FF in 4 Days

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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:50 am

AverageGuy wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:That's a nice post Ryan and spot on. PR guys I guess will never absorb the reasoning for the ear pinch. They also seem to think that PR is new and it certainly isn't. For as long as I've been around dog's people have tried training with PR only. It works well until it doesn't.


Let's not deliberately talk past each other.

I don't think PR is new but when I started training dogs its use was very limited and remained that way in the Gundog world until more recently. The Gundog world still lags severely on the whole but is catching up.

What Bruce questioned (and I subsequently did as well) is why is it necessary to use the ear pinch vs teaching the chain with PR and then overlaying the ecollar.

Bruce (and I) are not training with 100% PR. We both are using ecollar overlays as most of us here do.

Bruce and I have both trained prior dogs using the full FF programs including the ear pinch.

I am not convinced my results were any different than with my current dog where I went from the trained chain of retrieve and Hold to the ecollar overlay and that is why I poised the question of others.


Please read what I'm saying. The results aren't different UNLESS problems arise, then there is a huge difference. Again, a good trainer trains for what MAY be, not what is.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:01 am

So you find the ecollar inadequate to make corrections when they are needed?

You commonly resort back to pinching the dog's ear in training vs using the ecollar at the level necessary to get the correction done and the already trained results back on track?

Those would be the key questions I am asking.

Edited:

GH I missed your prior post and read it just now. Apparently you are saying yes, you may encounter an instance where the ecollar correction does not work and you resort to the ear pinch.

I did have a water refusal with a prior dog once that had been brought along using play retrieve followed by a traditional FF/ear pinch program. I got my hand through the collar and pinched his ear good and that was the first and last time he refused a retrieve. (Never was clear why he refused that one as the dog had huge bumper and water drive).
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:03 am

ryanr wrote: FF today uses much more praise/reward than I guess you're aware of or want to admit?


Ryanr: In SmartFetch, the manual of FF by Graham (which I have a copy of in front of me right now) declares: "Fetch is a force-taught command". That does NOT mean praise is NOT used or that rewards are NOT employed (and that there may be generous doses of each), but it means the foundation of the process is physical force. Force fetch is aversive training by definition and aversive training is seeking to induce changes in behavior through punishment. (Please Google "aversive training" for a more clear understanding of it and why it is being supplanted by other methods). In the most basic terms of the FF process the dog has to figure out what it has to do to turn off the pressure (punishment) you're applying. You can soften this or rationalize it but you cannot deny it. It just is. There are now better methods. That just is too.

GH, Willie, and others: isn't the goal to have the dog understand and perform the command "fetch" and a way to enforce compliance? And isn't the problem really how to teach the command? "Fetch" is no different than "sit" or "come" or "stay" (or whatever) but it's sort of complicated to teach. The "foundation" you all talk about is not really about the FF process, but more about the training program in its totality, right?

So, to teach it, a program of using force was developed to get that command ingrained int the dog's head. Then, by adding more pinch at the same time as the voice command, we were able to add compulsion. When the collar came along we needed less force because the compulsion was added by the collar - same way as the collar is used for building compulsion in "force to pile" or "come" or "heel", etc. We don't have to increase ear pressure because we can do it with the collar.

So, fast forward a few years. Nowadays force is no longer necessary to teach the command "fetch" because, by using exacting PR methods, the dog quickly learns what "fetch" means. It becomes just another obedience command that's easily taught and then enforced by the collar as you wish. If I were a pro I'd be doing back flips because I'd now have a very reliable and enforceable way to teach "fetch" and an move on to other foundation building stuff. In fact, many trainers are abandoning the traditional FF methods.

To summarize, I think the arguments for using force are getting weaker all the time. My dogs don't drop birds and they compete at the same levels your's do. Their "training foundation" by other means is pretty strong I'd say. Your dogs can't work on retrieving until they're four or five months old or have adult teeth in order to go through the program and are developing bad habits all the while. Mine fetch, hold, release from about ten weeks old on. I am not against all aversive training methods, just this one. Again, tell me what I'm missing here.
Last edited by Bruce Schwartz on Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby ryanr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:16 am

AG, just my opinion based on limited experience compared to many of you guys but I do think we're going to see the evolution of the FF process involve a transition to e-fetch without ear pinch.

Bruce, try following the SmartFetch process instead of just reading me one sentence to rationalize your deliberately false claims of how the FF process is done. I have a copy too and followed it on my first dog and the dog IS NOT ear pinched from the get go, not even close. I think discussion is valuable but that value is diminished when on of the parties just wants to delegitimize the other.

