Straight to the Point

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby GPBLITZ » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:09 pm

I've always believed in the nurturing of a young dogs desire to retrieve as a key. Teaching a dog every step of FF before overlaying the e collar . I look at FF as a insurance program. Offering the ability to reach out and make a correction johnny on the spot. Without ff how do we make a correction at 25 yds., 50 yds, etc ? IMO the dog will dictate the amount of pressure needed to achive compliance. The trainer must have the ability to read the dog . His concept is by no means new.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:18 pm

GPBLITZ wrote:I've always believed in the nurturing of a young dogs desire to retrieve as a key. Teaching a dog every step of FF before overlaying the e collar . His concept is by no means new.


I'm wondering just how you teach "every step" in FF before you overlay the ecollar? Pinch ear? Toe pinch? Does the dog have a nice happy wag to his tail going through the learning process? Most of us think that FF is just a right of passage for our dogs ... right? Or is it? Look at this video of my PP getting FF'd. Look at her tail : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv9lCsOxhu4

Later I overlaid the ecollar upon the foundation of the FF but you might agree that the method I used was not orthodox and yet the result is just as solid as any other traditional FF program out there. Here's the same pup now at one year of age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xWUqxDGrRo

I have no idea how Sparks does his FF (or even if he does it) but the above is an example of "out of the box training". Could this be one of those things that prompted his statement, " “… I think that much of today’s accepted training doctrine is antiquated, outdated and sometimes poorly conceived”?
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:00 am

GPBLITZ - I assumed you used a standard method for FF. Sorry if I'm wrong about that.

Also, from the comments so far it's pretty clear that we all are very careful about how we use the ecollar so I doubt that Sparks is speaking about any of us. Likewise, since we're all pretty stuck in our personal belief system about how to go about all this, my thoughts might sound like criticisms of the way you go about training. I don't intend them that way.

This evening, right before dark, (and after my last post) I went out for a walk here on the farm with two of my dogs and the pup got into two coveys of young quail. She had a nice point but when they started going up all over she broke. I blew the whistle for "sit" and she sat. If she hadn't, I could have used the ecollar at whatever level necessary and she would have associated it with me doing it and not the quail. So much for not being able to use ecollars on wild birds (a perpetual mantra here on the forum).

In any case the dog had really no recourse except to stop because the response to my whistle is to ALWAYS sit. Sit under ANY circumstance. Granted, this dog is really sweet and want's to please but I can assure you there is no loss of desire in the process. Because of continual conditioning to sit every time she hears the whistle NOT sitting is not an option. We can argue the merits of what I just did but suffice it to say it's not the usual and customary way of doing things. I take it be another example of what Sparks said: "I try to train with the ‘train until they can’t get it wrong’ thought in mind. Hillman would say, "practice not pressure". I aways thought I trained that way but I'm beginning to question it.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby GPBLITZ » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:13 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:I'm wondering just how you teach "every step" in FF before you overlay the ecollar?


OK, I call this building blocks. I use the word fetch, never hold or any other word for the command . IMO dogs don't need to know a large vocab since the end result is fetch. I start with the pup young . Most want to please. Through out I use lots of praise The tail is the indicater. Wagging tail happy,. tucked, bummed . I start with hold . Gently open the pups mouth and place object of choice in pups mouth , saying fetch. Gently stroke the pup on the back and softly ,shouthingly saying fetch. Pups holds for a few seconds ,I say give, my release command. Always watching the tail looking for the happy tail. I only do this a few times , never wanting to bore the pup or bum him out. As the pup mature the hold gets longer. Once I feel the hold portion is down, command fetch, we move to the reach. I hold the bumper in front of the pups mouth a few inches and command fetch. The pup understands the word fetch and reaches to hold the bumper . Hech, many times the pup is reaching for the bumper before the command fetch. I allow this at this point but command fetch is still given. I'm OK with pup showing desire to please.

I feel I have to back up tell you this whole program is all done over a period of time . from the time the pups is say 10 weeks old up to a year. All depends on pups mental additude.

As time goes on I have the pup reaching a little farther . Remember always softly praise. Once I feel confedant with the reach I move to the floor . Bumper is placed darn near a the pups feet. Again command fetch, pup should reach down pick up bumper and hold. Why, because pup likes bumper in his mouth and wants to please. Same procedure as earlier steps.

Next we move to bumper a few feet out from the pup . Pup is told fetch , pup should go out pick up bumper and hold . Now I have to say my dogs are house raised so by this time they know come, whoa and ah said with a bit of a harsh voice. AH is my command for NO.

Next pup is going across my kitchen floor about 10 ft. off the command fetch. If , at anytime the pup might drop the bumper I command fetch. When pup has this down I take is to the garage and go 24 ft. When were looking good I go outside and do fetch NO fetch. Pup at this point knows how to walk at heel. I use a leash, heel as we start, give fetch command as we approach the bumper. Pup should pick up the bumper and walk at heel . As dog is heeling I reach done and take the bumper from the from the dog still moving at heel. As dog is heeling I drop the bumper and continue to move on. As we move on around the yard aprouching the bumper the dog wants to reach down and pick up the bumper . I pop the leash a bit and command AH, my word for NO. Dog is confused a bit by this since every thing has been about the fetch up to this point. Now the more reps we do on fetch NO fetch mixing it up at times doing maybe doing a few no fetches pops with the leash on No fetch the dog builds a understanding to only fetch when told. When Dog has this down pat we move back to the garage for a few sessions of going across the garage floor again.

