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where the tails wag
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We have all seen them, some of us have even struggled with them. You know, the dogs that have no line manners. They

- hop to the line on 1 or 2 back legs
- whine, cry and whip around trying to slip their leashes
- refuse to sit quietly on the line

and you just dread the thought of moving on to Senior where they need to honor without a leash.

We see them at tests and we see them at our training groups. We hope we are not annoying people or taking too much of the groups time if it is our dog. It is embarrassing and takes all of our strength to keep these dogs from charging out.

Some say it is a side effect of a highly driven dog.

I use the Premack principles in training, and consider using the opportunity of moving forward to the line or being released to the bumper or bird a great tool for teaching line manners. I wonder if correcting, but then allowing the dog to go for his bird, re-inforces the behavior getting to the line.

Can we discuss the various ways of teaching these dogs how to do us proud while coming to the line and delivering their birds? Honoring another dog?
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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Denial of the retrieve is still one of the best ways I have seen to deal with this. Make sure you take your turn in the field throwing, and then when it is your turn to run, be prepared to not have your dog pick up a mark at all in the training session. Make sure you have a series of holding nblinds set up. While others in your rotation are running their dogs, get your dog out. Make your way through the holding blinds, and if the behaviour starts at all put the dog back in the truck. Frankly start that control right at the truck. The dogs needs to be sitting calmly in the crate before you give them permission to get out. If they are wild and disobedient at that point -- back in the box.

Now the paradox with this sort of problem is that many dogs do it only when on leash. My Bonnie can be a bit pully in a test situation. So when I was running her this summer, I kept the leash on her in the holding blinds, but then when called to line took it off to walk to the line, got her sat looking at the fall, and then held her collar and called for the bird. If the marks were run from two separate lines I also had her off lead between them. Now, I do reinforce heel position as part of my CC process after teaching it traditionally, so she had been through a process of reinforcing that standard off lead, and I find my dogs internalize that lesson well. Winter had better scores in the offlead portions of his Novice obedience runs than his onlead!
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks :)

I think I had to deny Faelan his retrieve once and found this method extremely effective. And since my groups frequently have multiple rotations, it did not prevent him from having any retrieves that day.

Taking your turn(s) working so your dog is resting can help bring out the mis-mannered behaviors due to excitement in most dogs :) Not being allowed out of the crate if they are not sitting and waiting for their release really helps set them up for success in making it to the line.

Denial of the retrieve is still one of the best ways I have seen to deal with this. Make sure you take your turn in the field throwing, and then when it is your turn to run, be prepared to not have your dog pick up a mark at all in the training session. Make sure you have a series of holding nblinds set up. While others in your rotation are running their dogs, get your dog out. Make your way through the holding blinds, and if the behaviour starts at all put the dog back in the truck. Frankly start that control right at the truck. The dogs needs to be sitting calmly in the crate before you give them permission to get out. If they are wild and disobedient at that point -- back in the box.

Now the paradox with this sort of problem is that many dogs do it only when on leash. My Bonnie can be a bit pully in a test situation. So when I was running her this summer, I kept the leash on her in the holding blinds, but then when called to line took it off to walk to the line, got her sat looking at the fall, and then held her collar and called for the bird. If the marks were run from two separate lines I also had her off lead between them. Now, I do reinforce heel position as part of my CC process after teaching it traditionally, so she had been through a process of reinforcing that standard off lead, and I find my dogs internalize that lesson well. Winter had better scores in the offlead portions of his Novice obedience runs than his onlead!
 

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We had 2 of the JH judges tell us if the dogs were having a hard time with their line manners, try taking the leash off. It did seem to work.
Also one said that when you come to the line all SIX feet have to be on the ground...2 of yours and 4 of theirs....or you have to go back and try it again.
 
