Beginning the FF process

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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:30 pm

So this is for the new folks that may be following. The experts can relax.

This is a training forum and my focus is for the newer folks to help them get through FF the first time as easily as possible.

The table has many advantages , some already mentioned but Ill review.

1. the dog is at your level. This makes corrections not only easier on your back, but timing can be improved. FF can be frustrating with some dogs, if your more comfortable you are less likely to lose it.
2. Dogs options to get out of doing the work are more limited.

3. Once the dog is holding reliably at sit, its time to get them moving. Many dogs mouths seem to be connected to their feet. So as soon as you ask them to move, their mouths open. The tables advantage here is that it is easy to walk the dog back and forth (walking hold) and make corrections when needed without having to bend over all the way to the ground. Corrections are more timely. Pretty hard to move with a dog when you are sitting on a bucket.

4. Fetch is a motion command and hold means hold, and their are advantages to teaching the commands separately. With fetch dogs often have a somewhat similar issue with fetching something off of the table/ground as opposed to taking it out of your hand. So we generally move our hand closer and closer to the table until the object is touching the table while we are holding it and we can ask the dog to move down the table to "fetch" the object. It is easy to hold the object in the correct position because we dont have to bend over.

5 Following up on number 4 we can begin teaching Force to pile.I can now send the dog to the other end of the table and have them return. And repeat as needed. You ma not be interested in FTP but you certainly need to be able to send the dog more than a few feet "Fetch" what you want them to.

Some general comments. The concept of using multiple objects isn't to get the dog to pick up car keys. The idea behind using multiple objects is to ensure the dog understands the command thoroughly. Its folly to argue that using more items doesn't lead to better comprehension.

Hold and fetch is not complete once a few objects have been mastered. I work the dog through both commands on birds. Especially waterfowl as these are the most likely to cause an issue in some dogs. So I have them carry a dead pigeon then live one. Ill have them sit and stay while holding then walk away 50 yards or more then call them. Then ill have them fetch dead and live birds.

Then Ill shoot flyers for them. Ill proof hold by shooting flyers for them while they are retrieving a bird. This is one place where a separate command for hold and fetch is very beneficial. If the dog is returning with a bird and want to remind them to hold the bird in their mouth and finish the retrieve as the next flyer is shot. If we only have one command "fetch", what is the dog supposed to do? "Fetch" the bird thats already in his mouth or drop it and go "fetch" the flyer?

So again, you dont have to go through this process. You can use a bucket or a tailgate or a bathtub. But as a new trainer, it cant be argued that going through these extra steps isn't beneficial.
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby ryanr » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:31 pm

Boy, nothing quite as beneficial as having an experienced trainer put eyes on your own training session: Had my girl up on the table doing some heeling work and then FF on Saturday. Now I thought she's been doing pretty good but a very experienced friend quickly noticed "there were about 6 or 7 corrections that could've been made there." So he generously offered to take the lead. It was eye opening for both me and my girl. She had her priorities adjusted real quick, LOL. And true to her cooperative nature once she was sure what was exactly expected she quickly and HAPPILY complied with crisp reps of both heel and FF. She did it for both he and I. Yesterday when I did a session.at home though she tried to slip back and I swiftly corrected it and let her know what's expected no matter where we are doing it. Don't even have to say Whoa anymore, when I stop walking she stops. And she keeps a very good eye on my knee to take her cue.

It was kind of funny when he first took over she had kept looking over at me with a look like "I want my daddy." Pretty soon though she had her tail wagging. It wasn't like she was doing things poorly before but not as crisp as she was clearly capable and it was my fault for not correcting it better, once and for all. As I was told "don't nag to gain compliance, do your corrections swiftly a d make them count. And then move on. I got schooled and was very appreciative of it.
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby Kiger2 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:57 pm

Ran,
sounds good. I think folks would like to hear what the issues were and how he corrected them?
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby ryanr » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:20 am

Kiger2 wrote:Ran,
sounds good. I think folks would like to hear what the issues were and how he corrected them?


