RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very birdy YLM who is 17 mos old. We are deep into the Lardy transition (taking it slow and trying to really learn what I am doing), and I think he has the potential to be a decent gun dog and maybe a SH level test dog.

Except for one thing. When he gets to a training day he goes berserk. It starts when he gets off the truck, and it continues on the way to the line where it is all he can do to come back to me when he jumps out ahead. Using the collar is ineffective at best, and I think it just jacks him up worse. I even put him back in his kennel and waited about 10 minutes before getting him out again, but it didn't help.

Last Saturday we "walked" up to the line and watched a mark thrown into the water (with a splash, no less). He was so jacked up that he took off like a rocket, swam like a champ, and went right by the mark. He refused to sit on the whistle until I nicked him on what I later discovered was a 6, which I had never done before. This also means he blew off a 4 and a 5. He's not the best marker in the world, but he is certainly not that bad.

I know everybody says this, but if he was doing this regularly in training I would not be surprised at all. However, he does not exhibit anything approaching this kind of behavior unless it's at a training day type
of deal.

I have been told that I really need to get after him when he starts this the next time, preferably with my heeling stick. I will if I have to, but if there's any other way I would take it.

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,596 Posts
screw the juice, go old school
to get to line, prong collar and 6 inch rope/tab
at the line, cold honors on that same
after marks, chain gang just a bit off line to watch many other dogs retrieve.
Dog needs to learn to just chill.
Keep training with the big groups. Dont keep your dog in the box. Tie outs or chain gangs.
and do not fear the stick, all it does is make one of your arms 3 feet longer than the other.
You can love and scruff, as well as thumpulate with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,600 Posts
Thoughts?
Wow! That must not be much fun......for you. However, it sounds like the dog is very excited about the whole thing.

Given what you have said, I'd put a pinch collar on him and go to each session with no intentions of letting him have any retrieves......until he earns them.

He'd be doing a lot of sitting or OB and watching probably for quite some time. He needs a new attitude. At 17 months old, he didn't get that way overnight. So you might spend quite some time creating a new mindset.

I have been told that I really need to get after him when he starts this the next time, preferably with my heeling stick.
What does "really need to get after him" specifically mean to you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,424 Posts
I have a dog like that. He is retired now but we worked our way through the issues and titled him at HRCH. He was getting regular finished passes but due to health issues he had to retire (bad tendon and arthritis). It takes a lot of perserverance and stick pressure.

To the day he retired he was a handful. Everyone should have a dog like this as it makes you a better trainer. He inherited this trait. His sire Bugsy was a MN hall of fame dog but had terrible line manners.

You have to take a "mean" pill. I am just kidding but from this and previous posts I think you need to be more firm with you dog. Get one of the other handlers at a training day to show you what getting after him with a stick means.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Nothing wrong with a strong drive, but that is way out of control in my opinion. I have one that's bouncy bouncy when she gts out of the truck. A quick heel command and she's calm as a cucumber.
IMO something was missed in your training, go back and train to the standards you want not his standards. OB first then retrieving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
High power dogs like that are a joy to run, but a handfull to control. I agree with the above suggestions, but I would also get him out of the truck early and just stand around with him on lead and let him watch the other dogs go to line. All the anxiety and panting can bleed off a little of the craziness. I also find a healing stick is far mor effective than a collar in that situation as well. Minor taps are usually enough to get his attention back. Run your marks, put back on lead and doing mulitple dog honours also sets a good foundation so the dog knows not all birds are for him. What is currently happening sounds like a good recipe for future breaking issues too so do your best to fix it now. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
Different methods can work but consistency is the main thing. He needs to earn all retrieves. If he moves any at the line have the bb pick up the mark. Leave the dog on line and make him watch. Throw and repeat until improvement is made. I have the same issue with one of mine. All the pressure in the world really didn't help. He is stick shy as he can be now. Nothing hurts worst than not getting that duck. You can't however be afraid to use pressure. You have a training buddy that has a hot one or two that could help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He'd be doing a lot of sitting or OB and watching probably for quite some time. He needs a new attitude. At 17 months old, he didn't get that way overnight. So you might spend quite some time creating a new mindset.

