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Thread: Force to Pile and Reinforcing Commands

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Default Force to Pile and Reinforcing Commands

    In my limited training expierence, I want to ask how many people actually use these methods and the Pro's and Con's. My older dog granted only 16 months old is a high drive dog and these methods just dont make much sense to me as he has no trouble doing the work. I primarily use the e-collar for corrections for things the dog knows and chooses to be disobedient about. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    1st let me tell you where I'm coming from. I'm a retriever field trialer, a good one. I have been an amateur training retrievers for almost 20 years. I pretty much follow the Lardy system of collar conditioning, force fetch, force to a pile, double T, water force and swim by. That plus the baseball drills and obedience pretty much makes up my basics program. I use these basics to then go into transition and after that onto advanced retriever training. It takes me a little over a year from puppy obedience to what you could call an advanced retriever (roughly MH level although I'm mostly a trialer not a hunt tester).

    It depends on where you want to go with your dog whether or not you want to go through a force program. I don't feel you can pick and choose a lot in this system although you can work obedience and never continue on from there. But you can't force to a pile without doing force fetch first. You can't water force until force to a pile is done. It's a sequential training program.

    Now, where do you want to go with your dog? What are your goals? How much time do you want to spend doing this? How good of a retriever do you want?

    Done right you get a wonderful team player of a retriever willingly giving you what he has. It does not make him the next NFC but should turn most retrievers into a Master Hunter level dog. Done poorly it gives you one f'd up dog. It depends on the dog and the trainer.

    This is a little later edit. I see that you're from Wasilla. Baron Rea from Wetland Retrievers meets with a group for weekend training in the Palmer Wasilla area roughly noon to ~4pm on Saturdays and I think most Sundays. I'm usually there on Saturdays helping so the Alaska Working Retriever Club can say we're doing something, but it's Baron's class. Give him a call and come on out. Your dog will at least get a few marks. If you're happy with where your dog is now, then why even ask the question if anyone does it or not. If you want an FC AFC I'd say the modern force system is the only way to get there. I believe you can make a master hunter level dog without a force system but it would take longer and I think be harder on the dog. So the question comes back, what are your goals for the dog?

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Let me first say that I started this thread to see how others were training, not only for my benefit but for others who may have similiar questions. Howard, I have been running my dog in Hunt Tests and he has done very well, I will continue to do so and have thought about running Field Trials, time will tell. Up to this point I have only watched videos on the basics and read a few books, as I need to get serious about training the dog to handle, I bought some more advanced training videos and after watching them and seeing the e-collar used in a manner other than for correction. It raised a question is this how the majority of people are training.
    This is a little later edit. I see that you're from Wasilla. Baron Rea from Wetland Retrievers meets with a group for weekend training in the Palmer Wasilla area roughly noon to ~4pm on Saturdays and I think most Sundays. I'm usually there on Saturdays helping so the Alaska Working Retriever Club can say we're doing something, but it's Baron's class. Give him a call and come on out.
    I know Baron, and have worked with him some. Being's training dogs is his livelyhood I dont like to bother him to much. As for the weekend training sessions I went to one some time ago although I didnt run my dog it was good to see the other dogs work. Will have to give him a call and try to make it out to some more of them.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    Jesse the need for what I believe you know of "forcing" depends on your dog. IMHO its nonsense and can do more harm than good. I was trained by top pros of the late 70's early 80's, later Lardy & Dobbs seminars, trained with a Lardy devotee Canadian National winning pro, last being with Gonia for 2 years with a bunch of others in between and I finally got sick of the force, hitting, burning to a pile, coming to think there should be a better way.
    People are in a hurry to get the dog to a level and want to take the fastest route to the end. Roll with the desire of the dog, assessing his natural drive and working with it. I know diehard field trialers of a different decade believe in it for every dog. Watch them train and the attitude of their dog before you jump on the force bandwagon. You can tell if they are “good” trainers or not by their actions. Is that what you want to do to your dog? Remember, your dog wants that bird or bumper more than anything. If he doesn’t, traditional force will only create an unhappy dog with no style or joy and same for you. They are really horrible to watch. Winning is fun but the path to winning has ruined a lot of dogs that would have been good retrievers.

    What your goal is, is conditioning a response. As I learned with the our rescued lab, who had been forced to hell and back, positive training with reward in conjunction with chaining events, repeating or backing up when the dog is confused is more enticing for the dog and more fun for the human. Usually, a dog refuses to retrieve because he is confused, something else is drawing his interest or he got badly timed hard correction. The collar has made making bad corrections easy, now the dog has to be “forced” to go where he thinks he will get hurt again. The handler needs to step back and explain the retrieve to the dog a little better. My rescued dogs have taught me a lot about “Force” and it’s failings.
    http://www.alaskadognews.com

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    Member 3CBRS's Avatar
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    Just my opinion, but do believe force-fetching done right has a lot more pros than cons & most retrievers can benefit by learning "hold" & "fetch". As Howard said, it does depend on what you want out of the dog, what your goals are, and if done you can't skip steps. Each step builds on what the dog has learned in previous steps. Force-fetch has carryover to obedience & manners, gives you another "tool" for the training/hunting bag, delivery is cleaned up & the dog's not dropping birds 10 times coming back to you, etc. And if you opt to continue, provides some foundation for teaching the dog to handle.

