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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog is working through transition, and I have noticed, particularly at longer distances (60 + yds) his whistle sit is getting worse from square. He will sit immediately, sometimes adjusting himself to near square, but sometimes not so much. Generally sits facing the right, and turns to the right to stop most of the time, when on a line. Any tips on how to reinforce square sitting??? I can hit him with a come in whistle and he will square right up, but I dont want him to get reliant on that. Any help would be much appreciated......
 

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I have had the same problem. I watched a training partner use the following. Handler bends down at the waist and stands back up. I trained my dog to follow the procedure by bending at the waste, here, knick sit. When back in the field used bend over at waste knick stand up. Know we are at bend over at the waist and the dog squares up.

I look forward to seeing other methods. Good luck!!!
 

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Start out with attrition, tweet him in a couple steps and sit him again, every time he gives you anything short of a perfect sit. Do this NOW, BEFORE it becomes an issue. I let mine get away with sloppy sits during the beginning of transition, I used too much collar pressure trying to fix it and as a result every time Id blow the whistle she'd turn around and lay down like she was taking on sniper fire. I had to put her with a pro for a couple of weeks to get it straightened out. He fixed it by having an assistant in the field with a heeling stick demanding a correct sit every time, a simple enough sounding solution, but obviously impossible to do by yourself.

Good luck

PS - I dont know if you're like me or not, I tried to rush through a lot of things in transition, wanting to get to "big dog work". Looking back, it was the most rewarding and fun time I had during her development. You have so many of those "lightbulb coming on" moments during transition, its really a fun time, enjoy it.
 

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Another point of view. Why is it so critical that the dog sit square? Why make an issue out of it? If the dog takes the proper cast and holds the new line, and has to turn further to get it right, he will eventually sit straighter to reduce his own workload.

/Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Start out with attrition, tweet him in a couple steps and sit him again, every time he gives you anything short of a perfect sit. Do this NOW, BEFORE it becomes an issue. I let mine get away with sloppy sits during the beginning of transition, I used too much collar pressure trying to fix it and as a result every time Id blow the whistle she'd turn around and lay down like she was taking on sniper fire. I had to put her with a pro for a couple of weeks to get it straightened out. He fixed it by having an assistant in the field with a heeling stick demanding a correct sit every time, a simple enough sounding solution, but obviously impossible to do by yourself.

Good luck

PS - I dont know if you're like me or not, I tried to rush through a lot of things in transition, wanting to get to "big dog work". Looking back, it was the most rewarding and fun time I had during her development. You have so many of those "lightbulb coming on" moments during transition, its really a fun time, enjoy it.
This is what I have been doing..... but Im not seeing much improvement..... I HAVE actually thought about walking out and whacking him with the stick if I can see his rump...... PITA.... but I have considered this..... We use it training horses and they pick it up real quick...... but it would suck and take too long, I believe, to be effective....... maybe not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another point of view. Why is it so critical that the dog sit square? Why make an issue out of it? If the dog takes the proper cast and holds the new line, and has to turn further to get it right, he will eventually sit straighter to reduce his own workload.

/Paul
Ever tried to get a dog facing 90 degrees to the right to take a left back???? That sounds like a fight I really dont want to get into...... In reality though, he does most often take the correct cast, but maybe not on the best line had he been square.......
 

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This problem was just covered by Mike Lardy in this month's issue of The Retriever Journal. He had some good tips. Better to read the article than try and cover here. If you do not subscribe, I have found this in bookstores.
Jim


My dog is working through transition, and I have noticed, particularly at longer distances (60 + yds) his whistle sit is getting worse from square. He will sit immediately, sometimes adjusting himself to near square, but sometimes not so much. Generally sits facing the right, and turns to the right to stop most of the time, when on a line. Any tips on how to reinforce square sitting??? I can hit him with a come in whistle and he will square right up, but I dont want him to get reliant on that. Any help would be much appreciated......
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This problem was just covered by Mike Lardy in this month's issue of The Retriever Journal. He had some good tips. Better to read the article than try and cover here. If you do not subscribe, I have found this in bookstores.
Jim
THANKS FOR THE TIP! I will pick it up on the way home..... gander has it.
 

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Oddly enough this is the second time this week I think this link below has become relevant to a topic on RTF>

Here, Bill Hillmann walks Tammy Bell through getting her dog Maxx to 'Sit' properly.


What started out as a 'Hold' concern led to a 'Sit’ lesson by Bill himself.

