FF in 4 Days

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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:15 pm

Buck Dancer wrote:I FF'd my Lab in about a week during the winter on my living room floor when he was about 10 month. He already knew hold and was a fetching fanatic before I started. FF was a breeze and I wondered what all the fuss was about.

I tried the same technique (Evan Graham's Smartworks) on my PP. First sign of ear pinch pressure he dive bombs to the floor and rolls on his back. So I quickly gave up because I see that it will take a table, a chain, to keep him up, time, and patience with this dog as he knows more than one way to avoid pressure.

I guess it depends on the dog.


It depends on the trainer, not the dog.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Densa44 » Sun May 02, 2021 11:45 pm

I've seen one. It was a lab, and the owner needed it FF for the trial being held the next weekend. The dog was a junior/derby so about 16 mo. old. The first mark I saw the dog run on a live duck in the water, the dog killed the duck and shook it violently and then when he go back to the handler, just circled the handler about 4 or 5 times and wouldn't deliver the bird before the judges told him to pick up his dog.

So the lesson I took from that exhibition was to "take your time".
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby JONOV » Mon May 03, 2021 12:32 pm

It's a neat discussion because there's a philosophical question and a practical one.

Wife force fetched her DD puppy. She worked closely with a trainer that has ran dogs in both VDD and NAVHDA.

It wasn't a long process before he said, "Congrats, you have force-fetched your dog." Meaning, the dog understood "pressure on, pressure off" and how it related to the retrieve. He said that to motivate my wife because she was anxious about FF/hurting the dog. The retrieve training work was far from finished though. And honestly, the "force" part was a lot easier than what she's dealt with on a few other issues related to the retrieve.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed May 26, 2021 3:54 pm

Everyone should remember that the "trained retrieve" is NOT a Forced Retrieve. The two are markedly different and each can serve it's purpose. So let's not confuse the two, which often happens on these posts.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby AverageGuy » Thu May 27, 2021 7:26 am

There are FF programs that have been around for decades so the term has settled in enough that it generally means about the same thing to folks informed on the subject.

"Trained Retrieve" is not a settled term and can certainly mean different things to different folks. I described what I have been doing in response to a question over on my Meet Tess thread.

Yesterday we did our second session of FTP. Went well. Also did our second session of water retrieves at the pond in the hot afternoon.

I sat her at heel, tossed a bumper a short distance and told her to fetch. She started to run the bank which was a behavior to avoid the control I was placing on her at that time. She spends a lot of time playing, chasing frogs and bugs at that pond and that is what she wanted to do right then vs accept the control I was putting on her.

I called her in, put her on sit, motioned to the floating bumper as I said Fetch and gave low level stimulation on the ecollar (which the program I took her through ensured she understood). She leapt straight towards the bumper and completed the retrieve as fast as she could go. Did 3 more reps with the correct behavior.

She dropped the bumper on the bank and started to leave. I immediately commanded Fetch as I stimulated on the ecollar using a low 2 and she dove to get the bumper back in her mouth, then sat holding it until I commanded Give and took the bumper. She did not drop it when exiting the water on the following reps. I am sure she will again at some point, but I have a trained method of making an understood correction when she does.

The "Trained Retrieve" program I am following most certainly incorporates Force, and yields a way to make well timed, well understood and effective corrections as needed (and they are always needed in the early stages of training, that is Training).

I also use treats to mark a bright line when the correct behavior is accomplished. I raise the bar over time as to how correct that behavior needs to be in order to get a treat. I take time as I am praising the dog getting good eye contact. I saw Tess wagging her tail as she made eye contact with me yesterday and I knew I was succeeding.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Thu May 27, 2021 4:31 pm

Excellent use of the ecollar AG! Your dog has learned a number of commands and when she doesn't comply you add some ecollar nicks or continuous low dose stimulation which work because she knows BOTH the command and the consequences for ignoring it. All these commands can be taught by offering rewards or force - but repetition and correction will be needed before compliance is reliable in environments with high distractions. NOV’s wife was understandably anxious about FF and was smart enough to seek professional guidance because the the traditional FF process doesn’t always turn out well for the dog. In the professional’s hands traditional FF makes sense but not so for the amateur and I suspect the "trained retrieve" will one day become the preferred method for most.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri May 28, 2021 10:35 am

"The "Trained Retrieve" program I am following most certainly incorporates Force, and yields a way to make well timed, well understood and effective corrections as needed (and they are always needed in the early stages of training, that is Training). "

You are actually not using force, you are simply applying pressure like a tug on a leash. In a true FF courses the dog is forced until it stops retrieving, then forced to retrieve. It is for the pro only but is probably how 90% of all field trial labs are trained.

For the amateur and hunter the method you use is a very good one, and the ONLY one I recommend. But don't delude yourself into thinking you're forcing the dog. Pressuring yes, forcing no. Go and watch a GOOD retriever trainer if you want to see a well FORCE broken dog.

