Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

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Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby mastercaster » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:13 pm

Last summer when my female griff was 7-8 months old I started her on the force fetch program following a combination of Jon Hann's "Perfect Retrieve" and the Smart Fetch DVDs. I got to the point of having her fetch dummies, paint rollers, and PVC tubing both on the training table and on the ground quite successfully. I had just started to use the ecollar for reinforcement after using the ear pinch as the pressure source. I didn't have frozen birds to work with and because grouse and deer season was opening a week later on Sept. 10th I put her FF training on hold.

I wanted her to get lots of exposure to birds while road hunting up here in the dense forests of BC. (which is where you find the majority of your grouse). We went a lot and saw dozens and dozens of birds! Unfortunately it was pretty much all visual hunting so Sako didn't get to use her nose a whole lot.

She was being hunted on a check cord when we spotted grouse. Just about every bird she picked up feathers would be left in her mouth which she wasn't crazy about at all. She doesn't have a hard mouth. Grouse feathers just come out of those birds so easily! Just the same, I was making her hold the birds but it didn't seem like she was taking a whole lot of joy in it. What she was loving was searching for more,,,,her prey drive is huge!

The season basically ended for me at the start of November so I got her back on the FF program a couple of weeks ago and once again she did well working with the dummies. I kept and froze a couple of grouse to work with which we have been doing the last two weeks and she's doing pretty well with them. Thos past weekend, a buddy of mine gave me a couple of pheasants and mallards that he shot the other day.

Sako was totally interested in them but I think she found them a little overwelming. Sako had trouble carrying them. She wasn't quite sure where to grab them. She just turned 11 months old today and weighed in at 45 pounds so maybe she isn't quite strong enough yet for repetition.

So here are my questions:

Are these birds too big for her to be working with right now? Should I stick to smaller birds like grouse, pigeons, etc. if I can get them here. I live in the city so getting birds is not all that easy. If the answer is yes, would I be better off keeping these larger birds to use for drags and searches,,,,or just keep using them to train her to FF? Sako may still have a bit of aversion to feathers but it could have been that these birds were 2-3 times the size of the grouse I was using,,,,any tips for this?
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Doc E » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Back up a little. Stick with ONE method (no mix and match).
Train = HOLD
Force = Ear Pinch
Reinforce = ecollar.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby mastercaster » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:02 am

Doc E wrote:Back up a little. Stick with ONE method (no mix and match).
Train = HOLD
Force = Ear Pinch
Reinforce = ecollar.
.


This is exactly what I've done so far but I'm now at the point of doing it with frozen, thawed, and hopefully (eventually) freshly shot birds if I can get some. Just wondering about the size of the birds to use.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:48 am

DocE,
Really thats all you got for the guy????

PM Sent.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:30 am

Doc,
Hey i was going through my smart fetch book, cant find anywhere where he talks about teaching the dog hold birds properly, can you point me to the correct page????
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Doc E » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:57 am

For a properly FF adult dog, the size of the bird shouldn't matter.
Hold means hold and Fetch means fetch.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:35 pm

Doc, You must have answered before you saw m last post, what page in smart fetch does it teach how to start the dog holding real birds????
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Doc E » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:44 pm

I don't have the page numbers memorized. :lol:
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby ryanr » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:40 am

At 11 months, size of the bird shouldn't matter much, especially when we're just talking about grouse, pheasants or ducks. She should figure out soon enough how best to hold each bird. Some dogs enjoy retrieving more than others. Just go through your program and enforce it, dog should be fine. Keep in mind that completing Force Fetch doesn't mean the dog is forever "perfect" on retrieves. Instead, completing Force Fetch gives you the tools and method to enforce and reinforce it throughout the dog's life. Even the most reliable dog can make a mistake but with a properly force fetched dog you have the tools to correct that to help ensure any mistakes on a retrieve are a rarity. That's my .02, for whatever that's worth. :D
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby ANick » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:50 pm

One little tip that came out of a DL-Fest training seminar this year was one little gem about teaching pups to take and maintain a good hold. It may be a little help.

Use a plastic pop bottle, or substitute whatever bottle size you desire.. there are lots to pick from, and fill it part way.

This does several things.
- Good pick up habits. The bottle is best controlled by picking it up in the middle AND holding it firmly enough to keep it from sliding.
- Weight training. Start small and light.. add water.
- Transitions from training dummies to the soft, floppy weight of a dead critter, or maybe one that has some flutter left in it.
... Duh.

