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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Timing of praise can be important in retriever training.
Sometimes the power of praise is diluted from poor timing or excessive use.

Some examples:
1) Praising the pup as he slowing returns, urging pup to hold the bumper and come quickly.
In pup's mind he may think he is being praised for a slow return. (Lardy calls this "syrupy praise")

2) Praising a whining pup after a split second of being quiet,
In pup's mind he may think he is being praised for whining.

3) Cheerleading praise.
This type of praise can become "background music"
and sometimes degrade to "pleading praise".

4) Constantly praising a dog as a human habit.
Praise may becomes part of the routine in the dog's mind and the power of praise is diluted.

If praise is reserved for key retriever decisions, it may more effective in teaching and training retrievers.
Praise can be important marker that informs pup the instant he made the right decision, so timing can be important.

Some examples:

1) Teaching pup the correct non-cheating route,"GOOD!" the instant pup enters water.
This informs pup he made the correct decision to take the water route instead of running the bank.
I often see newbies tell their pup "wrong" for running the bank, but they do not say "good!" (correct) for entering the water.

2) "GOOD!" The instant pup digs out a short checkdown mark in heavy cover after running first to a longer mark.

3) "GOOD!" The instant pup jumps over a barrier after moving up and simplifying to the no-no barrier drill.

4) In swim-by "treading water" is an important skill to teach. It is not natural as most pups sink when the try to "sit on water".
An excellent example of perfect timing is how Lardy uses "GOOD!" when starting a pup treading water during swim-by in TRT.
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