Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by selina27, Aug 17, 2017.
Oops, don't know what happened to make my post do that, @snowbunny, can you put it right?
Was a magic wand and swish of cape job? Or just the one?
You can't wave your wand without swishing your cape. That wouldn't be effective at all!
I agree with Kate (Beanwood), if Cassie finds some retrieves boring, then up your game a bit, make it more challenging and interesting.
@selina27 your two threads have been merged
Thank you @Beanwood for the merge.
Yesterday we did some retrieving in the barn which had plenty of space. She's always been happy to do so there and yesterday was no different, happily bringing the dummy back to my hand. We did that twice, then went outside, although not rough cover there is a little bank and twice the dummy was brought back to my hand, albeit the first time she stopped to play with the dummy half way back, but with encouragement she did bring it to me.
She always seems happy to retrieve at that place, as she was at my 1.2.1 trainers where there was rough cover to search in and also we always went there to train. She seems not to want to retrieve where we go for walks. And an open field with other dogs, in our group training, is massively more exciting to her I guess, but she has made progress in the last 2 weeks.
Yesterday, after we'd finished, I put the dummies down within her reach, without thinking, and she picked up her small puppy dummy and followed me round while I finished my jobs and I just let her, telling what a good girl she was and giving it back to her to carry.
Our most recent session at gundog training was mixed. It was a lovely, bright sunny but cold day with a fresh breeze, just the sort of weather that brings out the effervescent side of Cassie and that combined with having been in the car for most of the previous day made for an energetic and unfocussed Miss Sassy! Add in the return of the maverick GR and all the components for a riot were present
Her runs out for the dummys were great but there was a mix of trying to play with the other dogs after dropping it somewhere near me - she always returned in my direction first. I can't quite remember how it went but the last one she did bring back to me and delivered to hand ! So we finished on a good note.
She's definitely enjoying her retrieving more right now, the classes have helped, but I'm also sure that her hormones have an influence.
My training goals for February are;
Carry on encouraging retrieving to hand by re-instating tuggy as learnt at puppy class and combine with RFAO whilst trying to avoid reward becoming a bribe.
Keep retrieving sessions short and as fun as possible.
Set up recall from other dogs training as per Total Recall.
Persevere with LAT and sustained hand touch.
Selina, I've been having a similar issue with Merlin, and have made a post on my training log you might find interesting.
Yes, I have just read it, very interesting, especially as I have been doing a similar thing with Cass insofar as I have been encouraging her to pick up the dropped dummy herself again which does seem to be working. Indeed the trainer last week was keen that she did so as well so in that respect we were in agreement. The walking backwards seems a good idea and I will try this when we next practice alone.
That looks like an excellent day out at the seminar, so pleased Merlin is coming along so well for you.
I've only just discovered how to upload a video!!! and have put one of that task on Merlin's log.
Last week we had a really good session at our gundog group, with Cassie bringing the dummy to me every time I really am very pleased about this, it's been a long time coming. I'm really hopeful that the penny is dropping that it's fun to do! There were 2 other dogs present who are quite steady, she only went to one the first time she was released, afterwards concentrating on her work. She did drop it a couple of times but with verbal encouragement "where is it, pick him up" and then walking backwards she did so 5 or 6 times. The trainer calls her "tiny girl", and builds the excitement with "tiny girly, are you reeaaddy!", seems to work! I've been using my voice a lot more and stopped worrying about feeling silly in case it doesn't work!
Our Saturday companion dog class wasn't the best this week! It was inside due to the grim weather, I found it difficult to keep her engaged and motivated, I probably need better rewards. But then again I haven't worked very hard on off lead heel and so doing it round other dogs was a huge ask so I know what we need to work on! And we are in the advanced class to be stretched ....She broke the sit/wait as well, which she's usually good at ! And had a bit of a hissy fit during the find the scented tissue in a jar exercise! Oh well, the girls got spirit
So overall, it seems that the tuggy/RFAO game is helping with delivery, and short sessions are keeping her interest.
I've set up a coming way from another dog session later today.
Still need to do more LAt.
Hand touch not progressing so well but will perservere with getting duration.
Today is three weeks post spay, one week post the Siberian blast of blizzards and snowdrifts we have experienced in the UK, so back to the gundog training group. I got up early to get a walk in with Cassie beforehand as due to the reasons already stated and work this week her exercise levels have been well below normal for sometime, so I thought it best to run off some of her energy prior to the class. We are at a new venue now, on a remote farm belonging to another member of the group over looking the Black Mountains.
Cassie really wasn't very focussed or interested in her dummies today --- much preferring to flush out the pheasants in the nearby ditch! But with much cajoling and encouragement she did eventually start retrieving. She always does seem to blow hot and cold, but at least today she didn't bother so much with the other dogs.
And it is still such a lovely feeling to be spending time outside together, even if she isn't the keenest retriever in the world, she's content and happy afterwards
I asked for the book "Retrieving for all Occasions" for my birthday, and has arrived today, so I can get some more information to help us.
I always think this is what counts the most. If everybody is happy afterwards, then there is no issue.
Well done that she was less focused on other dogs. Hopefully the book will have some good pointers. I will now have to have a look myself as Vanilla is similar to Cassie hot and cold
To be able to do any semblance of retrieving when there are/were pheasants in a nearby ditch is an impressive thing for a dog who’s not retrieve-mad! It sounds like you are doing great and making steady improvements. I have the Retrieve for all occassions book, and it is very good. I didn’t find so much in it to help with building desire for retrieving (a lot about steadiness to a dummy, which isn’t our problem) though. Still the most effective thing for the pig to build up her desire to retrieve and being to hand was just upping the reward to an occasional jackpot treat. Dummy in hand = sardines in muzzle. Given it’s the same level of awesome treat as that which I use for a recall, I occasionally blow the recall as she is returning to elicit the same urgent excitement to get to me regardless of whether she has a dummy in her mouth or not. I wouldn’t do that too often but it seems to have given her return a bit more of an edge.
I always blow the recall when Coco is returning with a retrieve - I never waste an opportunity to reinforce his recall.
Will be interested to know his helpful this is. Red is not the slightest bit interested in retrieving (despite the fact that her parents are working gun dogs). I would like to start working on a retrieve. I have had a few half hearted tries but her lack of enthusiasm means I don;t persist.
Thank you @Lara, interesting to read your post.
The bottom line is that yesterday she was far more interested in using her nose to hunt than in picking up dummies, and I hope to find a way to encourage her to do so, I am interested in the first chapter of RAO, in finding what is rewarding for her. Little bits of hotdog just weren't cutting it, there was too much else of interest, so I am going to try the "sniff" cue. It's clear that is what floats her boat, and I like the idea of using that as a reward, I just need to find a way to do that
After all, had I been in that environment on a walk, she would have been free to run to an extent and enjoy herself -- so I really couldn't expect too much of her.
Yep, quite so!
@Sven I have read through the first few pages and feel encouraged that there is plenty for us to do together, building on what we already know and can do
It's early days but I'm feeling enthusiastic about trying out the training exercises, even if it's more stuff to do together.