Brambles training Log..

Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Beanwood, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    gromitbramblesitstay.jpg

    More training with Bramble. Working on the stop whistle is slow progress indeed! She adores her flying lotus ball, so I popped a bit of cooked sausage and threw that which worked quite well. Built up a bit of excitement first with hand touch, gets her treat ball, sit..gets her treat ball. Filled with high value treats and this seemed to help.
    So we are making progress with sit stay, and managing a minute now. Today we were in a different more public place, to see how she manages the sit stay, she did quite well, despite the new and interesting environment. To make it easier for her I asked for less duration, and stayed close to her.
    We also worked a bit on steadiness, although she hasn't a huge drive to retrieve, I feel this may change, especially seeing how she excited she was in the scurry last week!

    A video clip of a couple of retrieves, with me asking her to wait until released. Just wish I had worked more on this with Benson!

    Bramble in a sit stay...with her grommit face! :)


     
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  2. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Ah, what a sweetie.

    Why do you click on the pick up? She should drop the dummy at this point. Charlie doesn't, but that's because he's bonkers. Bramble doesn't look bonkers - so you are asking her to work through the click and she is getting a reward quite late. If you shifted the click to delivery, she might be a bit keener?
     
  3. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, really good point @JulieT My logic in this case was to reward her picking up the dummy, and relying on her good hand delivery. I don't click on hand delivery anymore as my timing was pretty rubbish! I ran the risk of her dropping the dummy. I don't click on the very long retrieves, as I usually have to rely on my OH to let me know she has found the dummy, although if I am using the hunt whistle I do click when she has found the dummy, hmmm... will need to revisit that. Do you mark when training the hunt cue and finding the dummy?

    I am not too worried about her keenness right now, I think it is there. I do need her to be steady though!
     
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    It's a fine line between not having craziness and having steadiness - you are probably like me, and having trained a show line, are desperate not to introduce any nuttiness. :) I'm walking that path with Betsy and not sure I'm getting it right! :)

    Just my musings over Betsy (not Bramble, I haven't even met her and I don't know what she is like in different situations). I'd say that steadiness isn't worth anything if the dog isn't keen - because you are not training steadiness in the presence of something the dog wants badly. If Betsy doesn't really give two hoots for the dummy, and I seemingly have steadiness, but then she very badly wants to chase a pheasant and does so - it turns out that I don't have any steadiness just because she'll wait for a dummy she doesn't really want.

    I don't use an event marker when training hunt whistle, no. By the time I'm doing that, the pick up is trained and I no longer need to mark a pick up. In any event, Betsy would drop the dummy on the click - as she is supposed to do so.
     
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  5. Peartree

    Peartree Registered Users

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    I loved watching your video and Bramble looks like an absolute sweetheart. I also have used the clicker as a marker on the pick up to try to sort out a couple of problems. I have been successful with using it when the dog is picking up from a pile of dummies. Click = yes that is the correct one come back immediately and collect your prize - do not continue shopping or hunting.

    I have also clicked the dummy pick up with a young dog who has little enthusiasm for retrieving. When rewarding with high value treats I found that clicking increased the speed of the return. Click = yes that is correct behaviour, quick come back and get a bonanza reward.

    I understand that using the clicker in this way is making it into a bridge I.e. A keep going marker and I have not found that it encouraged spitting out of the dummy. I think that the dogs are quite capable of discriminating.

    I am not sure whether there is any benefit in continuing to click the pick up as a matter of course. It would be interesting to see if using the clicker on the pick up is actually making any difference to the retrieve. You could try doing a few without and seeing if there is any change.

    Can I ask though, why you are using 'back' as the command to get the dummy. Of course it doesn't matter what word you use, but as it is such an accepted command to get the dog specifically to run directly back away from you, will you not get into a muddle when you start giving her directions? It may be the angle of the video but it seems to me that Bramble is running out right and slightly behind. I would not use the back command when throwing a dummy unless I was sending it over the dog's head and it was turning 180 degrees and running out away from me.
     
  6. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    It is easy to get the dog to 'work through the click' and bring back the dummy after the click - but most people these days do not want to do this. If you are on Facebook, there are some amazing videos about this point by Jo Laurens and Clare Raymond - on a group called 'Positive Gundogs'.
     
  7. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, she is a sweetheart, but there again I am biased!

    I am considering phasing out the click for pick up on simple retreives..although I do for hunting, mainly because this is a new behaviour and I want to boost her confidence by letting her know what she is doing is right. She is very responsive to the clicker, as well as verbal praise.
    My "back" cue is "go fetch" although tbh I don't like it too much now..sounds a bit harsh and barky..maybe when I send her out I will change this to something a bit more upbeat like "go fetch!". With my young chocolate labrador if I wanted him to retrieve something behind him I use a 2 pip whistle and use my left or right arm depending on the wind direction. 2 pip to him means change direction and I use this after a stop cue. Saying that he sort of knows what I want, and is a terribly forgiving dog! :)
     
  8. heidrun

    heidrun Moderator

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    @Peartree makes a very good point about the cue you are using in the last video. I would have also said 'out' rather than 'back' at that angle. I also tend to click on the pick up or sometimes on the return to speed up the return and none of my dogs have ever dropped the dummy. Maybe they are bonkers, too? Well, one is definitely. :D

    My spaniel handler brain is slightly befuddled by this. :eek: I only ever use the pip-pip turn whistle during quartering, never retrieving. But if it works for you and your dog then that's all that matters. ;)
     
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Because I had such a terrible time with Charlie's return, I cursed the fact he wouldn't drop the dummy on the click. It was seriously inconvenient. If the dog 'works through' the click and picks up the dummy (and in Charlie's case then promptly legs it) it is hard to do the clicker retrieve properly. Because as soon as you start in a new place, you can't go back a step and work through the stages of it. Dog picks up the dummy and runs. If the dog will drop on the click, you can click the pick up and the dog will abandon the dummy before it makes a mistake and refocus on the handler.
     