A bit of background if anyone is curious. Last year at the same event, someone asked our German guest judges how they teach FF in Germany, without access to ecollars, which are proscribed there. So we got a fast intro last year with a 7 month old pup who hadn't yet started FF. We did it again this year with a 5 month old, which is just a bit young. The video shot was 23 minutes long, included some stuff after we gave the pup a break and were going over some other tips on Dummy use. So the pup had one session, including questions of 15 minutes or so. At the end of that time, the pup was picking the dummy up off the floor, the tail was wagging and she was looking for more. No ear pinch, no collar, just a plate of little bits of cheese.

Anyway, that's the source ... hope it helps some?

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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Doc E » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:01 am

FF is about a LOT MORE than just good mouth habits. That's the reason we use FORCE.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:48 am

ANick wrote:One little tip that came out of a DL-Fest training seminar this year was one little gem about teaching pups to take and maintain a good hold. It may be a little help.

Use a plastic pop bottle, or substitute whatever bottle size you desire.. there are lots to pick from, and fill it part way.

This does several things.
- Good pick up habits. The bottle is best controlled by picking it up in the middle AND holding it firmly enough to keep it from sliding.
- Weight training. Start small and light.. add water.
- Transitions from training dummies to the soft, floppy weight of a dead critter, or maybe one that has some flutter left in it.


+1....Been using a bottle for years. I add a wrap of athletic tape to mine though.

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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby 3drahthaars » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:27 pm

ANick wrote:One little tip that came out of a DL-Fest training seminar this year was one little gem about teaching pups to take and maintain a good hold. It may be a little help.

Use a plastic pop bottle, or substitute whatever bottle size you desire.. there are lots to pick from, and fill it part way.

This does several things.
- Good pick up habits. The bottle is best controlled by picking it up in the middle AND holding it firmly enough to keep it from sliding.
- Weight training. Start small and light.. add water.
- Transitions from training dummies to the soft, floppy weight of a dead critter, or maybe one that has some flutter left in it.
... Duh.

A bit of background if anyone is curious. Last year at the same event, someone asked our German guest judges how they teach FF in Germany, without access to ecollars, which are proscribed there. So we got a fast intro last year with a 7 month old pup who hadn't yet started FF. We did it again this year with a 5 month old, which is just a bit young. The video shot was 23 minutes long, included some stuff after we gave the pup a break and were going over some other tips on Dummy use. So the pup had one session, including questions of 15 minutes or so. At the end of that time, the pup was picking the dummy up off the floor, the tail was wagging and she was looking for more. No ear pinch, no collar, just a plate of little bits of cheese.

Anyway, that's the source ... hope it helps some?

Nick


Makes sense... one of the DD breeders had a video of a 14 wk pup taking lines and I think at 16 weeks doing Bringsel, treats all along.

Tabel, the guru of blood tracking has preached PR for it, too.

When you have a lot of prey drive... channeling goes a long way.

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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby Kiger2 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:01 pm

Interesting.

The OP said the dog was doing well at FF using 3 different objects. He had even started to reinforce with the collar. The dog is way past "Objects" and "cheese" treats. Not saying you shouldn't carry some cheese treats, its just that they should be for the trainer at this point.

As Doc would say, Train, Force, reinforce.

It should be the same with Birds. Not very smart to go through the process with objects and just start pinching or zapping without preparation on birds????

Finish up FF with objects. Then go back to the table and TEACH "HOLD", with a bird. Then force, then reinforce. No need to get off the table until the dog can be Forced the length of the table to pick up the bird. Then the same on the ground. THEN, we are ready to start reinforcing for infractions. I would still train at home with whatever birds the dog is going to be required to pick up. Its called being prepared.
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Re: Yup,,,,another FF training question,,,,or two

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:37 pm

You know, one thing that makes training, force fetch and advance training easier is to have a dog bird crazy before they go in to it. My own dog's are retrieving birds from the time I get them at 8 weeks (clip wing quail and pigeons). I have always had the theory that you should never HAVE to force a dog to pick up a bird. They should be crazy to do it. I also don't believe in forcing on birds UNLESS there is a problem that can't be solved any other way. Any dog worth owning will retrieve birds or you don't want him in your kennel. Or i don't.

With this dog I'd simply finish the ff on objects, and when all was well, get him happily chasing birds then retrieving them. Only if he WOULDN'T do that would I resort to FF on birds.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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