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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #1
Well I had been thinking of doing this for a while and since Kristy (nolefan) asked for it (and be careful what you ask for) I thought I would begin a thread to be my little journal of Bally's field training.
I did something similar for Slater although it started a lot later in his training:
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-hunt-field/86113-slaters-education.html

So as of today Bally is 9 months old. What has he had so far?
- land marks
- short, simple water marks
- all varieties of birds both dead and alive, I've yet to find something he doesn't like :)
- duck calls & gun shots
- 3-handed casting on a long line, starting when he was very little with food bowls, now graduated to bumpers, but just single bumpers not piles
- whistle sit on a leash for treats
- some basic field obedience....sit means sit, don't move unless directed otherwise; heel means back up in heel position; "here" for treats; he is not steady in the least bit; he wears an ecollar but has never felt it, pinch collar for control on lead

So 2 nights ago we started "take it" and "out" with a bumper. Just a few minutes in the garage before dinner. He is wearing a buckle collar high and snug on his neck. The 3rd, 4th and pinky finger of my left hand are under his collar, the thumb and index finger are around his ear just like I was going to do an ear pinch. I am not pinching at all at this point but he is now getting used to working and being handled with his ear in my hand, which never moves from his ear while we work on take it and out. So far, he doesn't care a bit! We are using a small bumper I hold in my right hand. Puppy sits, I tell him "take it" which he does, I praise and pet while he's holding the bumper, and a verbal marker "uh-uh" and either tap under the chin or hold his mouth closed if he mouths it. I have decided not to use the word "hold" with him as I think "take it" should be implied that you hold it and not mouth. He already knows what "out" means. Wash, rinse, repeat. We probably do "take it" "out" 10-15 times a session. I will do this every day for at least a week. He's doing it perfectly well so the temptation is to rush!

Will check back in with any updates.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #3
Sure thing! BTW I LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture of Katniss in your signature --- wow!!

Feel free to ask questions as I go along....
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #4
I just read Slater's thread from 3+ years ago. I remember those sessions so well!! I also was floored because Slater's little idiosyncrasies started very early in transition, and I still see some of them today. Hmmmmm little Bally what are you going to torment me with, or will you be Mr. Perfect??? :)
 

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aka Shelby
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oh wow, just started reading Slater's journal and Marty has me doing this exact casting thing this week! Now, I'm hooked because it looks like you started it right where we are at. I KNOW I'm going to learn a lot from this! Wow!
 

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Kristy
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Thank you :)

THank you so much Anney! This is awesome! I will be bookmarking this, I've already marked Slater's page and will be interested in your updates as you have time to post them.

I asked my HRC friend, Matt to come over yesterday and we talked some and he showed me exactly what you're talking about for 'take it'. She wanted to mouth it for sure but picked up the idea quickly. We will work on it twice a day this week and then when she seems to be good with it, Matt suggested working on obedience while she holds. I have her holding a paint roller. I think I'm going to use your idea and call it "take it".

I am torn between going to the Sandlapper WC training day next Saturday or going to the field trial in Cheraw just to watch. Matt voted for Cheraw, which one do you think I'd get more out of at this stage? I wish I could do both...
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #8
I would vote for the field trial, too. You typically get very little done with a club training day. Why still with the paint roller?

I have been working Bally almost every night on take it & out. He pounces on the bumper and snaps it up every time no matter where I hold it, with my hand in his ear. He is easy.
He doesn't really mouth the bumper but he has a good grip on it then squeezes his jaws and squishes it. Not sure if that's a good hold or a bad hold! LOL
 

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Riot's mom
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I am torn between going to the Sandlapper WC training day next Saturday or going to the field trial in Cheraw just to watch. Matt voted for Cheraw, which one do you think I'd get more out of at this stage? I wish I could do both...
Are you talking about the Open National??? If so, you should totally go!! I thought about going down, but I'm working all week. Go and have fun!

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Kristy
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...Why still with the paint roller?...
I guess 1) I started with that because Matt suggested it and 2) I haven't switched to a bumper because there's a roller on my kitchen counter and I hadn't thought about switching to the bumper yet. I will now :)

I did want to be certain she was taking it because I told her to and not because she wanted it for herself. I do know she thinks a bumper is a good time. I'd like to get her to a point where she will pick up pretty much anything that she can get in her mouth because I tell her to do it.


THanks Anney and Marie, I really wanted to go to Cheraw so that's what I will do and won't feel a bit guilty. Marie, I wish you could go with us, if your plans change, please let me know - I'd love for Craig to meet you. We are getting up early on Saturday and going.

