FF During Season????

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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Willie T » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:00 pm

Kiger, I will talk about why I don't like to FF during season. Different handlers go about FF differently but in the end, at least in my eyes, what they are all trying to accomplish in the initial process is to proof and tweak the commands and response associated with the retrieve. Depending on the long term goals for the dog, they are also establishing the building blocks that will be used to teach handling. Most of the versatile dogs that are FF'd are given a watered down version by their handler/trainer, that is more than adequate for their plans for their dogs.
I don't like putting pressure on any dog. With that in mind, every dog I have FF'd has first been prepared by teaching it all the commands to be proofed and solid obedience to the point of having a very functional retrieve PRIOR to any FF work. When we undertake FF a lot of the confusion and battles that are often associated with FF are short stopped by first establishing clear communication between handler and dog. With all training, consistency is one of the keys to the dog quickly learning what is expected.
During FF, whether the trainer uses the e-collar, ear pinch, toe hitch or any other means of correction, it is all putting pressure on the dog. I don't teach with correction but I do utilize it to reinforce and proof the proper response to a known command. When the process is complete, the dog will remember it for the rest of its life. Regardless of whether it is in the yard or the field. In my opinion it is not fair to the dog to allow it to operate under two distinct sets of rules as in hunting and undergoing FF simultaneously. It loses the consistency you are attempting to build and greatly increases the opportunity for confusion to creep into your training, ultimately resulting in more pressure required to proof your trained retrieve.

With consistency, the most important thing a dog learns during the force fetch process is that by giving effort to comply with a known command, it makes corrections go away. If the trainer is consistent and fair, handling the dog after FF becomes markedly easier and very seldom are corrections required, as the dog strives to beat them with effort, and usually does.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby JONOV » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:32 pm

Kiger2 wrote:Thank you both. Pretty typical responses and why its conventional wisdom not to do it.

But, what if the dog is hardmouthed or developing hardmouth? I think that question needs to be addressed. Are you going to hunt him all season??
define Hardmouth...
Flattening a bird? Mutilating game so as to make it unfit for the table? Mouthing and chomping a bit? Cripplednbirds too, I assume?

Hardmouth gets tossed around tonddscribe everything from Venial Sins to Misdemeanors to Capitol Felonies.

Anyhow, FF (personally) took enough time, effort, concentration and everything else that I wouldn’t hassle with it during the season. But I’m on my first hunting dog too. The procsss was effin miserable and the last thing I’d want is to have that in the back of my mind while I’m trying to simultaneously kill ducks and reinforce OB type manners during the excitement of real hunts.

I really do think that before the first season with my next dog (again, assumes a lot with regards to age and everything else) I’m going to teach a real solid hold and mate it with all the other OB commands in front of hunting season and FF afterwards.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:18 am

The only guys that have trouble with FF are the ones that skip steps or apply pressure that is misunderstood. Nobody talks about the jowl pinch and really, that IS the key in FF. It is the key transition between hold and ear pinch. If the jowl pinch is correctly done, the dog flies through the ear pinch in a very short time. Probably a week or so.

I will NEVER take a dog to the field during FF IF I expect it to retrieve birds. If the dog is in FF and retrieves a bird in the field, you no means of MAKING him deliver that bird and by putting pressure on the dog in the field, it can sour his whole attitude of the field. The field is where the dog recreationa and life is so I'm always very careful to never sour him on the field.

Now, if you have pointing dog's and are FFing them, fine. You simply hunt them and keep them steady to WSF so there is no chance for the dog to ever refuse a bird. No problem and the dog is developing at the same time. Which is more important FF or the field? Hunting in the field wins every time. The development and enhancement of a dog's confidence and exposure far over rides him delivering a bird to hand. That's why pro's don't FF in the field. There is probably no topic on this board as misunderstood as FF.

FF is a shortcut that gives the additional benefit of leaving an added tool in your chest to correct a future problem should it arise. It's one thing when you start a four month pup with PR; it's another when you begin with a ten month old or year or more old dog. Not so easy and not so cooperative. I'll also say there is NO dog as miserable, stubborn, and tough to train as a German dog if they decide not to cooperate.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby ANick » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:00 pm

I'm guessing we've all seen the dog that goes out well, picks up the bumper or bird and comes back okay.. but the closer to the handler it gets, the slower it goes, the head and tail keep lowering until the 'pup' is stopped in front of the handler, looking like its reporting in for a beating. I get the idea that I would not want to watch the training session videos.

I hesitate to call it a 'natural retrieve', but the resident 'pup' has always had a good ethos about it, exuberant would be an appropriate qualifier. A huge dose of that is in the genes and was encouraged with youthful play retrieves. Watching, I don't know if you could tell which was faster, her run out or the run back, little legs churning as fast as they could go and still, even as a young pup, showing a flowing elegance that just warmed the heart to see. I found myself reluctant to risk that.