What does "really need to get after him" specifically mean to you?
You are right that he didn't get that way overnight. I have not done nearly enough training - oddly enough in an effort not to inflict this kind of behavior on a training group. Guess that didn't work out like I wanted, huh?

As to really getting after him, what I was told to do was to let him jump out in front of me when heeling to the line, grab him by the collar with one hand, and pretty much wear him out with the heeling stick with the other. I would assume this would be followed by walking off the line and being staked out (which he spent a long time doing last Saturday), at which time we may get to repeat the whole process. Does that sound reasonable?

I have not been hard on this dog at all, mostly because I do not have any experience doing this and I did not want to do something I couldn't take back. But I think it is time for me to explain to him in no uncertain terms who the boss is in that situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
As the others have mentioned, making him "earn" the retrieve and solid OB. Just one a regular training day at home, I always throw in one of two retrieves that he doesn't get. I leave him at "sit" and go get it myself. I can really see a difference in attitude when I return with the dummy. You can almost read their eyes saying "please can I have the next one".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,779 Posts
Did you train mostly by yourself before? This is the same reaction people see at their first test. Use the opportunity and continue training as often as you can with a group to get these corrections in. I think everyone should train with a group once a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,600 Posts
There are basically two ways to deal with this. From my experience you must do both to make a lasting change. The usual approach is based on the underlying problems created by not having a solid obedience foundation. Suggestions revolve around being more forceful (i.e. stick pressure) and precise. The dog needs to know who is in charge and develop better (and different) expectations.

At the same time, there are other issues. Negative behaviors must be extinguished and DE-escalating anxiety is a common problem. Stick pressure will enforce taught behaviors, but it will not usually modify these underlying problems. These are often the faults of a dog with poor responsiveness. They live for the rush of anxiety and most of all have a well established agenda which allows them to tolerate quite a bit of intervention. The handler is just someone to tolerate. Which in the long run means there is an ongoing power struggle for control.

This is not fun, but often times is accepted as the only alternative because the handler/trainer/owner doesn't deal with the real issues and is often "off" on his own agenda. There are things to do now.......not months from now. Being in a hurry gets in the way.

Here is quote of Mike Lardy's that strikes home the significance of time.

"If a trial or test problem does develop, your best bet is to quit running competitions altogether for quite some period. You'll want to completely eliminate the problem and have new ingrained habits before you run your dog at a trial of hunt test." The Retriever Journal.....Mike Lardy

From my experience, many dog/trainer teams could easily transfer this same thought process to their training sessions. The out of control dog needs to be taught a new mindset. They must be re-taught to be responsive, focused and under control. Being calm is a skill. The process of re-teaching is rarely instantaneous. I've seen a new attitude appear out of no where once in awhile when a skilled handler steps in. This is usually because the dog is caught off guard and suddenly becomes more focused and responsive because of the sudden, drastic intervention.

However, the trainer that believes a heavier stick is the answer will often find out it will cover up an issue kind of like sticking your finger in the dike. In all likelihood, there will soon be another negative manifestation of the underlying issue(s).

Taking a dog to the line in the same context and expecting him to behave differently because you suddenly have decided to be another person carrying a big stick teaches what?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I understand not wanting to inflict this kind of behaviour on a training group. You may wish to use it as a positive training with the group by placing all dogs in a circle. Dogs at heal some may need to be on lead and some may need a prong collar. A bumper is thrown in the middle any dog that moves does not get the retrieve. Dogs that remain steady gets the retrieve. The steady dogs are reinforced on steady the unsteady dogs will learn quickly to stay steady or nop retrieve. All dogs in the circle are learning or reinforcing good behavior. Keep in mind that more then 1/2 of the dogs in the circle must be steady. A good tool for honoring. You must have good comunication with the other handlers as you need to release your dog the first time it stays steady. You may wish to develop a visual clue to steady the dog. Use the clue when transfering this training to the line.