 

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Registered
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I'm jealous of those who get to go to the National in Cheraw, even as a spectator (although I'd rather be a participant!!!). The two Goldens, "Flash" and "Rip" have made it to the third series! Go GoldDogs!
The third series is a triple, with a bit of water en route to the two retired marks. From the photograph, it looks fairly tight and moderate in length (345 yds, 225 yds, and 100 yds). The dogs need to be comfortable going tight past gunners and near lines they've already been on to do this test well.
FTGoldens
 

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Kristy
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I'm jealous of those who get to go to the National in Cheraw, even as a spectator (although I'd rather be a participant!!!). The two Goldens, "Flash" and "Rip" have made it to the third series! Go GoldDogs!
The third series is a triple, with a bit of water en route to the two retired marks. From the photograph, it looks fairly tight and moderate in length (345 yds, 225 yds, and 100 yds). The dogs need to be comfortable going tight past gunners and near lines they've already been on to do this test well.
FTGoldens
Thanks for the scoop…. I'm new so need all the help I can get on what to look for, I'm looking forward to it.

I promise to root hard for Flash and Rip :)
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #13
OK day one of force fetch has commenced.
I didn't set out to start with the ear pinch tonight but halfway through our session I realized that Bally was doing perfect on just "take it" and "out" (no pressure), there really wasn't much more to be gained by repeating that. I could put the bumper 7-8 feet away, tell him to take it, and he'd happily go pick it up and bring it back. So tonight he got his little ear squished for the first time. No drama but he definitely FELT IT and was like ooooo-ooowwwwie-W-T-F the first few times, I had to press the bumper to his front teeth to get him to take it, and he actually looked relieved and wagged his tail when the pressure stopped! LOL Captain Obvious -- thank you, halleluja!!!! Several times he quite readily took the bumper when I applied pressure and said "take it" - several times he seemed too concerned with the ear pinch to remember about the bumper until I put it up against his teeth. All in all I think a successful first time.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #14
Have done I think 3 more sessions since last check in. Bally is understanding definitely the ear pinch = take it. Last night was definitely a progressive session as I gave him a little more responsibility to go out of his way to take it (i.e. jumping up, going forward about 3 feet as I held the bumper out). I also had him sit and hold the bumper, return to heel with the bumper, etc. All very up close, not far away. Two or three times he let the bumper fall out of his mouth and got ear pinched to it. Several other times I tapped hard on the bumper and made it fall out and he got pinched to that as well. By the end of the session he was holding it very firmly -- good puppy!!!!
I am VERY much liking his response to the ear pressure. He is definitely sensitive to it and working to avoid it, but is not getting weirded out, avoiding me, climbing on me, mouthing me, etc.
We have field trained several times this week (and are going out this afternoon) and I haven't expected or asked for any sort of force-fetch/hold compliance on his marks.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #15
Another session last night. I have graduated to holding the bumper by the string as the opposite end leans on the ground.
So I dug out my Mike Lardy book last night and overviewed the FF section. Which admittedly is brief but I picked up already a few things I was missing.
First off I had been applying ear pressure slightly BEFORE saying "take it" whereas Lardy says to apply force just AFTER saying "take it." Tonight I'll do it his way.
He also emphasizes (and I remember this from his seminar) teaching "HEEL" (return to heel) and "HERE" (sit straight in front). I so took this for granted with my other dogs because of their obedience training but realize that Bally does not know the difference. Something for us to work on independently in the yard.
The other thing I caught myself doing last night was praising and letting Bally jump up on me with the bumper in his mouth when he did a good "take it." Dumb trainer. Climbing on the handler is a very common behavior when a dog feels a lot of pressure and here I am encouraging it -- DUMB!!!
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #16
OK we have trained almost every day with Bally's FF. Have progressed to the bumper on the ground. I can put it at his feet or several feet away, or walk to the end of the leash and have it between us, command him "take it" and he will. Today we worked on walking fetch with 2 bumpers, that went VERY well!
Sometimes I think he is doing great (pounces on the bumper). Sometimes I wonder what he's thinking, like today he dropped the bumper once, another time on the walking fetch he sailed right over the bumper and sniffed the ground. Obviously both times he got ear pinched back to it but I gotta wonder, what don't you understand at this point? I hate to go slower and belabor the process. Then I remember Slater at this stage who would completely clam up and grind his teeth and had very little momentum to grab the bumper when ear pinched. It wasn't until I did collar fetch that he became manic about getting the bumper. So I have to keep telling myself -- they are all different, and they're ALL DOGS. And dogs are weird and do weird stuff!

I will tell you I will certainly have my hands full with Bally. He can't contain himself when it's time to get marks. He whines, he struggles to go, he pitter pats his front feet, the works. WAY more than my other two at this age. It's adorable. I'll take it.
 

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Kristy
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I love hearing that Bally thinks his retrieving time is the best thing in life… Thank you SO much for this post, Anney…. I lost focus having kids home for 5 days straight :eek: so am ready to reclaim my training time. I'm going to put lights on the tree and get outside and now that I can see my kitchen counters again I will put my bumper back on the counter to remind me that if I'm sitting down I can make time to practice.

I would LOVE a Bally update photo, reading another thread about coat type and how nice Slater's is I wondered how Bally's is looking. Ellie still has her funny 'throat' wave and the rest of her is so straight. Her butt feathers are really coming in straight and getting long. She has a wave when she is wet, but dries out straight as an arrow.

