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I started force breaking my retriever about a month ago. The results have been positive and I have had no issues thus far. He has been on an e collar for the last year and I have only had positive effects. However, I have not used the continuous mode until now. As far as force fetching, it is working well. The problem I am having is that he no longer sits unless it is right at my left heel. I will throw a dummy 20 feet away, command sit, and as soon as I step away from him he breaks and runs towards me. He refuses to sit unless it is at my heel. He acts as though the continuous mode of the collar is too painful but I am using it on a lower setting than before. Any time I command sit without the collar on or without dummies on the ground, he obeys the same as before we started force breaking. It seems like he knows when we are going to work on ff and immediately gets scared of being away from me. I searched the forum and could not find anything similar to this.

Has anybody had this issue?
I may not be explaining this problem very clearly so pm if you have any questions.
 

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Re-teach "Sit" Go back to basics and work forward slowly to be sure he has all the basics down. Then back to basics on FF. With the collar it is all about timing. If your timing is off you will have problems. Let me assume your following a good retriever program that includes FF.
Sounds like your putting to much pressure on the pup with the collar and he does not know what your asking. He knows that he will not get shocked if sitting at your left heel so he defaults to that safe zone. Might get someone who is good with a collar to help you and follow their lead. Not sure how "throw a dummy 20 feet away" enters in to the equasion but I would loose the bumper until he has "sit" down and solid. Good Luck.
 

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Thanks for the advice, Don. I know that go back to basics or "2 steps forard 1 step back" is the name of the game with ff. when I focus only on sit he does fine. It's not until I pull dummies out that he refuses to sit away from me.

To clarify, if working on fetch to pile or trying to incorporate ff into the home plate drill with hand signals, I will put Gus at the pitchers mound, command him to sit, take 3 steps towards home plate and he will start slinking towards me regardless of what I say or do. I'm kind of at a loss.
 

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It is not all that unusual for a dog that is part way through ecollar conditioning to want to come to you rather than remain at sit position. When you are conditioning to "here" they figure out quickly that being beside you is safer.
I have a couple of times had to put a 30' ft check cord on the dog, set the dog beside a pole, loop the check cord around the pole, walk away holding the lead with tension on the cord. This holds the dog in place. When you say here, drop the cord and it will slip around the pole as he runs to you. This should only take a session or so for them to catch on if properly conditioned to sit.

I am terribly confused about the path you are following. But a couple of questions:
Are you following a program?
When you push the button in continuous mode, how long do you hold it down? It should only be a second, one thousand one count.
Did you go through an established cc program? Because it would teach "sit" on the way back from a "here" command.
Or how did you use the ecollar for the first year he wore it before doing ff?

Edit: you can't pm until you have ten posts. You can go to the test forum and do the remaining posts in less than a minute.
 

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Consider putting him on a long cord with a pinch collar or choke chain. You can pop the lead for obedience correction instead of having to use the collar. Another option would be to just FTP from your side. Contrary to what the video says some dogs just don't do well when starting out with a front finish. What is he doing if you throw one over his head to the pile. Is this a confusion issue? I wouldn't be quick to think that this is the fault of the collar. It sounds like your dog is plenty old enough and that you have taken your time.
 

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I started force breaking my retriever about a month ago. The results have been positive and I have had no issues thus far. He has been on an e collar for the last year and I have only had positive effects. However, I have not used the continuous mode until now. As far as force fetching, it is working well. The problem I am having is that he no longer sits unless it is right at my left heel. I will throw a dummy 20 feet away, command sit, and as soon as I step away from him he breaks and runs towards me. He refuses to sit unless it is at my heel. He acts as though the continuous mode of the collar is too painful but I am using it on a lower setting than before. Any time I command sit without the collar on or without dummies on the ground, he obeys the same as before we started force breaking. It seems like he knows when we are going to work on ff and immediately gets scared of being away from me. I searched the forum and could not find anything similar to this.

Has anybody had this issue?
I may not be explaining this problem very clearly so pm if you have any questions.

