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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background: 7month old clm - following Fowl Dawgs (ear pinch) - 2nd dog I have FF - hold went well although hold has always been loose - FF began well - dog was reaching for bumper, picking bumper off ground, knows how to turn off pressure - been working on FF for 2 weeks.

Then the trouble began. As I thought we were nearing the end of FF I decided to take the pup for a marking session. First 2 marks went well with delivery to hand, 3rd mark pup dropped bird couple of times on return and did not deliver to hand. I realized that there was still work to be done.

Since then I have been focusing on firming up the hold and I feel like we have taken several steps backward. My thought was to increase pressure because I thought he was being stubborn and no progress was made. In fact his hold has become worse. It seems as though he is panting and hold becomes so loose the bumper falls out. He knows this is bad because he immediately reacts when he drops the bumper. I took a suggestion from another thread and tried using a heavier object (hammer) to firm up the hold. He actually holds this better but I think it is because of the smaller diameter and he can still pant. It has now got to the point were I feel like he resents the bumper.

Any suggestions on how to proceed will be appreciated. I think my best option is to take a break and start over with hold with the training buck.
 

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When I do marks while in FF, I encourage a hold but do not demand delivery to hand.

Work on FF separate from marking. If the dog is dropping the birds 30 feet from the line or mishandling birds, stop retrieves until FF is complete. If dog is delivering to area of the line, accept it and continue.

Don't FF dog while he is hot and panting, then you will know if he is dropping because of the pant.

Finally, I have a three year old that holds bumpers very loosely. He holds birds perfectly. I don't sweat the loose hold on the bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Finally, I have a three year old that holds bumpers very loosely. He holds birds perfectly. I don't sweat the loose hold on the bumper.
I could live with that. In fact I considered moving on to walking fetch which is the next step in the program after FF, thinking that the hold might improve as we advance specifically during collar fetch. So today I tried to see if the dog would fetch bumper from ground with me just standing next to him and found that he will only fetch when my hand is on the collar ready to apply pressure. That is why I feel lost. I dont feel like we can move forward because I have muddied up the last few sessions of FF focusing on the hold.
 

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I wouldn't sweat the hold command too much. As FF continues the hold should get better. I have the fowl dawg videos as well as Smartworks. I'd suggest at least buying the FF cd from Evan. He goes into far more detail than Rick does. Sounds like you're moving a bit fast. Slow it down and really make sure he's understanding how to turn the pressure off. Personally if we're working on FF or Hold I don't throw marks. I have in the past and created a battle for myself. Stick with him and you two will get through it.
 

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Any chance your dog may still be teething? 7 months seems like it could be right on the back side of teething. this may be some of your issue. take it slow and make sure you have it down pat no need to rush. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So yesterday I decided I would try using the training buck instead of a bumper for FF because he seemed to hold the training buck better. My pup was much better. He was eagerly reaching for the bumper and picking the bumper off the ground without me having my hand on the collar. Since things were going well I decided to try some walking fetch. He would pick up the bumper but was hesitantly shooting out for it. So I stopped the session since we had made some progress.

Today I started with the training buck and my dog was picking it up off the ground with enthusiasm. So I started some walking fetch. He did great. As soon as he saw the training buck his ears would perk up and he was driving out to pick it up.

So I substituted the training buck for a bumper and his attitude immediately changed. He would pick up the bumper from the ground but was hesitant. When attempting walking fetch he would sluggishly go the bumper and sometimes would just mouth it and not actually pick it up.

What do I need to do to get the same enthusiasm for the bumper as he has for the training buck?
 

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IMO sounds like there was a real bad experience somewhere with the bumper, a little mistake can affect dogs differently.
I would go back to the bucket and re-enforce with the bumper. I may be wrong but this is what I would do.
Make him understand what it is what you want and that getting to the bumper quick means no pressure and happy attitude.
Work thru it and he'll be better for it.
My first dog would freak over bumpers but hated birds due to a screw up on my part, after about a month of using birds, now she can't get enough.
Also shorten up your sessions with the bumper, then switch to the buck, then back again. 10-15 min 3-4 times a day.
 

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You are already using collar pressure but the dog isn't through walking fetch?

It sounds like your dog is anticipating a collar correction when you use the bumper, the dog is hesitant which, of course, leads to a collar correction. A self fulfilling prophecy I think they call it.

I'm not familiar with FD sequence, but might suggest that you put the collar away (at least the transmitter) and enforce all refusals with the ear pinch.

The sequence I prefer is:
Hold, Ear Pinch, Walking Fetch, Stick Fetch, then on to simple casting.

Through this entire sequence, enforce ALL refusals with the ear pinch.

Then I collar condition to Obedience commands and De-bolt

Then go to collar fetch.

Then go to introduction of indirect pressure during a revisit of simple casting.

This should be the Lardy Flow Chart and it may be different and not compatible with FD.

The key to me, and I made the mistake with my first dog through TRT, is that you enforce ALL refusals with the ear pinch until you get to collar fetch.
 

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Finally, I have a three year old that holds bumpers very loosely. He holds birds perfectly. I don't sweat the loose hold on the bumper.
This +1. My dog cigars and does all manner of crazy things with bumpers, but he is spot on with birds, so I decided after discussion with the pro the FFd him and a couple other knowedgeable folks that I would not continue to fight that battle. He does deliver them to hand, but sometimes it doesn't look real good to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are already using collar pressure but the dog isn't through walking fetch?

No my dog has not been CC.

In post #3 I was referring to physically having my hand on his collar ready to pinch his ear. Today he would fetch bumper without having my hand on his collar but was very hesistant.

The sequence of Fowl Dawgs is very similar to Lardy's as you described it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also shorten up your sessions with the bumper, then switch to the buck, then back again.
I think this is how I am going to proceed until his attitude improves with the bumper. If he fetched the bumper like he does the training buck we would be moving on.
 

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I think this is how I am going to proceed until his attitude improves with the bumper. If he fetched the bumper like he does the training buck we would be moving on.
Read the thread ABCs started by Retrievers ONLINE. FF is no fun for a dog. Make sure you are keeping the attitude up. Also, many folks are beginning to use Bill Hillman's FF method. I plan to try it on next dog I FF. it's not a get in the garage and grind it out deal. Bill really maintains the dog's attitude during the process.
 

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Invest in Hillman DVD. And it will no longer be FF but trained fetch.
 
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