OK we have trained almost every day with Bally's FF. Have progressed to the bumper on the ground. I can put it at his feet or several feet away, or walk to the end of the leash and have it between us, command him "take it" and he will. Today we worked on walking fetch with 2 bumpers, that went VERY well!
Sometimes I think he is doing great (pounces on the bumper). Sometimes I wonder what he's thinking, like today he dropped the bumper once, another time on the walking fetch he sailed right over the bumper and sniffed the ground. Obviously both times he got ear pinched back to it but I gotta wonder, what don't you understand at this point? I hate to go slower and belabor the process. Then I remember Slater at this stage who would completely clam up and grind his teeth and had very little momentum to grab the bumper when ear pinched. It wasn't until I did collar fetch that he became manic about getting the bumper. So I have to keep telling myself -- they are all different, and they're ALL DOGS. And dogs are weird and do weird stuff!

I will tell you I will certainly have my hands full with Bally. He can't contain himself when it's time to get marks. He whines, he struggles to go, he pitter pats his front feet, the works. WAY more than my other two at this age. It's adorable. I'll take it.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #18
OK no formal session today but we had a productive time nonetheless. Bally was the last dog to go at our group training today so while everyone was picking up equipment I worked on heeling to the "line." He is SOOO smart and really improved just with this one session. The last few times I've tried to keep a really short leash on him and not let him get out of heel position, that just caused him to lunge, drag me, leap back in to heel position, wash, rinse, repeat. Not good. Today I took a different tack, I had a 5 foot leash attached to his pinch collar. Told him "HEEL" - we would take the first step backward, then proceed forward. When he hit the end of the leash in front of me I would jerk it back hard a few times and he would leap back into heel position. When he sat or was still I said good, and said good every time he walked forward without lunging. This was MUCH better -- giving him more freedom and a bigger correction -- than trying to just contain him.

OK so he was fetching bumpers in the water, I didn't really intend for this to be his intro to FF near the water but I couldn't just let him drop the bumper with no consequence. So when he dropped the bumper after getting out, I told him "take it," the first time he was too concerned with looking out at the gunner and ignored me, I pinched him to the bumper and it was like OH, OKAY it works here too!!!! That happened one other time, and another time he dropped the bumper going from a front "here" position into heel position. So three ear pinches and that was all it took. By the end of his marks he was coming out of the water to a front position and holding the bumper, or coming out, obeying a "SIT" command while holding the bumper, while I walked around him, without him shaking off water first. He is SO smart it's scary. I really thought it was an excellent session. On our way back to the car we did a few practices of putting the bumper on the ground and saying "Take it." Each time he pounced on the bumper and came right to me. GREAT puppy!!!! :)
 

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the party's crashing us
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Discussion Starter #19
Gosh OK last night I just did a quick session of 2 bumper walking fetch, and fetch off the ground where I set the bumper about 5 feet away, make a triangle with me, the dog and the bumper, and say take it. He did GREAT and pounces on the bumper each time!! Yay In our walking fetch I am looking for him to turn around and visually find and hone in on the next one before I say take it, I want him to seek the bumpers.

Today was a frustrating session for both of us. I think it was an important one though. Bally does not have the best hold. He holds the bumper too loose for my taste. Today I was just hand-throwing bumpers, working on "here" and "heel" and walking with the bumper. If Bally was holding the bumper too loosely I would swat it and knock it out of his mouth, and then ear pinch him to it. This looked a lot like wrestling an alligator since when I try to hold him to get ahold of his ear he scrambles around trying the get to the bumper first and it's just a trainwreck! And to be honest, I really wasn't seeing any improvement in his hold by doing this.
During today's session I decided that purposefully knocking the bumper out of his mouth isn't fair, and to just let him drop it and suffer the consequences if it hits the ground. Twice while we were heeling or he was going into heel position the bumper dropped, he instantly tries to pick it up again but I pull him away from it then ear pinch him to it. Well guess what, I think that technique actually worked. By the end of the session he would toss the bumper a little and re-position it in his mouth if it was starting to slide -- rather than letting it fall!!!
I know his older half-siblings that I have trained with, also had a looser hold than I like, and tend to "stumble" and drop birds/bumpers while returning from marks....so he comes by it honestly. We'll see how it plays out.

Last night I watched almost all of Rick Stawski's Fowl Dawgs #1 video which covers all basics through the end of FF. I REALLY like his videos. I think I am officially ready to move onto walking fetch.

Dogs training is not easy. They are all different, you have to find what you hope works for each one, and not everything is the right answer!
 

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aka Shelby
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so you let him drop it because of his loose grip but then not let him pick it up in order to make him endure the consequences of his actions? Am I getting the gist of that? Both of my girls didn't drop at that point. They would spit it out in protest which they got an ear pinch but not from a loose grip. And since they were spitting it out they didn't pick it back up on their own. I had to force them to pick it up. That is why I'm asking. I think I understand why you are doing it that way.
 
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