FF question

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Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:50 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."


Certainly Rex, Morgan and DL heard of PR. They kicked dog's butt's trained using that method on a daily basis. That is HOW AND WHY the ecollar became so popular in training and why virtually every trainer in the country went to it. ALSO realize that retriever training is FAR more exacting than the training any versatile dog has ever gone through and this exacting, precise, training is why force was refined to the point it is today.

Bruce Schwartz wrote: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".


That is the key point that many of us have preached on here for years. It also shapes HOW the dog will learn for the rest of his life.

[quote=Bruce Schwartz"]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.[/quote]

Because he uses AS MUCH FORCE IS REQUIRED it diminishes nothing. The dog is still forced to comply.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:48 pm

There's nothing wrong g with PR and most every trainer I know incorporates a lot of PR in their own training (including during stages of the FF process) but what I find interestingly consistent is that total PR devotees almost always attach as many negative descriptors to Force Fetch as possible and they all tend to miss the mark of just about everything I've seen in properly Force Fetched dogs. There's nothing aversive about their desire to retrieve and succeed under the toughest conditions and they love it. And the bond they have with the handler that Force fetched them is unmistakable and unwavering. People seem to get hung up on the ear pinch when the reality is it's one of the shortest steps in the FF process but it's necessary in what it teaches the dog and how that lesson will serve it in real life difficult retrieving situations away from the handler.

To be sure, I have no issue with anyone that is a total PR devotee, I don't doubt it works as described for them. And for certain I'm no expert and don't have near the understanding or experience in dog training many others do but I've paid a great deal of attention, asked questions and observed and even worked with some of the best trainers I know. I've paid particular attention to everything they say or do regarding Force Fetch.
Last edited by ryanr on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:01 pm

[quote="ryanr]but what I find interestingly consistent is that total PR devotees almost always attach as many nevative descriptors to Force Fetch as possible [/quote]

Democrats. :twisted:
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Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:02 pm

double post
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Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:26 pm

My Drahthaar is very prey possessive and when I did FF I made the mistake of kind of rushing through the last stages of the process and so his delivery isn't as crisp and clean as it should be. Basically the problem begins in about the last 10 feet of the delivery. Now as far as the rest of the retrieve it's rather impressive. He always had a strong desire to retrieve, to get game in his mouth but during FF I could see it intensify. As Evan describes in Smart Fetch I could apply restraint to my dog after I said Fetch and he would pull me across the training table to get the dummy in his mouth. Nothing was going to keep him from succeeding in getting that dummy or bird in his mouth. And he didn't do it out of fear or anything negative, he was,happy and extremely eager. In the field, when he's sent to Fetch you'd think he was shot out of a cannon and before he's sent his entire body is usually taught and quivering with excitement in anticipation of hearing the command Fetch. And he does not quit before finding the bird, no matter what. IMO that is a direct result of FF (for sure aided by his already strong desire.)

I have an 8 month old GWP pup now,as well and after her NA this spring I plan to FF her before beginning steadiness. She has a strong natural desire too but is not prey possessive. She's also much more cooperative and she's a quick learner. I'm eager to see how the Force Fetch process will go with her compared to my older dog. I'm guessing it will go quicker and smoother for most of it.
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Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:41 pm

ryanr wrote:My Drahthaar is very prey possessive and when I did FF I made the mistake of kind of rushing through the last stages of the process and so his delivery isn't as crisp and clean as it should be. Basically the problem begins in about the last 10 feet of the delivery. Now as far as the rest of the retrieve it's rather impressive. He always had a strong desire to retrieve, to get game in his mouth but during FF I could see it intensify. As Evan describes in Smart Fetch I could apply restraint to my dog after I said Fetch and he would pull me across the training table to get the dummy in his mouth. Nothing was going to keep him from succeeding in getting that dummy or bird in his mouth. And he didn't do it out of fear or anything negative, he was,happy and extremely eager. In the field, when he's sent to Fetch you'd think he was shot out of a cannon and before he's sent his entire body is usually taught and quivering with excitement in anticipation of hearing the command Fetch. And he does not quit before finding the bird, no matter what.


If it's the last 10' the problem is in the recall, not the FF.
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Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:56 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
ryanr wrote:My Drahthaar is very prey possessive and when I did FF I made the mistake of kind of rushing through the last stages of the process and so his delivery isn't as crisp and clean as it should be. Basically the problem begins in about the last 10 feet of the delivery. Now as far as the rest of the retrieve it's rather impressive. He always had a strong desire to retrieve, to get game in his mouth but during FF I could see it intensify. As Evan describes in Smart Fetch I could apply restraint to my dog after I said Fetch and he would pull me across the training table to get the dummy in his mouth. Nothing was going to keep him from succeeding in getting that dummy or bird in his mouth. And he didn't do it out of fear or anything negative, he was happy and extremely eager. In the field, when he's sent to Fetch you'd think he was shot out of a cannon and before he's sent his entire body is usually taught and quivering with excitement in anticipation of hearing the command Fetch. And he does not quit before finding the bird, no matter what.


If it's the last 10' the problem is in the recall, not the FF.


