Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

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Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby mastercaster » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:21 pm

On a typical training day when you're practicing retrieving drills how many retrieves will you make your dog do? I'll usually send Sako on one long retrieve (usually over a 100 yds.), then one or two fetch to pile (6 bumpers) drills and a couple throws of 2 bumpers in different directions. I don't want her to get stale. Wish I had some live birds but we're city dwellers. I have a few dead birds I'll thaw out once in awhile that she takes great interest in when retrieving them.

If we're at a lake which is a couple of days every week through the spring and summer when I'm out fly fishing I throw a rubber duck dummy out in the water. She's crazy about this, as well, but once again, I'll only do 3-5 tosses at any one time two or three times a day but it mostly to cool her down because the weather is so warm where I tend to fish right now. I know she would do more retrieves but worry about her getting bored.

That being said, Sako is more than willing to fetch a rubber 'chuck it' ball until my arm gets tired of throwing it. She loves it. Even though it's more like play time I don't let her retrieve it until I send her and always make her deliver to hand. Can you see anything wrong with her wanting to do this dozens of times each time I take her into the park?
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby JONOV » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:51 pm

mastercaster wrote:On a typical training day when you're practicing retrieving drills how many retrieves will you make your dog do? I'll usually send Sako on one long retrieve (usually over a 100 yds.), then one or two fetch to pile (6 bumpers) drills and a couple throws of 2 bumpers in different directions. I don't want her to get stale. Wish I had some live birds but we're city dwellers. I have a few dead birds I'll thaw out once in awhile that she takes great interest in when retrieving them.

If we're at a lake which is a couple of days every week through the spring and summer when I'm out fly fishing I throw a rubber duck dummy out in the water. She's crazy about this, as well, but once again, I'll only do 3-5 tosses at any one time two or three times a day but it mostly to cool her down because the weather is so warm where I tend to fish right now. I know she would do more retrieves but worry about her getting bored.

That being said, Sako is more than willing to fetch a rubber 'chuck it' ball until my arm gets tired of throwing it. She loves it. Even though it's more like play time I don't let her retrieve it until I send her and always make her deliver to hand. Can you see anything wrong with her wanting to do this dozens of times each time I take her into the park?

You know the dog better than anyone and can tell when she gets bored.

I overdid it this weekend (I think) though I figured out walking out it may be a malfunctioning e-collar that's shocking him randomly. :evil: Hard to say, the water was really hot, it was 100 degrees, the e-collar was malfunctioning at least when I was walking to the parking lot.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby booger » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:41 pm

Agreed, depends on the dog. Lots of guys will say not to overdo it with a versatile (5 max), but I'll bribe my dog into doing 15-20 without issue.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:26 am

Varies by the dog, the day, the weather, the drill being worked and the object being used is my experience. Have to read the dog always and stop while drive is still high. I have had dogs I never found the bottom of for retrieving bumpers and others which showed a declining interest in bumpers if done in too much repetition in any given session.

I am using 6 handled blinds in my current work on land in a short morning session. When working water I sometimes do only one long water blind (250 to 300 yards one way) and use a dolken vs a bumper to keep interest and drive up. If a shorter distance, cooler weather, dog showing it wants another, I might do 2 or 3 water blinds.

The more control you are putting on the dog during the drill the greater the likelihood they may start to want to do something else vs another rep. Where I train is always surrounded by excellent upland game cover and the contrast of being controlled by me vs the freedom of searching with little control from me, is always possible to run through a Vdog's mind is what I experience working with them. Thrown short marks into water for a dog that loves retrieving/water is much different than handling control work at long distances on blind retrieves, (for myself and the dogs I have worked with). I give my dogs a mental break day off periodically when my read is it is time for one, and also mix in using dead birds, and marked retrieves, both of which are higher motivation to the dog, to keep things headed in the right direction overall.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby 30024grand » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:43 pm

You just need to read the dog
I find most versatile dog guys
Are exercising their dogs when
They say they are throwing marks.
Actually doing marking via setups
Marking concepts maybe less tolerated
By your dog.
But with that said it's all about being
With and having fun with your buddy.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby crackerd » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:21 pm

30024grand wrote:You just need to read the dog
I find most versatile dog guys
Are exercising their dogs when
They say they are throwing marks.
Actually doing marking via setups
Marking concepts maybe less tolerated
By your dog.

But with that said it's all about being
With and having fun with your buddy.


This is, like, versatile pentameter - but it bears underscoring: There's a big difference between exercising your dog with simple retrieves even at distance and "working" the dog on retriever drills or concepts. The swim-by is a retriever drill, a dog visually chasing a duck across a pond or picking up a bumper willy-nilly just for retrieving's sake are not.

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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:41 pm

mastercaster wrote:On a typical training day when you're practicing retrieving drills how many retrieves will you make your dog do? I'll usually send Sako on one long retrieve (usually over a 100 yds.), then one or two fetch to pile (6 bumpers) drills and a couple throws of 2 bumpers in different directions. I don't want her to get stale. Wish I had some live birds but we're city dwellers. I have a few dead birds I'll thaw out once in awhile that she takes great interest in when retrieving them.