There is a VAST difference between the trained retrieve with treats and the forced retrieve.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby AverageGuy » Fri May 28, 2021 4:14 pm

Semantics as to "Force vs Pressure" in my view.

I use treats to sweeten the praise/reward part of training. I did not use treats to get the dog to Hold or to Fetch, but I did use them to reward the right behavior.

I studied Evan Graham's DVD series, which I own, before I undertook this training with Tess. I was evaluating what direction and program I wanted to use with her. I opted to do the route I went which has more similarities than differences, but it is different in that I did not pinch her ear.

Not sure if you are referencing the Fetch/No Fetch portion of Graham's training or not but it seems like you might be. I could see value in it, done right, with the right dogs.

I could see it being pretty easy to get into trouble with it. Which I think I hear you saying as well.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri May 28, 2021 5:58 pm

Yes, that is correct. If you do a true FF program, which most can not do, it is very easy to get into trouble, very easy to destroy a dog, and very hard to get out of. The trained retrieve is the way every amateur or hunter should go. Leave Force Fetch to the Pro's. It is only really needed for competition dog's.

As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Fri May 28, 2021 7:42 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.


I pretty much understand traditional FF (ear pinch = pressure = force) but can you explain your "trained retrieve" and how it differs? How do you get the dog to reach for the dummy, open its mouth and hold until told to release?
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri May 28, 2021 7:59 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.


I pretty much understand traditional FF (ear pinch = pressure = force) but can you explain your "trained retrieve" and how it differs? How do you get the dog to reach for the dummy, open its mouth and hold until told to release?


Pretty good question but AG has answered it. In the trained retrieve, I command fetch, pinch the jowl and put the bumper in pup's mouth. I hold it there for 5 seconds or so, take the bumper, command drop, praise the pup and give it a treat. When I think the pup is catching on I take my hand from the bumper and if pup drops, I command fetch, pinch the jowls, and put the bumper in it's mouth. Same when I progress to the ear then the collar. I treat on a ration of one treat to three reps, kind of. AG has expounded on this but with a young dog, by using treats, they advance at a much faster, happier pace than without treats. You NEVER use enough pressure to make the dog quit retrieving. Do this and you MAY be in real trouble. It works and it's all the hunter needs. I'm not going to say much about this because AG has put detailed descriptions of it. You can teach the pup a trained retrieve easily by only using the jowl and collar, never touching the ear.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby JONOV » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:53 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Yes, that is correct. If you do a true FF program, which most can not do, it is very easy to get into trouble, very easy to destroy a dog, and very hard to get out of. The trained retrieve is the way every amateur or hunter should go. Leave Force Fetch to the Pro's. It is only really needed for competition dog's.

As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.

I guess it depends if you lump testing with competition but if one is running a dog through HZP or similar level testing, I don't think I'd opt for anything else.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:24 pm

JONOV wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Yes, that is correct. If you do a true FF program, which most can not do, it is very easy to get into trouble, very easy to destroy a dog, and very hard to get out of. The trained retrieve is the way every amateur or hunter should go. Leave Force Fetch to the Pro's. It is only really needed for competition dog's.

As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.

I guess it depends if you lump testing with competition but if one is running a dog through HZP or similar level testing, I don't think I'd opt for anything else.


Eh, my Spud dog went UT1 at 17 months using the same Trained Retrieve program I described. Lots of dogs do the same.

Nurture a dog's natural retrieve, teach Hold and Fetch, Overlay an ecollar for trained pressure and corrections and you can get anything you need out of a dog.

Watch some Hillman videos and see what he gets out of his dogs. He used to FF his dogs and now he does not.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:15 am

AverageGuy wrote:
JONOV wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:Yes, that is correct. If you do a true FF program, which most can not do, it is very easy to get into trouble, very easy to destroy a dog, and very hard to get out of. The trained retrieve is the way every amateur or hunter should go. Leave Force Fetch to the Pro's. It is only really needed for competition dog's.

As an aside, the dog I have now is force broken but in a way, I regret doing it because I really didn't have to. I put her through pressure that only a competitive dog should go through.

I guess it depends if you lump testing with competition but if one is running a dog through HZP or similar level testing, I don't think I'd opt for anything else.


Eh, my Spud dog went UT1 at 17 months using the same Trained Retrieve program I described. Lots of dogs do the same.

Nurture a dog's natural retrieve, teach Hold and Fetch, Overlay an ecollar for trained pressure and corrections and you can get anything you need out of a dog.

Watch some Hillman videos and see what he gets out of his dogs. He used to FF his dogs and now he does not.


I don't know for sure, but have to believe he DOES FF his older Open dog's. He would have to. He has always been known as a young dog trainer. His specialty has always been Derby dog's.
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Re: FF in 4 Days

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:36 pm

He says he no longer uses FF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyADULYs8oc

Dennis Voigt discussing Hillman's DVDs. http://www.billhillmann.net/reviewFetchComm.htm

I can bring to mind 3 women trainers who have put VGP and VC titles on their dogs with no FF. Not the same as trials but speaks to the comment you cannot even get through a Hunt Test without FF.
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