Well it's the delivery, he comes racing back to me and at about 10' out he "remembers" he doesn't really want to give it up to me. He still comes to me but turns his head and body away in that "I really don't want to let you have this" kind of way.
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Re: FF question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:34 pm

A heeling drill will correct that problem. So would obedience. He should come to your side, turn and sit facing the field. He should then tip his head up and look at you to present the bird.
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Re: FF question

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:33 am

ryanr wrote:There's nothing wrong g with PR and most every trainer I know incorporates a lot of PR in their own training (including during stages of the FF process) but what I find interestingly consistent is that total PR devotees almost always attach as many negative descriptors to Force Fetch as possible and they all tend to miss the mark of just about everything I've seen in properly Force Fetched dogs.


I'd be interested in knowing just how every trainer you know incorporates PR in their FF training.

Also, you should know that I'm far from a "total PR devotee". My retriever training is mostly repetition, attrition, and some use of ecollar. PR is helpful for basic obedience and rewarding the dog for multiple reps because most vdogs mostly like drills. I don't find it much help otherwise. It's also, despite your vast knowledge, good for FF because it's quick, fool-proof for neophytes, and is easy on the dog.

BTW, if you trade your DD some hot dog pieces for numerous dummy retrieve reps (and then much later add in dead birds) it just might solve its resource guarding problem.
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Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:37 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:A heeling drill will correct that problem. So would obedience. He should come to your side, turn and sit facing the field. He should then tip his head up and look at you to present the bird.


Oh I know what he should do. Getting him to want to do it without being hit over the head with a sledgehammer is something else, LOL. Actually we've cleaned it up a great deal, mostly by working on the stuff you mention. Timing is a lot of it, I'll give a reinforced HERE as soon as it even looks like he might deviate. He's the type of dog that while not dominant you just can't give him an inch because he's always going to take a mile. So he's my meat dog although I continue to put him through his Utility training paces. He's fun to watch do a duck search. And we make eye contact every time he gives me a bird, whether I have to tip his chin up to me to do it or not.
Last edited by ryanr on Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FF question

Postby ryanr » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:10 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
ryanr wrote:There's nothing wrong g with PR and most every trainer I know incorporates a lot of PR in their own training (including during stages of the FF process) but what I find interestingly consistent is that total PR devotees almost always attach as many negative descriptors to Force Fetch as possible and they all tend to miss the mark of just about everything I've seen in properly Force Fetched dogs.


I'd be interested in knowing just how every trainer you know incorporates PR in their FF training.

Also, you should know that I'm far from a "total PR devotee". My retriever training is mostly repetition, attrition, and some use of ecollar. PR is helpful for basic obedience and rewarding the dog for multiple reps because most vdogs mostly like drills. I don't find it much help otherwise. It's also, despite your vast knowledge, good for FF because it's quick, fool-proof for neophytes, and is easy on the dog.

BTW, if you trade your DD some hot dog pieces for numerous dummy retrieve reps (and then much later add in dead birds) it just might solve its resource guarding problem.


I actually realize all that. PR isn't a secret. I do a lot of rewarding with my obedience and use it a lot for early "shaping" before actual formalized training and as I said during it as well. Even use it in FF, and that's what some of the trainers I know have been incorporating more and more into their FF program, particularly with FFing younger dogs. I actually think I do a lot of my training in the manner you describe doing.

Trust me, with the DD I've done the hot dog pieces with many things including the possessiveness. It doesn't solve it but it does help. The possessiveness isn't that bad with birds but with fur or something like a random deer leg he's found it is like a switch goes off. I can actually see the conflict and the uncertainty in him where he knows he shouldn't be doing it but at the same time it's practically hardwired in him that he can't help it. After first letting him know years ago that in no uncertain terms is growling or biting me ever allowed I've learned to read him and work him thru it until I see in his eyes and body language "he's returned." When it occasionally surfaces I command him to "Leave it" or "Out" and depending on the situation I'll command him into a full down- I had to do that recently with a tasty goat horn I had given each dog and then my pup (who seems dominant over him) wanted to have his too and he growled at her and then made the mistake of growling at me when I approached. It was OUT and DOWN where I made him stay for a while until I released him and I also took back MY chew toys and put them away. Once in the Down he knew he did wrong and when I released him he came over to me and licked me and couldn't have been sweeter looking for reassurance. That incident has led to several weeks now of him bringing various pieces of whatever dead things the melting snow has uncovered and he rather easily gives them to me. It's been an interesting journey with this dog, my first DD, but I've learned and continue to learn so many things about dog behavior that I hadn't experienced with my other dogs or maybe didn't realize as clearly. However, I am so grateful that it appears I won't be going thru a lot of that unpleasant stuff with this new pup and I'm still getting a dog with a lot of natural talent but thankfully more earnest cooperation and without that level of possessiveness.
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Re: FF question

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:15 pm

ryanr wrote: However, I am so grateful that it appears I won't be going thru a lot of that unpleasant stuff with this new pup and I'm still getting a dog with a lot of natural talent but thankfully more earnest cooperation and without that level of possessiveness.


My PP has the warmest disposition of any dog I've ever had but if I'm sitting in a chair and she's lying close to me on the floor and another dog innocently walks by she just might hammer the other dog without a growl or any warning whatsoever. 99% of the time it's never a problem, and never an issue around food or our three cats. Weird ... and it's really annoying my wife who has this new sweet pup. Once, while a friend and I were out picking up decoys my old griff went over to his pile of ducks and drug them over to my pile of ducks and when we got back to the blind she refused to let my friend have his ducks back. LOL. Resource guarding is hard to deal with.
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