Steadiness

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by CutnGut, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. CutnGut

    CutnGut Refuge Member

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    hello,

    I am by no means expert dog trainer. I have a great one year old lab that has just been through her first duck season. She performed excellent and her drive is incredible. At 10 months she would retrieve a few cripples that were 200 yards away. My father and I would just look at each other and say wow.

    Anyways, i did not really work on steadying her in field other than workingvher on leash at times. If shes sitting next to blind untethered and bird falls, she's after it.

    In a controlled environment she will steady to dummies but with dummy launcher it is 50/50. Hand thrown dead ducks 75% steady. I'm sure the shot is exciting her. I realize that I should have probably taught steady to shot before taking her hunting, but I didn't. she will sit on command most every time and at distances with hand signal. I occasionally have her sit for 5 minutes at a time. Anyways would gladly appreciate any tips. When she breaks first time should that be the end of the session? Thank you
     
  2. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    What steps would you employ to reach that standard? Describe how you would go about it......listing the sequence
    and a rough estimate of how long that might take.

    Your retriever appears to have a lot of potential. She needs you to teach, re-enforce and practice many different skills.
    During that process, balance must be maintained. Many do not have a solid understanding how long this takes. Your young
    dog needs you to figure this out so as to reach her full potential. Right now the skill sets are weak and balance is poor.

    Her "wow" factor will "wear thin" after awhile if responsiveness, focus and control are not dealt with.

    This comment suggests that you are not really using a regular training sequence. Do you have any "retriever training clubs" around
    where you live?
     
  3. CutnGut

    CutnGut Refuge Member

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    Thank you for reply.
    I guess "SIT" needs to be rock solid.
    Starting from beginning I assume would be best until 100% compliance on hand thrown dummies and hand thrown dead birds? Possibly no more dummy launchers until full control at these basic drills? I would think 2 short sessions with these excersizes for a couple weeks and see how she is at that point before reintroducing gunfire?

    I'm not sure about retriever clubs. Unfortunately my work schedule has me at two weeks home/two weeks gone.
     
  4. Richard Bridges

    Richard Bridges New Member

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    I am invisioning a hard charger with your dog. At a minimum I would start simple with short hand thrown bumpers and pick up 9 to 10 of 10 of them. She would not get very many retrieves. I would wait minutes before sending on any. If her energy is still up, I would even increase that time frame. She already knows how to mark and hunt. I would do almost nothing on that part. When she is calm with hand thrown, increase distrations on hand thrown, then eventually with the sound and eventually the launcher and birds. But you are a long ways from that. Working every 2 weeks is fine. Probably better in your case. I would keep my mouth shut and when she breaks, be quiet and simplify where you are between her and the mark. (If you yell at her for for breaking or use the collar here, there is a strong likelihood of her getting the message mixed up.)Widen the angle as she gets better. She needs to know you are happier with her being steady than with her retrieving. You are not going to confuse her into thinking her retrieving is not what you want. Once you get into next season the adrenaline will take over. If you have taught her to go to a "place", cast her to it instead of sending her on a mark. Anything to reinforce in her that being calm and under control is now the most important. I wouldn't throw a happy bumper for her anymore. And I would end my sessions on her being staedy with the most praise then. In her case the happy bumper would undo your work and act as an apology for training.
     
  5. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    Well, the cool part about your dog is she is high drive. There are two choices to make. One approach is
    to use OB pressure and rules to confine her energy. The second is to teach her how to use that high energy
    and excitement as an important component of developing skills. The concept is called training in drive...
    ...when excited.


    https://www.kwicklabsii.com/-training-in-drive-.html

    Here is another link that might prove useful.

    https://www.kwicklabsii.com/retriever-training-analytics--link-.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  6. CutnGut

    CutnGut Refuge Member

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    I appreciate taking the time to give me advice fellas. I will employ these techniques. I now realize that I may have gotten ahead of myself during the first stages of training by hunting the dog before formal obedience was solid. Anyhow some great memories were made nonetheless and I do feel like I owe it to her to train her to her fullest potential. Thanks again
     
  7. stephen brown

    stephen brown Senior Refuge Member

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    I'm going to have to put some thought into 'training in drive'. I read the link and have many concerns with the calm dog training is detrimental to hunting and/or testing. I read and thought, 'Oh well, you have to do something with a dog that (1) needs to be woken or (2) lacks the genetics.' Maybe I'm reading this all wrong and this is methodology of getting a dog to run on the edge of control or feigning flashiness. So many concerns and misunderstandings
     
  8. twall

    twall Senior Refuge Member

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    I think a line/lead is going to be your best friend. This can range from a short tab on the collar you can hold on to up to a 20-30 foot line.

    From your description it sounds like you need to set a 100% steady standard. I would do that by holding the lead and realasing the dog when you send her. If you are consistant it should not take long to develop good habits. If your dog isn't steady sitting next to you cannot expect her to be steady away from you.

    Have fun with your dog,

    Tom
     
  9. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    You have brought up a very good point. Not all pups come with the same level of drive. Determining what level is present is part of being
    a teaching trainer. If the pup is high drive to begin with it won't take much to "get him excited" and you will not need to "push the envelope"
    as much as with a "laid back" pup. It is a combination of genetics. The key is to "strike a balance" with the pup at hand. They are not all
    the same and this is often what gets the inexperienced trainer in a quandary. It depends on the pup.

    The trainer must find the balance between genetic potential (high or low drive). Each will require a different mind set when training.
    Retrieving is exciting. "Easy, laid back" vs. "on the edge" will require different approaches to training in drive. More for one less for the
    other.....balance. Pups are not all the same. If a young dog has not been taught to deal with excitement in the proper way it is most
    likely going to be out of balance.

    I would much prefer a pup with some drive because it is much easier to pull on a rope vs. pushing it. Get the pup as excited as
    possible ("off the wall") and then channel what he gives you by making it fun and rewarding for him.

    note: The calm dog will often surprise you when genetics and excitement surface......at the wrong time. If you can't get any
    young pup really excited.......you aren't trying hard enough. :h
     

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