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I am still very very new at this and I am following a program. Fowl Dawgs. Want to obtain the started title this summer for my 7.5 month old pup. Problem is seems that the fowl dawg program and Lardy program split the training. the training now is more focused on getting them ready for swim by and handling while the started dog trials are marking focused.

How do you do both since I started with the title work the other has been placed on the back burner. OR should you try both? Her marking skills seem to lack at this age and have been told to give it time that it will improve with age. She does well on short marks but longer ones she stops short. Just wondering what others do to keep marking skills while teaching a young dog to do all the other pre handling skills necessary.

by the way the dog is fine it is the owner that seems overwhelmed..ha

also I would give her the following grades in the following task

Sit..90
Stay..95
come..85 only because she wants to wander after the retrieve and I have to get ugly at times
Heel 85
sit at distance .. 75 ...just started this
Hold.. 85
Retrieve to hand..85.. once again wandering issue
Finishing the retrieve..60 .. not really working on that yet
Sitting prior to dropping.. 90.. always does it when ask to
Force fetch.. 80.. think she needs a revisit
collar condition.. 70.. just started this week responding well
 

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The short answer is that you are doing, and will be doing, both.

Here's Lardy's training flow chart (you can get a PDF verison from his website). Note that multiple things are going on at the same time as you progress.
So what you're trying to figure and experience is how much of one over the other in the same time span. Basically you try to even out the time, or better yet, attempts of the drill or drills you are working on.

Lardy talks about this in his TRT dvds. You have a plan for your day's training and you try to have "balance" in what you are doing. In short, you'll do some marks of various lengths and types (depending on where you are at in the program you are following); along with some specific handling drills (depending on where you are at in the program you are following); all along making sure you're not tiring pup out with too many of each (or in aggregate).

Welcome to the world of retriever training! ;-)

 

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I am still very very new at this and I am following a program. Fowl Dawgs. Want to obtain the started title this summer for my 7.5 month old pup. Problem is seems that the fowl dawg program and Lardy program split the training. the training now is more focused on getting them ready for swim by and handling while the started dog trials are marking focused.

How do you do both since I started with the title work the other has been placed on the back burner. OR should you try both? Her marking skills seem to lack at this age and have been told to give it time that it will improve with age. She does well on short marks but longer ones she stops short. Just wondering what others do to keep marking skills while teaching a young dog to do all the other pre handling skills necessary.

by the way the dog is fine it is the owner that seems overwhelmed..ha

also I would give her the following grades in the following task

Sit..90
Stay..95
come..85 only because she wants to wander after the retrieve and I have to get ugly at times
Heel 85
sit at distance .. 75 ...just started this
Hold.. 85
Retrieve to hand..85.. once again wandering issue
Finishing the retrieve..60 .. not really working on that yet
Sitting prior to dropping.. 90.. always does it when ask to
Force fetch.. 80.. think she needs a revisit
collar condition.. 70.. just started this week responding well

SOME dogs may improve their marking but be proactive and dont wait for them to improve...


as for getting a young dog to drive longer on marks here are a couple of ways

1. if you throw marks yourself the dog will generally drive to you because you are familiar to them, plus they are more likely to stay in the AOF with you right there

2. if you have someone throw marks for you, have them throw an additional bird and fire your cap pistol when the dog is about halfway, this also works well when the terrain changes and the dog dips into a swale and temporarily loses sight of the gunner/mark..you are just trying to encourage the dog and remind them about the task at hand


3. start using a wing clipped pigeon or a banty rooster, nothing gets a young dog excited like the flapping wings of a live bird
 

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dont run tests yet, train to the seasoned level and started will be a cake walk, nothing worse than failing a started test, i know personally..good luck with whatever you decide, hoping to get my SHR this fall
 

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dont run tests yet, train to the seasoned level and started will be a cake walk...
Best advice yet. Train first. Test later. Your dog has problems related to both training and maturity it seems. What's the purpose of testing such a dog? When your dog is ready to consistently max out scores, then is the time for testing.

Evan
 

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dont run tests yet, train to the seasoned level and started will be a cake walk, nothing worse than failing a started test, i know personally..good luck with whatever you decide, hoping to get my SHR this fall
I'll augment this advice a little.

Don't train to any test level. Train to your program.

The Lardy program is not split, you are doing yard work and also getting marks in daily. If you are a working class trainer as many of us are, you may not have time to do yard work and marks in the same day. No problem, just alternate days. But don't put either marks or yard work on the back burner.

If you train to the program, i.e. formal obedience > FF > simple casting > CC ..., and get marks a few days a week, you will soon find that your dog is ready to handle a test.

You will hear many stories of poor habits developed or dogs being collar wise. Many of these issues can be traced back to running tests before the good habits are ingrained. If a dog is sloppy with the bird or cheats the water in a test and there is no negative consequence, they will get test wise in a hurry. I know you want to get out there and get started, but if you can have the patience to not run a test until the steadiness habit, good mouth habits, non-cheating habits, etc. are fully engrained, you will have far fewer issues to "fix" later on.


To comment on your percentages...

Not sure exactly what you mean by the grade of 60% on finishing retrieves. But, your dog needs to complete 100% of its retrieves 100% of the time. You may need to get gunner help, or may need to handle the dog when you get that far in training, but you can not let your pup ever come back without the bird. Even with an advanced dogs where you wil want to increase the difficulty of marking set ups, a 60% success rate (without help or handle) is too low.

Good luck
 

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Chena Girl- Your Quote "Her marking skills seem to lack at this age and have been told to give it time that it will improve with age. She does well on short marks but longer ones she stops short. Just wondering what others do to keep marking skills while teaching a young dog to do all the other pre handling skills necessary."

I also have a 7.5 month old. She is excellent at marking but we work on it everyday, either running drills or field training. Carol Cassity's book Building A Retriever, Drills and More is an excellent source for marking drills (and more).

A good exercise you can use to stretch your pup out on marking and retrieving is to have a helper throw 4 to 6 walking singles for you while the helper walks away (between marks) at a 30 to 45 degree angle. This has really stretched my pup out and brought focus to her marking both in cover and when visible. Keep it simple to start. Your pup may also need help from your helper in the beginning. Start simple, progress slowly and add challenge as she shows improvement.

Ross
 
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