just what I saw. But the handler was attempting to step backwards to encourage the dog to come the last few feet. 5-6 feet would be my best guess.
 

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The guy must teach Hold first, then proceed to fetch after that. Force may or may not be necessary but it is sure nice to have a meaningful correction for the dog that wants to drop. Once the habit starts, it's harder to break... I'm teaching a mini class right now to some of my obed friends so if you'd like the class notes to pass along to the guy, I can email them. Evan's SmartFetch is a good book too, but I do like to spend a little more time on the Hold w/ various objects (not just a bumper/paint roller etc) and do more proofing than what most seem to suggest before we start into Fetch.
 

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just because your dog has been ff does not mean he will never again spit out a bird or bumper---it means you have the tools to deal with the problem when he does. Rarely do i recommend that a trainer go back and redo the ff; work on it in the field. Most dog are going to challenge you in the field, just to make sure you're going to back-up the command you taught in the yard.
 

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Sounds like the guy hasn't force fetched his dog, since you say he doesn't know what to do when the dog drops the bumper. Force fetch training gives you the tools you need to quickly and efficiently deal with this. If my dog did this I would give him a "fetch" on the first drop, and "fetch-nick-fetch" on any subsequent drops (I transitioned from ear pinch to stick fetch, collar fetch, etc). Before I FF my dog, I work on hold too, which makes my FF a little cleaner and easier for the dog. One thing I definitely would not do is let this go, he is basically teaching the dog that its OK to drop the bird on the return every time he lets this slide.

Whatever program this guy is using with his dog, he should have completed FF by the time he is doing multiples in the field, so the best advice you can give him is to go back and review FF, or if he didn't do this or doesn't know how, he should get some help from a more experienced trainer. What is he going to do when the dog drops the bird in the water? This is a pretty big hole in his training.
 

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Seems to me the dawg knows how to HOLD and how to DROP..but doesn't quite understand when and where to do it, (or not do it).

Re-enforce HERE anyone?
 

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The reason to make sure the Hold is solid in the first place is so the dog has some muscle memory (ie habit) to resort back to. Hold = Good, just as the Heel position is always good/safe for my dogs (unless of course they were to No go, but then I'd still step back and correct from a spot away from heel because I need Heel to be good for obed!). We encourage good play/prey drive in our pups to build the retrieving enthusiasm, in various places. Hold taught thoroughly will eliminate a lot of the confusion ime. I like my dogs to generalize Hold from a Sit in front or at my side, then from longer distances away from me and once solid on all that, we start to move. Young dogs often can't "walk and chew gum".

Case in point, there is a little schnauzer in my obed class who has been doing beautifully on Hold (week 1). She'd been doing it while sitting on a rug in front of her owner. Last night I asked the gal to see if she could try moving the dog just a couple steps. You could see the light go dim and object dropped from her mouth. She couldn't Stand while holding, let alone move-- yet the dog has a Nov Obed title so knows what Stand is. So back to the beginning w/ Hold from a Stand before we can get movement. Hold isn't as easy as it looks for all dogs but this is the first one I've had that couldn't Hold from a Stand.

I probably spend a solid 2 wks on stationary Hold and learning to wait for a verbal release before proofing on Heeling etc, and so far, I think it's helped a lot w/ the rest of the process.
 

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heel or fetch?

Seems to me the dawg knows how to HOLD and how to DROP..but doesn't quite understand when and where to do it, (or not do it).

Re-enforce HERE anyone?
If the dog has been through a solid program and delivered to hand good before then I probably agree with you... BUT ..we don't know all the details now ...I'm guessing on the side of a poor job of fetch and hold....This problem shows up a lot when dogs exit the water and stop to shake ...then heel! AND when dog has returned take calmly back to bumper and force a pick up....
Steve S
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Spoke with the guy again today, apparently when using bumpers the dog performs fine. Seems like this problem with is only with birds...
I suggested that he may have to revisit HOLD with birds..
 

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dropping birds

Spoke with the guy again today, apparently when usin bumpers he dog perform fine. Seems like this problem with birds...
I suggested that he may have to revisit HOLD with birds..
FF is not complete until dog has been forced on birds ( frozen and fresh) and then dog should be tested with some unusual item....I know a guy that used a stanley thermos to proof his....steve s
 
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