Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

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

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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:18 am

It has been said twice in this thread that Hillman uses FF which is incorrect to the extent that "FF" means using pain in the Teaching phase of Hold and Fetch training.

Hillman uses zero physical pain in teaching phase of training of Fetch and Hold.

In all forms of his training the ecollar is never introduced until after the command is completely trained first using PR. Then the ecollar is overlaid using low levels of Nick stimulation. No toe or ear or jowl pinch is ever used in his DVDs that I have watched or own. The foundation of Hillman's training program is getting the puppy rev'd up about chasing a bumper and using that as a reward. If you watched the clip in the link I posted above Hillman makes that clear.

Yet another thing I like about the Perfection Kennel DVDs is Jon shows many different dogs including those presenting more and different challenges/problems than some others. In his Perfect Retrieve DVD Jon is teaching using a FF pattern but is using low level ecollar rather than an ear pinch during the teaching Fetch phase. Hold is trained in the normal manner using PR and no adverse other than the dog is restrained via a collar so it cannot attempt to move away. Jon does use the ecollar during the teaching phase of Fetch in a similar manner as Graham uses an ear pinch.

Watching Hillman's DVDs I do not see him addressing how you would train a puppy which does not have enough bumper drive to do what he is doing with the puppies in the DVD.

Most Vdog puppies can easily be brought along using their natural retrieve drive to succeed with Hillmans approach, but I doubt they all can. I also doubt all dogs can be trained the same way using anyone's program. A trainer unwilling to adapt to what the dog is telling them is not nearly as good as one who does.

Spud has a softer temperament than all of my prior GWPs. Although I had the normal success using traditional ear pinch FF on prior dogs I had since studied the success of other people and methods which to varying degrees are different. Got me thinking I would try something different with Spud.

I borrowed from the Perfect Retrieve DVD but did not follow it precisely.

Having properly developed his natural retrieve and bird drive from a puppy, after his first season, I trained formalized Hold and Fetch on a training table using pure PR methods. (Very similar to what can be seen in Jim Gourley Setterdogs' link I posted earlier in this thread.)

I used a combination of clicker, marker word praise and some treats. He would run down the table to get the object in his mouth, could not get there fast enough, loved it. Key difference to traditional FF being it included Fetch (not just Hold) in the PR teaching phase and no pain of any kind was involved up to this point.

Then we were ready for ecollar overlaying using the approach Jon teaches with in his DVD program. Following that I went back to the normal Retriever training methods for some FTP work, baseball, walking baseball, marking, ... When Spud drops a bumper he is diving to get it back into his mouth, if he does it twice in a session I will be stimulating him at a low level until he gets his mouth on it to remind him ... I have a dog which I can communicate with and correct in the same manner using an ecollar as all FF programs use while training in the field. This is likely to be the same approach I will use with next puppy. If we have problems we will adapt and use something different.

His obedience around retrieving (and many other subjects) has been independently evaluated by 7 different Judges in a couple of different Hunt Test environments as being at the top of those standards. This vs having to take my word on it, although I also put my videos out there warts and all so that knowledgeable Folks like those here can give me more meaningful feedback. (On a different note I don't know why everyone soliciting help does not do the same. Really kind of dumb trying to give training advice to solve problems in dogs we have not even seen ... )
Last edited by AverageGuy on Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby orhunter » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:29 am

Willie: What if the dog spits out the bird/object in the middle of the fetch? It's because it didn't, hold. It was told fetch. To complete the fetch it must, hold, but we use a single command, fetch. I agree, if the dog is stationary, hold may be appropriate but you're saying fetch won't work. Fetch, does't not require motion, it's only a person's perception that it does. Does the dog know the difference? Me thinks not, it's a dog.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:42 am

AG,
You're throwing me a lot of great information I appreciate that.

Bodo and I hunted public controlled release birds over the weekend. I went with a guy that has a lab, I deciced we should hunt over his lab first and keep Bodo in the car. We hunted strips of tall prairie grass and put up two birds in the first hour. Then we switched out dogs. Bodo hit the ground running. He was all throttle no brakes lol. He hit two solid points (you know that full sprint to dead stop kind of point) and we got our last two birds in about 30 minutes maybe less. He found both birds the second one went down a little ways from us and I couldnt see him and didnt hear him moving so I used the locate tone, as I wasn't sure if he was searching, or what was going on. As I came through the grass he was just standing there with holding the rooster. I'm guessing he would have come had I called him originally. But as soon as he saw me he trotted right on over. We were both proud I think. Overall it was a good day. Side note I did enjoy watching the lab work and she did a good job. Two different styles both worked. I'm not trying to cast judgement.