Probably easier to see than explain but it wasn't anything major. Just small details that long-experienced trainer picks up on better than one with much less experience. With her heeling she was complying pretty good with the pinch collar on but even with that there were small things that I was overlooking which made it less crisp. And without the pinch collar those things got magnified. So he corrected it first with the pinch collar and then transferred that ro thr regular collar and made sure the message was clear that heel means heel: head up, moving with the handler, paying attention to the handler, stopping when they stop without needing a command or correction. Basically he made good much better and showed me too the benefit of correcting those details right then and there. And giving a convincing correction instead of a number of little nagging ones that don't get the point across or really solve the issue.

With FF he just helped me mostly with timing and hand placement for certain things (most for if I have to make a "correction" for a drop or refusal to open mouth pre-ear pinch) and he helped transition her to carrying a heavier wooden dumbbell, something that isn't enjoyable to carry to help the dog understand that it must hold and carry whatever is asked.
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:33 am

Thank you,

Good luck!!!
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby ryanr » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:54 pm

The other thread about the 8 month old puppy chomping birds brought something up about FF and hunting season and I thought I'd update what I'd recently decided to do but I didn't want to take away from that thread.

Anyway, things were going very well. She had carried various objects and was just starting to reach for the dummy whenever I said Fetch. But man hunting season seemed to come up much faster than I'd thought it would. We were basically to the point of the ear pinch at the same time hunting season opened. After discussion with a trusted friend and very successful trainer I made the decision to press pause on FF. By doing so when I did, BEFORE ear pinch, at the end of hunting season I can pick up about where we left off and then complete it. I've laid that solid foundation of a good hold. Had I ear-pinched I'd have had to complete FF during hunting season and it just became apparent to me that this was not a good move. I began to foresee problems for both me and the dog that could arise by trying to complete it while also hunting. And her being 16 months old, I just think this hunting season is too important to her development in that regard. And I want us both to just be able to have fun and enjoy hunting. Now the thing I have to remember is I can't use the fetch command with her on birds I shoot for her this season. Not until FF is completed. All next week is my bird hunting "staycation" with day trips to a number of different public lands here in PA. I'm really looking forward to a steady week of hunting her over birds- grouse, woodcock and pheasant.
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Re: Beginning the FF process

Postby mastercaster » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:50 am

ryanr wrote:The other thread about the 8 month old puppy chomping birds brought something up about FF and hunting season and I thought I'd update what I'd recently decided to do but I didn't want to take away from that thread.

Anyway, things were going very well. She had carried various objects and was just starting to reach for the dummy whenever I said Fetch. But man hunting season seemed to come up much faster than I'd thought it would. We were basically to the point of the ear pinch at the same time hunting season opened. After discussion with a trusted friend and very successful trainer I made the decision to press pause on FF. By doing so when I did, BEFORE ear pinch, at the end of hunting season I can pick up about where we left off and then complete it. I've laid that solid foundation of a good hold. Had I ear-pinched I'd have had to complete FF during hunting season and it just became apparent to me that this was not a good move. I began to foresee problems for both me and the dog that could arise by trying to complete it while also hunting. And her being 16 months old, I just think this hunting season is too important to her development in that regard. And I want us both to just be able to have fun and enjoy hunting. Now the thing I have to remember is I can't use the fetch command with her on birds I shoot for her this season. Not until FF is completed. All next week is my bird hunting "staycation" with day trips to a number of different public lands here in PA. I'm really looking forward to a steady week of hunting her over birds- grouse, woodcock and pheasant.


I had FF Interuptus the first year I had Sako when she was 8-9 months old. We did the majority of the FF process when she was 7-8 months old but that little break for 6 weeks to grouse hunt seemed to be good for her. When we got back to the FF process when the season was over for us she had another couple of months maturity and we seemlessly completed the process.
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