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where the tails wag
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LOL - you mean the human half of the team can't be coming on their butt????:doh::doh:

We had 2 of the JH judges tell us if the dogs were having a hard time with their line manners, try taking the leash off. It did seem to work.
Also one said that when you come to the line all SIX feet have to be on the ground...2 of yours and 4 of theirs....or you have to go back and try it again.
 

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Yes, that was at the water series, and it was a mud slide!!!

LOL - you mean the human half of the team can't be coming on their butt????:doh::doh:
 
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I dont get to work in a group too much as we dont have training much now that it is winter.

I have ben working hard on this area. I have working extremely hard on heel. I am not using a e-collar only verbal corrections. I take Jige out to different areas that we have used for training and walk him at a nice easy pace. He doesnt know if I have sent my son off to throw a bird or not. Sometime he gets a bumper sometimes not. I also take him out and make him honor my sisters dogs runs and my pit bulls games of fetch. This we do in different areas too so he doesnt think it only applies in the yard. His honors have gotten so much better. He started to break once on wednesday and I had no leash on him but was able to grab his collar before he got a way.
 

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I dont get to work in a group too much as we dont have training much now that it is winter.

I have ben working hard on this area. I have working extremely hard on heel. I am not using a e-collar only verbal corrections. I take Jige out to different areas that we have used for training and walk him at a nice easy pace. He doesnt know if I have sent my son off to throw a bird or not. Sometime he gets a bumper sometimes not. I also take him out and make him honor my sisters dogs runs and my pit bulls games of fetch. This we do in different areas too so he doesnt think it only applies in the yard. His honors have gotten so much better. He started to break once on wednesday and I had no leash on him but was able to grab his collar before he got a way.

Try this. Heel the dog off lead and carry a bumper in your left armpit. You will get the dog heeling and looking at you and the bumper. Give him verbal praise along the way for doing the right thing. Stop and when the dog sits, throw the bumper as a reward.
 

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They get it
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I like Carol Cassity's drill (and what Shelly was talking about as well) of setting up several blinds in a row and lots of hunt test sounds (duck calls, someone yelling "guns up", etc). If the dog is calm and able to walk from one blind to the next without a problem, they get the mark. If not, they return to the blind and try again. No manners, no retrieves. Good manners, then they get to run.
 
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Where The Bitches Rule
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What has worked nicely for Oriana is "reverse momentum" I believe the term is. As we heel to the line if she forges even slightly I take one step backwards and freeze. I then tell her to heel and do not move till she returns to heel position. Once she starts to get it I dropped the verbal "heel" correction and stay silent. When we are progressing properly in heel position I tell her "good" softly. I was really impressed how quickly it fixed that problem in training. At tests it helps also, but we are not as fluent there as in training. :doh:
 

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My pro calls those "heel backs", and we use them for a couple of other things, too, like working on memory. A great tool!


What has worked nicely for Oriana is "reverse momentum" I believe the term is. As we heel to the line if she forges even slightly I take one step backwards and freeze. I then tell her to heel and do not move till she returns to heel position. Once she starts to get it I dropped the verbal "heel" correction and stay silent. When we are progressing properly in heel position I tell her "good" softly. I was really impressed how quickly it fixed that problem in training. At tests it helps also, but we are not as fluent there as in training. :doh:
 
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We use it walking towards the dinner bowl!
 
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Where The Bitches Rule
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What has worked nicely for Oriana is "reverse momentum" I believe the term is. As we heel to the line if she forges even slightly I take one step backwards and freeze. I then tell her to heel and do not move till she returns to heel position. Once she starts to get it I dropped the verbal "heel" correction and stay silent. When we are progressing properly in heel position I tell her "good" softly. I was really impressed how quickly it fixed that problem in training. At tests it helps also, but we are not as fluent there as in training. :doh:
This is what I do with Riot. Although I often have to take a few steps back, since he doesn't seem to notice if it's only one step. I think he would prefer that I just stay in the car and let him do it himself :doh:

As for breaking, I have started saying "sit" multiple times to Riot before saying his name to release him. It makes him think, and have to actually listen to the word instead of just going on any sort of noise.
 