The only problem came when we were walking out. There was another hunter in the field, He put a bird up and shot it. Bodo saw it all happen...He took off, I recall whistled and he kept going. I had to hit him with stim, which I normally don't need to. I gave him praise when he came back. More experience(for me) and more training(for the dog) will be ahead of us. He's starting to figure stuff out.

I plan to dive into FF in January. But I have started some light work with fetch and hold while we relax and watch TV. I just command him to sit and extend a toy that he likes towards him while saying Fetch, he readily opens up and takes it. Then we work on Hold with a steady high chin no rolling or mouthing. Then Out as I take it back. I really just started doing it after I started this post to see how he would catch on. I feel like I'm teaching sharing to a todler lol.

Moving on to Steadiness after that. So far he's been steady on point up to flush. I plan to train to Steady to Release. I imagine that is going to take a large amount of time and lots of training birds.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby crackerd » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:49 am

orhunter wrote:Willie: What if the dog spits out the bird/object in the middle of the fetch? It's because it didn't, hold. It was told fetch. To complete the fetch it must, hold, but we use a single command, fetch. I agree, if the dog is stationary, hold may be appropriate but you're saying fetch won't work. Fetch, does't not require motion, it's only a person's perception that it does. Does the dog know the difference? Me thinks not, it's a dog.


Bet their bottom molars a force-fetched dog "knows" the difference, Harv - Fetch as a command requires motion even if it's just the jaws propelled by the neck to grab a dowel or dummy. Hold is a command that has a softer "application" and repetitions will have you on the brink of force-fetching.

Methinks this thread is coming back on us like the boomerang explaining or espousing FF always turns out to be. I've said many (many) times that no gundog "needs" to be force fetched. For most of us, though, the benefits from FF that AG and you seem to pooh-pooh give us a better interaction and team tractability with a working gundog over the course of the dog's 12-15 year lifespan. Not to mention making them better canine citizens in sharing a home with you, the handler, over that time. No brutality needed, just a few timely ear-pinches and the praise that goes with the successful "imparting."

MG

PS Digging that the young man's (OP's) PP has such an appropriate name: B :D d :D
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:14 am

PS Digging that the young man's (OP's) PP has such an appropriate name: B :D d :D


In researching versatile dog breeds and diving deep into the History I thought Bodo would be a really cool name. Mr. Winterhelt seemed like a really interesting person. And it's almost like his name is a password. When said in the right company I get a head nod and smile of approval. Most everyone else just says...awe that's cute follwed with "so was the mom or the dad the poodle? :crazyeyes: "
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby Willie T » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:22 am

crackerd wrote:
orhunter wrote:Willie: What if the dog spits out the bird/object in the middle of the fetch? It's because it didn't, hold. It was told fetch. To complete the fetch it must, hold, but we use a single command, fetch. I agree, if the dog is stationary, hold may be appropriate but you're saying fetch won't work. Fetch, does't not require motion, it's only a person's perception that it does. Does the dog know the difference? Me thinks not, it's a dog.


Bet their bottom molars a force-fetched dog "knows" the difference, Harv - Fetch as a command requires motion even if it's just the jaws propelled by the neck to grab a dowel or dummy. Hold is a command that has a softer "application" and repetitions will have you on the brink of force-fetching.

Methinks this thread is coming back on us like the boomerang explaining or espousing FF always turns out to be. I've said many (many) times that no gundog "needs" to be force fetched. For most of us, though, the benefits from FF that AG and you seem to pooh-pooh give us a better interaction and team tractability with a working gundog over the course of the dog's 12-15 year lifespan. Not to mention making them better canine citizens in sharing a home with you, the handler, over that time. No brutality needed, just a few timely ear-pinches and the praise that goes with the successful "imparting."

MG

PS Digging that the young man's (OP's) PP has such an appropriate name: B :D d :D


crackerd wrote:
orhunter wrote:Willie: What if the dog spits out the bird/object in the middle of the fetch? It's because it didn't, hold. It was told fetch. To complete the fetch it must, hold, but we use a single command, fetch. I agree, if the dog is stationary, hold may be appropriate but you're saying fetch won't work. Fetch, does't not require motion, it's only a person's perception that it does. Does the dog know the difference? Me thinks not, it's a dog.