But, even though her return was fast and straight, not uncommonly finishing in a slide to a stop, sitting in front of me... she'd drop it. This was well before 'hold'. She was doing so well except for that drop. I wish I could say it was a stroke of inspiration, but there was a lot of serendipity involved. I'd run across some YouTube stuff on FF, and one little section, 10 seconds worth or so, mentioned the transition to walking with the dummy and keeping the head up. To paraphrase, 'when the dog drops something, it lowers the head and kind of pushes out with the lower jaw to release. Keep the head up!'. About the same time, I spotted another YouTube in the list, "Teach your dog to shake hands in 5 minutes". I watched that too.

Aside from feeling a bit the village idiot, and I will confess that I had never taught a dog to shake hands.. ever. I'd like to say it was because I just didn't have a need or desire for a parlor trick. I tried like hell. Failed. Anyway, watched the video, groaned. "Ya gotta be #$(!! bleeping me!", I think I actually said that aloud. Grabbed the pup and gave it a spin. They lied. Took all of 3 minutes. *mutter, mutter, mutter*

Watch what happens when a dog sitting in front of you shakes hands/paw? Yeah. The paw crosses under the jaw and they hold their head up to clear..

Fresh off of learning Shake, we headed outside. Sent her for the bumper, she came tearing back in full mode but as she slid in.. I stuck my right hand out and said, "Shake!"... up came the paw. Bumper sitting there as pretty as you please. Gave her a scritch on the chest, a Good Girl and then with the left hand on the bumper, "Out". Lots of fuss and some treats. ("Out", btw was learned much, much earlier, in lieu of fighting over who got to keep the socks..)

That all said, she wasn't 'finished'. We did go back for Hold and more recognizable FF work but more for a transition from 'fun' to 'job'.

I don't think I'd recommend this as a "new method", if accidents and serendipity can be called a method. It worked for me with this pup, for values of 'worked'. Sure do wish I had videos of her first season, first bird retrieves though. :)
Last edited by ANick on Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:04 pm

Another good post GH. I ride the early development of natural retrieve we do through the first hunting season and then polish things up with a form of FF when it closes and before the second season. The approach has never failed so far, nor has it ever been too difficult. Working with the right genetics has played a big role in that I expect.

ANick, kudos for thinking out of the box. I experiment a bit myself and have found benefit in it.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:29 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Another good post GH. I ride the early development of natural retrieve we do through the first hunting season and then polish things up with a form of FF when it closes and before the second season. The approach has never failed so far, nor has it ever been too difficult. Working with the right genetics has played a big role in that I expect.

ANick, kudos for thinking out of the box. I experiment a bit myself and have found benefit in it.


I cringe on these boards when guys say they're adopting a half boxes half poodle and how do they train it. Can they train it? Yes. But as you say AG, genetics are everything. A dog isn't bred for performance and ability only, but for intelligence and tractability as well. Tractability is so important; unless you enjoy coming home from work and beating a dog daily. Training a dog is supposed to be fun and rewarding. Iv'e watched you with yours and I can see it is for you. Take the mutts and poison all of them with a dose of lead; I want nothing to do with any of them. I've served my time in hell.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby flitecontrol » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Regarding mutts, growing up, we had a couple of German Shepherds that we had to get rid of because the both bit people (not entirely the dogs fault in both instances). The airedale and (Shepherd?) mix was the best of all of them. Loyal, cooperative and only aggressive towards other dogs when warranted. Dogs are individuals, just like humans, and have a wide variety of personalities.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:16 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:The only guys that have trouble with FF are the ones that skip steps or apply pressure that is misunderstood. Nobody talks about the jowl pinch and really, that IS the key in FF. It is the key transition between hold and ear pinch. If the jowl pinch is correctly done, the dog flies through the ear pinch in a very short time. Probably a week or so.

Nice to learn there's a key that nobody talks about. Do you mind enlightening us about what a jowl pinch is and how it's the key?


GONEHUNTIN' wrote: I'll also say there is NO dog as miserable, stubborn, and tough to train as a German dog if they decide not to cooperate.

I won't disagree. I've never heard that the Germans teach FF like us - anybody know how they do it?


I know this is boringly redundant, but I will say once again that even during the hunting season you can teach your dog to fetch, hold, and drop a dummy in your garage with a little kibble and not interfere with the dog's hunting. I agree with Kiger in that, as dogs are so place oriented, if they're dropping birds in the field it doesn't mean they will not perform the hold in the basement. These taught actions become commands and are enforced similar to all other obedience commands. I don't believe it's an age related thing - it's a trainer related thing.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:06 pm

Bruce Schwartz wrote:
GONEHUNTIN' wrote:The only guys that have trouble with FF are the ones that skip steps or apply pressure that is misunderstood. Nobody talks about the jowl pinch and really, that IS the key in FF. It is the key transition between hold and ear pinch. If the jowl pinch is correctly done, the dog flies through the ear pinch in a very short time. Probably a week or so.

Nice to learn there's a key that nobody talks about. Do you mind enlightening us about what a jowl pinch is and how it's the key?


GONEHUNTIN' wrote: I'll also say there is NO dog as miserable, stubborn, and tough to train as a German dog if they decide not to cooperate.