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Well you are just plain SADISTIC!!! :bowl:
Flip would agree with ya there! I use my field heeling word and not my obedience heeling word because what I get does not even slightly resemble what I expect on an obedience heel!
 

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I like Carol Cassity's drill (and what Shelly was talking about as well) of setting up several blinds in a row and lots of hunt test sounds (duck calls, someone yelling "guns up", etc). If the dog is calm and able to walk from one blind to the next without a problem, they get the mark. If not, they return to the blind and try again. No manners, no retrieves. Good manners, then they get to run.
Excellent drill. You might also try a NRM for bad behavior before putting the dog back in the crate.
 

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I do not let my dog drag me to the line. She has the tendency to want to do it. I vary my pace approaching the line. I will stop, back up, speed up, slow down, etc and I expect my dog to pay attention to me and stay with me. If she gets out of line she gets a collar pop and backward movement. If she makes a mistake I make her do it again the correct way before proceeding. This has worked really well for me.

EDIT: She is better off-leash and has no problems honoring.
 

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I use the Premack principles in training, and consider using the opportunity of moving forward to the line or being released to the bumper or bird a great tool for teaching line manners. I wonder if correcting, but then allowing the dog to go for his bird, re-inforces the behavior getting to the line.
This is a really interesting point. I wonder if it depends on your approach. If your dog pulls, you collar pop, and move forward I can see the being the problem. However, if my dog makes a mistake and tries to pull forward I will back up and make her do it again. Sure I will collar pop too. I don't progress until she does it correctly.
 

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I like Carol Cassity's drill (and what Shelly was talking about as well) of setting up several blinds in a row and lots of hunt test sounds (duck calls, someone yelling "guns up", etc). If the dog is calm and able to walk from one blind to the next without a problem, they get the mark. If not, they return to the blind and try again. No manners, no retrieves. Good manners, then they get to run.
Yep, and I also do a collar correction where I step 2 or 3 steps and slide my foot back. If the dog forges ahead NO BIRD and back to the blind and if need be back to the truck and in the kennel. Just because the dog is high drive doesn't mean they can't have line manners. Bad line manners is a precursor to failure.
 

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We have all seen them, some of us have even struggled with them. You know, the dogs that have no line manners. They

- hop to the line on 1 or 2 back legs
- whine, cry and whip around trying to slip their leashes
- refuse to sit quietly on the line

and you just dread the thought of moving on to Senior where they need to honor without a leash.
This is a perpetually useful topic because the humans in field sports won't effectively deal with it. There was a longtime field trialer named Oscar Brewer who had many FC's, judged many times, and even sat on the board of the AKC. I stood beside him at a trial in Omaha as he noted "We breed these dogs to be as insanely birdy as we possibly can make them, and then set up tests that bring it out while requiring them to deny their insticts to the extreme." But if that were not so, there would be no venue wherein we could establish hard evidence of both the real qualities in the dogs, and the real qualities of training. Here's where I'm going with this.

When you choose a pup from top field breeding (any breed) you're looking for some important things. Of course we want physical soundness; good hips & eyes, and so on. We would like good conformation et al. But on top of that, we're looking for excellent nose, stellar marking & memory, bidability/willingness to work with a handler, and at the top of the list; DESIRE! With a lesser degree of desire the dog would be easier to manage, but would also not perform nearly as well on either marks or blinds (believe it or not). C'mon, tell me who wouldn't enjoy watching an 80 pound Golden line a 325 yard blind with the same speed as if he were after a fresh shot flyer?
:--happy:

It is the highest art in field training to successfully balance maximum desire & ability with efficient control. If you don't test both at high levels, it is not feasable to establish baseline norms for excellence.