    Some tactics & the tools have changed since the 70s, 80s and even 90s. E-collars have changed a lot and I didn't have dogs when they first came out, but have heard they really did "nail" the dog. See a lot more training today using the teach-first-and-teach-some-more approach and attrition today, than burning them at every misstep. Dogs aren't always confused though -- sometimes they flat blow you off, decide they're running the show, and either don't want to or don't have to go where they're sent. You've gotta learn to really read the dog & respond appropriately for the individual dog, but also not use that e-colllar as a nagging tool. Timing corrections is important, but so is learning how to correct, not nag or be abusive to the dog. Lots to learn & guess what, I feel dumber today than when first starting out!


    Karen

  6. #6

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    Lets talk first about wording misconception.
    Choke chain for example in and of itself sounds like a horrible tool. But used inproperly it certainly can be....used correctly and it is an invaluable tool. Just this week alone while walking a clients dog through Pet Zoo. I was approached by a store patron and was told by that individual that I was cruel and that I was going to damage this dogs throat. I quickly told them "Yes, I certainly could, if I use it wrong."
    Force Fetch is not widely understood. The mechanics of how and why are even more baffling. The term Force Fetch is not a good choice of words to explain what is simply "A trained retrieve." Yes, a lot of retrievers have a lot of desire and will retrieve what would seem endlessly. Ok...now put on your thinking caps... Retrievers need to run marks independently, that is without assistance from the handler. Which most average retrievers are able to do successfully to Junior hunt test standards. In order to advance beyond Junior level you need a dog that can be a team player with the handler and accept directions such as that needed to run blinds. Those skill sets start during the "force program".
    The retrieve command now becomes a reinforceable command just like the command of sit. We take it beyond the impulse of retrieving to retrieving because the handler said to do so. Teaching the dog to be a team player and not a self employed individual. As you take a retriever through the force program and start the yard drills needed to teach lining and handling... these drills become very repetitive. You would not be able to do this with a dog not properly FF'd. Yes, at first it may retrieve on impulse, but as the dog gets bored of the drill you won't have the "tool" available to keep the dog focused on the task and keeping it a team player. The un FF'd dog will simply shutdown on you or quit all together. We take the dogs given desire and then mold it to work for us. Through fair and balanced training we are able to produce dogs with style and confidence.
    Jesse... I had your number around here somewhere but can't find it. You can bug me any time that's what I'm here for. I'll pm some info.

  7. #7

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    Here is a very good discussion about this subject on another forum.
    http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ad.php?t=63709

  8. #8

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    Ooops....sorry that thread didnt head in the direction I thought it would. It steered in the wrong direction.That discussion brings about what most people believe FF is. It was interesting and entertaining to read about the variances in training style. I think it also highlights my previously mentioned idea that most folks don't understand the entire mechanics that entail a proper force program.
    If someone is looking for material on FF I would recommend Evan Grahams "Smart Fetch" ,"Dobbs training program" and also Lardy's basics program. Or you can call me and I"ll help you through it step by step. Many have done so with me in the past.

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Ooops....sorry that thread didnt head in the direction I thought it would. It steered in the wrong direction
    Quite the contrary, Baron it headed in the right direction, as I was curious about the way others were training and there are many valid comments along with some very good reasons for them. Maybe even a few things for some folks to think about. So thanks to all that replied
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    The link that Baron, put up is definitely worth a look if anyone else has similar questions, as I did. http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...ad.php?t=63709
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

  11. #11

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    It has had some further points made.
    It does present different idealogy of FF. There are many methods to get to the same end. Some take longer.. while other methods may work better for individual dogs. Retrievers or any hunting breed for that fact are not from the same cookie cutter. The lesson is the same.... but it may take a different method or introduction than it did to teach another.

    I have my own method that has produced good results. Each dog that I put through my program I learn just that much more. Again each dog is different .. trainers need to learn what is working and what isn't. And not resorting to pressure or elevated theatrics to teach.
    I am not looking to start a debate on this forum like what occured over on that one. As far as FF. What I have seen.. is most folks get through the hold command, but fetch has not been reinforced nearly enough. Mainly new trainers aren't familiar or comfortable with applying pressure. It takes good handling mechanics around the dogs head and mouth as well as a sense of timing.
    Please choose the method you are comfortable with.

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    Wow, There is so much for a person starting out to learn it is hard to know where to start.

    Robert

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windvane View Post
    Wow, There is so much for a person starting out to learn it is hard to know where to start.

    Robert
    Basic obidence is the foundation you have to start with. Every training event is started with OB, and you keep the OB going in the home as well.

    After that there is a natural progression of things to work on as the dog matures.

    The "know your dog" statements found in many training manuals I have learned to actually mean "obtain knowlege about dog behavior through exposure to many different dogs over years of experience."

    If you are on your first dog you will need help from someone that has walked that path. The training manuals can only provide the basic steps.

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    Member thelast2's Avatar
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    The "know your dog" statements found in many training manuals I have learned to actually mean "obtain knowlege about dog behavior through exposure to many different dogs over years of experience."
    Very well said AK Ray, The manuals and the videos only give you a starting point and if it werent for all the input of other people who have trained dogs I would still be scratching my head about alot of the different aspects of training.
    Jesse
    HR SHR JR's Gunny Dog "Ermey"
    SR JR's Marsh Mangling Mindy
    SR JR's LNR Thicket Thrashing Trixie

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