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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a 9 month old pup doing well in basics. We are through collar conditioning, intro to 3 indirect pressure and collar fetch. She has been running to a pile for 4 days both from the side and at a remote sit.
She was very nervous with stick fetch, but when we switched to collar fetch she was much more stable. Since using the stick when forcing seems to mess with her, I am planning to just go to a collar nick to force to the pile. Using a stick to enforce the sit command does not seem to bother her.
My plan would be to have her at a remote sit, give a back and in route to the pile give her a BACK NICK BACK. Then deal with what ever flare there may be. May repeat once or twice. Then(perhaps in a different sessions depending on how everything goes) do a force right as I first cast her off the sit. My final question is: do I need to force her from my side? I am concerned that would not get the desired response. She has already had a HEEL, step forward and NICK. For a no go on pile work yesterday. She handled that fine.
I have heard that some trainers are going away from stick fetch and stick to pile for more sensitive dogs.
I would like some feedback.
Thanks,
 

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I have heard that some trainers are going away from stick fetch and stick to pile for more sensitive dogs.
I haven't sticked a dog on fetch or FTP in over 6 years [of any temperment].

A few years back on RTF I was an advocate of not using a stick for either.

To put mildly, not many people here agreed with me back then. :?
 

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Nate,

I wouldn't skip forcing from your side. It sounds like the dog has a stable response to the collar. She did fine with heel nick heel. It is just such a useful tool, if needed, in the future that developing a stable response now is important.

I've trained dogs that initially did not have a stable response to stick corrections during stick fetch. Following this up very quickly with an ear pinch helps to stabilize response to the stick. I've found that developing an acceptable response to stick corrections help the dog focus on the command and desired, appropriate response. This was mainly done with chessies who were "older" when force fetched. When your main worry is not to get bitten instead of how the dog does you pay much closer attention!

Tom
 

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When I did stick fetch with my two dogs in the beginning, it was meant to mess with them and get a refusal. That is because I was following the Lardy material. Stick to pile was just an added step that communicated to the dog to go fast to the pile. They were barely tapped with the string of the buggy whip once or twice in total. Stick fetch and Stick to Pile were two different things

My training in many areas needs reexamining, but for someone following the Lardy material or Smartwork, get a grip. The Lardy material says stick fetch is initially a distraction, and stick to pile is not an absolutely necessary step. Smartwork doesn't advise stick fetch or stick to pile.

Things have probally changed since 1995 or whenever when the Lardy material came out, but some people have to go by it because they don't know how to train a dog otherwise, and he is the dude who coined the terms, or was that Rex Carr. By the way, from what I can tell from the Dave Rorem/Rex Carr videos, stick fetch was most definitely distraction training for Mr. Carr.

There is probally better ways of training, but it always compels me to post when someone posts that their dog was unnerved by stick fetch, when a lot of people who do stick fetch initially do it to unnerve the dog and get a refusal with a distraction.

BTW, I think a lot trainers would prefer to tell people they don't tap a dog with a stick because of the stigma associated with it, or some people are heavy handed and lack some finesse. I certainly don't think that holds true for Alex or anyone else that posts to this thread, but get a grip, that is a reason some people don't do it. If I didn't know in my mind I wasn't going to harm a dog, I wouldn't do it. And personally if I were a dog, I think I'd understand that stick on my behind more than that crazy unnatural shock on my neck.
 

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but get a grip, that is a reason some people don't do it.
I'm not sure I understand this point. A lot of people don't use certain training tools because they think they are harsh,I don't think that's what we're talking about here.

I've FFed over a couple hundred dogs without a stick. Depending on your skill as a trainer and the program you're following, I don't see any advantage in using one 99% of the time.
 
