Response to AkRay on calling a dog
"So far the only thing I have realized I have messed up is "reliable recall" on HERE. I did not do enough treat training outside the house in the winter to get her to finish to me. She prefers to come around behind me about 10 feet and then slowly come up on heel where she will drop the dummy and wait for the next full on charge to the next mark."
First off, I teach "come" and "heel". Come means get to me and stop at me wherever and however. Heel means come to my side and remain there forever. Later, when I am working on retrieving, I teach them to just come to my side without a specific "heel" command. As they progress, often they choose to come to my side all the time and sit. When they get older they figure out that "come" means check in and wait for further instructions.
Your situation is easy to fix. Pretty straight forward. Go to a place where there is an inside corner of a fence like a large playground, or outfield corner of a ball field. Walk her away from the corner anywhere you want, tell her sit, and walk back to the corner. Turn around and put your butt right against the corner post, then command her to come. Not many choices on where she can go. Remember to use a long lead as necessary in case something else crops up you still have control. When she gets that, try moving forward a few feet. If she ducks behind you, correct her, and the next few times call her with your butt against the fence again.
Another idea. Does she know heel? If so, utilize that when she comes in. It may help her finish. If she does not know that command, then you will have to use a lead to position her. For "heel" your body will need to be in a position that she can get by your side.
Next idea? In the past I have used people behind me to force her to me. Those people have a means to scare the dog and force it back to me. That might mean a stick, a whiffle ball bat, a rolled up newspaper or whatever, even their foot. The goal is that they make it entirely uncomfortable to be back there. During the time she is there, you stand your ground and correct with "NO" and command her to "come". Once she does, add lots of praise. Be careful. The person or people behind you need to be far enough back that they do not add too much pressure just by their presence and inhibit a speedy return later. I usually tell those helpers to not talk to the dog at all.
I should not have to say this but I will. Anybody stupid enough to think I am telling you to abuse your dog is an idiot. Anybody thinking I am advocating that you beat your dog is a fool.
There are several ideas to mull over. In light that you did not talk about electronics, and having that experience, these old tactics have proven themselves over and over again.
Thanks for all the tips!
When I work alone (most of the time) she will come back around me and get into a sloppy HEEL. She HEELs well with a prong collar when we are doing OB on a lead. Off lead HEEL is over in about 20 seconds. It is all about controlling her. We are working with a heeling stick on lead with the prong collar, but not when we go to do marks. She gets kind of mad at me and starts goofing off too fast if the OB work is too serious before marks. I do the serious OB after her 5 to 6 marks.
I think I will use the fence trick first and then see how that goes. I want her to stop at me rather than 10 feet behind me.
Having people behind me is usually a failure in that she loves to meet people (part of the problem in a dog class). I think the only thing she would be scared of are the white plastic shopping bags. They freak her out pretty well and are easy to have people use to keep her off them. This might be a really good way to proof the fence work.
This pup runs out as fast as she can on a mark (the judges remarked on that today) and then comes in at the same blazing speed. Putting a wall behind me will get her thinking about stopping before she gets to me.
One of the things the reliable recall outline I found on-line stated that for an older dog that has set their own standard for HERE I will need to start using different command such as FRONT to get her to stop in front of me. If the fence trick gets her to come up to me in front I might keep using HERE with her and re set her standard. If she balks too much then we will change to FRONT and work on that with the fence.
The HT at the club picnic was a real bust today. She has worked just with ducks and they had a bunch of pigeons. I did not realize that my dog was a snob. She would not even lick the pigeon let alone pick it up. She looked pretty hard for the real thing and could not believe I wanted her to touch that dead smelly thing. Lucky for her Force Fetch is starting up with hold right now. She hates the paint roller and the lack of control, but in the end I will have a dog that will bring me back anything she is sent for.
Want more tips?
It is hard for me to tell just how much training vs. testing you are doing. If you have read anything from me previously you know that I talk about 3 stages of working with dogs; "TEACH", "TRAIN", and "TEST". Teaching is breaking down and simplifying a concept. You make it very easy. Training is building on the concept and enforcing what the command is. Testing is just what it sounds like. A command is given without correction or enforcement to see if the dog will obey. Done very, very rarely.
I won't get into it in any more depth unless you or somebody else wants me to. For now, let's talk about making your pup successful.
I build concepts in stages. For instance, we teach a pup to come using 2 people and a hall way. Then we keep expanding that until we are outside at a distance of, let's say, 50 yards, maybe more, maybe less. Snow bermed driveways work great. During this time period I will also teach sit. I continue to work on the length of time the pup holds the position. Then I start to move away, and then move close again. When the pup is pretty solid on sit, I put it on leash, go to the end of the hall where we started, command sit, and walk to the other end of the hall holding the lead. Then I give a small tug and give the come command. See? I still am teaching and training. No need to test. Trainers need to build concepts without testing. Do not set the dog up for failure.
I might run her on a 10' lead all the time during training on "come". Even if you use the fence corner as a barrier, you have the leash if you need it. If you step forward 10' and tell here to come, and she heads to the corner you can step on the lead as she goes by and say "NO". Then command come again. By stepping on the lead she realizes she can't run by you.
The lead trick won't work if the dog can skirt you. She has to be restricted as to how far away from you she can go. The corner works. Other ideas are: Do you have a gap between a house and garage? What about in the living room to hall way? What about between the bleachers and backstop at the ball field? Got the idea? Make it where she can't run around you. Keep her close, hem her in.