I won't disagree. I've never heard that the Germans teach FF like us - anybody know how they do it?


I know this is boringly redundant, but I will say once again that even during the hunting season you can teach your dog to fetch, hold, and drop a dummy in your garage with a little kibble and not interfere with the dog's hunting. I agree with Kiger in that, as dogs are so place oriented, if they're dropping birds in the field it doesn't mean they will not perform the hold in the basement. These taught actions become commands and are enforced similar to all other obedience commands. I don't believe it's an age related thing - it's a trainer related thing.


Pretty sure I did a long post on here explaining it to someone. Not going to waste my time again.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:10 pm

Ok, here is is copied from another page. It is a step that has been ignored and forgotten today in the rush to train a dog. Try it, you'll like it.


JOWLS; THE FORGOTTEN STEP.

Force fetch is so misunderstood on nearly every board that is not a retriever specialty board. People try to short cut it, change it, use too much pressure, use too little pressure. There is a step between HOLD and the EAR PINCH. That forgotten and omitted step is the JOWL PINCH.

Why is the JOWL PINCH so important and how is it done? The JOWL PINCE is the step between HOLD and the EAR PINCH that teaches in a very, very, mild way for the dog to accept pressure and open his mouth. When going from HOLD to the EAR PINCH directly, the dog has no idea WHY his ear is being pinched and what his response should be. They will lock their jaws, won't open them, and wonder why the hell you're hurting them.

The JOWL FETCH is performed after HOLD has been taught. Perform it in the same place, dog at your side or on the table next to you. The trainer places his hand on the dog's muzzle, wrapping over the muzzle. Then the two upper jowls are pinched GENTLY against the canines, the command FETCH given and just enough pressure applied to get the dog to open his mouth. When he does, pull up on the jowl' so they are not pinched between the teeth and the dowel, stick the dowel in and command HOLD. Keep doing this until when you simply touch the dog's muzzle and command FETCH, he pops his mouth open and reaches for the training buck. If he drops the buck, which he shouldn't after HOLD has been instilled, pick up the buck, command FETCH, pinch the jowl, and place the buck back in the student's mouth.

That's it. Once the pup is popping his jowl's open and reaching forward, he's ready for the ear pinch and in a very short time, many times only a day, will take the buck when the command FETCH is given and the ear pinched. I have forced some dog's entirely with the jowl and never gone to the ear, but I don't recommend that. I'm an ear pincher.

Hopefully those reading this can immediately see why it works so well and why the step should not be skipped. It eliminates many of the problems associated with force fetch. In this day of short cuts to dog training, this is one EXTRA step that can actually turn into a short cut.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby crackerd » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:25 am

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:
AverageGuy wrote:Another good post GH. I ride the early development of natural retrieve we do through the first hunting season and then polish things up with a form of FF when it closes and before the second season. The approach has never failed so far, nor has it ever been too difficult. Working with the right genetics has played a big role in that I expect.

ANick, kudos for thinking out of the box. I experiment a bit myself and have found benefit in it.


I cringe on these boards when guys say they're adopting a half boxes half poodle and how do they train it. Can they train it? Yes. But as you say AG, genetics are everything. A dog isn't bred for performance and ability only, but for intelligence and tractability as well. Tractability is so important; unless you enjoy coming home from work and beating a dog daily. Training a dog is supposed to be fun and rewarding. Iv'e watched you with yours and I can see it is for you. Take the mutts and poison all of them with a dose of lead; I want nothing to do with any of them. I've served my time in hell.


GH, I was revisiting retriever training intel (Lardy, Kappes, Rorem, et al) yesterday in anticipation of a FT pup, when lo and behold, came across a copy of your "autobiography" from a few years back, "Edgar Sawtelle." :lol: Well, it could've been you, if the book had any references to Skunky Mike McCarthy and Terrible Ted Thompson, whom the Packers have finally "undogged" themselves of, albeit five years too late. May still surprise Da Bears today, though.

MG
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:17 am

Alas, it has been a terrible and dissapointing year. Coach can't coach, QB has lost timing and accuracy, receivers can't catch, tackling a bust. Better to spend my time in the woods. I keep warm burning my Packer clothing.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby ANick » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:44 pm

"How do the Germans do it?", was a question asked at a breed club meeting a couple of years ago. No e-collars there. We had a short intro on Hold training that year, which we repeated the following year, given by one of our Breed Judges.

You'll note that the buck gets changed out for a smaller one as we go along. For good reason. The pup is 5 months old, no prior Hold work, and the first time the pup and Jen worked together. Watch toward / after the 8 minute mark. Teaching the concept, manners and a wagging tail.

(And yes, I have posted this a few times.. let me know if this is enough. :) )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... hPdkWDq3Y0
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:05 pm

Good example of a beginning jowl pinch.
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Re: FF During Season????

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:05 pm

Thanks ANick. With a little cheese and in only eight minutes, the dog in the video is now reaching for the dummy. Would someone please tell Evan Graham that the power of PR is profound?
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