• Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Drunk
  • Geeky
  • Grumpy
  • Happy
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Sad
  • Secret
  • Shy
  • Tired
  • Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
    Results 1 to 10 of 13
    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,192
      Thanked: 1802

      Adventures in Field Work

      I found a new field trainer as my previous one went 100% upland. I didn't see him enough to get to SH, especially since he lives in Montana half the year, so I was just going to drop it and focus on obedience and get back into agility. So, we've been out of the field game since our last JH run I think in September. I decided to give it one more shot at finding a trainer and reached out to some really cool judges I volunteered with over the summer for suggestions. Long story short, I found someone who is willing to work with us. Maybe I mentioned it before? Anyway, I explained my situation and stuff and while she was skeptical that what I was doing could be done, she was open.

      First lesson was the T-drill which I have not done before but he was able to do, at least the backs (we did not do overs). I spit food at him and the trainer just about died laughing -- she is not an obedience person. She's also all over us about our really clean bumpers and didn't think he'd retrieve them since we never really trained them. This weekend we went back for our second lesson and he nailed doubles, which we have never done before and we did it in a field he's never been in before with cow poop, no leash or long-line. The dog has a reliable mark, stay, fetch, recall and hold, so there's no reason why he couldn't do it. She just could not believe it and said, "You trained all of that by spitting food at your dog?" Ha! Anyway, she said she was seriously impressed and has never seen anything like it in all her years as a trainer. She was especially impressed that he had so much calmness and control, yet so much enthusiasm when going out for and returning with the bumper.

      So, now she is all excited that he could get at least a couple SH legs this year and is pushing me to push him and while I appreciate her confidence in us, I'm just not interested in pushing him and skipping all the steps that create a solid foundation. I've learned, through trial and error, that weak foundations show up as holes in your training when you compete or test and when you get that far, it's hard to undo it all. I don't see a big difference in getting his SH when he is three, four or five. So, maybe next year. I hope we can continue on the same path despite our differences. I really like her and think we can learn a lot from each other.

    2. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      ZEKESMAN (04-27-2017)

    3. #2
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2015
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,816
      Thanked: 689
      Wow!!! Good for you! Holy smoke. What kind of "food" makes the best spit balls? Are they M&M's? Gummies? That is both cool and hysterical at the same time. I swear... honest to Pete, if you pull this off you and Linus are going to have to hit the speaking circuit.

      Will you guys be at Rose City this year? I hope I don't have to go there (not that I dislike the event. I just hate driving through that end of Portland.) We didn't have one of the early CA HT's due to mud and inaccessible roads. Then last weekend I chickened out and didn't go to Lassen because the weather was so threatening over the mountain passes.

      I signed Rocket Dog up for both Seniors at our double header over the objections of my pro (never a good idea.) But if the wheels come off on the first one and she starts to cycle up (which is what my pro believes will happen), I'll scratch her for the Saturday Senior. That would mean I still have to get 2 more Senior finishes to title. I'd do Glide and that would leave Rose City. Ugh! The drive! I had fun once I got there though.

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,192
      Thanked: 1802
      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Wow!!! Good for you! Holy smoke. What kind of "food" makes the best spit balls? Are they M&M's? Gummies? That is both cool and hysterical at the same time. I swear... honest to Pete, if you pull this off you and Linus are going to have to hit the speaking circuit.

      Will you guys be at Rose City this year? I hope I don't have to go there (not that I dislike the event. I just hate driving through that end of Portland.) We didn't have one of the early CA HT's due to mud and inaccessible roads. Then last weekend I chickened out and didn't go to Lassen because the weather was so threatening over the mountain passes.

      I signed Rocket Dog up for both Seniors at our double header over the objections of my pro (never a good idea.) But if the wheels come off on the first one and she starts to cycle up (which is what my pro believes will happen), I'll scratch her for the Saturday Senior. That would mean I still have to get 2 more Senior finishes to title. I'd do Glide and that would leave Rose City. Ugh! The drive! I had fun once I got there though.
      I personally like to spit string cheese and my favorite brand is at Costco, in the big bag. I saw someone do it 20 years ago and decided I'd never do that! Well, then I tried it for fronts and it worked quite well and it's all gone downhill since then. Now I do it when my hands are full, holding bite sized hunks of cheese in my cheek like a chipmunk.

      Ha! There are trainers who do this, believe it or not, and they have seminars. And they have trained many more dogs to do this than I have, that's for sure. I'm going to one in Northern California in July...at least I hope I am. I sent my check in today but they'll choose working spots for variety, not first come first served. I know of several people who train like I do getting ready for SH and much further along than we are and one woman who has two MH legs on her just turned five conformation bred yellow bitch without a performance title in her pedigree (bred for therapy and conformation). This woman getting a MH on her girl is fascinating -- all self-taught (not a cross-over trainer; started out +R) and this is the first dog she's done field work with, first dog she's trained for anything besides pet manners stuff and only the second dog she's owned in her life. She started training the dog in field work when she was one because the dog started liking to retrieve sticks when she was nine months old. She is in my online class and I am loving watching them. Such a great story.

      I'll be at Rose City. Not running though. I always volunteer one day as my annual member volunteering gig.
      Last edited by Labradorks; 04-10-2017 at 09:27 PM.

    5. #4
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2015
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,816
      Thanked: 689
      I'm having a hard time visualizing how this works when you're asking the dog to drive to the far pile. Maybe the MH lab you mentioned has a solution for it.

      Conventionally... this starts for field dogs as the culmination of the FF. 25 yards from the pile... FETCH (nick.) Then 50 and so on until the dog is driving 100 yards to the pile and returning with the bumper. (I get it that the concept is different... the dog isn't digging out to avoid the adverse stimulus.)