I've read the entire thing more than once and have watched all the videos several times. A lot of good info in that thread for sure. It's in the favorites!

http://www.findretrievers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=749





/
 

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Ever tried to get a dog facing 90 degrees to the right to take a left back???? That sounds like a fight I really dont want to get into...... In reality though, he does most often take the correct cast, but maybe not on the best line had he been square.......
I don't worry to much about a square sit in transition. I try to cast them left back if they're facing right if I can, but if the pile is a right back I give that. If it's really bad I'll toot toot to bring them back a little bit then toot again to stop them they should be straight then.

In the long run they'll get as many right backs as left backs so their sit tends to face you as they get older.

I found it interesting that you don't want to fight the dog on a miscast. This is transition! We're training them to take casts (amongst a lot of other things). If they spin right when facing right and I gave a left back, I stop them immediately, wait a moment, then cast again, since this is transition, I'll help the dog by giving a little sidestep or a hip swing to emphasize the side they're to turn on. We might fail several times, go to calling the dog back some 'cause she kept taking the wrong cast and got deep. Eventually, we'll get the right cast and I make damn sure the dog knows she done right.

Also, how can you say he took the right cast but not as right as it would have been if he'd been sitting square? True, with these little dogs we have to give them leeway, but we're working towards a literal standard. If they know where the pile is then I require a literal cast. The leeway comes in when we're working on a cold blind.

I've found unsquare sits to be a passing phase.
 

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Ever tried to get a dog facing 90 degrees to the right to take a left back???? That sounds like a fight I really dont want to get into...... In reality though, he does most often take the correct cast, but maybe not on the best line had he been square.......
I have, thousands of times. Fact is if the dog doesn't take the cast he gets stopped and cast again. Dogs are inherently lazy and will always want to take the easy route. They learn over time that if they don't square up, its more work plus they get stopped. I don't typically make a big issues out of it, it works itself out over time.

/Paul
 

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I don't worry to much about a square sit in transition. I try to cast them left back if they're facing right if I can, but if the pile is a right back I give that. If it's really bad I'll toot toot to bring them back a little bit then toot again to stop them they should be straight then.

In the long run they'll get as many right backs as left backs so their sit tends to face you as they get older.

I found it interesting that you don't want to fight the dog on a miscast. This is transition! We're training them to take casts (amongst a lot of other things). If they spin right when facing right and I gave a left back, I stop them immediately, wait a moment, then cast again, since this is transition, I'll help the dog by giving a little sidestep or a hip swing to emphasize the side they're to turn on. We might fail several times, go to calling the dog back some 'cause she kept taking the wrong cast and got deep. Eventually, we'll get the right cast and I make damn sure the dog knows she done right.

Also, how can you say he took the right cast but not as right as it would have been if he'd been sitting square? True, with these little dogs we have to give them leeway, but we're working towards a literal standard. If they know where the pile is then I require a literal cast. The leeway comes in when we're working on a cold blind.

I've found unsquare sits to be a passing phase.
Got any video of this Howard?;-)
 

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My dog Jack seldom would sit square but he would take any cast. Late in his career I tried to get it squared up using bird boy blinds. All it did was irritate him and get me mad. So I left well enough alone. I believe Lardy actually said this, that crooked sits don't effect some dogs casting.

Shadow always had a good square sit. But if he gives me a crooked sit, I square him up with a toot-toot.

I started Hank off by correcting crooked sits on FTP. Anytime I get a crooked sit I square him up with a toot-toot but since FTP he has been pretty good.

Another dog I trained HR Huck. I had to really work on a lay down and crooked sits. I did it on pattern and taught blinds. Toot-toot to square up and after it persisted, toot-toot, nick. This was for both laying down and crooked sits. It worked.
Huck's owner was training with me a couple months ago and Huck was giving him a slow lagging sit. I told him as soon as he acknowledged the first sit whistle to hit the sit whistle a second time and nick him. Instead he nicked him on the first sit whistle. Guess what he did, he laid (sp?) down. The owner said he was going to bring him to me to get his finished title. Now I've got to go thru that all over again.

There's got to be a point somewhere above. I think I rambled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't worry to much about a square sit in transition. I try to cast them left back if they're facing right if I can, but if the pile is a right back I give that. If it's really bad I'll toot toot to bring them back a little bit then toot again to stop them they should be straight then.

In the long run they'll get as many right backs as left backs so their sit tends to face you as they get older.