Also, part of the teaching phase is to help the dog figure out how to turn the pressure off when we begin applying it.
Last edited by ryanr on Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:46 pm

ryanr wrote:Bruce, try following the SmartFetch process instead of just reading me one sentence to rationalize your deliberately false claims of how the FF process is done.


Sorry. I am not deliberately making a false claim of how the process works but merely noting the way Graham characterizes it in his book. No offense was intended. I completely understand the FF process as he describes it.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:31 pm

AverageGuy wrote:So you find the ecollar inadequate to make corrections when they are needed?

You commonly resort back to pinching the dog's ear in training vs using the ecollar at the level necessary to get the correction done and the already trained results back on track?

Those would be the key questions I am asking.

Edited:

GH I missed your prior post and read it just now. Apparently you are saying yes, you may encounter an instance where the ecollar correction does not work and you resort to the ear pinch.

I did have a water refusal with a prior dog once that had been brought along using play retrieve followed by a traditional FF/ear pinch program. I got my hand through the collar and pinched his ear good and that was the first and last time he refused a retrieve. (Never was clear why he refused that one as the dog had huge bumper and water drive).


AG, most guys don't train like I do. When I collar break a dog, I put them through ALL levels of stimulation so when I get a refusal, I can go to a level 18 and drive the dog without it bolting. Few Amateurs do that and I encourage most to NOT. When most train with the collar they are taught to use the lowest stimulation possible to get the result they want. That's all popcorn and soda until the you zap the dog with a low three and he tells you to stick the collar where the sun doesn't shine. Then what? Now, chances are for the AVERAGE trainer, that is never going to happen but if it does, they're screwed.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby ryanr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:47 pm

GH, why can't the average trainer also progressively go up in stim to gain compliance for refusal of a known command?

Bruce, okay sorry. But if you think out dogs can't work on retrieving until they get their adult teeth and thru the program you're wrong. I don't start using the word Fetch until I begin the teaching phase of the FF process but I certainly can begin nurturing that desire to retrieve and deliver to me before that (and some do use the word Fetch beforehand, I was taught not to until it's a command to enforce.)

And you said your dogs don't drop birds. That's because they have that foundation of the command AND you e-fetched them (just like my dogs are.) So IMO that is a part of or form of the FF process. If I have to make a correction I use the e-collar, I don't jump right back to the ear pinch, no need to BUT if I still get a refusal I COULD load the ear (which is about all it takes) and even pinch and drive if I need to.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:40 pm

OK you guys. Great discussion. I'm off to four days of hunt tests. We're now competing at the top level HRC so I'm not expecting a title by Sunday. LOL. She'll probably refuse a steering command, not stop on the whistle, not take a cast, or not do a bunch of other stuff, but I don't think she'll drop a bird. If she does I'll send her to GH for the twelve step program.

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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:13 pm

ryanr wrote:GH, why can't the average trainer also progressively go up in stim to gain compliance for refusal of a known command?


Because of the problems you will encounter. Things like no goes, bolting, hotspotting, there's just so many things that can go wrong when you use high intensity. You really have to work with a pro who knows what he's doing in order to use a higher intensity or you can totally destroy a dog. That's why you see such huge acceptance of the variable intensity collar. It's hard to screw up a dog if you keep it on lower intensity's.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Willie T » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:35 pm

Best wishes with your hunt test Bruce. An interesting discussion for sure. A more interesting case study for me would be: How were the most successful dogs in the hunt test trained? That is ultimately where the rubber meets the road.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:20 pm

All force fetched, all forced to pile, all forced to water,all stick fetched to heel, debolted, etc. And that’s OK with me. That’s what you do to win.

I run a PP, steer as best I can with a shepherd’s whistle, do PR for all obedience and overlay with the collar. We repeat stuff a lot, work in close until the dog gets the picture and then add distractions. My dog doesn’t particularly like pressure - but can take it - she broke on tripple marks the last two times at tests so yesterday I set up a breaking test with pigeons in release traps that were tethered and I shot a shot gun towards them as they hit the end of the line.I did about six in a row trying to get her to break and she only moved one foot - so I hit her with two nicks on ten anyway (max on my collar is ten!). She just jerked her shoulder a little.

I train with the collar to save me from yelling or getting pissed. It quickens the learning curve and everybody’s happy. If I start all the forcing she’d take the dummy and go back to the Ranger. It’s all good.

