FF question

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:24 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
JONOV: Evan Graham wrote a treatise on FF (SmartFetch) and his force fetch ear pinch method is proclaimed by many to be the definitive method for doing this. In the book he describes how one of his most favorite dogs of all times, Star, "had been at it for nearly eight weeks, and had yet to reach for a bumper". Then "suddenly after eight weeks the light came on". He went on to say that she she turned out to be a "marvelous" dog. You may think it ridiculous for me to make broad generalizations about training methods but it's hardly a stretch to say PR would have gotten Star a long ways a lot sooner.


Actually Bruce, probably proclaimed by ALL pro trainers and with good reason. What Evan wrote of is actually the method made famous by Rex Carr. Nearly every great retriever trainer of our time uses this method. Before Rex, DL and Morgan used it. THE most well tested method in retriever training today.

And is it a HUGE stretch to say that PR would have gotten Star there sooner. You have absolutely NO way of knowing that. Some dog's just resent any training.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:55 pm

JONOV wrote:
Bruce Schwartz wrote:
JONOV: Evan Graham wrote a treatise on FF (SmartFetch) and his force fetch ear pinch method is proclaimed by many to be the definitive method for doing this. In the book he describes how one of his most favorite dogs of all times, Star, "had been at it for nearly eight weeks, and had yet to reach for a bumper". Then "suddenly after eight weeks the light came on". He went on to say that she she turned out to be a "marvelous" dog. You may think it ridiculous for me to make broad generalizations about training methods but it's hardly a stretch to say PR would have gotten Star a long ways a lot sooner.


I agree. I'm kind of surprised he kept at if for 8 weeks and didn't try something else. Clinging to one method like a religion, or a staunchly held moral belief, seems really common in the dog training world, and I don't know why. You see the same thing in education sometimes. I don't get it. You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to see that different dogs have different personalities, mature faster, etc...


I actually think you both may be missing the point of it and perhaps the real point of FF.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:00 pm

TruAblePup wrote:
ryanr wrote:Force fetch increases the trust and bond between dog and handler. If FF causes a loss of trust between dog and handler then it was done wrong.



I have heard this said many times. But how do you get past the concept that with FF you are applying pain before the dog fully understands what is expected? Is that not inherently an avenue that leads to distrust? How are you doing FF in a manner that leads to greater trust?

My pup is 7 months and is naturally retrieving, but not to hand reliably and he chews a lot. I wrestle with this. I know pressure is needed in the process, but causing pain before I am 100% sure he understands what to do and HOW to do it, is an ethical dilemma for me.

My dog is going to be tested and must be reliable.

The Brits/Germans, as I understand it don't use FF. Are their dogs unreliable? Are you sure this is not a cultural thing?

I know this is a tired subject here, but this has not been made clear to me.


Thanks,

TP


I think when one realizes the "dreaded ear pinch" (and overly hyped) is probably the shortest part of the ENTIRE process that both your dog and you go thru together then it's not so hard to understand. I think the people that only focus on the ear pinch in their critique likely don't understand the entire process like they think. The process, from start to finish is where the trust is built and solidified, not in just that one moment.
Last edited by ryanr on Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: FF question

Postby JONOV » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:03 pm

ryanr wrote:
JONOV wrote:
Bruce Schwartz wrote:
JONOV: Evan Graham wrote a treatise on FF (SmartFetch) and his force fetch ear pinch method is proclaimed by many to be the definitive method for doing this. In the book he describes how one of his most favorite dogs of all times, Star, "had been at it for nearly eight weeks, and had yet to reach for a bumper". Then "suddenly after eight weeks the light came on". He went on to say that she she turned out to be a "marvelous" dog. You may think it ridiculous for me to make broad generalizations about training methods but it's hardly a stretch to say PR would have gotten Star a long ways a lot sooner.


I agree. I'm kind of surprised he kept at if for 8 weeks and didn't try something else. Clinging to one method like a religion, or a staunchly held moral belief, seems really common in the dog training world, and I don't know why. You see the same thing in education sometimes. I don't get it. You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to see that different dogs have different personalities, mature faster, etc...


