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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spook is 6 almost 7 months old. We've been on formal obedience for a month and we're following Lardy's program. It just seems his desire is day to day now. One day he'll give his undivided attention, run hard, make every mark. Another day he'll fart around, run 50%, drop the bumper 10 feet from me on the return, and not really pay attention to the marks so much. That's just the field work portion. The last two days of field work have been horrible. Before that he might have a bad day once every other week if that. Then yesterday in obedience he was timid to sit, timid to come, timid to do anything i said really. Since we're on formal obedience I gave no praise for the poor responses, and forced(not necessarily physical just moving him into the position of the command in a not so patient fashion) every command I gave he didn't comply with. Is it time for a break for the dog, am I looking too far into things? How does everyone deal with their frustration so the dog doesn't see it and it doesn't affect the training?
 

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I do not have nearly the experience of many that respond to these posts, with that said I think what you have is a young dog that changes day to day. I feel you should relax and continue to train this dog day in and day out. Time is your best friend and worst enemy right now. A seven month old dog is very young and it is hard to keep them on course day in and day out. My dog is turning 4 years old and there are times I wonder if he has lost his mind, then there are times that he shows me his style and training.
Do not put a time line on training your dog. You will be training him and you for as long as you both are together. Take your time, they did not come into this world programmed to do everything right.
I know this has not filled you with training secrets but you have young dog, this dog will need to be trained for many days ahead. Hang in there and stay consistent, I feel that is the key.
 

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If I were you, this is what I would try.....no formal obedience for 3-4 days....just play.....take the dog for walks. Then, I would start with very simple obedience again BUT make sure is 100 % compliant. If not, back up more. If the dog is not 100% reliable, he's telling you that somewhere along the way there have been some holes in your basic obedience. Also, winged clipped pigeons could help. I guess you have to ask yourself at this point whether the dog showing a lack of effort and/or confused. Probably a combination. In either case, simplify.
 

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I do not have nearly the experience of many that respond to these posts, with that said I think what you have is a young dog that changes day to day. I feel you should relax and continue to train this dog day in and day out. Time is your best friend and worst enemy right now. A seven month old dog is very young and it is hard to keep them on course day in and day out. My dog is turning 4 years old and there are times I wonder if he has lost his mind, then there are times that he shows me his style and training.
Do not put a time line on training your dog. You will be training him and you for as long as you both are together. Take your time, they did not come into this world programmed to do everything right.
I know this has not filled you with training secrets but you have young dog, this dog will need to be trained for many days ahead. Hang in there and stay consistent, I feel that is the key.

Well said. Also, be patient. During your training session, your dog not only learns what you expect of him when you give a command, but also how to read body language. The key is not only to have patience but to remain calm in your voice and body actions. Reserve the "loud" voice only for certain situations. Like he said above, there are many days to come for training. As far as marks go, that is tough for me. I had a problem like that with mine when he was about that age. The ultimate reward for our dogs is to run out there and get that duck or bumper or whatever he is sent to retrieve. The moment my dog quit paying attention, he got put in the truck and session was over. Another thing you can do is not send a young dog on every retrieve. Make him sit while you go pick him up. You want to keep him interested but you dont want to overdo it. Lastly, young dogs have a VERY short attention span. Keep sesssions very short...if you go too long, you will lose their concentration and it will be counterproductive. If you want to train more time in a day, do multiple SHORT sessions, not one long one.

Good luck!
 

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it's possible your pup is reacting to the elevated discipline level. The reason any trainer get away with a stepped up discipline program is, he shoots birds. As training goes on i would also take a hard look at the dogs talent level--he may not be the candidate you want.
Good luck
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As far as talent goes, I don't think I could ask for a better candidate. On the days he's on, I don't think theres another 6 months old pup out there that can beat him to the bumper. He's getting better and better at using his nose. He's getting steadier and steadier at the line. I don't use a check cord anymore he brings it back, when I say heel he heels and sits and waits till I release him on the next bumper. I brought one of my buddy's young pups to help me train the other day thinking he might give spook a little competition and a little more drive. I think Spook got in the mind set that it was play time and not work time and he might still be carrying a little of that with him. I will back up and make things fun again. I haven't used a real bird in over a month. Thats my mistake as well. I think my biggest problem is planning my field training before I go. It seems like I always forget something or didn't think it all the way through!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another thought I had on the subject, my buddies been bring his 4.5 months old blue tick over everyday and putting him in the backyard with Spook. It's been unseasonably warm and sunny. Could he just be worn out from playing with Trip all day?
 

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/Facepalm - you named your dog Spook?:D How ironic....

/Paul
Been laughing at that lol

I've seen a few dogs with that registered name though on HuntLabPedigree.


Another thought I had on the subject, my buddies been bring his 4.5 months old blue tick over everyday and putting him in the backyard with Spook. It's been unseasonably warm and sunny. Could he just be worn out from playing with Trip all day?
I hear that's a big NoNo brother!

Letting pup wear himself out screwing off with other dogs and then when it's time to work he gives you the 'whatever dude' attitude lol






/
 

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As far as talent goes, I don't think I could ask for a better candidate. On the days he's on, I don't think theres another 6 months old pup out there that can beat him to the bumper. He's getting better and better at using his nose. He's getting steadier and steadier at the line. I don't use a check cord anymore he brings it back, when I say heel he heels and sits and waits till I release him on the next bumper. I brought one of my buddy's young pups to help me train the other day thinking he might give spook a little competition and a little more drive. I think Spook got in the mind set that it was play time and not work time and he might still be carrying a little of that with him. I will back up and make things fun again. I haven't used a real bird in over a month. Thats my mistake as well. I think my biggest problem is planning my field training before I go. It seems like I always forget something or didn't think it all the way through!
At 6 MO you don't want him using his nose, its all about they eyes at that age. He should KNOW where the mark is, if he don't you are running him too long. Hes still a pup keep his spirits up and do lots of marks, not just OB. His passion for the marks is whats going to get him through the awful OB and basics drills your going to be doing for the next 6+ months. Chasing a pigeon around will go a LOOOOOONNNGGGGGG ways at this age too.

One other thing I noticed in your avatar you are using a black bumper, do you train in the snow???? Get some white ones for a dog this age.
 

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Another thought I had on the subject, my buddies been bring his 4.5 months old blue tick over everyday and putting him in the backyard with Spook. It's been unseasonably warm and sunny. Could he just be worn out from playing with Trip all day?
umm yaaaa.... do ya think? Best time to train is when they have been in a crate for several hours, let them air then get to work. No other dogs, no other people (unless its a bird boy), no people running up to pet the dog. Just you and him working.
 

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Another thought I had on the subject, my buddies been bring his 4.5 months old blue tick over everyday and putting him in the backyard with Spook. It's been unseasonably warm and sunny. Could he just be worn out from playing with Trip all day?
I've got to think this is a big part of the problem. You want the dog to be fresh, with energy to burn when you go train. How long ago did your buddy start bringing his dog over? Does this correlate to when your problems began? This may not be the only cause of your issues but this is an obvious thing that needs to be corrected. They can play after your dog trains, but not before.
 

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What do you do when the pups out in the field and screwing around? Have you started force fetch yet? Do you have a foundation to enforce the fetch command, if you can't enforce it you might want to stop throwing marks until you can. Otherwise he'll just continue to run around in the field doing whatever might be more interesting than picking up a bumper. Sounds like your getting to the point where you must formally teach and enforce fetch, not just throwing puppy fun marks anymore. He knows how to run out and mark, you've built the drive, now he needs to learn that it's his job to retrieve and he has to do it.
 

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Ding ding ding--make it more fun with him. Dogs need time off too--especially a pup.
At 6 MO you don't want him using his nose, its all about they eyes at that age. He should KNOW where the mark is, if he don't you are running him too long. Hes still a pup keep his spirits up and do lots of marks, not just OB. His passion for the marks is whats going to get him through the awful OB and basics drills your going to be doing for the next 6+ months. Chasing a pigeon around will go a LOOOOOONNNGGGGGG ways at this age too.

One other thing I noticed in your avatar you are using a black bumper, do you train in the snow???? Get some white ones for a dog this age.
 