Before moving forward I want to point out why I thought this question was so well asked. All those behaviors that were so well described are among the commonest seen in quality dogs in multiple fieldwork venues. That doesn't irritate me as much as when I see it in training groups, but it's troubling in both. Believe it or not, it's something that can be controlled in nearly all of even the more severe cases. The real problem, as in most cases, is the human element, not the wonderful dog.

Now look at the last sentence for a major part of the problem. Yes, I'm talking about the part that talks about "moving on to Senior". Among the many two-edged swords involved in fieldwork, it is Junior/Started-type stakes where many fine retrievers begin their downward spiral. I'll elaborate more on this at the end of this post.
We see them at tests and we see them at our training groups. We hope we are not annoying people or taking too much of the groups time if it is our dog.
I'll tell you this, you'll not ever be chastised in my training group for taking all the time you need in dealing with this issue. You may, however, save yourself and your training group some time and hurt feelings by telling them up front that you may be taking some extra time to deal with one of the sport's most pervasive and important issues during the day. Let them know you'll need to have them work within the framework of the corrective measures you have decided to use, and that you appreciate their suggestions, but have chosen a path that you intend to be faithful to, and would appreciate their help.
It is embarrassing and takes all of our strength to keep these dogs from charging out.
One thing neither you nor your dog can afford is to allow your personal feelings to get in the way of your dog's best interests. Embarrrassment is not useful to either of you, and no one has a right to embarrass you about having a dog with enough desire to have this issue to deal with. They do these things because they're good dogs, not bad ones.
Some say it is a side effect of a highly driven dog.
It is, combined with inadequate training and maintenance. It is all too often made exponentially worse by continually being re-exposed to an environment in which it is promoted, like tests and trials.
I use the Premack principles in training, and consider using the opportunity of moving forward to the line or being released to the bumper or bird a great tool for teaching line manners. I wonder if correcting, but then allowing the dog to go for his bird, re-inforces the behavior getting to the line.
Of course it does. Dogs behave as they do in the field as a result of their expectations. The ways in which we structure events in the field on our training days work to form our dog's expectations in that environment by the triggers consistenly existing there. The events, sights, sounds, smells etc combine to give our dogs a set of expectations that act both for good and for bad. We're in charge of all those things, but often allow our passion for what we think we want from our dogs to cloud our ability to see the ways our dog's behavior may be eroding before our eyes.

We all too often don't see a problem until we're being "embarrassed" by a behavior that has already become advanced and out of control. What do we usually do in response? We seek some course of action that changes that behavior...RIGHT NOW! It's natural for us to feel that way. But it denies the core issues of the problem, and a realistic way of reestablishing control of events. What we need to begin to do is to change our dog's expectations, and to do it in a manner that is long term, rather than short term.

The term behavior change has replaced the term behavior modification because in operant conditioning, one does not modify behavior, but instead one modifies the environment (antecedents and consequences) that then results in behavior change. That's why the best advice from top trainers will nearly always begin with "First of all, stop running tests." Then we'll discuss how to change some of the dynamics of our training sessions, along with some of our interactions with the dog that will change what the dog expects when faced with triggers that tend to spin them out of control.
Can we discuss the various ways of teaching these dogs how to do us proud while coming to the line and delivering their birds? Honoring another dog?
Let me start with this peice of advice; Don't look for a magic bullet. There are none. There is no one drill or treatment that will cure this. Besides, you don't want this 'cured'. You want it controlled.

Junior/Started-type stakes (or classes) are where most people begin, and they can be lots of fun. They are valuable to clubs in attracting new members, and provide an easy way for many people to participate. Don't we all know that? But we get so emersed in our enjoyment that we sacrifice our dogs to behaviors we often actually ignore in behalf of ribbons. Then one day we notice, "Holy cow this has gotten out of control! Somebody please help!" Here we are. I'm wondering now how many of you are really willing to do what it takes? It may not be exactly what you think. But there are probably parts of the treatment you've already thought of. It's the whole package that very few have the self discipline to do and to stick with.

EvanG
 
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