I found it interesting that you don't want to fight the dog on a miscast. This is transition! We're training them to take casts (amongst a lot of other things). If they spin right when facing right and I gave a left back, I stop them immediately, wait a moment, then cast again, since this is transition, I'll help the dog by giving a little sidestep or a hip swing to emphasize the side they're to turn on. We might fail several times, go to calling the dog back some 'cause she kept taking the wrong cast and got deep. Eventually, we'll get the right cast and I make damn sure the dog knows she done right.

Also, how can you say he took the right cast but not as right as it would have been if he'd been sitting square? True, with these little dogs we have to give them leeway, but we're working towards a literal standard. If they know where the pile is then I require a literal cast. The leeway comes in when we're working on a cold blind.

I've found unsquare sits to be a passing phase.
Thanks for all of the tips guys...... I went back to a long pattern blind last night, and needless to say, the dog got a lot of left backs to the pile, from a remote (place) about 50 yds away. By the end of the drill, I had already seen a little improvement. No e collar, just whistle sits and recasts..... I think I will stay here for a while and see if I can clean it up some. Nice to hear that it may pass in time. Thanks again.


On a side note.... went to gander to pick up retriever journal (Ive bought it there several times) and of course, they didnt have it!!! Why is it when you actually need something, these box stores never seem to have it at the time....... :(
 

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I don't remember where I read it, but you can work on this in the field...I think DL Wolters book suggested it.

When just out for walks have a dummy in your pocket...hidden. Blow the occasional sit whistle when the dog is preoccupied with something else. Throw the dummy between you & the dog, followed by a toot of the come in whistle. After very few of these, the dog will come to expect a retrieve thrown by you after a sit whistle, and make the full turn to face you (the gunner) squarely. I am doing this occasionally myself as my dog isn't a 100% square sitter at this point either and he seems to be getting better. Its also a no-pressure way to accomplish the task at hand without having to interrupt your regular training sessions.

Similarly you can work this into pile work while teaching the come in cast. Send the dog to the back pile. Stop him en-route, toss the bumper out toward him, and toot the come in whistle.
 

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...On a side note.... went to gander to pick up retriever journal (Ive bought it there several times) and of course, they didnt have it!!! Why is it when you actually need something, these box stores never seem to have it at the time....... :(
Not a good substitute for actually reading the article. Dennis Voigt also has an article on problem solving in this months RO so I may be mixing some of the specifics, but as I remember...

Mike stops doing blinds in the field and takes the dogs back to pile work to work on loopy and crooked sits. He wants the teaching to be done in what the dog would consider a yard type setting. Stop the dog early before the dog is carrying a lot of momentum for success, let the dog build momentum before stopping to get correction (start with an immediate come in whistle and bend at waist with a sit whistle when straight), can add a nick if no improvement. Give plenty of freebies as always and mix up episodes of success and failure to offer the dog a contrast. Sincere praise for good sits, correct for poor sits, neither praise nor correct for so-so sits.

When getting consistently good sits during pile work, do not go immediately to cold blinds in the field. Transition from the yard to the field with BB blinds, maintaining your new standard taught in the yard. It would take you a month of running blinds in the field to get the number of sits you will get in 1 session of BB blinds.

When getting consitently good sits in BB blinds in a few different locations and at increasing distances, transition in to running blinds in the field and maintain the new standard. Don't fall in to the trap of saying, well this is a very tough PB blind so I'll allow the crooked sit. If you do, you'll quickly find the dog right back where you started. Simplify the blind, do not lower the standard.

As someone mentioned, Mike does say that some dogs cast well from a crooked sit, so this work may not be needed for all dogs. I'd venture to say that an effort would be made to get every transition/early advanced dog to sit straight before accepting the crooked sit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Similarly you can work this into pile work while teaching the come in cast. Send the dog to the back pile. Stop him en-route, toss the bumper out toward him, and toot the come in whistle.
This is what I was initially prescribed by someone....... found out that in order to get enough sits..... it seriously eroded his momentum..... wont go back to this..... I do mix it it occasionally though.
 

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Troy,..I know this may be elementary, but I keep a bumper in my cargo pants pocket, and on a whistle SIT for casting if the dog doesn't SIT squarely, I'll twirl the bumper around by the rope..and boom..the dog squares right on up. Sometimes allowing him to retrieve it..keeps the dog on his toes to SIT squarely, never knowing what might come next.
 
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