If we're at a lake which is a couple of days every week through the spring and summer when I'm out fly fishing I throw a rubber duck dummy out in the water. She's crazy about this, as well, but once again, I'll only do 3-5 tosses at any one time two or three times a day but it mostly to cool her down because the weather is so warm where I tend to fish right now. I know she would do more retrieves but worry about her getting bored.

That being said, Sako is more than willing to fetch a rubber 'chuck it' ball until my arm gets tired of throwing it. She loves it. Even though it's more like play time I don't let her retrieve it until I send her and always make her deliver to hand. Can you see anything wrong with her wanting to do this dozens of times each time I take her into the park?


If you can throw the chuck-it ball successfully dozens of times you can tell there's a lot of steam in the dog but that it doesn't like working. Sounds like a vdog. You'll get more reps if the dog is "engaged" (revved up) while training. Throwing the rubber "chuck - it" ball is fine but probably should be used as a reward after you've done some teaching stuff (or before if needed). You see retriever folks throwing "freebies" a lot - dummies thrown wildly to build excitement. You can get more reps if you give a treat or two after each retrieve. If you train with a retrieve-r-trainer they love the excitement and it will get you more reps. A starter pistol can work too.

Try to keep the work sessions short and follow up with something fun. Using force generally gets them more stale more quickly.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Duckdon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:53 am

On the flip side, when I do my force to pile work its about 100, 25 yard pile retrieves in about 55 minutes. I do that a few days in a row looking for correction opportunity. I what that spontaneous compulsion to retrieve.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby ryanr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:07 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
mastercaster wrote:On a typical training day when you're practicing retrieving drills how many retrieves will you make your dog do? I'll usually send Sako on one long retrieve (usually over a 100 yds.), then one or two fetch to pile (6 bumpers) drills and a couple throws of 2 bumpers in different directions. I don't want her to get stale. Wish I had some live birds but we're city dwellers. I have a few dead birds I'll thaw out once in awhile that she takes great interest in when retrieving them.

If we're at a lake which is a couple of days every week through the spring and summer when I'm out fly fishing I throw a rubber duck dummy out in the water. She's crazy about this, as well, but once again, I'll only do 3-5 tosses at any one time two or three times a day but it mostly to cool her down because the weather is so warm where I tend to fish right now. I know she would do more retrieves but worry about her getting bored.

That being said, Sako is more than willing to fetch a rubber 'chuck it' ball until my arm gets tired of throwing it. She loves it. Even though it's more like play time I don't let her retrieve it until I send her and always make her deliver to hand. Can you see anything wrong with her wanting to do this dozens of times each time I take her into the park?


If you can throw the chuck-it ball successfully dozens of times you can tell there's a lot of steam in the dog but that it doesn't like working. Sounds like a vdog. You'll get more reps if the dog is "engaged" (revved up) while training. Throwing the rubber "chuck - it" ball is fine but probably should be used as a reward after you've done some teaching stuff (or before if needed). You see retriever folks throwing "freebies" a lot - dummies thrown wildly to build excitement. You can get more reps if you give a treat or two after each retrieve. If you train with a retrieve-r-trainer they love the excitement and it will get you more reps. A starter pistol can work too.

Try to keep the work sessions short and follow up with something fun. Using force generally gets them more stale more quickly.


How can you tell the dog doesn't like to work?
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:42 pm

ryanr wrote:
How can you tell the dog doesn't like to work?


Not sure if you mean in general or OP's dog?
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Willie T » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:48 pm

Watch the dog work and read what is going on. Attitude, focus, and effort are good indicators.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby mastercaster » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:46 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
ryanr wrote:
How can you tell the dog doesn't like to work?


Not sure if you mean in general or OP's dog?


My dog doesn't mind the work at all but I've always been under the notion that you quit while the dog is still keen and wants more. I just don't want to get to the point where she makes a refusal. There have been times when she has gotten distracted on the way back because it wasn't in a straight line to me. When that happens I usually put away the gear even though she appears to want to be sent again..
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:04 pm

Exactly what Willie said. Knowing your dog should tell you when they've had enough but sometimes I have trouble deciding if my dog is having an off day, is just bored, or is shining me on. Besides slower sends or returns you can also see loopy sits on whistle, slower responses to commands in general, slipping the whistle, "shopping the pile" when it's not his general habit to do so, ignoring where you want him to look on a send, eating vegetation, curved paths to dummy, etc.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:57 pm

Willie T wrote:Watch the dog work and read what is going on. Attitude, focus, and effort are good indicators.
Willie


x3

When working heavier elements of control associated with training handling on blind retrieves, a decline in swift and strong eye contact is a warning sign that is easy for me to notice.

There is a difference in reps while throwing a ball or a bumper a short distance while a dog watches you do it, waiting to be sent vs steering a dog around at longer distances in cover or water on blind retrieves.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby ryanr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:44 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
ryanr wrote:
How can you tell the dog doesn't like to work?


Not sure if you mean in general or OP's dog?


I meant Mastercasters dog since you quoted him in your reply. My take was that it was him and not the dog that was quitting early on the retrieve training sessions.
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