You are right that he didn't get that way overnight. I have not done nearly enough training - oddly enough in an effort not to inflict this kind of behavior on a training group. Guess that didn't work out like I wanted, huh?

As to really getting after him, what I was told to do was to let him jump out in front of me when heeling to the line, grab him by the collar with one hand, and pretty much wear him out with the heeling stick with the other. I would assume this would be followed by walking off the line and being staked out (which he spent a long time doing last Saturday), at which time we may get to repeat the whole process. Does that sound reasonable?

I have not been hard on this dog at all, mostly because I do not have any experience doing this and I did not want to do something I couldn't take back. But I think it is time for me to explain to him in no uncertain terms who the boss is in that situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,424 Posts
Kwiklabs, I like your posts. They are generally well thought out. I had trouble with this one in pulling out the how to of your second suggestion. Can you pls explain in more depth?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,424 Posts
Kwiklabs, Yep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
When he forges nail him on the outside shoulder with the stick--and make it count. Do it everytime it happens--it will go away. Dont worry about grabbing his collar--that messes up the timing.
You are right that he didn't get that way overnight. I have not done nearly enough training - oddly enough in an effort not to inflict this kind of behavior on a training group. Guess that didn't work out like I wanted, huh?

As to really getting after him, what I was told to do was to let him jump out in front of me when heeling to the line, grab him by the collar with one hand, and pretty much wear him out with the heeling stick with the other. I would assume this would be followed by walking off the line and being staked out (which he spent a long time doing last Saturday), at which time we may get to repeat the whole process. Does that sound reasonable?

I have not been hard on this dog at all, mostly because I do not have any experience doing this and I did not want to do something I couldn't take back. But I think it is time for me to explain to him in no uncertain terms who the boss is in that situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
kwicklabs response makes very good sense. Pressure is part of it but expectations must be changed for a lasting effect. With my particular dog stick pressure got him even more anxious on the line over time--I have found that his line manners are better from a remote sit than right by my side. Be careful with it--luckily for me I have the kind of dog that doesn't hold a grudge and tends to forget pretty quickly. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to all of you for your responses. This is why I really enjoy this forum.

KwickLabs, you pointed out my reason for asking this question. The suggestion I referred to was made rather strongly at training day, and it was clear to me that it was desired that I do it right then. I didn't for two reasons; one, I didn't totally understand what he was asking me to do, and two, I was a bit frustrated by that point myself, and I thought I needed to deliver such a large correction in as dispassionate a manner as I can. I totally understand that I am the problem here, and I understand the dog is doing exactly what I am allowing him to do, so I am willing to change myself to do the best I can for him and to get him to be the best he can be, whatever that is. I know I am not getting that now.

I was looking at "getting after him with the heeling stick" as pretty much an attention-getter, as in "I know I have allowed you to think that because we have traveled to a training day and I am spending my time that we are going to let you get some marks regardless of or maybe in spite of your behavior, but no more." I realize that won't fix it, but I have thought about it a great deal and it sems like it may at least get his attention and get him started thinking in a new way. Just knowing that could happen was enough to keep me quiet at church when I was little. Well, after getting taken outside one time anyway.

Insp, I think that you make a good suggestion, but my issue starts before the line, so I suspect I need to fix that and then go to your drill.

The Lardy quote is interesting. On th one hand, it strikes me that I need to quit taking him to that environment until he (and I) is able to handle it. On the other hand, he only behaves that way in that environment, or at least to that extent. I suspect he is doing things all along that are telling me he doesn't truly respect me, but I am allowing them because they are not that big a deal until there are other dogs and birds.

Does anybody think the best things I can do are (i) ramp up my standard of OB everywhere (which I have already started) and (ii) take him to 2-3 training days, stake him out, and ignore him until it's time to go home?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I agree with what Ken said about cold honoring. It gives you the chance to put your dog up against the enviroment that is creating the problems but allows you to focus on OB and not running him. Once you start to get these issues worked out, then try standing in a holding blind where he cannot see whats going on. This will give you more chances to correct obedience issues.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top