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Which comes 1st --FF, CC, combo, doesn't matter

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Most methods i have researched recommend that at least most of collar conditioning should come after force fetch. Jurney (Finished Dog) FF first. Top Dog doesn't say for sure --implies can be done as soon as the dog is mature enough to handle the pressure. Smartwork/Smartfetch method, CC here first and the rest (i think) after FF. I am not sure about Dobbs yet.

Any pros and cons for either?

What if dog is progressing very nicely (mentally), but is not physically mature or old enough for FF?

If it does matter, then why?
 

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IMO if the dog isn't mature enough for FF he's not mature enough
for CC.

Evan Grahm's condition to here 1st works well but it finishes
CC after FF just as the other programs do.

If you are considering CC 1st as a method to skip steps or
hastening the program, it is not a good idea.

Bert
 

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ff/cc

After onlead sit/here/sit command is known, I CC to here. Then I FF. I don't do FULL CC until 7-8 months, always after FF. It works very well for me.
 

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I NORMALLY cc to here then FF but my lean mac/fast willie female I CC'd her on ALL her Obedience
*This because she is such a high dog and she was a year old as well dang firecracker!!
 

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It depends on the dog. All of the choices on the poll were appropriate. One must be flexible when training dogs.

Angie
 

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IMHO it doesn't matter so long as you do not skip steps in either process. I have FF dogs that have been CC and those that were never CC. Dogs can be CC after FF and the "e" stimulus added to the FF response just like every other response in the appropriate order.

Tim
 

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potshot said:
Most methods i have researched recommend that at least most of collar conditioning should come after force fetch. Journey (Finished Dog) FF first. Top Dog doesn't say for sure --implies can be done as soon as the dog is mature enough to handle the pressure.

Smartwork/Smartfetch method, CC here first and the rest (i think) after FF. I am not sure about Dobbs yet.
Dobbs advocates introducing the CC program at the same time as FF. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. He is assuming that your are dealing with a high rolling pup with a big bottom. Proceed at your own peril -- but if your pup can?t handle the pressure, don?t blame the pup or his breeding -- blame this approach.

potshot said:
Any pros and cons for either?
All these approaches have very valid steps. What's wrong with picking and choosing depending upon your comfort level as a trainer and what makes sense to you? What fits best with your pup?s personality a maturity level?

One thing that is consistent: all these people advocate keeping the CC and FF sessions very short (under 10 minutes). Set a reasonable goal for each session and stop when that goal is meet -- even if it met within a very short period of time. Don?t know how to divide the FF program into a set of reasonable goals? Invest in the Tritronics 2 volume VCR on the Trained Retrieve It really illustrates this point.

Journey and Dobbs offer very similar approaches to FF. Both advocate a FF table. I wouldn?t train without one. Both begin with the ?hold? command. Both incorporate the "toe pinch" into the fetch phase. I like the "toe pinch" as it offers a good transition to fetching off the table top -- and later helps make the introduction of the e collar easier. Dobbs recommends using the "ear pinch" and then moving onto the toe pinch -- Journey says skip the ear pinch.

I've found that the toe pinch works great on the table but is impracticable once the dog is moving on the ground (the string won?t stay wrapped around the toes). For that reason, I wouldn't skip the ear pinch, as it allows me better control when the pup first gets on the ground, and also if pup tests me when we begin bumper pile and simple "T" work.

Dobbs and Smart Works advocate integrating CC into FF all at once. I really think that depends upon the puppy. Some pups can handle it, some really cannot.

Lardy recommends waiting till the pup is at least 8 months old to begin CC. He recommends completing the FF program; using the ear pinch for bumper piles on the ground, then introducing the dog to ?stick fetch?.

If you have a mouthy puppy and/or haven?t CC for ?here?, wait till the pup is off the table than follow Lardy?s approach with ?stick fetch?. Make sure the pup understands and is solid with ?hold? (both on the table and on the ground) before proceeding to CC.

Lardy integrates the CC into FF after the pup is CC?d for sit, here, heel.