Bet their bottom molars a force-fetched dog "knows" the difference, Harv - Fetch as a command requires motion even if it's just the jaws propelled by the neck to grab a dowel or dummy. Hold is a command that has a softer "application" and repetitions will have you on the brink of force-fetching.

Methinks this thread is coming back on us like the boomerang explaining or espousing FF always turns out to be. I've said many (many) times that no gundog "needs" to be force fetched. For most of us, though, the benefits from FF that AG and you seem to pooh-pooh give us a better interaction and team tractability with a working gundog over the course of the dog's 12-15 year lifespan. Not to mention making them better canine citizens in sharing a home with you, the handler, over that time. No brutality needed, just a few timely ear-pinches and the praise that goes with the successful "imparting."

MG

PS Digging that the young man's (OP's) PP has such an appropriate name: B :D d :D


Orhunter, I’m not taking the bait. In most dog training less is more and that applies here as well. As cracker detailed, a good handler will have concise enough communication with a force fetched dog to address spitting a bird with no confusion. The vilification of FF by those who don’t do it or understand its purpose is a longstanding discussion among the retriever crowd. I’m getting back on topic with the OP here.

OP-ditto on what crackered said regarding your dogs name.
Willie
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby orhunter » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:39 am

MG: I see your point..... I think. When I first start working with a pup, day one, I use fetch just as a word association thing tied to an activity. That activity being the natural desire to fetch. I also use fetch when the pup is next to me and I want nothing more than it to take an object from my hand. This will include some force if the pup hesitates. I use both activities at the same time so there's no confusion as to what's expected. It's going to be a couple of weeks or longer till the pup associates the command with the activity. Why would I introduce a second command before the pup has learned the first? Why would I introduce a second command if I get what I want without it?
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:28 am

MG,

I advise you to get my "Following the Herd" crack out of your craw before you choke on it. I will go back and edit it out if it will help you move on and give a fair reading and response to my posts here and into the future because you sure are not capable of that here.

No balanced reading of this thread would point to me as the guilty party for an unwillingness to discuss this subject in a fair and balanced manner.

Let's review a little:

I have acknowledged using traditional FF successfully with prior dogs I have raised, trained, tested and hunted til they died.

I have also posted links to numerous highly successful Pro and Amateur trainers using a spectrum of slightly modified to heavily modified methods of Trained Retrieve and yet you continue to single me out as some form of a stand alone lightning rod on the subject.

I have an opinion formed by using BOTH Traditional FF and a modified version of it.

Willie T, GH, Myself have all emphasized we use a different approach than is found in the pure Retriever camps.

Why is my level of modification so threatening to you that you continue to zero in on me and my dog as problematic or inferior for discussing it in this thread is what I am no longer willing to side step in this thread?

Hillman has been grossly mischaracterized in this thread. Perfect Retrieve has been pooh poo'd by persons who admit to not having even seen it.

Now my relationship with my dog in the field and in the house is inferred as somehow inferior because I first taught him what Fetch was without using Force and after that overlaid ecollar pressure on the already fully trained chain of behavior, which he then easily understood how to turn off.

What a BS charge to make is my reply to that.

Spud and I have a better relationship than any of the dogs I FF'd using an ear pinch actually but that had nothing to do with it. Rather he is the first dog I have raised since I retired and thus we have spent more time in all situations than any of my prior dogs. Having raised this dog I am confident I would have risked more Harm than Benefit had I trained exactly as I did prior dogs, so I did not.

Got to say it MG,

Seems incredibly arrogant to be told that cannot possibly be true by someone who has never even laid hands on my dog.

Let's review further:

GH sent me a great compliment once after viewing one of my videos. Told me I had done a great job with my dog. I remember it and appreciate it still.

At the end of the day when we learned Spud had earned a UT1 at 17 months, the NAVHDA Judges complimented us saying I had done a great job with my young dog, we had excellent rapport and Spud was very nice and talented dog.

When we traveled to Texas to hunt bobwhites at one year of age, the Pro Trainer who guided us around on the Ranch had nothing but praise to say about him. That dog man happened to have a dog of his breeding and training winning at Ames at the very time we were hunting. His dog ended up Runner-up. So a guy who has a pretty high bar for performance.

Hunted the same Ranch the following year with a different Pro Trainer who has 3 times won the National Champion Cover Dog with his Setters and he also had nothing but praise for ole Spud.

We hooked up with a couple of Locals on our first time hunting Chukars this past October. After watching Spud on his first drop they both made unsolicited comments they had nothing on their truck that was as good as he was.

