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

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

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

Postby mastercaster » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:24 pm

ryanr wrote:
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.


I work on some aspect of retrieving daily with Sako but I just want to make sure we're not doing too much,,,,for her sake. I'm retired so I'd stay out for much longer periods of time if I felt she'd never get stale from it. My problem, what with living within city limits, is that I don't have access to live birds, and especially wild birds. Wish I did because that would make the drills a whole lot more fun for the both of us. No NAVHDA chapters in our province, unfortunately, because I'd get involved with them in a heartbeat.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:50 am

of over 2,000 HRCH titles (master level title in HRC retriever competition) only six have been vdogs.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby LongHammer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:36 pm

I too am a city dweller. Otto will fetch bumpers till he drops dead if keep chucking them. I will throw one send him and launch a blind while his back is turned. He has done 2+ hours of water retrieves one after another. Otto loves to retrieve even more than my lab. Instead of Force Fetch it's Force to Truck.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby PL_Guy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Be careful not to confuse quantity with quality.

I firmly believe an overall training program will progress much more rapidly if, when introducing a new concept/task or working to improve an old one, one leaves the exercise when the dog has made some significant progress from where the session started or the last session ended. End on a "good note" (if possible) and give the dog time (at least overnight) to "think about it" thereby moving it into long term memory. Do not go on to work on some other concept or skill unless the main effort goes south and ending the session on a "good note" does not seem achievable. In that case 5 - 10 minutes of hard core obedience on known well-trained skills will wash out the bad experience and prevent its transfer to long term memory allowing the next session to begin on a clean slate.

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

Postby crackerd » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:29 am

Hey, who dat P(av)L(ovian)_Guy on retrievers? :wink:

PL_Guy wrote:Be careful not to confuse quantity with quality.

I firmly believe an overall training program will progress much more rapidly if, when introducing a new concept/task or working to improve an old one, one leaves the exercise when the dog has made some significant progress from where the session started or the last session ended. End on a "good note" (if possible) and give the dog time (at least overnight) to "think about it" thereby moving it into long term memory. Do not go on to work on some other concept or skill unless the main effort goes south and ending the session on a "good note" does not seem achievable. In that case 5 - 10 minutes of hard core obedience on known well-trained skills will wash out the bad experience and prevent its transfer to long term memory allowing the next session to begin on a clean slate.


Bruce Schwartz wrote:of over 2,000 HRCH titles (master level title in HRC retriever competition) only six have been vdogs.


Bruce, any of those six yours? - at one time there was only one HRCH springer spaniel, from Ontario I'm thinking, then along came the Boykin brigade to push spaniels into the retriever breach. Same can happen with versatiles, HRC is all but tailor-made for them if so trained, as averageguy seems to be doing.

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

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:00 am

I checked my notes and there have been 4,500 HRCH titles awarded since 1984, seven of which went to versatiles - three GWPs, three GSPs and my WPG. (thanks for asking!). I didn't check on the spaniels but I've seen a bunch of really cool Boykins at the tests. Also, Averageguy has sent me a few videos of his dog working and his Spud is certainly the kind of dog that could do well in HRC. The numbers don't tell the whole story as most pointing breed folks aren't particularly interested in retriever test stuff but as more people are wanting to put some handling skills on their dogs interest in HRC clubs is a logical conclusion.
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Re: Retrieving Drills,,,,how much is too much?

Postby crackerd » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:35 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:I checked my notes and there have been 4,500 HRCH titles awarded since 1984, seven of which went to versatiles - three GWPs, three GSPs and my WPG. (thanks for asking!). I didn't check on the spaniels but I've seen a bunch of really cool Boykins at the tests. Also, Averageguy has sent me a few videos of his dog working and his Spud is certainly the kind of dog that could do well in HRC. The numbers don't tell the whole story as most pointing breed folks aren't particularly interested in retriever test stuff but as more people are wanting to put some handling skills on their dogs interest in HRC clubs is a logical conclusion.


Roger that, Bruce - but you (and averageguy) also are probably aware that most versatile breeds can now run AKC retriever tests as well. Some - not a terribly large number, but some - have run them at the lower levels (Junior Hunter) where there are no multiple marks and no blinds so handling isn't really a prerequisite for getting a dog into AKC tests. But my hope, well, my kind of "avuncular thinking" is that versatile owners who do go through with training their dogs to handle might move up the ladder in those tests to Master Hunter - and excel at it given their dogs' capabilities.

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

Postby PL_Guy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:29 pm

[quote="crackerd"]Hey, who dat P(av)L(ovian)_Guy on retrievers? :wink:

Michael, I was thinking more of the operant type conditioning (non-classical) rather than Pavlovian (Classical), OK?

But, that said, while there is a bunch of Classical Conditioning possible in developing a polished retrieving dog and the more generously endowed the trainee with "natural abilities" related to retriever tasks, the more opportunity; I'm not so sure long-term memory consolidation is so much a factor there? Maybe only in "chaining?"

Perhaps your memory extends far enough to recall Cj expressing wonder that dogs appear to form some stimulus/response associations apparently permanently with but a single rep? Some of those being behaviors we'd rather they didn't "learn" at all

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