What happened?

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Re: What happened?

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:28 am

Like others have said it is hard to know what exactly is going on without seeing the dog. I am new to FF, but I had some great mentors and probably made every mistake along the way.

A few tips that were given to me.

You can always back up. Back up in process to the point the dog will do the task.. Do shorter sessions and always end up on a positive note. Praise heavily when they do it right. Remember when the dog rebels, which it will do, it must Never win. FF isnt about picking up bumpers or retireving it is about having the dog bend to your will.


Transition to using a nick rather than constant stimulation. Soon that dog to fire out after that bumper. If they veer off course hit them with a nick. If the continue full stimulation until they get back on course.

I did not see force to pile. Do it. For me and my friend it was predicted by one of our mentors exactly what would happen. The dog will get to about the 4th or 5th bumper and will basically say to itself: Screw this I am not going back and do this again. This is the point the dog cannot win. Once the dog gets this ff will go a lot better.

Also you need to get the dog trained to the point that nick does not just mean FF. It needs to mean to the dog that I have a command coming and it must be followed. The way to do this is use the e-collar for every command for a period of time. Reinforce with the e-collar whoa, come, stay, kennel. Etc.

Those are my .02 worth.
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Re: What happened?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:23 am

Please understand that what you're doing is aversive training; that is to say you are administering pain to your dog and you're expecting it to learn something by avoiding it. And your dog is melting down. Judging from the responses you've received it's obvious that we all have been there and can sympathize with your problem but also we feel that your dog is suffering an injustice. There is a place for aversive training and it can be effective if done correctly and compassionately, but terribly destructive if done otherwise. Also your trainer is not helping you. To be blunt you need to stop the FF process and don't revisit it until you understand how to read your dog better and more fully understand the fundamentals of training your pet. You've said that is your first dog and have had no prior experience training a dog. Reward based training is probably the best way to to if you're unskilled. Please read up on it. To gain still further insight into understanding your relationship with your dog I suggest these two books: "How Dogs Love Us", by Gregory Berns and "Let Dogs be Dogs" by the Monks of New Skete. And welcome to this forum.
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Re: What happened?

Postby daeion » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:23 am

orhunter wrote:"even treats she normally goes crazy about." Wow! Sounds like she's so cautious of the e-collar she doesn't want to do anything out of fear she may get a reprimand? I'm sticking with inappropriate use of the thing. Dog's focus is on the e-collar and not the task. Take away the collar for 6 months and then start over from day one. Try to put some fun back in fetch.

When you start over, do it, "by the book." Use a good book. Forget the, "trainer" who's been, "helping." You may not be getting the help you need?


To be clear, the treat thing goes back to before the use of the e-collar in FF training, when we started with hold we didn't use the e-collar and she wouldn't take treats. Also, even if she's not wearing the collar and I pull out a dummy she walks into another room until I call her back at which point I place it 6 inches from her mouth and give her the fetch command she still won't take a treat afterwards. She wears the e-collar for about 8 hours every weekday and about 12 hours everyday on the weekend, and outside of the FF training she maybe gets one zap a day and only if she's ignoring the recall tone.

I've asked other places before about how to make FF fun and the response I've always gotten is you can't make forcing a dog to do something fun, any suggestions?
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Re: What happened?

Postby daeion » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:32 am

Meridiandave wrote:Like others have said it is hard to know what exactly is going on without seeing the dog. I am new to FF, but I had some great mentors and probably made every mistake along the way.

A few tips that were given to me.

You can always back up. Back up in process to the point the dog will do the task.. Do shorter sessions and always end up on a positive note. Praise heavily when they do it right. Remember when the dog rebels, which it will do, it must Never win. FF isnt about picking up bumpers or retireving it is about having the dog bend to your will.


Transition to using a nick rather than constant stimulation. Soon that dog to fire out after that bumper. If they veer off course hit them with a nick. If the continue full stimulation until they get back on course.

I did not see force to pile. Do it. For me and my friend it was predicted by one of our mentors exactly what would happen. The dog will get to about the 4th or 5th bumper and will basically say to itself: Screw this I am not going back and do this again. This is the point the dog cannot win. Once the dog gets this ff will go a lot better.

Also you need to get the dog trained to the point that nick does not just mean FF. It needs to mean to the dog that I have a command coming and it must be followed. The way to do this is use the e-collar for every command for a period of time. Reinforce with the e-collar whoa, come, stay, kennel. Etc.

Those are my .02 worth.


My at home sessions have been short, and have only gotten shorter as time has gone on. The last home session I did was two 25 foot fetches and that was it.

The e-collar was introduced during gun and bird in March of 2017 and has been used for reinforcing come, I've been adverse to using it for other commands because I didn't want to screw things up.
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Re: What happened?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:32 am

JUDGING by your post and the dog's said reaction, you are horribly abusing the ff process. You keep leaving out parts then adding them. I really don't know what to tell you.
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Re: What happened?