So you built in a stopping point with the corner, and you also built in a way to correct and enforce. Still, you have the people problem, right? Where are you going to work on that? NO. Not at the hunt test, picnic trial, or training session. Remember what we did with the pup when we first got rid of the extra handler for "come"? Yep, we went back to square one. We went back to a familiar spot. You need to go back to the fence corner, or similar, and set up the same training session, but this time add in the person. The "DISTRACTION". Never add a distraction into a new scenario where you don't have control. Go back to the old place where you built good habits. Understand?
That way she gets the same type of corrections and enforcement in the same area she has already been successful. What other distractions can you put behind you? Dog food? The family cat? Pigeons in a crate?
One more thing. How long are you going to work in the corner? Or with that idea? How about 2x day, every day, for a month? Maybe more, maybe less. Breaking habits is harder than doing it right the first time. Plan on taking your time, and making it solid. If you move to fast, and you test, and she fails, she also learns where she can fail. That my friend is bad Karma. Never teach a dog that it is ok to fail by repeating the failures, i.e. pigeons at hunt tests before she learns to pick them up.
If you can, post the link to that site you commented on. My first instinct is, "who is training who"? The dog gets to choose when and how it responds to a command? Since when? Hmmm. I am dubious, but shall endeavor to keep an open mind. I think I smell a rat, or at least a stinky dog.
[rather than re write the whole post the reality of my situation can be found near the end if you want to skip to the "Hmmm..." part. This whole first part is about retrieving a dummy using HERE not the actual learning of HERE as a command using treats as a puppy.]
Originally Posted by Ak River Rat
I would have to write a small novel to explain what my comment ment about "setting her own standard for HERE". Simply put: I screwed up her puppy "teaching" upon moving HERE outside. It was already screwed up in the hallway, but I didn't realize it and the behavior was enforced outside. She is "trained" to run past me on recall. It all ties in to a back/hip/leg issue I had going on when we were in the hallway in the winter. I just could not get down on the ground often enough and she was "taught" to run past me there.
Even with a check cord on there was way too much freedom outside and the run past was "trained" into her. I tried to stop her when on the cord and running past me, but a dog going full speed and hitting the end of a cord is not a pretty site with their neck popping and four feet flying up in the air. So I chose to just slow her down. And now she is trained to stop about 6 to 8 feet behind me after coming down from hyperspace after a retrieve.
(Since 99.99% of my hunting is out of a boat and since no dog can swim fast enough to over shoot a boat I never considered the ramifications of this until the club classess showed me it was a huge issue.)
Using your words I can paraphrase the reliable recall outline statement. When a dog has been "taught" and then "trained" to do the wrong thing on recall (run past me) with the word HERE, then it is best to use another command to train the correct recall response and never use the old command again.
I was thinking that since she is only 9 months old I could retrain her to HERE using the fence. But looking at it and realizing that I taught her and then trained her to run past me on HERE I might want to abandon that command and teach her FRONT using the hallway and then fence system.
I am kind of on the fence about correcting HERE or teaching FRONT. She is a smart dog and the fence tip has already made her slow down in front of me. It would be resetting the standard she learned. So maybe it won't be too hard. I will have to set up everything with a back stop for a long time and see.
Hmmm....I just read back through this again and found in my memory some fine points that need to be mentioned. So much for not writing a novel.
I taught her HERE using treats and she would run up and sit down in front of me. Just about perfect from day one - a little jumping and biting early on but that all worked out over the winter. Reduced treats to 50/50 and still perfect. Started walking HEEL on treats at the cost of some of my finger tips. In the club class started SIT/STAY with a HEEL finish on lead with treats.
At 9 months if I have a treat she is right in front on HERE. SIT is fast if she knows a treat is possible. SIT/STAY HEEL finish next to me is getting better but she is tempted to jump to see if there is a treat in my hand. I did learn that treats while in the club class messed her up and she became harder to handle. This never occurred at home until the acting up in club classes started.
All the running past me is with dummies and retrieving work. So there is another variable. Treats result in good to perfect responses to the commands during OB work. Flip the switch to retrieving a dummy (I never used treats when bringing dummies into the hallway puppy work) and something completely different has been learned.
I am thinking hard about the puppy days in the hallway. She always wanted to eat the dummy. The running past was to get to a spot where she felt safe to eat the dummy. I now remember that I did try treating her on the return with the dummy and it didn't work. She would not bring the dummy back if she smelled a treat on me - she would run back and sit for the treat. So no treats during retrieves in the hallway. Which lead to the run past with a dummy being taught and trained.
As a puppy she was so food focused that it was easy to "teach" her commands. But the food focus was too much when I was working in the hallway to develop her drive. Food sucked the drive away from the retrieve too much so I didn't use it. Now she is much less food focused, but still likes a treat so maybe there is still something to "teach" using positive reinforcment.
Do you think HERE with sporadic treats at the fence as well as retrieving dummies with sporadic treats at the fence that this might polish things up?
Now that it is summer there are no more club classes so we will be focusing on polishing the OB and starting HOLD to work into FF on our own.
I am still weighing out options for you. First off, by closing comment was due to my perception that information you talked about was from another site. If the thoughts were yours, take no offense. As we all know, it is pretty hard to see a smile or raised eyebrow on the internet.
I think she knows the right thing, or at least what you want without the bumper. I think she can figure it all out with the bumper. I am not against changing the commands, just am not seeing the point.
Utilizing some of the ideas presented, and moving along slowly, you can get her to return to heel fairly easily I think. If you use the fence, she can't get behind you, and hence no need for snacks. I'd try to keep it that way for now.
You can move forward away from the barrier one step at a time. Be ready to correct her if she tries heading behind you and get ready to step back. I think the trailing lead will work. She can't be going that fast when you are that close to the fence or else she would hit it. I doubt you'll hurt her at all. Then when you move further away yet, you still have control.