Need help with the clicker retrieve

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by HollyBerry, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. HollyBerry

    HollyBerry Registered Users

    Jul 16, 2019
    I am consistently getting stuck at the building hold phase and was wondering if there were any tips to help me get into this stage?

    What i have right now is me not having been clear enough with my clicking to convey that i want her to increase the hold i guess. I’m stuck at that fine balance of not extinguishing the behaviour but not really increasing my criteria properly because of it i think. Its resulted in a mixture of 1-3 second holds. Should i stop clicking 1 second holds altogether to encourage progress? I tend to let her not meet the new criteria twice in a row maximum before i go back down again to the old criteria just to stop her getting bored but i’ve kind of gotten stuck in this loop of always continuing back. Her one second hold is solid at least!!

    When i tried walking a few steps away from her, instead of increasing her motivation to get to me she was a lot more prone to dawdling and distraction (my fault i think i need to try in a different room with a bit less going on). I have to be so careful with the treats also because if i go too high value she won’t even look at the dummy but kibble isn’t enough to keep her engaged so its been a big learning curve for me about timing and appropriate rewards.

    Lastly, she is only 5 months old, is this just too young i’m starting to wonder? When do you start the clicker retrieve with your puppies?

    She has this week come up with a lot if tooth ache from the teeth changeover so we’ve halted any training with the dummy but when i resume again i would love to know anyones experience of what they did to make this stage clear to their dog!
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

    May 26, 2018
    Blackmans Bay, Australia
    I think you are creating a self-defeating pattern. Try not to be predictable. Dogs like to get food without expending too much energy. We share the same trait. So the dog may be working out that you will relax standards. So why really try?

    What I would do is if 3 seconds is too much then instead of dropping back to 2 seconds, i would try a duration of 2.5 seconds. Use your imagination how to count in half seconds. If One thousand is 1 second, then one thou' is close to half a second. To be clear count in your head, not aloud.

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