G

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NateB said:
Hi all,
I have a 9 month old pup doing well in basics. We are through collar conditioning, intro to 3 indirect pressure and collar fetch. She has been running to a pile for 4 days both from the side and at a remote sit.
She was very nervous with stick fetch, but when we switched to collar fetch she was much more stable. Since using the stick when forcing seems to mess with her, I am planning to just go to a collar nick to force to the pile. Using a stick to enforce the sit command does not seem to bother her.
My plan would be to have her at a remote sit, give a back and in route to the pile give her a BACK NICK BACK. Then deal with what ever flare there may be. May repeat once or twice. Then(perhaps in a different sessions depending on how everything goes) do a force right as I first cast her off the sit. My final question is: do I need to force her from my side? I am concerned that would not get the desired response. She has already had a HEEL, step forward and NICK. For a no go on pile work yesterday. She handled that fine.
I have heard that some trainers are going away from stick fetch and stick to pile for more sensitive dogs.
I would like some feedback.
Thanks,
I wouldn't skip it for THE REASON you're skipping it. With a dog like her, I'd desensitize her to the stick. I have had a couple of dogs like this. I actually have them play with and retrieve the stick. Make sure you pet her with it, etc.

Bottom line is you NEED her to not be afraid of it.

NOW.... I ALWAYS do stick fetch, but I don't often to stick to pile anymore... I feel that once they've been collar fetched, they understand the pressure (and I start off most FTP with a momentary, meaningful, but light, well-placed nick on back) and transition easily. Plus if I DO stick to pile, I do it with a heeling stick because I just have never been able to master a buggy/longing whip.

BUT.... I would work FIRST on desensitizing her to the stick because you're going to need it for steadying, butt moving in on heel, lunging when walking to the line or whatever.

So, while I don't really do stick to pile, I would still want to be able to use the stick and have a STABLE response.

MOST OF THE TIME when a dog has an unstable response it's because the stick wasn't introduced when they were little. NOT that you are beating up little puppies... But I'll give them little taps and pats with it when they're babies (maybe 12+ weeks) if they're getting a little wild on lead or to make them have some manners for whatever reason. NOT big corrections, just light, meaningful taps. And then also pet them on the chest with it, etc.

If you haven't already done that type of stuff, back up and use it in less intimidating situations and then use it as a "toy" also...

I have one nutty dog (just went home actually) that hated the stick (didn't flare, but would eat stick pressure) but in the yard he loved when I "played the drums" on him with two heeling sticks. Just the silliest thing...

But in the field, the stick really ticked him off...

-K
 

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NateB said:
Hi all,
I have a 9 month old pup doing well in basics. We are through collar conditioning, intro to 3 indirect pressure and collar fetch. She has been running to a pile for 4 days both from the side and at a remote sit.
She was very nervous with stick fetch, but when we switched to collar fetch she was much more stable. Since using the stick when forcing seems to mess with her, I am planning to just go to a collar nick to force to the pile. Using a stick to enforce the sit command does not seem to bother her.

I would like some feedback.
Thanks,
It depends on a couple of things. One would be what method of training are you following? The other would be do you understand why you're doing it?

I very rarely stick fetch, but if I had seen a dog bug to the stick that would be all the more reason to spend some quality time with one. There's much to be gained from a solid job of pressure conditioning, especially if you've seen a dog bug so a specific stimulus.

Evan
 

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In the shortish long run I think you'll want to force her more from your side.

I think you can get it done without dealing with the stick issue and I wouldn't go out of my way to use the stick just because she's having some trouble with it. On the other hand 'trouble' is a part of force program. The problem that I see often is that many people create "trouble" that they don't need to.

More information would be required before I'd make futher suggestions.
 

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I agree with Evan on this one. Use the method that best fits your dogs personality, but also understand what you are teaching in the process.

LT
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just to clarilfy, I did do stick fetch and we did deal with the ancy, dancing around issue. I just did not want to do stick to pile. She has had plenty of stick pressure for steadiness, heeling, etc and she responds fine without getting overly nervous. She has been exposed to the stick since we began more formal obedience. We went ahead with force to pile using the collar only and it went fine. She repsonded well to the pressure and only got flaring once, and that straightened out pretty easily. Definitely got her flying to the pile, and I did force her from my side.
We are on moving on to sit to pile.
 
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