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I have a 11 Mounth old that is doing great so far. This is my first retrievr training so im a little new. I did force fetch and he seem to preform great. If i put him on the bench he will force fetch great on command and hold well. I moved to the round and force fetch on the ground went wonderful he loved it and couldnt wait to fetch the bumper off the ground. With the sucess for a couple days i moved to force to pile. I put 4 bumpers in a pile and got close and gave the fetch command but his succes is about 50/50 he will drive hard to the pile and then when he gets there he either does really good (picks up and runs back holding a bumper. But about 50% of the time it seems he gets overwelmed with the multiple bumpers. After seeing the troubles I took a step back and went back to single bumper, and he prefored great again. But as soon as the multiple bumpers come into play he gets confused. After research ive tried spacing the bumpers out more and getting closer but he still seems to struggle.

ANY SUGGESTIONS?
 

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I have a 11 Mounth old that is doing great so far. This is my first retrievr training so im a little new. I did force fetch and he seem to preform great. If i put him on the bench he will force fetch great on command and hold well. I moved to the round and force fetch on the ground went wonderful he loved it and couldnt wait to fetch the bumper off the ground. With the sucess for a couple days i moved to force to pile. I put 4 bumpers in a pile and got close and gave the fetch command but his succes is about 50/50 he will drive hard to the pile and then when he gets there he either does really good (picks up and runs back holding a bumper. But about 50% of the time it seems he gets overwelmed with the multiple bumpers. After seeing the troubles I took a step back and went back to single bumper, and he prefored great again. But as soon as the multiple bumpers come into play he gets confused. After research ive tried spacing the bumpers out more and getting closer but he still seems to struggle.

ANY SUGGESTIONS?
You need 9, 10 up to a dozen bumpers in your pile - not four bumpers spaced (or stacked), and there's no such thing as a one-bumper "pile" - especially if you're introducing that "pile" by throwing the one bumper to bring it into existence... Are you forcing en route to instill the compulsion to go (and get, a/k/a fetch) in your dog? Are you blowing your come-in whistle as soon as the dog gets to the pile - so as not to give it the option to "shop" the pile and/or cogitate over the possibility of retrieving four bumpers in one trip (don't laugh, it can be done). Any chance you can do your pile work under the supervision of somebody who's often been there, done that? Not real easy to convey the nuances of FTP and the impetus behind them at a remove. But barring help at hand, you should get Mike Lardy's Volume 1 of articles he wrote 25 years ago for Retriever Journal - he spells out FTP with a beautifully succinct step-by narrative.

MG
 

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Rope, fetch, dog gets to the pile, here tug on rope, dog refuses, fetch with ear pinch. Repeat.
 

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I have added steps in my program that may help.

But I'm assuming your dogs is BOTH ear pinched and collar fetched to a single bumper off the ground? With collar fetch, the dog needs to receive a continuous stimulation until the second the bumper is in its mouth. If your dog can't do that, then you need to go back and revisit.

After single bumper fetch, I will go to the "mini pile". 4 bumpers and a 6 foot leash. So you are not more than 4-5 feet away. Dog at your side, toss a bumper to the "pile", say fetch. If they don't pick up a bumper snappily (no hovering or shopping), a little pop of the leash back towards you and then low stimulation "fetch" back to the pile. Keeping marking the pile (tossing the single bumper to it) for the first few times.

This teaches a snappy fetch in a controlled environment with no shopping or hovering. I receive the dog at heel, toss the bumper behind me...and retrieve the remaining bumpers. When the "pile" is gone...I turn around and do it again, always marking the pile the first couple days on the first retrieve to the pile. Always end on success.
 

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Your dog is doing what they call "shopping."

However, I would suggest reading Jiggy and Daren's post a couple times. FF and FTP can often times be misunderstood, especially for newbies. I know this because I was there once. This is a critical part in a dogs development because they are learning to work through pressure. I know you realize this, but just make sure the dog is working through the pressure and not just doing it because he/she wants to.
 

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If he was really completely FF'd then a fetch, nick fetch will take care of the shopping after a few days of reps, read the dog , don't beat him down unnecessarily, some hard chargers will pick up a couple faster then you expect. If he is just refusing then walk out and give him an ear pinch, fetch and walk him back to the line and resend repeat...
 

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I follow Lardy. Shopping should be stopped before you get to FTP. After walking ff. Move to three handed casting. After dog knows single bumpers put pile at three locations (say four bumpers). While on rope cast to a pile. When picks up bumper pull in to prevent shopping.
You have to go to about 1 minute in video before we tackle shopping prevention. This is just a longer version of what Daren said.
 

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If he was really completely FF'd then a fetch, nick fetch will take care of the shopping after a few days of reps, read the dog , don't beat him down unnecessarily, some hard chargers will pick up a couple faster then you expect. If he is just refusing then walk out and give him an ear pinch, fetch and walk him back to the line and resend repeat...


Best advice on the page. To me the rest of this stuff just complicates matters. I never do force to the pile just to do force to the pile. When I start sending to the pile I only force if the dog is hesitant or slows down. I have trained a good number of dogs and simply dont see the need to just go out and force. Unless everything is in place you can just dig yourself a deeper hole with force. If everything prior is in place and done well you just dont need to go out and force to the pile. Actually forcing could quite possibly be the root of your problem. Dog has anxiety over fetching and wants to grab them all. Lack of balance. Too much force and not enough teaching.
 

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Also just hearing the word rope when it comes to dog training just makes me cringe. Cant use them and will not use them, just complicates matters. Again if everything is taught in prior phases a rope is completely unnecessary.
Agreed wholly - but as for no FTP just for the sake of FTP, remember, this is compulsion training and "force" ain't akin to "a rose is a rose is a rose." Just enough is the recipe for inculcating the compulsion to go, go again and then go again and again (and again). I've trained a good number of breeds, not just dogs, and never had to dial up the e-collar beyond low 3 on TriTronics or 30 (of 140) on the Dogtra reostat to "force" them into accepting compulsion to accompany their natural desire and drive to go for a retrieve. Even lower on water forcing - is that another aspect of compulsion training for a handling retriever or gundog that you likewise forego?

Also, agree with your armchair analysis of the OP's problem: "Dog has anxiety over fetching and wants to grab them all," thus the pressurized contemplation and hesitation (hovering) on how to do that (i.e., shopping a pile). Over time - actually after about the second continental breed I forced - I started "larding" (a subset of Lardy-ing) my pile with objects that a dog's shown fondness for carrying around as a wee pup - everything from stuffed animals to butternut squash to zucchini to, yeah -
Dog Plant Tree Natural environment Carnivore


giving them a choice of what to pick up and when each time they're sent repetitively. Comes in handy particularly when "we're" graduating to disciplined casting in wrapping up the double-T. Which, if I may, also begs the question, if you don't do FTP, when in your training do you stop the dog en route to a retrieve, and cast it back as the "ur-handling" act? Do you go straight from FF to the T, or do you not put a dog through either of the T's, either?

MG
 

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I reread your post and the training you outlined. I think you skipped two steps: walking fetch and stick fetch. 8-10 Bumpers in a circle spaced say 5’ apart. But remember to skip a few as you go around the circle. As you approach a few tell dog no and walk by bumper and get the next one.
 
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Agreed wholly - my pile with objects that a dog's shown fondness for carrying around as a wee pup - everything from stuffed animals to butternut squash to zucchini to, yeah -
View attachment 87624

giving them a choice of what to pick up and when each time they're sent repetitively.

MG
Hurrah/Hooray!
An old story at a walked up shoot with 6 Irishmen. I had a 3 month old pup in the truck, so at break time , the quarry so far was piled outside the shed. Opportunity to take the pup out for an air' . I picked up the only partridge in the pile and teased the wee pup with it. Threw it on the pile of pheasants and sure'nuff , she come back with the partridge. After the guests had some Puccini and a snack , they pontificated and gathered outside joking from the sidelines at my playing with the pup and jest fully' said "Is this the next ftch ,haha? ...I placed the partridge under the pile of pheasants while the wee pup was in the truck . I took her out and held her underarm , and them wee legs were going like a Mississippi paddle boat . I said to the wee pup "Get me the Partridge" and let that wee black thing hit Terra Firm,and off she went and at the pile ,she turfed them pheasants out the way , and picked up the partridge and came bolting back for a home run . I was offered a Thousand pounds for that wee dog ,that day ...and that was a long time ago! Glad I kept it . lol ;)
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I also concur with Steve .Rope is superfluous and a crutch for both trainer and pup. One that has learned other ways in early days may require it ?
 

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Shopping is not the worst offense out there, pick your battles...pretty easy to deal with if you took the appropriate steps before hand..again not sure the OP did all those steps...
 

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Comes in handy particularly when "we're" graduating to disciplined casting in wrapping up the double-T. Which, if I may, also begs the question, if you don't do FTP, when in your training do you stop the dog en route to a retrieve, and cast it back as the "ur-handling" act? Do you go straight from FF to the T, or do you not put a dog through either of the T's, either?

MG


I do or dont do a lot of things that come from the normally accepted programs. I do begin stopping the dog in route and casting when doing T work but I do not go straight to T work after FF. After FF I give the dog a break from learning new stuff and just work on holding a tight standard on the basics that have been learned and doing work in the field. I just believe the dog needs a break after FF. I dont start T work until around 9 mo old. Seems to go smoother that way.
I do not do force to the water I find that to be totally ridiculous. Just like swimby another perfectly good waste of time. How many times have you heard some say that the dog is trying to be good when he goes out of his way to get in the water?? That drives me nuts. I simply TEACH the dog not to avoid water. I will correct for the avoidance but do not force to the water. I teach my dogs to take the line given be it in the water or past the water. Seems a lot of trainers methods are to over do things that they later have to undo.
 

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With the success for a couple days, I moved to force to pile.
It sounds as if the concept of many precise repetitions at every stage has been ignored.
Conditioned responses do not happen in "a few days". The training process must be
seamless and does not become so without consistent, precise practice.
 
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