Lardy believes in performing CC over a 5-7 day period. It?s very dramatic for the pup, so I understand why he suggests that the pup be fully engaged in retrieving and a more mature 8 months. Dobbs? tells you to take 3-6 weeks. This is 3 phase, more gradual approach. Each phase has been be split up into sequences so you can revisit each of the phases at a later date to build upon them. For instance, ?here? encompasses recall as well as ?heeling? with the collar. You can get ?here? in the field down, spend 2-3 weeks gradually increasing distractions; go on to the next phase (leaving your side), and return at a later date to CC ?heel?. It all depends on your comfort level as a trainer and the pup?s ability to handle pressure with increasing levels of distraction. The value of this approach is that it places the time clock in your hands.

Lardy?s method is used by most Pros, but you better understand what you are doing and have a really good sense of timing. Dobb?s is easier for the amateur to grasp. Unsure of yourself? Seek out a Pro to coach you.

I?ve adopted a split approach. Depending on the pup, I like to CC for ?here? prior to beginning FF. This teaches him how to turn off and avoid pressure. It also gives me control while he is off leash exploring in the park and field.

Once I am satisfied the dog is responding comfortably and intelligently to both leash corrections & CC for ?here?, I begin working with the force fetch.

While the dog is on the FF table, I take him on off leash fun outings to the park so that I can continue to CC for ?here?. Because the pup already understands ?here? with distractions, I?ve never found it to be a big deal during the FF period.

I also continue retrieving in the field. I just don?t insist that he carry the bumper/ bird all the way back to me until he has completed FF.

Journey and Lardy advocates doing some basic obedience work just prior to putting the dog on the table for each FF session, and immediately when you take him off. This works for me, so I work with the pup on ?sit?, ?here?, ?return to side?, beginning ?heeling?. I try to make these sessions fun and short (3 minutes). I want him to hit the table with a good attitude.

I also work on ?sit? via leash corrections and a heeling stick. I try to make ?sit? as positive as possible. Once the pup is responding quickly to verbal commands, I chain with the sit whistle. This makes life much easier for the pup when we hit the ?T?. I also make sure he understands ?kennel?.

Once off the table, I have a pup that understands how to both turn off and avoid physical pressure. So, I am ready to complete the CC program: Dobbs vs Lardy ... You decide.

Dobbs is very strong on CC the dog to a Platform (including casting to 3 platforms set in a ?T?). Lardy doesn?t include Platform work. Nor do most Pros. The reason is that this is a very time consuming step for someone with a truck load of dogs.

Through the years I?ve come to believe that the platform should be integrated into a CC program. Even if you do the 5 day Lardy approach, take an additional 2-3 weeks to fully introduce your pup to the Dobb?s platform approach (phase 2 of CC). The Tritronics Retriever Training book coupled with articles from the Dobbs web site should help you develop a comprehensive program. The platform is a powerful tool for steadying the dog, teaching the dog to go into and stay in the holding blind -- and heeling properly to the line. Casting to the platform is equally valuable and will make your pup?s life so much easier when you advance to the T pattern and swim by.

Once platform work has been completed with the e-collar, you are ready to move onto the ?T? pattern - assuming your pup is fetching off the bumper pile and and doing walking fetch. Both with the e-collar and heeling stick.

Regarding the use of ?stick fetch? for walking fetch and forcing to the bumper pile. I disagree with Evan's SMART WORKS (a truly fabulous book) on this one point: Evan seems to feel that integrating CC into the FF program makes stick fetch unnecessary. But stick fetch does 2 important things for you: it allows you the option of getting the pup off the table and advancing to "walking fetch" and "bumper piles" before completing the CC program.

Secondly, stick fetch offers the handler an additional, power tool to correct the dog on the line during transition to pattern blinds and cold blinds. Furthermore, when you begin to transition into more complex marking concepts, many dogs get a little hesitant on the line: they move out, but without much style. You can force him in route with the collar, but what if you have to correct him out in the field for cast refusal or giving into factors such as wind and terrain? If every correction is electronic, you may create a bugging problem. By making stick fetch an integral part of your FF program, you now have a means of reinforcing your expectation that he leave your side quickly. You can save your e-collar correction for more appropriate situations.


Angie B said:
It depends on the dog. All of the choices on the poll were appropriate. One must be flexible when training dogs.
So true!!!

Always be thinking about your pup: how old is he? Does he have his adult teeth, does he have a tendency toward hard mouth? Has he been trained in the basics: sit, here, heel, kennel? What is his emotional maturity. How comfortable is he when introduced to new situations in the field and around people and other dogs? In stores? How is his focus?

