Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in the UK

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

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in the UK

Postby Giuseppe » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:02 pm

Hello everyone,

I have another question regarding pile work. My 2.5 yr GSP is continuing to progress with her retrieving work and seems to be doing well. As I mentioned in another post she was FF at a trainer for the initial portion of FF and I picked up basically from fetch to the ground moving forward (she was also collar conditioned by the trainer on this in addition to the toe hitch). I worked on walking fetch and fetch-no-fetch, and now we are at the FTP (mini-pile and 9 bumper pile).
At the moment the distance from the pile is pretty short (5-10 yr) and she does have a visual on the bumpers. She goes eagerly to it and once she picks up a bumper comes back promptly.
As I mentioned in another post we were having a bit of an issue with the command "back" so we switched to "get out" and that seems to have fixed the issue.
The issue I am having with her now is that, only sometimes (maybe 2 out of 10 times), she will skip over one of the bumpers and pick up the next. Not sure if this is a serious "shopping" issue or not. She is very quick at it, and she will not mull over the bumpers for more than 1 or 2 seconds. Once she picks one up in her mouth she turns and comes back, of course encouraged by my recall with whistle and (if needed) a low level nick on the e-collar. She has never picked up a bumper and dropped it for another bumper. Only a couple of times she has tried to pick up two bumpers in her mouth at the same time but she was recalled and corrected quickly. A few times I tried to organize the pile more in a ladder fashion and used a check cord to force her to not skip a bumper if she tried. The issue is that, being a newbie, it is really hard to coordinate myself with check cord, whistle, and e-collar remote (sometimes I wish I had 3 hands!).
She is overall a good dog with tremendous pray drive for birds, and, since very young, totally obsessed with retrieving, but she is also what I consider a very submissive dog in the house, and it is very easy to kill her spirit. She is what I would consider a soft dog, with a tendency to shut down and be apprehensive when too much pressure is placed on her. She has always been like that.

So my question to you is, how strict should one be regarding shopping while doing pile work? Especially with shopping the way I described it happens with my dog (just skipping a bumper every once in a while)? How important it is for a versatile breed to correct this?
My goal with her is to run her in NAVHDA UPT and UT (where in theory there is no blinds, unless you consider the track portion or the duck search a blind)? If things go really well during UT and we get a prize I (unlikely) we could think about the invitational, but that would be a dream and a good problem to have. We can certainly cross that bridge when we get there (if we ever get there).

I also have another question for the people across the ocean, if there is any on this forum, or anybody familiar with the retriever training method used in the UK/Europe. I am from Europe but, having lived now good part of my life here in the US, I was never exposed to retriever training as it is done there while growing up.
So the question is, how are blind retrieves taught to dogs in the UK? I know that there is virtually no e-collar use there and no FF. But I have seen blind retrieves done in videos of field trials and pick up work during driven shoots that have nothing to envy to the way retrievers do blinds here in the US. So how is it done there?

As always thank you for your collective wisdom everyone!
Giuseppe
Giuseppe
Pup
Pup
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:38 pm

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:58 am

Giuseppe wrote:Hello everyone,

She is overall a good dog with tremendous pray drive for birds, and, since very young, totally obsessed with retrieving, but she is also what I consider a very submissive dog in the house, and it is very easy to kill her spirit. She is what I would consider a soft dog, with a tendency to shut down and be apprehensive when too much pressure is placed on her. She has always been like that.

So my question to you is, how strict should one be regarding shopping while doing pile work? Especially with shopping the way I described it happens with my dog (just skipping a bumper every once in a while)? How important it is for a versatile breed to correct this?
My goal with her is to run her in NAVHDA UPT and UT (where in theory there is no blinds, unless you consider the track portion or the duck search a blind)? If things go really well during UT and we get a prize I (unlikely) we could think about the invitational, but that would be a dream and a good problem to have. We can certainly cross that bridge when we get there (if we ever get there).

As always thank you for your collective wisdom everyone!
Giuseppe


I would be very careful and let such a small issue as which bumper the dog chooses to pick up out of pile go without picking a fight with my dog over it. These are not Labradors and most will not thrive on the same rigor as a Lab can.

Keep your big picture in mind and do everything possible to make it fun for your dog. Your dog understands what it is being sent for and is eager to do it, it is quickly picking up a bumper and returning with it. Sounds good to me. Having someone video you and your dog would of course be excellent information for those whose advice you seek.

More and more I see the Retriever folks doing that in their training as well (keeping it fun for the dog). Putting too much pressure on a dog as you describe can trigger some very difficult setbacks that will slow down your training considerably at best and bring it to a halt at worst.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2875
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby reader4 » Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:32 pm

Agreed. This is pretty normal. I wouldn't have corrected my labs for this, especially at this stage. Keep it upbeat and build confidence. If you find yourself using the collar to correct more than once or twice, it likely means you are overreaching on his understanding. The dog cannot know which bumper you think it should pick up. Back up and simplify or accept the occasional pause as it becomes clearer to the dog. Correcting proper (if slow) mechanics may ultimately hurt confidence. Keep track of how often it happens and view success as a reduction in that %.

