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Thread: "Watch"

  1. #1
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    Default "Watch"

    In 30 years of training no one ever told me to train "watch" as a command in a positive way. Oh we did force it with the collar but that method never worked with my dogs. In fact it backfired with the dogs looking away, a natural reaction to make something stop.

    Just for grins I've been training "watch" for treats with Lucy, something you can do in the dark of winter in the kitchen. Just like any lab she's a water cheater if she has the chance. Yesterday as she was coming back from a 30 yd water mark she drifted towards shore. I said " hay, Watch!" bang her eyes were on me. a "Doh" moment! Their body follows their head. On the third and last sort of proofing of my apparent discovery she really took a right to the shoreline. "Watch" she straightened out again. One more "watch" and she came out of the water at my feet. I think reenforcing "watch" enough that the dog always looks at you in any occasion because there is something good happening, not because they'll get burned, is a much happier way to instill that response.
    Still learning after all these years.
    http://www.alaskadognews.com

  2. #2

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    You do need to be careful about nicking dogs to mark there birds properly. It actually can make them more squirely at the line. Until they learn they may watch there birds worse for a while.
    In the trial world you want to be able to show the dog each gun station. If the dog isn't paying attention as to which gun I am lining them up to then it warrants a correction. A break in the "heel and here" mechanics. Mostly they find and lock on to the flyer station. (They always find the flyer) Then you have to get there focus back to look out and remember the long guns that inevitably will be retired.
    As far as a watch command I teach that during yard drills. So that when I blow a sit whistle they look directly at me. When they are young and early into training when I blow a sit whistle when they turn and stop I will throw out a bumper for them to retrieve. It becomes a neat game for them. They look because they expect a bumper throw. Later more formal casting comes into play.
    ALSO
    When they are wee pups you can use tid bits of hot dog in your mouth. Say watch and spit out the hunkadog at the pup. After several lessons when you say watch they will expect hotdogs to come shooting out of your mouth.

  3. #3
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    Default Tricks and Treats.

    thanks Baron but I think I'll pass on spitting hot dogs but I'm finding adding silly parlor games is paying off in other ways. Years ago at one trial I was sitting with a guy who had is small female, about Lucy's size doing a figure 8 between his legs, giving high 5s, and low 5s, spinning and twirling etc. They had such a tight bond I think because they had another language beween them. I see the same thing with a young 17yr old agility trainer and her Lab. The dog is always looking to her for the next move, not because he has to but because its fun and he trusts her and he's rewarded.

    I know why trainers rely on the force, pressure methods because its faster but too many dogs can't take it and we end up with lines of dogs that are so high we're forced to use pressure and punishment. And it's unlikely that anyone will win an FC any time soon with all positive training. Since I have no timetable or Derby to complete anything I get from Molly is a bonus. I gave up on her 2 years ago.

    I had to get over the old field training mentality and she had to get over whatever someone did to her. We started doing tricks with the dogs and she started to show some interest in retrieving. She is training me to train her. I'm going to video it and let you see how far she has come. She's almost stopped shuttering when you say the F-word. (fetch)
    www.alaskadognews.com

  4. #4

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    Baron....in all the years I have been training, I have never heard that one! I like it!!!
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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