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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6 month old Golden pup that I have been working with since he was about 12 weeks. He is coming along nicely on retrieving in water. However, the dog has little interest in retrieving on land. Making it a little difficult to train. Luckily I am about 2 minutes from water. The dog’s desire to retrieve on water duplicates drastically while in the water. I don’t initially think this is a problem since the dog will be used for waterfowl hunting. Currently I am doing about 2 days on land with OB and 2 days on water with retrieving. I have found this “clicks” with the dog. I just don’t want to face problems later. Am I doing the right thing ? Also I know the dog knows his obedience he shows it day after day at home and on the field (when he wants to) should I be “nicking” him with the E-collar to remind him and keep his focus?

Thank you for any input
 

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You should not be "nicking" a pup to remind him or keep his focus. The nick should be used to enforce a known command.

Also you should collar condition your pup before using the collar for incidental obedience corrections. Have you collar conditioned your pup?

Even after collar conditioning, you should not use the collar for corrections other than incidental obedience corrections around the line until you are much further along in training. Well into the transition training.

I usually don't collar condition until I've completed formal obedience, force fetch, and simple casting. Have you completed these steps?

I want the pup to be crazy for the retrieve before starting formal obedience and be crazy for the land retrieve before introducing to water. Have you completed formal obedience already?

In the program that you are following to train your pup, what does it have to say about the sequencing of these steps?
 

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Are you using birds or bumpers? Are marks coming from a winger, bird boy or ??

While bringing along my daughters Golden, I have noticed that she is much more interested and focused when using good, fresh birds. She went through a period where she clearly did not want to do the work. She did, because she knew she had to, but it wasn't with any enthusiasm and her perseverence on marks was weak. We took her out and shot 5 or 6 live pigeons for her, both on land and water, and she's like a new dog.

I personally, would not nick the dog for lack of focus. I would up the excitement level of the work by using fresh birds and flyers when possible and quitting before he gets bored. From what I've been told by long time Golden owners and breeders they sometimes do better if they have 2 or 3 days off between training. They tend to be very smart and can get bored, which may be what you're experiencing.

Also, if you have not force fetched yet you will more than likely see a difference in retrieving once you do.

Also remember that your pup is just that, a pup. This is the time to teach him that this is FUN.
 

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The usual procedure is to establish your training on land. It is much easier to teach on land and to make necessary corrections on land. I would work on establishing desire on land. I think that you have a golden that loves water---lucky you! However you have established a pattern of no desire or refusals on land.

My advice: 1) start from square one on land 2) don't nick, teach the behavior first 3) you will need land work so firmly establish that 4) do your land training FAR from water so that you don't have that distraction 5) amp the dog up by using the bumpers with the ribbons 6) always stop the retrieving while the dog wants "one more"

I would build focus and attention by using attention drills.

If you could be more specific about what your dog does on land retrieves, it might help. Preventing a problem is easier than fixing one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for the input. The dog has been conditioned on the collar, enough as I should? thats questionable. And yes fortunantley I do have a dog that loves the water and puts everything behind him to BE in the water. I have not used any live birds around the dog at all. I am using bumpers on and off of water. On land the he takes his time going to the bumpers and often picks them up and returns half way before wondering off to do something else. I am currently not nicking the dog to get his focus hence "SHOULD I be nicking?" We have been following the Hillman puppy training. But as you know often you have to find things that click with your dog. Which in my case water is what gets the dog going.
 

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Thank you very much for the input. The dog has been conditioned on the collar, enough as I should? thats questionable. And yes fortunantley I do have a dog that loves the water and puts everything behind him to BE in the water. I have not used any live birds around the dog at all. I am using bumpers on and off of water. On land the he takes his time going to the bumpers and often picks them up and returns half way before wondering off to do something else. I am currently not nicking the dog to get his focus hence "SHOULD I be nicking?" We have been following the Hillman puppy training. But as you know often you have to find things that click with your dog. Which in my case water is what gets the dog going.
Two replys said you should not be nicking.

You may be watching the hillman DVD, but you are not following the DVD.

Dog should be wild for the retrieve before any obedience/sitting/heeling/nicking.

Hillman introduces a taped wing pigeon early on and you have not used any birds at all.

As Hillman says, if your pup isn't enthusiastic about the retrieve, you're doing something wrong.

With a dog that apparently lacks desire, I have found that Lardy's TRT was a better fit than strict adhearence to Hillman's approach. Although with the pup I'm working with now that had similar issues, I have incorporated a good bit of Hillman's method (done between 7 and 10 months of age). And now that I have the pup doing great retrieves (with birds) to 200 yards, the steps we have done in Hillman's program are really paying dividends.
 

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Not to hijack thread but I experience something similar yet different.

My pup is a year old and spent 8 months with a pro trainer. When we throw "fun" bumpers she is a little fireball but as soon as I bring her to heel she slows down. She does the retrieve but there seems to be little enthusiasm. Mind you I am just using bumpers and throwing them myself. I am considering buying a thunder 500 launcher just for this reason. I have not tried birds since I have gotten her back due to lack of availability. I have used the "back-nick-back" to see if this helps and she will step it up maybe to 2nd gear. I have talked to my trainer and she says that it is typical that she doesn't like yard work but put her in a test or live situation and I will see a dog that lives up to her call name "zoom". I didn't worry about it too much because hunting season is ony a few months away and this being her first season, I figure will bring her along ways. I also notice a difference in attitude when the "collar" goes on. Should I be doing something different? Sould I be leaving the collar on all the time even when turned off?

Your professional opinion is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Captain Jack, I appricaite your replies. But both of my previous posts have mentioned that I have not yet began "nicking" I was asking the question if " I should begin nicking" So maybe you are misunderstaning. As you can see I am new to the art of training and appriciate every aspect of what me and the dog have to learn and understand.
 

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If the dog is CC'd to here then giving a nick here nick on a slow return (or if the dog gets distracted and doesn't return) could be appropriate. That's different than what I/we read as nicking for "lack of focus". In part because, as Glen said, you're nicking for compliance to a known command for here.

Not having seen your dog and only going off what you've written, I would just about guarantee that getting your dog on real birds would go a long way towards increasing your dogs enthusiasm for retrieving, on land and water. Again, Goldens especially much prefer birds to bumpers. Is there a club or training group around you that you could get involved with to introduce and throw birds for your dog?
 

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Not to hijack thread but I experience something similar yet different.

My pup is a year old and spent 8 months with a pro trainer. When we throw "fun" bumpers she is a little fireball but as soon as I bring her to heel she slows down. She does the retrieve but there seems to be little enthusiasm. Mind you I am just using bumpers and throwing them myself. I am considering buying a thunder 500 launcher just for this reason. I have not tried birds since I have gotten her back due to lack of availability. I have used the "back-nick-back" to see if this helps and she will step it up maybe to 2nd gear. I have talked to my trainer and she says that it is typical that she doesn't like yard work but put her in a test or live situation and I will see a dog that lives up to her call name "zoom". I didn't worry about it too much because hunting season is ony a few months away and this being her first season, I figure will bring her along ways. I also notice a difference in attitude when the "collar" goes on. Should I be doing something different? Sould I be leaving the collar on all the time even when turned off?

Your professional opinion is appreciated.
Send you a PM
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mr Rick, thank you very much for your recomindations . Unfortunantley i have not heard of any clubs around my area in Cleburne TX (south of Ft Worth) But I will definentley be introducing live birds to the young pup and work from there.
 
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