Maybe try building up the pile one-by-one until a pattern is established and habitual. I'd also reward the best, fastest retrieves. More pensive but ultimately successful work doesn't need correction -- just repetition and positivity to build confidence.

I haven't trained in the UK so I can't speak to their methods. However, I believe that what I described above is the essence of it -- slow addition of concepts and reinforcement through repetition and reward. The collar can help accelerate certain aspects of training but you have to be very careful not to overuse it. No need to combine the checkcord and collar -- using the checkcord to help encourage a quick return is a perfectly reasonable idea.
User avatar
reader4
Started
Started
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 11:02 am

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby crackerd » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:02 am

Given good advice for a second thread throughout, Guiseppe - especially at picking your battles in training and for training the dog in front of you and not a mythical black dog going at warp every second in a more rigorous training program.

As for how the Brits train blinds, they train "memories," which is their jargon for blind retrieves. And they don't train water blinds a'tall, unless they're like one or two outliers in the sceptered isle.

As for how they train blinds, well, the theatrical part of it anyhow, have you ever seen a Gilbert & Sullivan light opera... :mrgreen: Yeah, as illustrated: https://louisesdogblog.wordpress.com/20 ... retrieves/ But there's also some narrative and elementary flow charts there that might help answer your question of how.

Not better or worse than ours, just...different. And certainly not as precise or as, er, firebreathing - then again, I'm speaking as an amateur retriever field trial trainer but also as somebody who has taught and trained blinds to six or seven different breeds that aren't specifically retrievers (but are, some of them, HPRs).

MG
User avatar
crackerd
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:10 pm

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby reader4 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:40 am

I think it's also worth remembering context, which we've alluded to in this post... the "firebreathing" lab running hundreds of yards on a straight line blind in a test may not be what we *need* as a hunting companion. There is an emphasis on precision and control in our retriever trials that can make the e-collar an invaluable tool for training efficiency -- eg, to quickly correct minor infractions in lining at long distances. If that isn't your goal then don't hold yourself to that standard. For me, there are more times that I need a confident, independent dog that will recover an unmarked bird from thick cover than a dog that will run hundreds of yards and take numerous hand signals for direction. So I try to get toward training that is useful to me and don't spend too much time developing a level of precision that is excessive for me... all a personal choice.
User avatar
reader4
Started
Started
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed May 13, 2020 11:02 am

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby Densa44 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:55 pm

Keep it fun as has been said, I know nothing about the U.K. Here is how I teach blinds. I have never used a pile. I don't get why it is a good idea, it can cause shopping, sometimes caused because the dog likes certain dummies better than others. Your dog may be both soft and smart.
I put my dummies out in a line , stuck upright in the snow, she can see the first one from where I send her, and the second one from where she picks up the first all about 50 yards apart.
She is so hot that she wants to break before I send her, on the first couple of dummies, when she gets a little tired, she waits until I say back.
Each retrieve is different, she has to drive through the old "fall" and you can stretch her out pretty much as far as you want.
When she gets it change locations, keep it interesting and fun, I fumble the dummy every time she brings it back, the dog grabs it as soon as it hits the ground and hands it back. She loves it.
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
User avatar
Densa44
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Re: Shopping during pile work & how are blinds trained in th

Postby crackerd » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:39 am

Densa44 wrote:Keep it fun as has been said, I know nothing about the U.K. Here is how I teach blinds. I have never used a pile. I don't get why it is a good idea, it can cause shopping, sometimes caused because the dog likes certain dummies better than others. Your dog may be both soft and smart. ...


If the dog is either of the above, or both (soft and smart), pile work is just the ticket. "Why it is a good idea" - the pile - is because the words "force to" precede it and there's compulsion training for the dog to go on "Back" and get a nick (nick, not jolt) with the e-collar en route - so that between the command (Back!) and the pile the dog starts to associate the command with going as and when commanded ("Back!") whether it looks out and sees an objective or not.

And as FTP begins right after force fetch, liking certain dummies better than others ain't negotiable: When I start pile work - to segue into another recent problem here aired about a dog not going on "Back!" - the command sequence is "Fetch!" - "Back!" (nick) - "Fetch!", which translates to a known command meaning put something in your gob as soon as you can, in this case a bumper.

Puppy blinds often start - or have for me the last 25 years or so - at 14-16 weeks old. They're sight blinds, which gives the pup focus on where it needs to go, and maybe the pup's even walked out with me to plant that blind and one or two others. And yup, the "Back!" command - without pressure - can be used for them, swimmingly so, if you want a pup to travel a good distance at speed, then get back to you as fast as it went out so it can then be sent for another sight blind 150 yards in the other direction. This is all natural ability, through and through, and of course you've gotta have a pup that loves to retrieve as 99% of them, including V-dogs, do if you cultivate it from the start.

MG
User avatar
crackerd
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:10 pm


Return to Training

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

cron