I actually think you both may be missing the point of it and perhaps the real point of FF.

You're probably right. What/How do you interpret the point of it and the real point of FF?
JONOV
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 465
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:14 pm

Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:16 pm

He stuck with it because that specific lesson needed to be taught and needed to be learned by the dog. The fact that he did realize that dogs are different, some mature faster, etc is why he kept at it until the dog finally got it the way it needed to, which made the rest of the process go so much better and the dog became outstanding. The dog needs to learn how to turn off that pressure successfully, it's critical to its success as a hunting dog, as a retriever. In many things, most people just give up too soon, and that's why they have limited or no success.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
ryanr
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2317
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:54 pm
Location: Lehighton, PA

Re: FF question

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:49 pm

Maybe that is correct.

I hung out at DL's kennel decades ago. The training was in a word BRUTAL. The dirty little secret of the era was how many dogs it took to get a remaining few that could stand up to the pressure applied to them to succeed at the highest level.

I see so much success in so many other dog skills and venues outside of ours, that I am looking over the fence, learning and using them where they best get me and my dog where I want to be.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:53 pm

AG, you also have to realize how much FF and the equipment has modified since those days. Plus, DL was on the bottle pretty heavy back then. Had we had the EC's we have today, you would never have heard of the brutalty of FF. DL was primarily a shotgun trainer if memory serves and he only used the EC for some problems. I lent his book out and never got it back so not sure about that but I believe that was the case. I believe he and Morgan trained the same way.

The good trainers had a very good success rate with dog's so I would disagree with the statement that it took a lot of dog's to get a few good ones. I don't think we went through anymore dog's back then than trainer's do today (speaking of retriever's only).
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: FF question

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:27 pm

GH, I should have been more specific. What I observed were the pro trainers working under DL's banner at his kennel, not DL himself. The timeframe being 85-88 when a good friend of mine's dog was being trained there. Whips and Ecollars set on high were used early and often, dogs crawling on the ground, walking to the line with their tails between their legs, vocalizing ...

In the same era I had another friend who chose to go down the tougher road of running his Golden Retrievers in the Trials against the Labs. He rejected the same methods as unsuitable for his dogs. He did not win at the highest national levels but he had a room of silver plates and ribbons, and used his dogs on doves, grouse, bobwhites, pheasants and waterfowl extensively each season.

These types of discussion have existed a long while now. I am sure not saying that today's FF program looks the same as what I saw at DL's, but I think those roots have a remaining influence that explains how vigorously the Retriever guys embrace it. It is a culture that believes Force is the best way to train a dog to retrieve.

I pick and choose from numerous sources of information and experience, the same as you have done in your path to the present.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:48 pm

85-88 AG, all we HAD were ecollars on high mode. The 80 had come out but it was such a pain in the ass to use that we all just put in the high plug and left it there. Trainers back then knew FAR more about training dog's electrically than trainers do today, simply because all we had were high range collars. You quickly learned that for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction and what that reaction was or would be.

Everyone used whips but dog's were stung, not beaten. Lot of trainers still use whip's today. They sound cruel but unless you're an idiot, no dog was ever hurt with a flexible whip.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: FF question

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:21 pm

GH, Ok. It would be foolish of me to Force my somewhat different view on this. :lol: Just trying to help where I can.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: FF question

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:41 pm

Rex Carr probably never ever heard of PR or even considered that form of training. Nor did Charlie Morgan, nor D.L. Walters, nor Ann Walters, nor John Olin nor Cotton Pershall, or even our own bird boy turned guru Evan Graham. They all needed their dogs to dependably retrieve so they could get on to the next order of business on their training program. Aversive style FF was their solution and it worked. It still does. But times are changing. Bob Farris says of traditional FF in his newly released book, "there are gentler approaches that can achieve very favorable results that the novice trainer can use."