The NAHRA Judges who judged him this past summer were very complimentary.

There are numerous folks who's otherwise lost deer he has recovered that sure sing his praises.

A lifetime hunter and dog man in Minot ND who has FT wins with Setters in his background, hunted with Spud on Sharptails and Waterfowl at 7 months of age says he is a "Dandy". Wants to breed to him.

Another guy who learned of Spud by watching him at NAVHDA training days came to my house last month seeking to breed his Bitch to him.

Spud is better than some of my prior dogs in some areas and not as good in some others. That is how these things usually go in my experience. But he is far above average for overall training and performance on the whole in the field at a lot of different subjects and settings.

Me having to take so much insulting crap when trying to give FTBs, (and likely others), some different thoughts and methods to consider, (developed and used by folks with a whole lot of credentials and success that has zero to do with me) is past getting old.

FTBs,

I have given you numerous links to information I encourage you to explore. Best of Luck with your Pup.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:39 pm

ForTheBirds84 wrote:AG,
You're throwing me a lot of great information I appreciate that.

Bodo and I hunted public controlled release birds over the weekend. I went with a guy that has a lab, I deciced we should hunt over his lab first and keep Bodo in the car. We hunted strips of tall prairie grass and put up two birds in the first hour. Then we switched out dogs. Bodo hit the ground running. He was all throttle no brakes lol. He hit two solid points (you know that full sprint to dead stop kind of point) and we got our last two birds in about 30 minutes maybe less. He found both birds the second one went down a little ways from us and I couldnt see him and didnt hear him moving so I used the locate tone, as I wasn't sure if he was searching, or what was going on. As I came through the grass he was just standing there with holding the rooster. I'm guessing he would have come had I called him originally. But as soon as he saw me he trotted right on over. We were both proud I think. Overall it was a good day. Side note I did enjoy watching the lab work and she did a good job. Two different styles both worked. I'm not trying to cast judgement.

The only problem came when we were walking out. There was another hunter in the field, He put a bird up and shot it. Bodo saw it all happen...He took off, I recall whistled and he kept going. I had to hit him with stim, which I normally don't need to. I gave him praise when he came back. More experience(for me) and more training(for the dog) will be ahead of us. He's starting to figure stuff out.

I plan to dive into FF in January. But I have started some light work with fetch and hold while we relax and watch TV. I just command him to sit and extend a toy that he likes towards him while saying Fetch, he readily opens up and takes it. Then we work on Hold with a steady high chin no rolling or mouthing. Then Out as I take it back. I really just started doing it after I started this post to see how he would catch on. I feel like I'm teaching sharing to a todler lol.

Moving on to Steadiness after that. So far he's been steady on point up to flush. I plan to train to Steady to Release. I imagine that is going to take a large amount of time and lots of training birds.


I really appreciate the feedback that you are finding value in it. These internet debates get exhausting at times otherwise.

You and Bodo are on a really nice trajectory. I like that you first gave Bodo an already known and trained command before you stimulated him when he broke on that shot bird. Doing otherwise is a risk I will not take with a young dog. I want all the genetic style and drive intact for all the work and years ahead.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm

You and Bodo are on a really nice trajectory. I like that you first gave Bodo an already known and trained command before you stimulated him when he broke on that shot bird. Doing otherwise is a risk I will not take with a young dog. I want all the genetic style and drive intact for all the work and years ahead.


Thanks, and I try to see the internet information like reading fishing waters in Illinois...a whole lot of useless stink. But good stuff can be found by those who know what to look for.

Also, I would say my biggest fear in this training is using too heavy of a hand. I can see it in dogs that I have been around, even in obedience classes. They just seem to function more out of fear than joy. They look hesitant...almost delayed to respond. From your posts I think you know what I mean, and once again I thank you for th resources you have shared.
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Re: Force Fetch, Conditioned Retrieve, ect...

Postby orhunter » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:32 am

I attended a clinic put on by Clyde and Marilyn Vetter several years ago and folks brought dogs for demonstration purposes. One demo dog was having a tough time with FF and Clyde tried what he could to get the dog to open its mouth to receive the training object. Dog refused with the most pressure Clyde could exert. I ran into the dog owner about a year later and asked if the dog ever became a decent fetcher. When the owner said yes, I asked, what did you do? She said, I treated him gentle. The only thing I actually knew about the dog was its crappy pedigree, nothing beyond that. The owner was an experienced dog person.
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