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Spook is 6 almost 7 months old. We've been on formal obedience for a month and we're following Lardy's program. It just seems his desire is day to day now. One day he'll give his undivided attention, run hard, make every mark. Another day he'll fart around, run 50%, drop the bumper 10 feet from me on the return, and not really pay attention to the marks so much. That's just the field work portion. The last two days of field work have been horrible. Before that he might have a bad day once every other week if that. Then yesterday in obedience he was timid to sit, timid to come, timid to do anything i said really. Since we're on formal obedience I gave no praise for the poor responses, and forced(not necessarily physical just moving him into the position of the command in a not so patient fashion) every command I gave he didn't comply with. Is it time for a break for the dog, am I looking too far into things? How does everyone deal with their frustration so the dog doesn't see it and it doesn't affect the training?
Hi

Let the pup grow up. Take your time with him. There is no rush.

Regards
JT
www.marshhawkretrievers.com
 

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Spook is 6 almost 7 months old. We've been on formal obedience for a month and we're following Lardy's program. It just seems his desire is day to day now. One day he'll give his undivided attention, run hard, make every mark. Another day he'll fart around, run 50%, drop the bumper 10 feet from me on the return, and not really pay attention to the marks so much. That's just the field work portion. The last two days of field work have been horrible. Before that he might have a bad day once every other week if that. Then yesterday in obedience he was timid to sit, timid to come, timid to do anything i said really. Since we're on formal obedience I gave no praise for the poor responses, and forced(not necessarily physical just moving him into the position of the command in a not so patient fashion) every command I gave he didn't comply with. Is it time for a break for the dog, am I looking too far into things? How does everyone deal with their frustration so the dog doesn't see it and it doesn't affect the training?

I think your dog is telling you that he does see your frustration! And it is affecting the training. How do you hide it? Well, you can't hide it so don't train when you are frustrated. I learned that I can eliminate my frustration by realizing that a sustained poor response be the dog meant that I missed something. The worse the response by the dog the bigger the screw up on my part. Hard to be upset with the dog when it is my error as a trainer.

Your pup is still a pup and you should keep obedience fun, interesting, and upbeat. Lots of treats, lots of praise, and the dog will be looking for training time. My 7 month old pup follows me around the yard when I am picking up dog poop - she is hoping we will do some obedience work. She sometimes tries to heel as I walk. Think about getting a dvd on training obedience. They have some great exercises, tips, and motivation to get the dog eager to do obedience.

In the field, back up and make the marks shorter, easier, and add birds where possible. Add lots of praise for every job well done - even if it is half of the mark he did a week ago. He can't remember how hard the mark was last week or compare it to the one he just did.

This is an easy fix - but it is about fixing your approach not the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One other thing I noticed in your avatar you are using a black bumper, do you train in the snow???? Get some white ones for a dog this age.
Lol We use white or white/black bumpers most of the time with streamers. I ordered a variety pack. The black ones stay in my car just for a little fun wherever we're at. He almost always runs right to the bumper in short grass but I'm starting to work in tall grass and he's having to start using his nose. When you say chase a pigeon around I'm assuming your talking about a clicked wing pigion...do I just put the bird in the field and let Spook chase it around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The pups been coming over for prolly 3 weeks now. I think we might have found the main problem. Thanks, I just thought letting him play with another dog was letting a pup be a pup, but I can obviously see how its a bad idea as far as play BEFORE training. I had every plan of starting force fetch the end of next week, up until this week. When we're in the field and he farts around, I throw the leach on him, make him heal to the truck, kennel him, and we head to the house. I'm slowing down on formal obedience just a little bit and I'm ganna throw some real birds for him the next couple of days to build back some drive. We'll go to the lake this weekend he loves swimming. I'm going to wait until he's obedient on the spot with all his commands again. He was doing extremely good on OB. I'll prolly start teaching the hold command here in about 2 weeks. Ya'll will be hearing from me then as well I'm sure. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Your dog needs to get on birds.

Others who posted about the other dog in the crate. I'd limit the time he is with him before training. After your session, let 'em play.

Did I mention that you need to get your dog on birds? ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When everyone says chase a pigeon...your saying get a clipped wing pigeon...put it in a field and let the pup chase it around correct. I'm a rookie, I tried lookin up some youtube videos but couldn't find any!
 
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