  10. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Mine drop on the click, but I've recently introduced "yes" as a verbal cue, which they work through. It's really handy for things like picking from a pile, because it help to prevent swapping. Best of both worlds :)
     
  11. heidrun

    heidrun Moderator

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    I don't really understand this. Are you saying you would like to use the click just so that the dog drops the dummy even though it has not done something you want to mark?
     
  12. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    I don't use the "click" to drop the dummy. Bramble however does deliver really well to hand, she sometimes even pushes the dummy at me. We did initially start off by clicking when she delivered, however this seemed to mess with her instinct to deliver the dummy, she started dropping too early, probably my poor timing, so I stopped and her delivery improved. Bramble does need more encouragement to pick up in the first place, especially if there is a choice of dummies, and at short distance. She does prefer to run, if a dummy is being fired at a bit more distance, I guess she finds that more exciting? Still, very early days! :)
     
  13. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Jo explains it in 'hold until the click AND drop at the click', it's here:

     
  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Of course the dog has done something you want to mark. A step in the proper full clicker retrieve. Which is necessary for a dog that needs it, rather than just clicking any old thing, which will do for a dog that doesn't.
     
  15. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Good session with Bramble today. Quite a large group today, around 10 of us, mostly spaniels and hunting dogs with 3 labradors including Bramble.

    We went "off site" to practise skills required in a real beating line. So under gates, walking on lead and off lead in a line with the hunters in front and retrievers at the back. Also a little retrieving plus a bimble walk at the end with a partner.

    So we hit a stumbling block right at the beginning, Bramble hated seeing me go over the gate! Really odd. We go through gates all the time at home, admittedly I am never going over them. So that is one area to practise at home (the neighbours are going to think I am nuts! :D:D) We also had to lure her under the gate, got there in the end though.
    Bramble was quite good on lead..lot of craning round to look at me, need to sort that one out. More fluid walking beside me off lead, probably because we do a lot of walking where I asking her to stay close, plus she is used to training with a lot of dogs around, all that early controlled socialisation has really paid off! :)
    Retrieving was good..not a problem. We really struggled on the bimbling..that is a gear that she is not really capable of, plus her partner was a lovely red fox who just wanted to play too. A bit hopeless waiting for any focus with 2 young labs having zoomies around you! Luckily SWMBO didn't spot this falling from grace!:D:D

    So a bit of lead work..although with her season imminent I suspect this won't be a problem. I also need to practice flying over gates without instilling a sense of terror into her! (or anyone else for that matter!!:eek:)

    Stop whistle is kinda there..although isn't particularly crisp but we have improved in the last week. I must work a bit harder on my timing!

    Just started work on split dummies, and casting her out, she is already reasonably steady, just setting her up for success by throwing the dummies at 180 degrees to each other, and using Brambles body ie. lining her up before sending her out, and therefore the last dummy thrown (the one she wants..) is out of her vision. Early days but good progress. The only downside with this exercise is you really need two people.
     
  16. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Bramble is now just over a year old. She has moved to Group 3 at Gun dog training which is great, so proud of her :) Group 3 is aimed at dogs with a basic grasp of cues such as stop, sit, direction, hunting skills plus are comfortable with shot. They may have been on a shoot, or being trained for their first shoot.
    She has just come out of a rather long season, so we have rather taken a back step in training. Saying that, she has come out the other side, rather more confident than before, or maybe she is just that little bit more mature. This was evident in our gun dog class where, in front of a row of approx 9 other dogs she was happy to work on the dummy launcher. She was steady despite a lot of very excited dogs. I was really pleased with her:)
    We are still keeping things simple. Our retrieves are a little longer, and slightly more complex though, working on more uneven terrain, gaps or dips, breaks in hedges, as well as retrieving over water, as apposed to simple straight retrieves in the open. We have also started working on permanent blinds. These are landmarks where she is used to getting a retrieve, and expects a retrieve when I send out to the same spot.

    A little video clip of a training session last week. I have sent her out for a challenging retrieve, as I placed the dummy just beyond a gap that leads to a wood, so she has to stay focused on the dummy, and not disappear in the wood...boy she has done that before! The second half was a retrieve, down a dip, and thrown into long grass, but out of her sight. I am also working a little on steadiness here.



    The next goal is more work on hunting, plus continuing with permanent blinds in different areas.
     
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  17. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Well done, Bramble! Such a grown up girl :)
     
  18. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    She looks like such a lovely girl. I can't believe how calm and collected she looks when she's working.
     
  19. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    She wasn't so calm and collected this morning! In almost the same spot she caught sight of a deer and was off! Unfortunately I also has Casper on a long line....so had everthing braced...did a very good water skier impression including the face plant! :eek::D
     
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  20. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    And why don't we have a video of this???
     

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