Thanks for wishing me luck!
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Willie T » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:27 pm

There is something admirable about marching to your own beat. You have my respect and best wishes Bruce.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:26 pm

Bruce Good luck this weekend!

To answer your specific question. Bill Hillman already uses the ecollar with no ear pinch. Yes it would be easier for the dog to understand if it already has the foundation.

For my part, I believe I could use dobbs method and instead of using ear pressure for hold (Dog drops the object, ear pressure comes on until "I" place the object in the dogs mouth.), I could just use the ecollar.

It seems to me you are still stuck on if the dog wont drop a bird, why FF?
It is not just about birds.

For your hypothetical dog, assuming it just had PR, I would do similar to GH. Firat thing I would take pup for a walk. then a walk with our other dogs. Let get used to the llamas the horses the new smells etc... make it fun for a couple of days. Then I would go right to Sit sessions starting with leash, then the ecollar. Then I would do heel. With leash, walking at my side and then remotely sitting and heeling into correct position. Probably do "kennel" also. Few days to week maybe to get this done. Multiple short sessions each day. Would also get the dog up on the table at each session to let acclimate. And..... Let the dog run free on walks.

Once I had pup finished with ecollar for basic commands, get to the table and start FF. Start with holding the glove. Then proceed to reinforce hold with ear pressure. Do lots of different objects.(Ill have no problem finding things your mythical dog wont want to hold) Overlay with ecollar, Once Im satisfied with that I start walking hold on the table. Pup has to walk back and forth with multiple objects. Then we go to ground for walking hold. Then back up on the table for holding birds. The goal is to get pup to walk back and forth with a live pigeon without munching. Then Ill do a dead duck and hopefully a goose. By this time pup has had a lot reps and experience shutting off the collar pressure. So then I go to fetch with the toe hitch. Toe hitch cause the dog to reach toward the prsessure on the toes and thats where the buck is held. I usually only have to do 3 sessions or so before i start over laying the ecollar. Then I start them reaching for the buck on "fetch" then walk the table to take it out of my hand, then pick up off the table, then force to end of table. Then we can go to ground..

I think something that may help you understand why use pressure is this. We are in some respects teaching the dog to think. So that down the road when things get tough and we have to correct,the dog doesnt freak out. Its also important to have hands on physical corrections and not just ecollar. Cant run your dog with a collar on, he better understand that it doesnt matter that the collar is on, he still has to obey. You can correct him for breaking at home with the ecollar, but dont think that will cure for sure his breaking at the test when he doesnt have his collar on. Thats why you overlay the collar on your PR. So you have a tool to correct.

My question to you is, if you are going to use the pressure of the ecollar, whats wrong with using ear pressure, tow hitch etc....
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:05 pm

Kiger - as we all know, the collar is to reinforce known commands or correct for infractions of known commands. It’s interesting that Hillman uses it for teaching in addition to reinforcing/correcting (I think Ryanr was getting at that too). But traditional FF ear or toe pinching is teaching by force. PR is teaching by rewarding for a behavior. This is not arguable, it’s just a fact.

The argument becomes however is about which is faster or ultimately better. My view is that PR gets you a known command faster and you have more control of the way it’s shaped and from there you can use the collar for reinforcing or not. Most others on the board here appear to disagree and think the extra time is well spent. Please read my recent posts carefully as I think it might help.

I confess I don’t know how to deal with birds that should arrive alive but don’t. I’d appreciate knowing a cure for that.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby ryanr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:47 pm

Good luck Bruce and have fun. I'll be rooting for you guys. I believe if you can get the job done to your satisfaction with PR and collar overlay and have confidence in it then that's all that matters.

I was thinking he was saying Hillman teaches the hold and carry phase first THEN goes to the e-collar in place of where you would normally ear pinch.

The process I learned was teach hold, then hold and carry progressing from the table to ground and walking around carrying at heel. I spent about 4 weeks on this taking my time and keeping sessions short, 2 occasionally 3 times a day. Jowl pressure came into play at this phase but only a handful of times. When we got to where the dog was opening it's mouth on the word Fetch and was just to the point it was ready to reach for the dummy, I ear pinched. As I said I ear pinched 3, maybe 4 times total over a couple sessions, that's it. Then I overlaid the e-collar in one session. After that corrections were done with the e-collar and if need be I loaded the ear but she got it so I actually never had to pinch again. The entire process was not nearly as terrible as you might think. The bulk of the whole process was the teaching phase with very little pressure. And now the ret rt ieve of a dead bird is used as a reward in teaching other things, like steadiness. Anyway, once again good luck.
Last edited by ryanr on Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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