Last question first ...Yes ,several have had this problem in the past...no big issue though....As Don has mentioned you are out of balance in the training...The dog is just trying to find a safe place to be...He is confused as to what your wishes are....Revisit sit, at a distance and by your side to gt this portion ironed out...I'm with Don ...good advice Steve S
 

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I agree, except it's not a matter of re-teaching it, so much as formalizing it. That's why in sequential programs "sit" is well formalized, not just taught, prior to beginning FF. Your dog should sit promptly, squarely, and remain stable in that position even when he's distracted. That transcends mere teaching. Stabilize your dog. Then force fetch.

Evan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all of the responses and will go back to solidifying sit/stay prior to taking any more steps with ff.

Wayne, to answer your questions: everything I have done so far has followed Dokken's retriever training.

From the way I interpreted the Dokken's book, I was using continuous mode from the time I gave him the command until he picked up the object. I was not aware it should be a 1sec pulse only. Although I have it on a low enough setting to prevent adverse reactions for such a long pulse, I will absolutely re visit my techniques.
 

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Wayne, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on holding the continuous down for only one second. As an inexperienced trainer, it seems like that would pretty much convert it to momentary mode. What am I missing, other than a whole bunch of knowledge and experience?
 

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Somewhere on this site there is an indepth discussion of the two modes on TT collars. My recollection is that the momentary mode is very, very short. Like 1/10 of a second. It is impossible for a human to duplicate the momentary mode as it is so short. The continous will time out at about 4 seconds, I think.

While the comments are mine, I learned the process from Mike Lardy's TRT 2d where he had a discussion on the two modes.

Generally speaking, Mike teaches to use continuous (one second) for cc and ff and then switches to momentary when starting FTP.

Hope this helps.
 

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I'll search for that thread. You are right that the momentary is shorter, and you can't exactly replicate it on continuous. I guess I thought that they might be so close as to be really indistinguishable to the dog.

I have had problems with my dog on a slow/loopy sit, and I was taught to give him a whistle and then a continuous until his butt hit the ground. It clears him right up when he takes a notion to try it again. Have I been doing this incorrectly all this time or is this one of those "it works for that particular dog" things?

Thanks for the response. The more I learn the more I see I have to learn.
 

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Generally speaking, Mike teaches to use continuous (one second) for cc and ff and then switches to momentary when starting FTP

Are you saying FF is to be done with only a second bump on continuous? If a dog is only bumped 1 second with the collar during the CC of Here or FF you will run into major problems down the road. Bolting on here may be one of them. If you pinch an ear till the dog puts the object in the mouth, then why wouldn't you stimulate until the dog puts the object in the mouth.? Does the Lardy program recommend a one second pinch also?
Pete
 

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Pete you have a lot more experience than me. Maybe you could discuss your questions with Mike Lardy. But that is what I do and it works for me. Remember Mike's sequence is ff with ear pinch, then walking ff with ear pinch (except I used a toe hitch with Rowdy because I couldn't bend over), then simple casting, then come back to walking ecollar fetch. And yes he does a one second burn for the force.
 

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RT, I trained a lot of dogs with a one button ecollar. Shadow was one of those plus he is a hard head. So, I switch to continous when I run him. Although, I don't hold the button down until I get compliance. I get it with a one second burn.
Hope this helps.
 

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RT, I trained a lot of dogs with a one button ecollar. Shadow was one of those plus he is a hard head. So, I switch to continous when I run him. Although, I don't hold the button down until I get compliance. I get it with a one second burn.
Hope this helps.
It does help.

I can get my dog to start to break down immediately on the whistle. What he will do if I let him is take 3 or 4 more strides trying to slow down, since he runs like his hair is on fire and he is sure he knows where it is. When he does this, what I call a "slow sit" necessarily turns into a loopy sit. IOW, it's not a crisp turn and down. Unless I catch him doing it and give him continuous pressure to the ground.

I guess I analogized the "continuous until compliance" with the ear pinch in FF, where you wouldn't let go until the bumper is in their mouth and held. It made sense to me in that context.

My pro has been working on it and it was a lot better the last time I visited, and it may be that he will be to the point when he gets back home after Labor Day that a nick will do it as a reminder of the other.
 

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It does help.

