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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There,

The other week I started force fetching. Since then we have stopped retrieving and are working only on Fetch/Hold and her recall.

I failed teaching my pup the differences between playing and retrieving because she refuses to come back with the retrieve cleanly. She shakes and plays with it running around me. On a check cord I have to drag her back. Even running away excited gets her to follow but just out of reach.

So we have taken as step back in an effort to correct my mistake and teach to come back on lead holding the dummy. I make her hold and sit. Then step back 10' and call her in. My plan is when I can do 50' I'll start throwing it for her again and see if she understands.

Also were still working on "Heel" she is starting to get it "SLOWLY".

Now when I put her in the kennel to drive home she balls up her bedding and start "humping" it quite roughly shaking my car. I'm concerned that this is her way of releasing frustration or aggression. She just started doing this weekend and has done it after all 4 sessions.

I am making a point to use the tone of my voice and lots of praise when she comes in clean. Could this be happening because I am now showing my Dominance over her with FF and the re - call corrections?

I'm worried about this because she only does it after training in her kennel. So I'm open to all thoughts on this. Just want to hear what people think :(
 

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Well, I wouldn’t worry about the crate behavior too much. Focus on the basic OB portion. You mention that you have to drag her back with the check cord. I can’t see what this looks like or what is happening but I’ll mention that dragging kinda equates to nagging. It doesn’t correct the dog and make the dog decide to obey. I would go back to a short lead and focus on the heeling in a more controlled situation. Sit the dog in front of you facing you (front finish) and command here with a good tug and release, similar to how heeling is taught. If your playing tug o war with her the progress will be very slow and she’ll continue her behavior.

/Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Gun_Dog2002,

Yeh that's why I stopped doing retrieves with her because she wasn't getting it with the rope. I never looked at the dragging her in as a nagging DOH! I can see how it's the same as allowing her to pull a leash.

She's good with all OB commands except "Heel". I can sit her and throw dummies over her head and behind me and she doesn't break. I can do this with Sit/Down/Stand positions.

She's great at "Come" if there isn't a bumper in her mouth or she's in a new area.

I was worried about the behavior in the crate as a sign that I wasn't giving her enough situations where she is succedding so she was acting out in another way :(
 
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1) i wouldn't worry too much about the blanket thing. Some dogs just do stuff like that.

2) sounds like you're working on a variety of things that should be worked on in SEQUENCE instead of all TOGETHER. For example, you say you're "SLOWLY" getting heel... But you're also working on force fetch and hold... You've also stopped retrieving with a dog that doesn't understand retrieving mechanics. So you're doing lots of things backwards and out of order and that CAN cause frustration in the dog. But, again, I wouldn't worry about the humping thing unless it transfers over to other dogs.

Because of the backwards way you've admitted to doing things :) you need now need to re-evaluate how you're going to proceed -- which is what you're doing...

FIRST... The only time I'll every pull a dog out of marks in the field is if there is a HUGE problem that is preventing them from focusing and retrieving properly with fundamentally good mechanics (go out, get the bird, come back -- no manners problems, no bird chewing or crunching, etc. -- but I do NOT require perfect delivery prior to FF).

Your dog MAY be a case where you now HAVE to pull out of the field because manners and bird handling are so bad.

IF that is the case. Then I back up and work on obedience (NO retrieving) and complete collar conditioning. This way you have a more focused, compliant dog. And you can CAREFULLY use the collar to get the dog to return (again NOT yet requiring perfect delivery).

IF your dog has mouth issues with birds (if you use birds), you back up to bumpers and continue retrieving in the field if your dog doesn't have mouth issues with bumpers. If your dog DOES have mouth issues with bumpers on the return, then typically the only option is to go ahead and force fetch.

I personally just hate having a dog out of the field for the duration of force fetch and/or collar conditioning. Ideally you can work out a way to continue retrieving WITH generally good manners (again, NOT perfect).

Remember, that you should not be force fetching with a dog where you're still working on heel. Obedience has to be solid on lead before force fetch, otherwise you're working on five things at once and that can make it stressful and confusing to your dog.

I've recently had two young dogs in for training, slightly younger than your's. Both were raised with really bad manners. BOTH had to come out of the field to do collar conditioning. Then we went back to marks and now we're on to force fetch and they're doing well.

Just remember that you should only be working on ONE new thing per lesson. So if you find that you're losing control or correcting for multiple things with a young dog, you probably need to back up and polish the simplest thing first (heeling and general manners) and then work back up, piece by piece, to the more complex thing (force fetch).

Take care and good luck.

-K
 

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Two things, I would work on TONS of recalls without the retrieve involved. IMO most people do too many retrieves with puppies and not enough recalls and also only call the dog to them when they're going to kennel it or otherwise stop its fun and/or they call the dog when they're not in a position to be able to enforce the command so the dog thinks it's optional. I know in my case a 4 mos. pup can outrun me so since I don't ever want it to realize that they wear a check cord of some type every time they're out of the crate/kennel.

Kristie has a ton of young dog experience and since I don't FF my own dogs I can't speak to that but I do know that when my pups leave for FF their obedience is solid on lead and while heel may not be perfect they at least know to stay in the general area on a slack lead with no pulling and sit at heel when I stop. I would NOT worry about making your pup steady to retrieve, that's very easy to teach after FF. It sounds like you need to be further along with obedience before delving into FF and maybe consider collar conditioning your dog to 'here' also. Are you training with someone experienced (pro or good amateur that's trained a few dogs) that can help you?

About the bed humping, I have no idea why your pup would do that but I do know most of my 7.5 mos. pups have to have their bedding removed from their crates because they trash it so for your pup I'd just remove the bedding and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Kristie,

Here is break down of where she is.

Sit/Stand/Down

I would say she is about as good as I'm gonna get before moving to ethe e-collor because I can walk atleast 100 feet away with out her breaking. I can throw bumpers over, beside, behind and she won't break.

"Hold": I can walk around the block (10mins) without her dropping it.

"Heel": Working on it (we have a nose down issue) I just do a complete 180 turn and if she doesn't follow she's corrected then praised when turned. She actually heels better with bumper in her mouth.

This is my training schedule

5 am: Air Suzy with some play time :)

5:30am -5:40am : OB no lead in the basement (She does everything perfect in the basement lOL!!) This is just to get her focused on me.

5:40am - 5:50am: FF on the table.

5:50am - 6am: Air her again and back to bed and I leave for work.

then
when I'm home at 3:30 I do the same thing but replace the FF with "Heel" and Recall work on a lead.

then @ 9 I do a FF session same as the morning.

I was thinking that "FF" would help improve the "Heel" OB because I'm not teaching something she doesn't know. I'm reinforcing a command she already knows.

Is that schedule to much for 7.5 month old pup?

Thanks for the great advice Kristie. Not hard to tell i'm new at this eh LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Julie,

I will agree with you on Kristie. She always offers great advice. I always re-read and re-read what she suggests.

I am working with an experience trainer. Which I listen to because I have seen how good his dogs work.

But I do like to hear other peoples opinions as well. It's always good to have input from multiple sources to draw from :)
 
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LuvMyLab said:
Hi Kristie,

Here is break down of where she is.

Sit/Stand/Down

I would say she is about as good as I'm gonna get before moving to ethe e-collor because I can walk atleast 100 feet away with out her breaking. I can throw bumpers over, beside, behind and she won't break.

"Hold": I can walk around the block (10mins) without her dropping it.

"Heel": Working on it (we have a nose down issue) I just do a complete 180 turn and if she doesn't follow she's corrected then praised when turned. She actually heels better with bumper in her mouth.

This is my training schedule

5 am: Air Suzy with some play time :)

5:30am -5:40am : OB no lead in the basement (She does everything perfect in the basement lOL!!) This is just to get her focused on me.

5:40am - 5:50am: FF on the table.

5:50am - 6am: Air her again and back to bed and I leave for work.

then
when I'm home at 3:30 I do the same thing but replace the FF with "Heel" and Recall work on a lead.

then @ 9 I do a FF session same as the morning.

I was thinking that "FF" would help improve the "Heel" OB because I'm not teaching something she doesn't know. I'm reinforcing a command she already knows.

Is that schedule to much for 7.5 month old pup?

Thanks for the great advice Kristie. Not hard to tell i'm new at this eh LOL!
1) Drop the stand and down for now. useless in young dog training, in my opinion. They are both "useless" in EARLY retriever training and will only serve to cloud things up. Some dogs, under pressure, will revert to laying down (even if you're being fair) to avoid the lesson. Both of those commands are easily taught later. use just what you need for now.

2) Do not make her hold for 10 minutes while you walk around the block... a) because what if she drops when you're half way around? b) that length of time is stressful and unnecessary for any dog, but especially for a young dog, and c) You need to be right there with her the entire time, period, keeping the lesson in a good rhythm, keeping things moving and upbeat.

3) It sounds like you have heel under control. I would be careful correcting her for dropping her nose at this point UNLESS you are in a FORMAL lesson and it's a major problem. Otherwise, you could be correcting her off honoring her nose later on IF you do it consistently and NEVER allow her to drop her nose. In 10-25 minute obedience/FF/yardwork sessions a simple single nose drop is not a big deal or typically correctable offense. But if it's part of AVOIDANCE, then it is.

4) I would not have steadied a dog to the point you have RELATIVE TO where you are in the yard. You have several training scenarios where you are requiring "ultra-steadying" -- making her sit 10 mins on holding, flipping bumpers over her head, etc. -- for a young dog... This is overkill at this point and can make things stressful and frustrating. Like down and stand, it's just not necessary AT THIS POINT. Once you're into more advanced training, you can throw birds that hit her in the toes if you want. But that's too much RIGHT NOW. For young dogs, you want to isolate pressure and stress to the one thing you're teaching. Really, it sounds like you ARE ready to force fetch based on what you provided above. The more detailed explanation was very helpful. Based on your prior description, I would have though that she was lunging at heel or out of control. It sounds like she has MORE control than what you need at this point EXCEPT for sloppy retrieving mechanics.

5) Finally, you're doing the equivalent of three yardwork sessions a day. While there's nothing TERRIBLY wrong with that... IF you're doing just yardwork (obedience, FF, etc.), I'd back down to two lessons a day and maybe sometimes even one. And when you go out to do ANY lesson at ANY time of the day, it should be on the ONE thing (FF or whatever). I would NOT do OB as its own lesson separate from FF. Again, it's overkill and unnecessary. She appears to already know her ob.

As far as marks... One idea that works well with dogs like her (and this is as best I can tell as far as how she's behaving in your description) is open water marks. Where you go to a nice size pond and throw marks that fall into the middle (80-100 yards out or so, depending on her ability, can be shorter if needed -- and preferably thrown by a "gunner" and NOT BY YOU). Then she has NOWHERE TO GO BUT BACK TO YOU. This can give them something FUN to do to balance the pressure of obedience, force fetch, collar conditioning, etc. I did this with the young dogs I mentioned earlier and it was an outlet for their energy.

Now... She sounds like a dog I would collar condition first. I'd stop force fetching. I'd go on and collar condition, THEN GO BACK OUT AND DO SOME MARKS FOR A WHILE. Use the good recall you taught in CC to get her back reliably on marks. ONCE she's doing marks nicely, then go ahead and do FF. And hopefully, you can continue doing marks throughout FF...

And to clarify... When I say marks, I mean bumpers or birds thrown in a field or pond (with marks that are proper for a young dog) by either another human being or a mechnical winger/launcher/etc. NOT hand-thrown marks.

AND STOP WORKING IN YOUR BASEMENT!!! :) Again unnecessary. Dogs will ALWAYS listen at "home base". Doing stuff there is a waste of time. Save the energy for lessons where she will actually learn to be responsive in new environments and under new conditions.

A big mistake I see new trainers make is training ONLY in their backyards... Then they wonder why the dog won't listen when they go to a real field.

-K
 

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I couldnt agree with you more Kristie. Again right on the money.

I hate to see my pups drive deplenish during that period. Thats why I work real hard on that pups drive from day one. More formal obedience can come later. You can teach obedience but you cant teach drive.
K
 
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I was just re-reading my post and want to clarify one thing about "not working in your basement" or at "home base"...

Your YARDWORK sessions should be in the same place every time (for now). FF should always take place in the location. And any pile work or early drills should also always be in the SAME SPOT.

BUT... Marks should be run in as many different locations as you possibly can.

-K
 
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