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I understand that perception. That’s a logical result of taking the obvious at face value. And, indeed, de-shopping is a component of the process. It just isn’t it’s focus, so thanks for asking. Fort to pile, aka FTP, is a net result of the multi-phase force fetch process. Force fetch is widely misunderstood, which is why I devoted an entire book, as well as a 2-Ĺ hour DVD to it. More is wrongly assumed about it, than correctly understood. There are still a great many people who assume that FF is done purely for the sake of a hand delivery. That, of course, is a fraction of the story. FF, in modern methodology, represents the “trained retrieve”. It grooms the performance of a naturally driven act into its most highly useful and efficient form. Because FTP is the final stage of construction, it represents “the fully-trained retrieve”. What that means is that, having formalized fundamental obedience tasks, we then set out to form all the components of force fetch, and finally assembled them into one dynamic form. FTP brings all those things together in a high functioning state that makes a good retriever a better and more reliable one. A dog so trained walks at heel and sits on command. There, he may be sent on a mark or blind retrieve as commanded. He will go reliably, fetch the first appropriate fetch object he comes to cleanly and efficiently, and return promptly to the handlers side, sit and deliver – all on command. The fundamental obedience commands & tasks are tied to well organized mouth habits for the most effective form of retrieve, which can be relied upon regardless of circumstances or the whims or moods of the dog. That’s why.
Okay first question. Why force to pile? My understanding is that is to keep dogs from shopping around.
If you have the opportunity to watch enough tests and/or trials, you will see dogs that get to the bird, and do things like look back at the handler, roll it with their feet, or roll on the bird…put a foot on it, and rip feathers from it, and a host of things – none of which are equal to fetching cleanly and returning promptly to the handler. They’re just obeying their natural whims, of course. But that is a poor execution of their work, and reveal poor training and preparation.
However all hunt tests and field trials I have been to there is only one bird thrown. I know that in actual hunting situations, multiple birds fall, but wouldn't the training need to be more focused on the recall? Am I way out in left field and missing the point?
Recall is only a component of the 'formalized obedience' I spoke of. It’s a vitally important one, but still only one piece. They are tied together. The rope is a low-pressure enforcement in the early stages of building the fully trained retrieve, and ensures that when the dog reaches the first bumper, he goes no further, but rather fetches that bumper and returns as commanded. Recall was already taught. The distraction of other bumpers right before his eyes temps him to allow that standard to be diluted into disobedience; not coming when called. We simply enforce the commands with tugs of the rope in conjunction with verbally calling the dog.
In the now infamous video, it looked like Evan was using the long line for a quick turn around, again, isn't this a recall issue?
SD is not one of the things a title like “Hunting and Field Forum” brought to mind, so I did not have that pursuit in mind with this topic. But I can see where FF (incl. FTP) might either end up helping or hurting in that venue. One of the foremost authorities in the SD field, Roger Sigler - Master Trainer, and acquaintance of mine and follower of my system for fieldwork, would be an outstanding source for that information. He bought a copy of the SmartFetch DVD because he believed that system would improve his dog’s SD performance. I defer to his expertise. His website is very informative. http://www.antlerdogs.com/ EvanG
I imagine that about 50% of us reading this thread are also planning to or currently working dogs in utility and scent discrimination. Someone briefly touched on this, earlier however it was lost in the "foo fooness". Would the FTP cause issues with the SD? If not, why not and how do we separate the two?
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that. But the really great ones make you feel that you too can become great." ~ Mark Twain