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Absolutely not. I never enjoyed training a pup more. Lots and lots of field sessions-I did more days than Bill but probably shorter sessions. He was learning so many "future skills" in a smooth and subtle way. I kinda know now what things are important in the future and he was learning them without leaning any bad habits. I was not concerned with distance whatsoever because I know how easy it is so stetch them out later. I'm doing my seconf pup right now this way and it is unfolding nicely. Some things he's better some not but I just gradually seek progress and watch him get better and better. New pup is poorer at final few feet of delivery( a bit of tag!) and less prone to sit calmly and hold but his sit is even faster and his focus great on marks in all kinds of cover and water. At 5 months he'll get his gunners and birds.
Dennis, did you also do the mini FF intro Bill does with your pup? Ive seen a few folks here say they skipped it. Also, do you follow his FF cd too? I haven't seen that one yet so I don't know if its traditional or different too.

I purchased your Training Retrievers Alone and have watched the first CD and it is outstanding. I can't tell you how excited and hopeful it is to have guidelines and material to follow to show me how I can successfully train alone. I am new to this and my pup is w/ a pro trainer in transition for a few more months and I CAN'T WAIT to get him back and start working with him with your material.

Jeff
 

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Dennis, did you also do the mini FF intro Bill does with your pup? Ive seen a few folks here say they skipped it. Also, do you follow his FF cd too? I haven't seen that one yet so I don't know if its traditional or different too.

I purchased your Training Retrievers Alone and have watched the first CD and it is outstanding. I can't tell you how excited and hopeful it is to have guidelines and material to follow to show me how I can successfully train alone. I am new to this and my pup is w/ a pro trainer in transition for a few more months and I CAN'T WAIT to get him back and start working with him with your material.

Jeff

Yes I do the mini FF and CC and as it turned out I didn't have to do much more!!! When a dog sits and comes quickly and lunges for the bumper on command with and without application of the e-collar and knows how to respond under pressure, there is nothing mini about it.

Yes, I would follow the new Hillman Fetch command DVD. It is even a bit easier on the dog than the Puppy DVD examples. It is not traditonal at all and is remarkably easy on the dog and yet effective. No grind it out chamber of horrors. I am writing a detailed review of it and my current thoughts on FF in the summer issue of Retrievers ONLINE because I think it the topic is so important.

I may be wrong but I think almost anyone could use this method but a lot of people sure have trouble with the "traditional" method. More importantly, too many dogs are subjected to way too much mis-guided pressure while being force fetched.

Thanks for your comment on the TRA DVD. The 2nd disk will give you lots of examples of practical applications in the field and how to reasonably simulate the "real" thing.


Cheers
 

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Yes I do the mini FF and CC and as it turned out I didn't have to do much more!!! When a dog sits and comes quickly and lunges for the bumper on command with and without application of the e-collar and knows how to respond under pressure, there is nothing mini about it.

Yes, I would follow the new Hillman Fetch command DVD. It is even a bit easier on the dog than the Puppy DVD examples. It is not traditonal at all and is remarkably easy on the dog and yet effective. No grind it out chamber of horrors. I am writing a detailed review of it and my current thoughts on FF in the summer issue of Retrievers ONLINE because I think it the topic is so important.

I may be wrong but I think almost anyone could use this method but a lot of people sure have trouble with the "traditional" method. More importantly, too many dogs are subjected to way too much mis-guided pressure while being force fetched.

Thanks for your comment on the TRA DVD. The 2nd disk will give you lots of examples of practical applications in the field and how to reasonably simulate the "real" thing.


Cheers
Thanks for all the info Dennis. I'm going to buy his DVD, so far it sounds very similar to the way I train. Does he have anything on YouTube?

Happy 4th!
 

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Charles could you explain further the old horse jockey approach.

Negative reinforcement - I understand best in equine training. Aversives/punishment also.
The horse jockey approach is just straddling the pup from behind and restraining them with their collar and rump or around their chest with your hands. Inevitably, the dog struggles.
 

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The horse jockey approach is just straddling the pup from behind and restraining them with their collar and rump or around their chest with your hands. Inevitably, the dog struggles.

The shame of IT all. By your description I have no idea how to compare the two species, horse/dog - training.

Say on a horse, we generally restrain with a bridle/bit. (We will forget our back and legs for the moment and position of hands etc). We apply pressure......not for punishing (by cruel wrenching more tap tap tap) any movement, but by negative reinforcement - Compliance results in release of aversive which is physically and mentally a relief.
 

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I was fortunate to hear about the Bill Hillman DVD shortly after bringing home my last pup and was able to put it into practice from about age 3 months on. Like Dennis said earlier, there was nothing weird about it and in fact it was a lot of fun and produced very good results...dog passed 3 MH tests before 2 years of age. We went from Bill's method into a combination of EG's Smart Works and Mike Lardy's with no conflict.

