Retrieving issues

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Re: Retrieving issues

Postby Joanne Hagan » Wed 04 Jan 2012 8:22 am

Hi Jason, I don't have a lot of experience with retrieving trials but I do have a young dog who was doing similar to your dog and was reluctant to deliver to hand and would rather turn it into a game. If I put a long line on him as Dianne suggested, he shutdown. One thing I have had success with is that I changed the picture of him coming back to me - I took a fold up chair out with me, heeled him forward a way from it and would leave him there whilst I threw the dummy, walk back and send him. Once he was committed to returning to me and was about 3/4 of the way back, I turned and ran for that chair and sat down to face him, legs apart, to encourage him to come in as close to possible to me. My dog has a high chase/prey drive thus the movement of me running backwards encouraged him to chase me and I am only just beating him to the chair, so then he was right there as I turned around. In the early stages of this game, I didn't demand a hold, or sit in front etc, I just wanted the return. As we progressed, which was quickly, I was then getting a hold and delivery to hand and eventually a sit in front (cued), which is what I want. I also used some treats (and tons of praise!) during this process although the game is more motivating for this dog than food. This work was done on an oval, keeping it simple. Progression is to turn the chair around and you then lean against the back of the chair, with knees bent and still apart (so you are not yet standing upright), to encourage that return in front. Eventually you move to fully standing up again. After despairing about my young dog and hand delivery, he did a beautiful 70 metre mark, retrieve and sit in front hand delivery for me this morning :) I also kept reps of the above short and training sessions short, but all of the above was done over only a few weeks.

The above method is taken from several positive obedience trainers both from Australia and the UK and is based on how they introduce retrieving work for obedience as well as fronts for recalls and other obedience work.
Joanne Hagan
FOURJAYS GSPs - for showing, for trialling, for loving!
Canberra, Australia
Joanne Hagan
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue 20 Jan 2004 9:47 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: Retrieving issues

Postby Philippa Both » Sun 19 Aug 2012 1:35 pm

Hi Jason, it is now 8 months since you posted your issues on the forum. I am a newbie to the sport experiencing some of the issues you had - I would love to know how your journey panned out - and how you and your dog are getting on now. Philippa.
Philippa Both
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat 18 Aug 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Barossa Valley SA

Re: Retrieving issues

Postby Jason Kite » Thu 20 Sep 2012 11:24 pm


I took some advice from here and stayed with sit stay drills, starting with a 10m line the adding a 15m line to ensure I had control. This worked very well BUT as soon as he was off lead he knew I didn't have control. Its was ok in confined spaces but once out in the dog park even with nobody around he would break etc. So back to the drawing boards. More research etc and I went down the path of an e I'm sure this will bring howls from some but an e collar potentially saved his life so as far as I'm concerned they are alright. However I should say by the time I had gone down this path he was already one year old and, atleast on lead, commands were not a problem.

The thing with an e collar is that its too easy to dial it up and when your cranky cause they are not doing what they want...well its a slippery path to ruining a dog. But if used properly they work. The great thing was he really responded to the vibrate but as I was able to do this from distance to him it was just like he was on the leash. Now its part of our training and hunting. We still do training with collar both on and off and I would say the off collar view has improved BUT in terms of command he is better with it on. Once the collar goes on my little boy goes from being a goof and a a bit of a scatter brain to an attentive field dog knowing he has a job to do but still maintaining that friendly FCR manner which the breed is known for. Course it may also have something to do with the fact that when we are out in the field he gets to pick up rabbits etc so whilst he does not like the collar being put on, by the time we are about 20m from the car, the tails up and his sniffing about so in once sense collar = fun.

We are still working on elements of his training, with his biggest hurdle probably being me, ie I'm learning about the breed and what makes them tick. He is completely gun trained and loves water retrieves...or should I say loves water. At present he still drops the dummy before me but he is now starting on occassion to present them. He will however honour a retrieve if he is with another dog. Have also done some tracking training with him and he is coming along ok in that regard.

So all I can say is stick with the fundementals and get to know your dog and remember dogs just like humans matutre at different rates. Things will come along if your persistent. Oh, and just in case your wondering why I said and e-collar probably saved his life, this was the turn of events. We were out deer hunting and we were stalking up the top of this steep hill and my mate shot a pig, I went over to say something to him and he says "look out Monty is on to one", I turned around and the litte bugger has used his great nose to flush out a pig not 10m from me and now is in hot pursuit and was gaining on it fast. He probably thought it was a game as it was the first time he had seen a pig as he has been trained to stay away from stock. However the pig may have had other ideas so I yelled at him to come,no response, then hit the vibrate button, still no response (by this time he was well over 100m away, going down a hill a full speed) so I gave him a low power zap and that broke his attenion from the pig. I called come and he came running back bouncing like a fool cause he had a great run. This is not the type of hunting he was bought for, he is to retrieve small game and track only so I was very fearful of injury of my little pup.
Jason Kite
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed 04 May 2011 9:17 pm


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