Now we head out to the street and start working on the push to the pile . I use the street since the hood has very little traffic. and I like the white on black picture I DO NOT use a pile , like the ladder method spacing bumpers about 10 ft apart When the ladder is all looking good I go back to the beginning and overlay every step with the e collar .

One thing I didn't touch on is drive to the water after the push to the ladder or pile. Dog is already going and retrieving well in water . I will do this right after I over lay the e collar on the ladder .

This consept might not be for everybody but has worked well for me over the years.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby GPBLITZ » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:24 am

Bruce, I choose NOT to argue any point or methods since we all have different oppions and concepts. I also choose not to quote any other trainer since I've built my own methods and thoughts over the years. many varying off of others method too. This is NOT a attack on you so PLEASE don't take it that way. Good luck in training.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Coveyrise64 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:40 am

More cats......!

I’m not alone outside-the-box as others have found the same path….

Nothing wrong with being outside the box, I know a couple of them that frequent this place. But don’t confuse that comment with being out if left field. Anyone that has been around dogs for as long as he has will likely adapt their methods to meet their needs. Actually, any philosophy or method (and it wouldn’t take much) that isn’t consistent with the more accepted doctrines could be considered outside-the-box.

….I think much of the today’s accepted training doctrine is antiquated, outdated, and sometimes poorly conceived.

Base on my own experiences I have to agree. Not sure what the author’s perception is about the accepted training methods but he did mention his disdain for all the gizmos (tables, barrels, or whoa posts) for whoa training. As for poorly conceived, who’s to say he wasn’t referring to “positive reinforcement” or “treat training”. Didn’t say that but if you’re going to read between the lines then that should be something to be considered.

I’m a firm believer and staunch proponent of the remote training collar. I’m also the first one to say that I believe most are used poorly, and I question the wisdom of their widespread use today in light of how many are used.

I’m not afraid of using pressure on a dog because dogs (and people) thrive on pressure. The key is that the pressure has to be understood and not applied improperly or overzealously.

The dog must first be taught using as little pressure as possible (even turning a small dog on a short lead is “pressure"). You must first teach the dog how the behavior will be enforced – enforced, not punished or corrected in my opinion.

Then you enforce behavior at a level that is dictated to you by the dog and taking into account many factors at the given time and situation.

To make sure you do your utmost to teach your dog what you want it to do and then fairly enforce those trained skills.

Not sure how this many statements could be interpreted the article was about “no pressure”, “positive reinforcement”, or “treat” training. Because someone claims their methods are outside-the-box doesn’t always mean they subscribe to the other end of the spectrum. My interpretation of the article was his methods are about “teaching and using the e-collar to enforce fairly”. Not to far from my beliefs but our methods are probably miles apart...... but don't call me Lefty! :crazyeyes:

I’m kinda like Lurker and Howie (GPBLITZ), use whatever method works best for your situation and dog but at least give both an honest effort.

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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:03 pm

Coveyrise64 wrote:Not sure how this many statements could be interpreted the article was about “no pressure”, “positive reinforcement”, or “treat” training...
I’m kinda like Lurker and Howie (GPBLITZ), use whatever method works best for your situation and dog but at least give both an honest effort.


Let's be clear. I never suggested Sparks' views endorsed "no pressure" OR "positive reinforcement" OR "treat" training.

Good luck with however you choose to go forward with your dogs.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:40 pm

A couple of days ago I got my copy of “Absolutely Positively Gundog Training” by Robert Milner. He’s written several books about training dogs and has a strong background in retriever field trials and dog breeding. Also, after 911, he went to work for the government developing a search dog program, and there he was introduced to the “positive” training methods used by zoo workers, etc. . Later he studied European gundog training methods and now has trained hundreds of gun dogs using his developed techniques. His training slant is based on rewards rather than pressure but gets to the same end point and claims it’s much faster.

It’s an interesting read and it’s not long, and not expensive ( $12). I find the methods interesting and am working on some in my own training. I'm too much of a traditional trainer to abandon aversive methods completely (I believe dogs - like kids - evolved while being constantly exposed to people like me, so they can certainly take a swat on the butt every now and then without falling apart).

His methods don’t cover pointing dogs specifically (or their issues) but since every gundog needs to sit, stay, come, mark, take some hand signals, be steady, etc., I think his book relates to all us vdog owners as well as the retriever folks. It is especially helpful for the new puppy/young dog owners.

There are many different ways to reach your goal of ending up with a dog you’ve trained yourself and whom you’re proud of, and his methods are supposed to work about three times faster than traditional methods; plus, for the novice trainer, the screw-ups don’t ruin the dog. I’d recommend the book for some more out of the box training ideas.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby TruAblePup » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:35 pm

Where is the original article in the OP? There is no link. Thanks.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:54 pm

Where's the article?
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Kiger2 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:54 pm

Based on evryones comments Im sure I could formulate an informed and lucid reply, but wheres the article???
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:17 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Based on evryones comments Im sure I could formulate an informed and lucid reply, but wheres the article???


agree. Where's the article? It's interesting reading what we wrote three years ago and to compare what we would write today. Doubt many would change their tune.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:01 pm

Well Hell's Bells , who the Hell dig's up this old crap that no one can look at and discuss? Waste of time.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Straight to the Point

Postby TruAblePup » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:19 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Well Hell's Bells , who the Hell dig's up this old crap that no one can look at and discuss? Waste of time.



I dug it up, because I was looking for the article that others said "made people think".

Still waiting for the article. I did a few searches using the key words in the post. No luck.


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