the party's crashing us
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I didn't realize it'd been so long since an update. We have had lots of shows including the National since September. For yardwork we've been keeping up on lining drills and 3-handed casting (baseball) with diversions. I work on all manner of diversion throws with Bally and he's gotten pretty good at it.
Last week I buckled down and started on collar conditioning to whistle sit. He has had plenty of repetitions with the whistle learning that it means SIT. Heeling & sitting, sitting while coming in from a retrieve, my long-line turn & sit drill. He responded OK but not perfect by any means.
I decided I was going to CC to sit whistle using the old Dobbs method of putting the collar around the dog's waist with the receiving unit on top, over the dog's hips. After doing a lot of reading and considering what I had done with Fisher & Slater, I decided to try it. Mitch is here in FL this winter and he uses this method so if I screw it up, at least I have him to fall back on!
So we spent two days just getting used to the feel of the collar around Bally's waist. He wore the bark collar (turned off) around his neck. He quickly learned to ignore his "belt" and we practiced all of our sitting drills with no pressure for 2 days.
On the 3rd session I began adding collar pressure while heeling. I would walk briskly, blow the whistle and keep on walking. Bally was expected to sit immediately and not follow me. The Dobbs book makes it real cut and dry -- hold down the button until the dog's butt is on the ground! In an effort not to over think it, that's exactly what I did. They also advised that dogs were more sensitive on their rump than their neck, and to go down a level. That I had doubts on, and I was right. I started with a low two, and didn't get a reaction until I got to a low four!!
Anyways over the next few sessions we progressed quickly to sitting with collar pressure for slow compliance on the following steps:
1 - walking briskly at heel
2 - running at heel
3 - recall with sit halfway back
4 - recall with bumper in mouth, sit half way back
5 - throw fun bumper, sit half way back
6 - Now the true test. Walk single bumper out about 40 feet away, return to dog. Send and blow the whistle half way. Bally's first true whistle sit en route to a retrieve and.....he did it! SUPER! Only problem I noticed is he sat down so fast his back was to me. The next session I held a 2nd bumper in my hand, and waved it as he turned, which gave a much straighter sit, followed by releasing him to fetch the bumper. This little step got him sitting much straighter.
7 - Sitting en route to a pile of bumpers ~40 yards away. Today was our first session with an actual pile and I was REALLY REALLY happy. Bally did about 10 sends to the pile, and I think I stopped him on 3 of the sends. His sits were great. On the 8th send I stopped him twice en route, rather than just at the halfway point, then sends 9 & 10 were freebees to the pile. He had GREAT momentum and never anticipated the whistle, yet his sits were immediate and no looping.
I want to work up to a long-distance sit-to-pile drill (150+ yards) with the collar still on his butt, and hopefully borrow a friend's collar to have a working remote collar on butt and neck for a quick transition to only the neck collar. Haven't hammered out exactly my progression there but --- so far so good.
Not sure if it's the dog, my training schedule or both, but every step of the way I have encountered very little confusion and thus we're able to move along quickly.
"Fisher" CH Deauxquest Hard Day's Knight UDT VER RAE MH WCX CCA VCX OS DDHF, Can. CD WC
"Slater" HRCH Morninglo Wing-T Your Bird Can Sing UD MH NA WCX CCA VCX, Can. CD WC
"Bally" BISS GCH Can. CH Richwood Wing-T Workin' Like A Dog CD MH WCX** DDHF, Can. WCI
"Brix" BISS GCH Can. CH Malagold Wing-T We Can Work It Out JH WC, Can. WC