I think Bill is advancing the art of dog training by stressing the benefits of early pre- training much as R.A.W. did when he proved that we could start training our retrievers before they turned a year old. Give it time and someone will be able to show us how to train them in the womb!
 
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Absolutely not. I never enjoyed training a pup more. Lots and lots of field sessions-I did more days than Bill but probably shorter sessions. He was learning so many "future skills" in a smooth and subtle way. I kinda know now what things are important in the future and he was learning them without leaning any bad habits. I was not concerned with distance whatsoever because I know how easy it is so stetch them out later. I'm doing my seconf pup right now this way and it is unfolding nicely. Some things he's better some not but I just gradually seek progress and watch him get better and better. New pup is poorer at final few feet of delivery( a bit of tag!) and less prone to sit calmly and hold but his sit is even faster and his focus great on marks in all kinds of cover and water. At 5 months he'll get his gunners and birds.
Thanks, makes perfect sense. I appreciate the feedback and now should be able to resist the temptation(s). ;-):)
 

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I wish this video would have been out a year earlier. I had a really nice puppy that I went through Hillmann's puppy video with, and he was doing great until I tried to force fetch him. I ended up getting rid of him, because I took so much of his drive/sprit trying to get him through force fetch that he lost his excitement to retrieve. I wasn't able to ever get his drive back.
 

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I wish this video would have been out a year earlier. I had a really nice puppy that I went through Hillmann's puppy video with, and he was doing great until I tried to force fetch him. I ended up getting rid of him, because I took so much of his drive/sprit trying to get him through force fetch that he lost his excitement to retrieve. I wasn't able to ever get his drive back.
that is so sad to hear Jay.
However I seriously doubt the having or not having any video you may read about here would have made a difference in this case. While I and others type force fetch advice here all the time I have always said and maintain. This is not a task I could learn from any vid or at any keyboard. I needed a live human being at my shoulder, after I had stood at their shoulder and observed, a lot. Maybe it is just how I learn stuff and we all are different. And all dogs are different. And maybe your dog would have been washed during force by all the grizzled veterans as well. Some dogs just don't make it through. So, instead of wishing you had had a video, for that last dog. I feel your wish is misplaced. You should wish you had had a Mentor for YOU and that last dog.:(
.
 

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I wish this video would have been out a year earlier. I had a really nice puppy that I went through Hillmann's puppy video with, and he was doing great until I tried to force fetch him. I ended up getting rid of him, because I took so much of his drive/sprit trying to get him through force fetch that he lost his excitement to retrieve. I wasn't able to ever get his drive back.
this scares being a first-timer.... I'm working on FF now and the last thing I want is to burn the pup.
 

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Shiner,

The key, I think, is to read the pup. Don't set any kind of time frame on the process and look for minor steps in improvement. Always end with success (no matter how tiny or how far backwards you feel like you have to go to get something you can call success) and always celebrate that success like it's the biggest thing in the world. I don't think you'll take the dog's spirit unless you aren't paying attention. Now, to be fair to the dog, pick a standard before you start and don't "end" the process until you have arrived there, but don't be in a hurry and don't lower your standard. Just only get out of the dog in any one session what you can get out of the dog in that session. If he's not ready to go on, no one says he should be!

The best summary of what I'm trying to get at is exactly what Ken Bora said. Get a mentor who's been through it. Someone who will watch you do it and help you, then let them advise you of how far to go, how much to expect, when you're being too rough, too soft, or fooled by your dog. You'll get there!
 

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I have the Hillmann puppy video and the force fetch video as well. I had been wondering what to do next, and hoping there is subsequent video on the way.

I saw Bill Hillmann at one of his seminars in MN, and asked him the same question, "Where do we go after your puppy DVD?" He said, without hesitation, that he has known Mike Lardy since he first started as a professional dog trainer, and said of Mike, "he is the best of the best" so get his video. Furthermore, he said that if you are serious about doing any of your own dog training, don't try to do it without Dennis Voigt's Training Alone video. Bill said that these are the people with the credentials.

Don't just take carte blanche what is written here or anywhere else. Check the record, and see who is competing and winning.

Also, as a comment to Shiner. There is NO burning on the Force Fetch video. I have seen this video and am so impressed by the dog's attitude and that there were no pliers, bottle caps, toe wrenching, or others means of the type of torture that I have watched a hundred times before. Not only that but a toddler could do it.

I agree totally with Dennis Voigt's comment that the Bill Hillmann method is a huge breakthrough.