I never begin CC until I am sure that the pup understands and accepts physical corrections with a leash & training collar for ?sit?, ?here?, and ?kennel?. How do I know this is accomplished? He displays a positive attitude towards work. He performs all these commands quickly and enthusiastically. If he hesitates or ignores a command, he responds positively and without surprise to correction. This is really an individual puppy thing: some pups are ready for CC 3 or 4 months of age; some pups are simply too immature to advance to CC, and you need to wait till they are 6 maybe 7 or 8 months old. Learn to read your pup. Confused? Contact a knowledgeable Pro or amateur training for coaching advice.

BTW, a late emotional bloomer doesn't bother me in the least. Some of the top field dogs took a long time to become mature enough to withstand a formal training regimen.

I've learned a number of things through the years: If I have a dog that is overly oral, I'll hold off on CC and start the Force Fetch program ASAP. That is because CC requires lots of fun bumpers, and I'll need the pup to understand the concept of "hold". Otherwise the emotional pressures of CC will enhance the pups mouthing tendencies. I'd rather have mouthing under control before going on to a CC program.

With respect to ?hold?, I?ve learned to make sure he is holding the object perfectly on the table and continues to hold once off the table. I make sure that the pup understands how to pick up the object properly (in the middle) before I let him off the table.

I?ve learned not to rush things once off the table. I make sure the my mouthy pup understands how to walk and run holding the dumb bell and/or bumper in his mouth. I make sure my soft mouthed puppy understands how to hold onto the dumbbell and/or bumper while in movement. This is foundation!!

I've also learned the importance of Lardy's "stick fetch" program and Dobbs? ?platform? approach. Stick fetch is money in the bank when I run into trouble during his transition period into cold blinds and advanced marking. Platform work will ease the pup?s ability to remain steady in the field, his understanding of casting, and ease him into swim by concept. Both are worth an extra month or so of time. I?ve made a decision to skip this training with 2 of my dogs and lived to regret it.

What's your ultimate goal? You should want a well trained, highly enthusiastic hunting companion and/or performance dog.

How does CC and FF feed into this goal? You are laying the foundation to your relationship with your dog at this point. You are laying the foundation to your dogs understanding and acceptance of physical correction. Don?t rush through this phase - let your pup lead the way both emotionally and physically. Please, please, please don?t get into a race with your training ?buddies? on whose puppy can get through double T?s first. You may win the race -- but deplete your dog?s desire to perform.
 

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potshot said:
What if dog is progressing very nicely (mentally), but is not physically mature or old enough for FF?

If it does matter, then why?
Wait till the pup has all his adult teeth!!! If teething, his mouth is sore and it is unfair to proceed with a FF program. He will resent this training. You don't need the resultant fallout.

While you are waiting for his adult teeth, learn to enjoy your pup. Take him for outings to the field and park and into stores. Continue to let him build confidence in new situations.

Think about maintaining a balance between yard work and retrieving. Map out a program to turn him into a retrieving fool!! Leave time each day to achieve that goal.

If you don?t have a FF table, take a couple of days to put something together. Journey?s book and the Tritronic?s Retriever Training book both discuss setting up a table. I prefer to work on a table 10 - 12 feet long.

Put your puppy on the table and let him get use to walking on it. Use food or a small squeaky toy in your hand to encourage him to move back and forth along the length of the table. Still not teething? Teach him to take left and right back casts. Then teach him to take right and left casts on the table. Check out the Tritronic?s Retriever Training book to see how this can be done.

If your pup has his basics down, and you don't have a hard mouth problem, think about starting CC for "here". That allows you some off leash control in the field and park. I take my time (3-4 weeks to gradually increase distractions) as I am usually dealing with a young pup (under 6 months old). But be sensible regarding the level of distraction you are asking your puppy to overcome. Be careful not to put a very young puppy into a situation where you have to give a hard correction.

While waiting for your pup to mature both physically and emotionally, you can also use the time to accumulate your training resources and map out a program that makes good sense to you. You?ve already provided a listing: Smart Works; TriTritronic Retriever Training Book[; TriTritroncic [Trained Retrieve Video series; Retriever Library on Dobb?s Web site; Mike Lardy?s tapes and articles; Charlie Journey?s Finished Dog.

Take this time to digest this info -- and have fun with your puppy. Embrace and enjoy his puppy hood.
 
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