Postby daeion » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:JUDGING by your post and the dog's said reaction, you are horribly abusing the ff process. You keep leaving out parts then adding them. I really don't know what to tell you.


If I'm abusing the process then I don't know what to say. I knew I had no idea what I was doing and that's why I've relied on a trainer who has been breeding and training for over 30 years who has earned multiple prize 1 UT's and passed the invitational, so I thought I was working with someone who know what they were doing. I'm not purposefully leaving parts out, I don't know what information is needed until it's asked for and then I'm trying to clarify things.
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Re: What happened?

Postby daeion » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:48 am

weird double post
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Re: What happened?

Postby ryanr » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:09 pm

daeion wrote:
orhunter wrote:"even treats she normally goes crazy about." Wow! Sounds like she's so cautious of the e-collar she doesn't want to do anything out of fear she may get a reprimand? I'm sticking with inappropriate use of the thing. Dog's focus is on the e-collar and not the task. Take away the collar for 6 months and then start over from day one. Try to put some fun back in fetch.

When you start over, do it, "by the book." Use a good book. Forget the, "trainer" who's been, "helping." You may not be getting the help you need?


To be clear, the treat thing goes back to before the use of the e-collar in FF training, when we started with hold we didn't use the e-collar and she wouldn't take treats. Also, even if she's not wearing the collar and I pull out a dummy she walks into another room until I call her back at which point I place it 6 inches from her mouth and give her the fetch command she still won't take a treat afterwards. She wears the e-collar for about 8 hours every weekday and about 12 hours everyday on the weekend, and outside of the FF training she maybe gets one zap a day and only if she's ignoring the recall tone.

I've asked other places before about how to make FF fun and the response I've always gotten is you can't make forcing a dog to do something fun, any suggestions?


If she won't take treats for training my guess is she's either not strongly food motivated or she's been so over stimulated with that damn e-collar she has shut down. And it's also probably why she's bolting during training in the field.

Stop FF, stop shooting birds for her and just reconnect with your dog, all positive. And lo g before ylu go back to shooting birds for her again you should just use pigeons with NO shooting for a while until she's mentally stable enough to handle that. Let her get back to pointing or bumping birds and you're just popping the launcher if she does. No corrections, let the birds teach her and you keep quiet other than light praise here or there if she does something well.

Maybe I'm wrong but I'd stop actually shooting birds for her. During my relatively short time in NAVHDA and doing this I've learned that so many people, especially newcomers, are in a hurry to start shooting birds for their dog. I DID IT TOO, it seems to make sense, after all you're trying to make a bird dog, right? Big Mistake.
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Re: What happened?

Postby Willie T » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:19 pm

Daeion, you obviously are trying to do do right by your dog. You are in over your head and know it, so you found a professional to help. My hat is off to you for that. Things still came off the rails, so you are seeking advice. Meridiandave spelled out FF and what it is about, and what handler and dog get out of it. It hinges on preparing the dog. Reading the dog. Developing momentum before moving forward. Without actually seeing and working with your dog I think trying to advise you how to complete FF would be counterproductive. All of us have made training mistakes. These dogs are remarkably resilient and forgiving. The only obvious read I get, is you want to do right by your new dog, but don't know how to go about it. Some are naturally intuitive and have an easy way of reading and understanding dogs. You seem to recognize your not there. My gut reaction to your post is to pull the plug on the FF you have going and find a trainer you trust to see it through from start to finish, or take the path Densa44 advised.
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Re: What happened?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:33 pm

Find a good RETRIEVER trainer, not a V dog trainer and have him FF your dog or help you. Retriever guys really have the process figured out.
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Re: What happened?

Postby booger » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:51 pm

daeion wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:Like others have said it is hard to know what exactly is going on without seeing the dog. I am new to FF, but I had some great mentors and probably made every mistake along the way.

A few tips that were given to me.

You can always back up. Back up in process to the point the dog will do the task.. Do shorter sessions and always end up on a positive note. Praise heavily when they do it right. Remember when the dog rebels, which it will do, it must Never win. FF isnt about picking up bumpers or retireving it is about having the dog bend to your will.


Transition to using a nick rather than constant stimulation. Soon that dog to fire out after that bumper. If they veer off course hit them with a nick. If the continue full stimulation until they get back on course.

I did not see force to pile. Do it. For me and my friend it was predicted by one of our mentors exactly what would happen. The dog will get to about the 4th or 5th bumper and will basically say to itself: Screw this I am not going back and do this again. This is the point the dog cannot win. Once the dog gets this ff will go a lot better.

