retrieving question

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by Beckyt6, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Beckyt6

    Beckyt6 Registered Users

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    Hi

    Alfie is nine months old and loves his retrieving however when you ask him to stay and then send him for the ball/ dummy (when outside) he won't bring it back, he runs to the ball sniffs it then leaves it but when you throw it and don't ask him to stay he retrieves perfectly. Also, he will stay and retrieve to me inside but wont did it outside.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?

    thanks
     
  2. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Are you using the same cue when you send him from a "stay" as when you just let him chase it without waiting?..
    Am I making sense? I have him sitting, throw a ball and at the same time, say "get it" and Coco runs after in and brings it back. I have him sitting, say "leave" (converting this to "sit") - throw the ball, he waits, then send him out with the same "get it" and he runs after it & brings it back. "get it" is my cue to fetch the ball/dummy.
     
  3. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I think asking a dog to be steady (wait and don't chase) introduces a lot more complication than we humans think - in different ways, for different dogs.

    Although the retrieve pattern (run out, capture, turn, return) is quite a complex chain for us to break down and train, it is a pattern that retrievers learn quite easily. The first part - run out and capture - is triggered in puppies by the natural desire to chase something. If you remove that (by asking for steadiness) you have significantly changed things from the dog's point of view. You've removed the prompt to 'capture' (the chase). When you look at it like this, it's not surprising that a dog may no longer want to pick up the dummy - he is no longer interested in 'capturing' it.

    What this means is that although you may have got something of a retrieve pattern going, he doesn't understand your cue. You should be able to place a dummy at your feet with your dog at heel and say 'fetch' (or whatever your cue is) and your dog will pick up the dummy and give it to you. Then the behaviour is on cue, and not dependent on the chase-capture behaviour.

    It sounds like you have somewhat got your cue working inside, but not outside. This isn't unusual. Dogs don't generalise well, and if you put them in a different context (outside rather than inside) it's not unusual for them to not recognise a cue they learned in a different context.
     
  4. Beckyt6

    Beckyt6 Registered Users

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    Thank you for the replies I will keep plodding away but will maybe put the steadiness to one side for the moment and work on my cue for retrieving while he is already mid run.

    (I don't want to spoil retrieving for him)
     
  5. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I would work on your cue for retrieving when he is not running at all. Work on your cue for a retrieve when the dummy is just at your feet. Just to go back to the pattern thing - the dog hasn't learned a retrieve cue if he can only do it as part of that pattern that is run out to a distance etc. Then when he'll pick up the dummy and give it to you, move the dummy further away etc.

    By saying steadiness had highlighted the problem, I didn't mean to suggest that by not asking for steadiness you would solve it. I meant it had just shown you what might be the issue you have to solve.
     
    Beckyt6 likes this.

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