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I thought we had my pup on the right track but we've hit another bump. We did force fetch and he and his brother did great thought everything hold fetch walking fetch etc. we started forcin to the pile about a week and a half ago and he was doing awesome going straight to the pile every time with pressure no problem. So we was gonna try to move on to teaching left and right back and that's when we met our match. Did about a day of simple casting and he did fair. So we try casting him without throwing a bumper first. He will take a right back perfect. But when we give a left back he will not turn left. Even with pressure. He will run back to his trainer then go get the bumper even with pressure applied. So we backed up all the way to walking fetch. Did it perfect the forcing to the pile do perfect. Tried moving on again today and same thing. He will not turn left. Even if you put him at a 45 angle to the left to help him. He will still turn right or run back to you then go. Have any of you ever experienced this? If you have any advice it would be appreciated. Thanks!!
 

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When teaching 3 handed casting I put the pup on a rope, stand just a few feet away from him, toss a bumper left and give a left over, to the right and give a right over. When doing left and right back casts, I will take a step towards the direction I want him to go so I'm off center to the left, throw a bumper past his right side (as he's facing me) and give the left back, same idea for the right back cast. You're teaching and just trying to get the dog to get the idea of what's expected, so I over exaggerate my movements and casts to make it very clear to the dog what I want. Use the rope to stop the dog if he goes the wrong way. Don't make a big deal over it, don't say "no" just stop, place him back at the starting point and start again. He'll get it soon enough. Patience on your part is the key.
 

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No pressure. Move your position to influence the back casts.
 

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No pressure. Move your position to influence the back casts.
Yes the pressure is probably why he is coming back to you. Safe area!
 

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Try a holding blind lined straight behind the pup, just off to the right of him. Toss bumper with your left hand over his head.... Give left back cast... The pup is now in a position to go left back! If he goes right back he will run into the blind. Just my newbie opinion!
 

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So we was gonna try to move on to teaching left and right back and that's when we met our match. Did about a day of simple casting and he did fair. So we try casting him without throwing a bumper first.
You are trying to move too fast. How about moving on when the dog does it correctly. This is not a one day deal and it is not unusual for it to take a few days or much more.
 

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Honestly, I begin teaching this in the house when they are puppies. I sit them on one side of a doorway or the other depending on which cast I want them to take and I cast them to their food bowl.....one would be surprised how quick they catch on and how easy it transitions to the filed with simple casting. I get a lot of dogs that come thru the kennel that take one of the back casts well but not the other. Pressure will only lead to more confusion, frustration, and ultimately loss of confidence and failure. It is your job as a trainer to "figure out" what its gonna take to get the pup to turn one way or the other. I generally just throw the bumper over the pups shoulder @ a 45 degree angle to start even though im giving a back cast with a BIG step in the direction of cast to kind of "over-exaggerate" if you will the direction I want the pup to turn. I did have one however, that refused to take a left back... till I tossed a bumper over her shoulder at the edge of one of my training ponds. To her, jumping in the water after the bumper was the greatest game ever and after 5 days of struggling with left backs she picked it up in 5 mins. It sounds a bit unorthodoxed I know, but it worked for HER...sometimes you have to get creative...
 

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Honestly, I begin teaching this in the house when they are puppies. I sit them on one side of a doorway or the other depending on which cast I want them to take and I cast them to their food bowl.....one would be surprised how quick they catch on and how easy it transitions to the filed with simple casting. I get a lot of dogs that come thru the kennel that take one of the back casts well but not the other. Pressure will only lead to more confusion, frustration, and ultimately loss of confidence and failure. It is your job as a trainer to "figure out" what its gonna take to get the pup to turn one way or the other. I generally just throw the bumper over the pups shoulder @ a 45 degree angle to start even though im giving a back cast with a BIG step in the direction of cast to kind of "over-exaggerate" if you will the direction I want the pup to turn. I did have one however, that refused to take a left back... till I tossed a bumper over her shoulder at the edge of one of my training ponds. To her, jumping in the water after the bumper was the greatest game ever and after 5 days of struggling with left backs she picked it up in 5 mins. It sounds a bit unorthodoxed I know, but it worked for HER...sometimes you have to get creative...
Great post, Joe!

Jennifer
 

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I have to ask why is your trainer using pressure if the dog turns the wrong way?? The dog hasn't been taught how to turn the right way. Going back to walking fetch has nothing to do with your issue. Have your "trainer" put the dog on a rope and teach it to cast to the left to the back pile repeatedly. All dogs are one sided and we have to teach them to use both sides. Teach being the operative word..
 

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I thought we had my pup on the right track but we've hit another bump. We did force fetch and he and his brother did great thought everything hold fetch walking fetch etc. we started forcin to the pile about a week and a half ago and he was doing awesome going straight to the pile every time with pressure no problem. So we was gonna try to move on to teaching left and right back and that's when we met our match. Did about a day of simple casting and he did fair. So we try casting him without throwing a bumper first. He will take a right back perfect. But when we give a left back he will not turn left. Even with pressure. He will run back to his trainer then go get the bumper even with pressure applied. So we backed up all the way to walking fetch. Did it perfect the forcing to the pile do perfect. Tried moving on again today and same thing. He will not turn left. Even if you put him at a 45 angle to the left to help him. He will still turn right or run back to you then go. Have any of you ever experienced this? If you have any advice it would be appreciated. Thanks!!
Why pressure????Have you burned him when he goes left??? May think he should not turn that way b/c I got a burn???
I like to start teaching casting like Joe does in the house. I actually put treats on the floor and work from there.
 

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Dogs have a preference for which way they like to turn. You can see it in puppies when they 'spin' with excitement as you carry out their meals or dangle a toy they think you might throw. Some dogs are probably very hardwired in one direction, and others not so much.

When still a puppy, it helps to notice which is the dog's 'preferred' spin direction and do some exercises to create muscle memory in the other direction. Following a food treat is one, of course. Maybe something the dog can be licking as they follow your hand around like soft treats or peanut butter.

Agility people have to work this issue out as well, and usually with an older (6 mo +) dog, unless they have been in the sport for a while and are aware of this and train both directions with their puppies.

On my last dog, I noticed he had more trouble casting "back" on his non-spin direction. So I had to 'help' him more (as had been already suggested). My new pup is getting some of the shaping exercises, so when we get to the casting as you are currently doing, I can hope he will be more 'balanced'. Both dogs had opposite preferred spin directions, btw.

When heeling, how does your dog do if you do a tight 180 turn in the opposite direction? Think back on how much of an issue THAT was for him.

I'm sure there are times when in doing early blind work or at tests, where lack of balance in preferred turning can has back to BITE us handlers. But do we remember the dog's issues in this early work? Probably not! We assume it's other influences and although that could very well be true, we should consider this as well. Especially if one of the influences are hillsides!

Debbie Tandoc
 
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