I can get my dog to start to break down immediately on the whistle. What he will do if I let him is take 3 or 4 more strides trying to slow down, since he runs like his hair is on fire and he is sure he knows where it is. When he does this, what I call a "slow sit" necessarily turns into a loopy sit. IOW, it's not a crisp turn and down. Unless I catch him doing it and give him continuous pressure to the ground.

I guess I analogized the "continuous until compliance" with the ear pinch in FF, where you wouldn't let go until the bumper is in their mouth and held. It made sense to me in that context.

My pro has been working on it and it was a lot better the last time I visited, and it may be that he will be to the point when he gets back home after Labor Day that a nick will do it as a reminder of the other.
Why do you care if it's a nick or cont? You do what you have to do to re-enforce and condition the behavior to become automatic and reliable.

You had the analogy correct Steve.
 

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Why do you care if it's a nick or cont? You do what you have to do to re-enforce and condition the behavior to become automatic and reliable.

You had the analogy correct Steve.
It does help.

I can get my dog to start to break down immediately on the whistle. What he will do if I let him is take 3 or 4 more strides trying to slow down, since he runs like his hair is on fire and he is sure he knows where it is. When he does this, what I call a "slow sit" necessarily turns into a loopy sit. IOW, it's not a crisp turn and down. Unless I catch him doing it and give him continuous pressure to the ground.

I guess I analogized the "continuous until compliance" with the ear pinch in FF, where you wouldn't let go until the bumper is in their mouth and held. It made sense to me in that context.

My pro has been working on it and it was a lot better the last time I visited, and it may be that he will be to the point when he gets back home after Labor Day that a nick will do it as a reminder of the other.
The only problem with continuous pressure on the sit whistle is that if done too much the dog will tend to start worrying more about getting his butt on the ground than turning around fully. When the dog is sitting sideways it is very difficult to get an accurate literal cast. This is a problem that is correctible but will always seem to come back and bite you once created.
 

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[QUOTEPete you have a lot more experience than me. Maybe you could discuss your questions with Mike Lardy. But that is what I do and it works for me. Remember Mike's sequence is ff with ear pinch, then walking ff with ear pinch (except I used a toe hitch with Rowdy because I couldn't bend over), then simple casting, then come back to walking ecollar fetch. And yes he does a one second burn for the force.][/QUOTE]

Thanks for clarifying that for me Wayne,, That is an interesting concept and application to me,,,it evokes many questions,,,,May be some day I'll be fortunate enough to attend one of Mike's seminars.

Pete
 

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The only problem with continuous pressure on the sit whistle is that if done too much the dog will tend to start worrying more about getting his butt on the ground than turning around fully. When the dog is sitting sideways it is very difficult to get an accurate literal cast. This is a problem that is correctable but will always seem to come back and bite you once created.
Two good points Tony. One is that continuous for sit can have affects opposite the trainer's goals. But the solution really makes a difference in terms of lasting effects. It's so popular to stop the dog, the dog sits crooked, then the handler calls the dog toward them to straighten them up, and then casts. It's a circus. Rarely is there lasting value to it, so the trainer forms the habit of this treatment on a regular basis. He needs to because it isn't a cure in most cases.

Sorry, I don't mean to side track the thread.

Evan
 

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The only problem with continuous pressure on the sit whistle is that if done too much the dog will tend to start worrying more about getting his butt on the ground than turning around fully. When the dog is sitting sideways it is very difficult to get an accurate literal cast. This is a problem that is correctible but will always seem to come back and bite you once created.
That's true, and he sometimes does end up not turning all the way around - which also tells me he understands the pressure on the sit and what i am trying to tell him. If I can get him reliably slamming on the brakes and getting his butt on the ground, I think I can fix the sideways sit. The goal is to get him reliably sitting on line and then back off on the pressure, eventually using a nick as a reminder when he tries to slip back into his old habit. Balance in all things, right?

In any event I think I'd rather have that problem than watch him consistently get off line because he simply doesn't sit quickly enough. And in working through this problem, I have learned some valuable lessons about sit, the consistency required in the corrections, and the need to get the sit command much more solid much earlier.
 
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