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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello from south-central NE. Been reading here for a little while and I have a training question that I'm sure you guys will have the answer to.

The background: I have a 14 month old lab that I have had since she was 8.5 months. She was wholly untrained when I got her. Spent the first couple months on obedience and exercise (she was overweight). I have now gone through collar conditioning, force training, and am currently working on steadying and forcing to pile. This is the first dog I have really trained. Growing up I had a couple labs that retrieved a million or so doves for me, but weren't really trained at all. So...I'm really new at this. I'm using the 10-minute training by John and Amy Dahl as a general guide. I didn't force things over the winter, but got a couple sessions a week in and a couple more just in the field on long walks for her to experience new things...she wasn't introduced to much as a pup.

When I got done with force training (except for pile work), Josie was solid with the bumper. Good mouth, would move well with the bumper, solid fetching without playing with the bumper. After about 3 weeks of steadying and forcing to pile every day, she's gotten really sloppy with her mouth. Not holding onto the bumper, rolling it around in her mouth, etc. I feel like I need to go back and work on fetching and holding, but I don't want to stop moving forward with other stuff.

So, my question: When you guys go back like that to "fix" stuff, do you keep introducing new stuff to your dogs? I'd like to spend 5 to 10 minutes on the refresher stuff, then more time on newer stuff, but I don't want to throw too much at her. So far, she's done everything I have asked from her.

For reading all that, I'll leave you with a couple of pics. These were taken in December after I had started force training. Prior to that I didn't throw her many marks because I refused to fight her for the frickin' bumper.

Thanks in advance for the help.




 

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Seeing how no one else answered which doesn't surprise me, I'll do my best. When you forced fetched how long were you on this? Did you do walking fetch? With the issue you described you've found a hole in your FF I would go back and re address ff and walking ff to firm up that hold.
If you move forward with pile work your still going to have the mouthing issues. Fix that then move on, take your time, be patient and follow your training program.
 

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She looks good in those pis! I'll add pick your battles, rolling a bumper isn't the worse thing unless it prohibits delivering to hand, squishing or killing birds is another thing all together...
 

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She looks good in those pis! I'll add pick your battles, rolling a bumper isn't the worse thing unless it prohibits delivering to hand, squishing or killing birds is another thing all together...
Doesn't look bad, but best to fix it now before the mashing of birds happen. Stick to ones high standards.
 

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Welcome to the forum, and Go BIG RED! While I live near Tulsa, I lived in NEland for 40 years.

Use the search function on this site; it is a valuable tool to finding answers on virtually every subject.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the replies! Those pics were taken during force fetch and she was doing pretty well. it even got better as we completed force training. It's only in the last several days that she got sloppy.

Force training took a little over a month. I tried to have her tell me when she was done. It went really smoothly. There is nothing more in this world she wants than a bumper in her mouth. Yes, we did walking fetch and stick fetch. Most of the time on walking fetch was spent teaching her not to go after the bumpers before I told her to (after establishing that I wanted her to pick them up). That is making steadying pretty easy, actually. I didn't spend long on stick fetch because I didn't feel like more force was needed.

I definitely am not too concerned with a little rolling, but the amount of play with her mouth right now is unacceptable.

Vam, I'm not native. Love your fair state, though. We moved hear from Houston in 2007. Originally from NC.

Thanks again for the replies. I think I'll go back to to some walking fetch this afternoon for a few days, playing close attention to her hold. Probably suspend pile work. She does better after a couple light taps on the bottom jaw with the stick anyhow. Hopefully she straightens up quickly.
 

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I do not advocate putting up with a sloppy hold, but I do not see one depicted in either of the pictures. Keep on top of it but continue moving forward Perfect is the enemy of good enough

john
 
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