Also you need to get the dog trained to the point that nick does not just mean FF. It needs to mean to the dog that I have a command coming and it must be followed. The way to do this is use the e-collar for every command for a period of time. Reinforce with the e-collar whoa, come, stay, kennel. Etc.

Those are my .02 worth.


My at home sessions have been short, and have only gotten shorter as time has gone on. The last home session I did was two 25 foot fetches and that was it.

The e-collar was introduced during gun and bird in March of 2017 and has been used for reinforcing come, I've been adverse to using it for other commands because I didn't want to screw things up.


That's understandable about not using the e-collar for other things, but then the dog learns all stim means to come back to you. I did a similar thing and it came back to bite me in the behind when I was trying to increase my dog's range on retrieving.

If you're using the lowest level on the e-collar that she registers then the worry about screwing things up shouldn't be that big of an issue.

I think the consensus is to back off any pressure and basically treat her like a pup. It's frustrating, but I believe if you keep applying pressure your dog might turn into a non-hunting dog.

I recognize that username from the MN DHC forum, are you in the twin cities area? If you are there's a really great MN NAVHDA chapter that I'm involved in.
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Re: What happened?

Postby Densa44 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:47 pm

I agree that joining a club if you can will be a big help. Be cautious with your retriever friends, they used to use methods not suitable for a "soft " dog. As others have said you need to adjust your methods to you and your dog.

One tip on lengthening a retrieve is to back up from the dummy pile.

I don't bore my dog, once she gets it that's it. Move on, change locations set the lesson up again and see if she has learned what you were trying to teach. If she makes the retrieve quit.

BTW quitting while I was ahead instead of keeping at it until the dog failed has taken me almost 50 years to learn.

Take your time, this is supposed to be a fun hobby for you both.
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Re: What happened?

Postby crackerd » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:49 pm

daeion wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:JUDGING by your post and the dog's said reaction, you are horribly abusing the ff process. You keep leaving out parts then adding them. I really don't know what to tell you.


If I'm abusing the process then I don't know what to say. I knew I had no idea what I was doing and that's why I've relied on a trainer who has been breeding and training for over 30 years who has earned multiple prize 1 UT's and passed the invitational, so I thought I was working with someone who know what they were doing. I'm not purposefully leaving parts out, I don't know what information is needed until it's asked for and then I'm trying to clarify things.


Not sure you need to fall on your sword for "abuse" when it's more misuse of the e-collar for FF and retrieving. I would take two steps immediately: 1) Jettison the trainer no matter what he's "earned" with versatile breeds (Also have to ask, have any of those breeds he's passed been the one that you own?), and 1a) Do as GH says in finding if not a pro retriever trainer for help, at the very least a competent amateur who has trained his or her own dogs for field trials. (With a sensitive breed such as a Small Munsterlander, my bolded reference might be your best bet for recovering the dog's enthusiasm. It was a lady trainer who told me, when I was coming into retrievers, "You can always take it out of them, but you can't always or even often put it back into 'em.")

This continuous e-collar nonsense is aversion training as Bruce notes that has made your Small Munsty averse to birds and to pointing! In truth you've got both averse and reverse in spades with what your trainer apparently has brought on by using continuous stimulation and what's been advised along with it.

Good luck,

MG
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Re: What happened?

Postby Meridiandave » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:19 pm

daeion wrote:
Meridiandave wrote:
My at home sessions have been short, and have only gotten shorter as time has gone on. The last home session I did was two 25 foot fetches and that was it.

The e-collar was introduced during gun and bird in March of 2017 and has been used for reinforcing come, I've been adverse to using it for other commands because I didn't want to screw things up.


Looks to me you are already using it for two commands:. Fetch and Come. Come is a Nick and Fetch is this long drawn out process.

I think you have been given some good advice. Take a short break. Next restart where you were at or start over.
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Re: What happened?

Postby ryanr » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:50 pm

A lot of Force Fetch is about conditioning the dog to pressure and teaching it how to turn off that pressure (by retrieving the object.) Continuous stim in FF is actually common from what I've learned, it replaces the ear pinch as the pressure once the dog is "e-fetched." However the dog must already absolutely know how to turn off the pressure long before the dog is e-fetched. You do your FF program and thrn you overlay with the e-collar. You also can't be giving the continuous stim at a level that is just frying the dog into completely shutting down. My amateur hunch is this dog didn't thoroughly understand each step in the FF pprocess before the next step was introduced. And then the collar corrections came. If the dog doesn't understand fully or is confused the lesson isn't learned and you DON'T then keep giving it stimulation. If FF is done correctly most dogs should be enthusiastic about being sent. At the very least I don't think it should require stim to get them to at least go out and pick up the bird? We keep our transmitters on continuous but when we need a nick we simply achieve this by pressing and releasing the button quickly but if we need continuous we already instantly have it. That's exactly how I was taught by my trusted mentors in NAVHDA.
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