If we subscribe to the notion that we have to do something because that is the way it has been done in the past, well I am glad we are not treating cancer the way it was done in the 70's.
I am glad there are people out there looking for the next best way to do things.

As for Jay Patton's story about his dog after the force fetch, I have had the exact same experience and I DID have a mentor and the mentor made it worse. This was a puppy that I had raised from seven weeks and I watched it get ruined before my very eyes. I was so disgusted, it took me weeks to get over it. This was a little golden female that I had with a "professional trainer" that washed her out after a week in the force fetch chamber. It was a little room in the back of the kennel, with a table. The room happened to also be where they bathed the dogs. Needless to say, she hated having a bath for the rest of her life as well. Prior to her "force fetch experience" she was a happy little dog that wanted to do nothing more than whatever you wanted to do. Afterwords, she lived out her life as my house pet. Not only that, but I paid for this service with actual money.
 

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I do not normally post to threads like this but I would encourage anyone who is going to force fetch to view Mike Lardy's latest video. He force fetches a dog without any vocalization. The idea is apply only enough force to get the response you need. It does not have to be brutal or excessive. He shows you how to do it. He does not employ a table and does not believe the dog has to be traumatized by the experience.

As one person who I respect told me it is good to spend enough time with hold to have that down really well and FF will go much easier almost certainly.
 

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...As for Jay Patton's story about his dog after the force fetch, I have had the exact same experience and I DID have a mentor and the mentor made it worse. This was a puppy that I had raised from seven weeks and I watched it get ruined before my very eyes. I was so disgusted, it took me weeks to get over it. This was a little golden female that I had with a "professional trainer" that washed her out after a week in the force fetch chamber. It was a little room in the back of the kennel, with a table. The room happened to also be where they bathed the dogs. Needless to say, she hated having a bath for the rest of her life as well. Prior to her "force fetch experience" she was a happy little dog that wanted to do nothing more than whatever you wanted to do. Afterwords, she lived out her life as my house pet. Not only that, but I paid for this service with actual money.
Gosh what a terrible story.
I am so very sorry, and thank you for making a valid and much needed insertion here. Just because the new person has a mentor does not automatically imply it is a good mentor. Like when a new person hires a professional Black top driveway sealer company to re-do the drive way.
And all they are is a scam. And you all have read similar stories. And I apologize to all RTF folk that are quality professional driveway sealers. It is just an example. I was very very lucky to have haphazardly stumbled upon my first teachers. I purchased my first Chessie from them. The first thing they advised me to do was to join my local retriever club, and that I did. And to watch the best dogs, the dogs I liked the work of. And to approach the folk who had those dogs and offer to stand in the mud and throw birds
for them, and that I did.

Point is, they encouraged me to see as many different trainers as I was able. Yet I still maintained my rapport with them. Still went and learned all I could from them. Even your terrible mentor, JKJ gave you life long lessons. Negative yes, but I am sure you learned what not to do. The biggest, most bestest thing the fresh meat can do is join a retriever club and stand in the mud and throw birds and watch and watch and watch. And when you decide, in your mind what dogs you
consistently like the best, event after event. Go to that handler and say hey, what's up?:cool:
.
 

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Point is, they encouraged me to see as many different trainers as I was able. Yet I still maintained my rapport with them. Still went and learned all I could from them. Even your terrible mentor, JKJ gave you life long lessons. Negative yes, but I am sure you learned what not to do. The biggest, most bestest thing the fresh meat can do is join a retriever club and stand in the mud and throw birds and watch and watch and watch. And when you decide, in your mind what dogs you consistently like the best, event after event. Go to that handler and say hey, what's up?:cool:
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Very good advice, Ken!

Choosing a dog trainer or mentor is like choosing a new car. There are many different styles available. Do your research and then take it for a test drive. Choose the one that matches your style and expectations.

As you can see from the hundreds of opinions on various training topics on RTF, there are many ways to go about training your dog. Do your homework first and then choose the style that you particularly like and matches the results you are expecting. Stick with it and TEACH.....TEACH......TEACH.
 

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As promised I was able to meet with Bill and get his thoughts on this thread. First of all Bill feels that almost any program would be compatible with his methods. When I tried to pin him down to a more specific recommendation he said that Mike Lardy was the person with whom he was most familiar with and respected the most. He indicated that there were probably many good DVD's available and when I asked him his thoughts on Evan Graham's program, he said that he was not familiar with it.

In a general sense, this has certainly been one of the most interesting threads I've read in a long time, and there are certainly alot of opinions out there. As far as I am concerned, I have abandoned the "old school" approaches and ways of thinking about dog training and am learning as much as I can about Bill's style of training as it is our goal to make a better way of life for these wonderful companions.


John & Deb Lenon
Mama's Labs
Wildwood, MO
 
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