Farris also said, "Possibly the most important factor following successful force retrieve training is the relationship the dog will have with its owner. There is a bond that develops where the dog will willingly allow the owner to now become the alpha representative of the relationship." He goes on to say that the dogs will "at least be more willing to obey commands with a happy tail and good eye contact." That's a pretty powerful statement, and I've previously heard people say that their dogs have greater prowess and are more determined after the process. That could be the real point Ryanr says we're missing when he speaks of FF as to "where trust is built and solidified".

It's worth discussing (and probably harder still to measure) as it still seems to be part of the dogma we hear surrounding the use of force. So does the "gentle" process Farris personally uses produce dogs with less trust or weaker bonds than the dogs he has forced by pros? Would my dogs trust me more or hunt harder if I had only forced them to bend to my will on the FF table for a few weeks? I do wonder.
User avatar
Bruce Schwartz
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1154
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: FF question

Postby Willie T » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:59 pm

This is a good discussion. There are a lot of ways to go, and a lot of dog owners go different ways with their dogs. As I read through this thread, there are some things AG and GH touched on. It seems some are missing. They both commented about how they adjusted their FF program to their dogs. Bob Farris mentions the same. That is good training. All the really good trainers do this. The best do it intuitively.
The other thing that I think rings true with the versatiles more so than other bird dogs is we all set the bar differently when it comes to retrieving because we do so many different things with these dogs. I think these differences make it unproductive to apply our circumstances to others and their dogs. It depends on what we hunt, and how we do it, as well as what type of performance we deem useful in the field. As a for instance, I hunt snow geese out of layouts in the rice fields in Texas. 150 yard blinds happen and happen often. When they leave, they use the wind to go. When you send the dog you are usually sending him straight down wind. A runner will quickly be a quarter mile if the dog is on the wrong line. Levees are often a visual barrier between you and the long bird. The gumbo in the rice fields is brutal. A dog that can be efficiently sent first for the cripple or sailer is useful. The guy that needs his dog to handle that in stride, needs to set the bar high. I don't want to walk my dog out there because he can't do it. That's why I have him, it's also why I train like I do. We talk about dogs with switches. This is one of the scenarios where the switch is on full display. The dog has been marking and hunting all morning. All of a sudden he flips the switch and hands the steering wheel over to the handler, with no loss of style or desire and no struggle to change gears, makes quick work out of a difficult blind, working with the handler in control to quickly bring the bird to hand like it's just another day. For the true dog man it is poetry in motion.

Here is my take on force fetch and how I approach it.
FF is an extension of obedience. I use it to polish the natural retrieving desire that is already there. I will not waste my time trying to make a dog with no desire to retrieve, something it is not. Commands are first taught and then proofed. Then the natural retrieving desire can be expanded upon by teaching and proofing new commands and ultimately linking them. Just like any other obedience, the dog should be taught and know the commands that are to be used in FF prior to commencing. It should also already have solid obedience established and proofed prior to FF, so it understands it will be corrected for not complying with known commands. In this manner confusion is minimized and just like obedience, correction is used to proof and hasten the response to commands the the dog has already learned. Also just like obedience, the dog is not going to enjoy being corrected. If he has been well prepared, he will use compliance to beat the corrections and get through FF much quicker.
Willie
Willie T
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: FF question

Postby 3drahthaars » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Rex Carr probably never ever heard of PR or even considered that form of training. Nor did Charlie Morgan, nor D.L. Walters, nor Ann Walters, nor John Olin nor Cotton Pershall, or even our own bird boy turned guru Evan Graham. They all needed their dogs to dependably retrieve so they could get on to the next order of business on their training program. Aversive style FF was their solution and it worked. It still does. But times are changing. Bob Farris says of traditional FF in his newly released book, "there are gentler approaches that can achieve very favorable results that the novice trainer can use."

Farris also said, "Possibly the most important factor following successful force retrieve training is the relationship the dog will have with its owner. There is a bond that develops where the dog will willingly allow the owner to now become the alpha representative of the relationship." He goes on to say that the dogs will "at least be more willing to obey commands with a happy tail and good eye contact." That's a pretty powerful statement, and I've previously heard people say that their dogs have greater prowess and are more determined after the process. That could be the real point Ryanr says we're missing when he speaks of FF as to "where trust is built and solidified".