      When that's going well, the dog gets stopped part way to the pile with the whistle (which could be 50 yards or so from the handler) and (eventually) handled BACK or OVER.

      So... how do you launch a piece of string cheese out to where you're beginning to do remote work?

      I know these are probably very naive questions... but I know you can understand the image I'm getting in my head. (Blow-guns??? Sling shots???)

    6. #5
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2015
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,816
      Thanked: 689
      As an aside... I can see how, once you have an eager dog who loves retrieving (especially birds) who is doing multiples, running simple blinds, stopping on a whistle and handling... (which is where the Senior stake takes you) then it's just a matter of exposing the dog to more complex set-ups. If you have a solid Senior dog, I see no reason you can't make it to Master. It's that Junior to Senior step that I see as the big hurtle for the R+ school.

    7. #6
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,192
      Thanked: 1802
      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      I'm having a hard time visualizing how this works when you're asking the dog to drive to the far pile. Maybe the MH lab you mentioned has a solution for it.

      Conventionally... this starts for field dogs as the culmination of the FF. 25 yards from the pile... FETCH (nick.) Then 50 and so on until the dog is driving 100 yards to the pile and returning with the bumper. (I get it that the concept is different... the dog isn't digging out to avoid the adverse stimulus.)

      When that's going well, the dog gets stopped part way to the pile with the whistle (which could be 50 yards or so from the handler) and (eventually) handled BACK or OVER.

      So... how do you launch a piece of string cheese out to where you're beginning to do remote work?

      I know these are probably very naive questions... but I know you can understand the image I'm getting in my head. (Blow-guns??? Sling shots???)
      It's not naive and I get where you are coming from. There is an entire methodology and part of the foundation of +R training is splitting behaviors, not lumping. It's a lot to try to explain and I would be doing it a great disservice, but there are excellent trainers who explain it very well so you should google it. By the time the dog is in the field at those distances, I'm not rewarding him with food for every correct behavior and each piece of that exercise will be trained and reinforced and proofed separately, and each piece will be solid before adding them together to create a chain, and eventually he'll be rewarded for the entire chain, not each individual link. The dog will be rewarded for the chain by the retrieve and the return and delivery will be rewarded by the opportunity to go back out and retrieve again. The fact that we could do doubles without ever training for them had nothing to do with my dog being a prodigy or me being a super trainer. He had solid foundations to create the behavior chain required to complete that exercise. Each of those pieces has been reinforced, proofed and performed in various locations independently.

    8. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      ZEKESMAN (04-27-2017)

    9. #7
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2015
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,816
      Thanked: 689
      I will google it. And I'll tell you why.

      I'm interested in seeing the sport of field retriever work grow. One way is to get hunters involved (ugh, some of those people settle for such bone-headed behavior in the duck blind!)

      But, in addition to them, now that we have our webpage up I have gotten contacts from ordinary folks who might want to begin training a new retriever puppy and who are alarmed and horrified if they think the e-collar MUST be required. Much of their aversion is due to ignorance about how the e-collar is used. But nevertheless... it would be nice to have alternative approaches to which I can refer them. (In addition to Jackie Mertons and Bill Hillmann)

      OTOH: We have had people who THINK they are training/have trained their dogs w/out an ecollar using what they THINK are R+ methods and they have wanted to join our training circles. For us, it has been painful to watch. They get frustrated as all get out and there is nothing we can say to help them. Then WE get frustrated.

      So I would like to see this catch on and grow.

    10. The Following User Says Thank You to TuMicks For This Useful Post:

      ZEKESMAN (04-27-2017)

    11. #8
      Real Retriever
      Cool
       
      annkie's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Pennsylvania
      Posts
      407
      Thanked: 178
      I use to spit treats at Jules too lol It was the only way I could get him to focus on my face. Hot dogs were magic.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    12. The Following User Says Thank You to annkie For This Useful Post:

      Labradorks (04-12-2017)

    13. #9
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,192
      Thanked: 1802
      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      I will google it. And I'll tell you why.

      I'm interested in seeing the sport of field retriever work grow. One way is to get hunters involved (ugh, some of those people settle for such bone-headed behavior in the duck blind!)

      But, in addition to them, now that we have our webpage up I have gotten contacts from ordinary folks who might want to begin training a new retriever puppy and who are alarmed and horrified if they think the e-collar MUST be required. Much of their aversion is due to ignorance about how the e-collar is used. But nevertheless... it would be nice to have alternative approaches to which I can refer them. (In addition to Jackie Mertons and Bill Hillmann)

      OTOH: We have had people who THINK they are training/have trained their dogs w/out an ecollar using what they THINK are R+ methods and they have wanted to join our training circles. For us, it has been painful to watch. They get frustrated as all get out and there is nothing we can say to help them. Then WE get frustrated.

      So I would like to see this catch on and grow.
      Good point about people thinking they are training +R but are really not. I agree that a lot of people use cookies and/or clickers and/or luring and say they are +R. +R training is not a tool in the toolbox, as people like to say, but a methodology. As with any type of training, there is a process and the dog must be conditioned to work for the reward, whatever that may be, while also (hopefully) finding the work as a reward within itself (yes, even obedience!). And, the process isn't just adding cookies and taking away forced fetch or e-collars. It's not that simple. That belief completely trivializes proper +R training.

    14. #10
      House Broken
      ZEKESMAN's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2015
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      109
      Thanked: 40
      +1000 Great job. I will be watching with interest. Take the time you need. If you can git a SR pass on him I will gladly be the first to admit that I was wrong. Still would like to see a video of him running a mark. Vic

    Quick Reply Quick Reply

     



    Not a Member of the Labrador Retriever Chat Forums Yet?
    Register for Free and Share Your Labrador Retriever Photos

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •