Training back

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Training back

Postby rman » Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:10 pm

I've got a 5 year old pp I've finally got around to doing back training. Low stim to retrieve on back command. Works great down my long driveway and I'm just transitioning to short distances in the field, will expand distance the same as I have in the driveway. My question is how do you transition to back through cover/obstacles? I've worked with labs in the past amd they run so straight genetically it's a piece of cake. Im pretty confident she will run around any obstacle I put in front of her, and want to set myself up for success when I get to that point.
Thanks for any input
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Re: Training back

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:50 pm

I start with known blinds across the terrain. Work them enough to engrain a habit of taking straight lines through and over obstacles. And I accept what I get from the kind of dog I choose to hunt with.
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Re: Training back

Postby Willie T » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:35 am

Simplify: Ladder blinds in low cover on flat ground to extend range while shaping straight lines. Then pile work in low cover, progressively backing away from the pile.
Then introduce factors. Using an established pile location, start at the edge of the cover and send to the pile. While the dog is on the way out, back up a little ways into the cover. After the delivery, send and repeat. By doing it this way, you are establishing the line without a struggle, rather than leaving it up to the dog. Progressively back your way through the factor. Don’t try to bite off too much at a time. This will teach the dog to drive through the cove and take an honest line. Know that dogs have a tendency to drift with terrain and wind. Anticipate that and set up perpendicular to wind and terrain, setting the dog up for success. Don’t move on to attacking it on angles before the dog is ready. When attacking factors on angles, anticipate setbacks and be ready to simplify. One factor at a time, before linking them. Hope this helps.
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Re: Training back

Postby rman » Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:16 pm

Thanks for the detail in your advice. Ill put it to practice
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Re: Training back

Postby Densa44 » Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:22 pm

There is no doubt that the fellows who have responded know how to teach a dog back. The advice they have given will work just fine. I do something different, try it if you like. Not to knock retriever trails, I've run and judged lots of them. Their blinds are all in sight and the handler knows where the birds are.
My hunting experience is not like that at all, I have a vague idea of where the bird is. So here is what I do, I start like Willie, but rather than back up, I place sight blinds out at longer and longer distances, not in a straight line, I'm not trying to teach my PP to "line the blind." I want her to reach out a long way and hunt up the bird. You can figure out the rest. Oh BTW I scent my dummies with vanilla extract, I get it at the dollar store, it is safe and cheap. Try to help your dog at all times.
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Re: Training back

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:59 pm

Sight blinds then known blinds, just like a lab.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Training back

Postby Willie T » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:03 am

Densa44 wrote:There is no doubt that the fellows who have responded know how to teach a dog back. The advice they have given will work just fine. I do something different, try it if you like. Not to knock retriever trails, I've run and judged lots of them. Their blinds are all in sight and the handler knows where the birds are.
My hunting experience is not like that at all, I have a vague idea of where the bird is. So here is what I do, I start like Willie, but rather than back up, I place sight blinds out at longer and longer distances, not in a straight line, I'm not trying to teach my PP to "line the blind." I want her to reach out a long way and hunt up the bird. You can figure out the rest. Oh BTW I scent my dummies with vanilla extract, I get it at the dollar store, it is safe and cheap. Try to help your dog at all times.


Densa, I think we are closer in method than you may imagine. What you describe is the exact end goal. I may shape what I want and simplify various factors along the way more. The end goal is the dog doing exactly what you describe, in a clean efficient manner. I just stopped typing at teaching the dog to take a back through cover because that is what the original poster inquired about.
I also get the impression from your posts, there is a high probability I would enjoy hunting with your dogs...
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Re: Training back

Postby Densa44 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:00 pm

Willie, I'm sure that you are right. 30 years of training BLFs I'm hard wired with the retriever trials methods.
I have a new challenge that so far I can't solve. Training the owners (I'm not a pro this is for friends). To-night I had a retired University Prof, working on recall with a e-collar. The dog is a big going female PP, she isn't big but when you say back it is like hot coffee was spilled on her, she goes about 300M before she starts to slow down. I really like her but she is too much dog for my friend.
Anyway feel free to tell me what I'm doing wrong. The dog is sitting beside me, quite, I put my hand down and at B ack she goes at B, I let her stop on her own, she looks back I pat my side (I'm a silent commend guy) and give her a buzz, she comes back at pace! Easy right.
I give the buzzer to my friend, and he sets the dog up, he says, "sit, go, stay, stop, whoa, come and here" , the show closes with the Professor chasing the dog waving the controller and shouting come.
I may give up trying to train mensa guys.
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Re: Training back

Postby Willie T » Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:45 pm

I have seen that scenario before! That sir is why a pup with less natural ability in the right hands becomes a better dog than the right pup in the wrong hands. Assuming it was a close friend and I liked the dog:
The first step I would take would be to tell my friend his buzzer privilege is revoked. Then I would get on his level. Put each command and meaning in writing, along with the importance of anticipation and timing. Until he passed several quizzes with zero mistakes, he is not ready to advance to the buzzer. If it were one of my friends, there would also be some good natured chiding.
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