It's worth discussing (and probably harder still to measure) as it still seems to be part of the dogma we hear surrounding the use of force. So does the "gentle" process Farris personally uses produce dogs with less trust or weaker bonds than the dogs he has forced by pros? Would my dogs trust me more or hunt harder if I had only forced them to bend to my will on the FF table for a few weeks? I do wonder.


Very good post, and probably nothing to add other than maybe adding that the term "trained retrieve" may be much more applicable and that success in any training requires reading the pup. So, some more dominant dogs may require a little more effort and some may require much less if any more than a harsh verbal reprimand.

I think that the bond is critical and deserves whatever is necessary to build and maintain it. The dog that wants to please I believe just as reliable in hunting as those "forced". The key is a hunting dog that desires and enjoys the tasks required of hunting, because he will be as adamant in the persuit as the hunter.

3ds
User avatar
3drahthaars
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: FF question

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:16 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:Would my dogs trust me more or hunt harder if I had only forced them to bend to my will on the FF table for a few weeks? I do wonder.


My default is it likely varies between dogs depending on how much that specific dog already accepts you as Alpha vs another dog which competes periodically for the position. I have had both. I believe my current dog benefitted greatly from the modified hybrid approach I used on him vs had I taken him through the traditional method. Of course I can't prove it, but that my read on that dog.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1972
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:41 pm

Willie T wrote:This is a good discussion. There are a lot of ways to go, and a lot of dog owners go different ways with their dogs. As I read through this thread, there are some things AG and GH touched on. It seems some are missing. They both commented about how they adjusted their FF program to their dogs. Bob Farris mentions the same. That is good training. All the really good trainers do this. The best do it intuitively.
The other thing that I think rings true with the versatiles more so than other bird dogs is we all set the bar differently when it comes to retrieving because we do so many different things with these dogs. I think these differences make it unproductive to apply our circumstances to others and their dogs. It depends on what we hunt, and how we do it, as well as what type of performance we deem useful in the field. As a for instance, I hunt snow geese out of layouts in the rice fields in Texas. 150 yard blinds happen and happen often. When they leave, they use the wind to go. When you send the dog you are usually sending him straight down wind. A runner will quickly be a quarter mile if the dog is on the wrong line. Levees are often a visual barrier between you and the long bird. The gumbo in the rice fields is brutal. A dog that can be efficiently sent first for the cripple or sailer is useful. The guy that needs his dog to handle that in stride, needs to set the bar high. I don't want to walk my dog out there because he can't do it. That's why I have him, it's also why I train like I do. We talk about dogs with switches. This is one of the scenarios where the switch is on full display. The dog has been marking and hunting all morning. All of a sudden he flips the switch and hands the steering wheel over to the handler, with no loss of style or desire and no struggle to change gears, makes quick work out of a difficult blind, working with the handler in control to quickly bring the bird to hand like it's just another day. For the true dog man it is poetry in motion.

Here is my take on force fetch and how I approach it.
FF is an extension of obedience. I use it to polish the natural retrieving desire that is already there. I will not waste my time trying to make a dog with no desire to retrieve, something it is not. Commands are first taught and then proofed. Then the natural retrieving desire can be expanded upon by teaching and proofing new commands and ultimately linking them. Just like any other obedience, the dog should be taught and know the commands that are to be used in FF prior to commencing. It should also already have solid obedience established and proofed prior to FF, so it understands it will be corrected for not complying with known commands. In this manner confusion is minimized and just like obedience, correction is used to proof and hasten the response to commands the the dog has already learned. Also just like obedience, the dog is not going to enjoy being corrected. If he has been well prepared, he will use compliance to beat the corrections and get through FF much quicker.
Willie


Very nice post.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
User avatar
GONEHUNTIN'
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:39 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests