teenage trouble?

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by caroleb, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Pippa - I'd love your ideas on the latest in my quest to train Rusty - and from anyone else too!

    We've got 1 lesson left before his grade one assessment.
    He is perfectly capable of all the tasks
    He doesn't always do them - he is very easily distracted but works better in the class than in the field here which I think is because he watches the other dogs retrieve and gets interested and wants to join in.

    The trainer has suggested walking him seperately from barney so he's not distracted and encouraged to play all the time and has to focus on me everytime we're out rather than just training sessions which makes sense.
    However today, I know it was first day of the new system but he seemed much worse - only interested in eating grass or rabbit poo and didn't want to work at all. Previously I'd walk them together about 7.30 am then take Rusty training about 9am. today I took Barney for a walk first then Rusty for walk/train at 8am (I can't manage 3 trips out so now his walk and his work have to be together) This afternoon was marginally better but still very distracted and wanting to use the dummy as a toy - bouncing about with it and presenting the play bow. (he's always had a tendency to this but has always answered to come before but not today)
    After we returned from the afternoon walk both dogs went ballistic in the garden and Rusty dug a huge new hole - something he hasn't done for ages!
    Last week he managed a 3 minute stay one day and couldn't do ten seconds the next - which Tony said ha typical teenager!
    So do I persist with combining walk with training or go back to walking with Barney and seperate training?
    (he's 9 months old now by the way)
     
  2. Sam

    Sam Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Difficult one! I've never had more than one dog at a time, so can't really offer advice on that - but regarding whether to walk before training, I'd say that depends what the problem is. If he's distracted during training because he's do full of beans, then a walk first sounds sensible. But if he's just bored of being out, I'd train him while he's fresh!

    Sam.
     
  3. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Hi Carole

    If ‘walking the dogs’ means letting them run around together, then I think the advice from your trainer is worth persisting with. If walking means keeping them both at heel then by all means walk them together. Only you can judge if Rusty’s delivery of the dummy is better when he has worn himself out playing with Barney on a walk together but I suspect this is not relevant.

    I don’t actually go for walks with dogs in the traditional sense. When I take them out it is to accompany me on the shoot, or to work, or to train. So, when I walk my dogs they are always at heel unless they are retrieving, or (with spaniels), quartering. You might find that Rusty retrieves much better ‘fresh’ as Sam has suggested or after a period of concentrated heelwork.

    With any dog that is less than obsessed with retrieving, we always ensure retrieves are carried out whilst the dog is fresh and ‘fired up’. All that energy then gets ploughed into the retrieve. If you want to let Rusty have some ‘free running’ and you think he is losing interest in the retrieve, then free running at the end of the walk is a good idea.

    The silly delivery/playing with the dummy is not uncommon in a young dog. If Rusty does not present properly and messes about with the dummy I would try 'about turn and march away' from him so he has to come after you. It is important that you take the dummy on your terms, not his. If this results in him losing interest and dropping the dummy then the advice to retrieve when very ‘fresh’ is the key.

    If his delivery is still sloppy after your test, I strongly recommend you teach the clicker retrieve which solves delivery problems neatly. It is not something you have time for before

    HTH

    Pippa
     
  4. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    thanks very much ladies, I'll let you know how it goes. We also seem to have forgotten what "come" means when there's a pile of rabbit poo nearby :eek: but I am positive it will all come together in time!
     
  5. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    well there were some delays in getting an assessor so we're only have the test this Sunday - wish me luck! In the end I went back to walking both dogs together letting them run off the fresh energy seems to work better. I then take Rusty training in a field where I have never walked them (and no rabbits so far ;) ). Being on different ground made a big difference.

    On his final lesson I was told if he doesn't get a distinction it will be 100% my fault as the dog is that good -so no pressure at all then!
     
  6. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Good luck for Sunday Carole. Sounds like Rusty is a star in the making!
     
  7. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Thanks Pippa, I'm hoping it's like a driving test - if the lesson before hand is bad you do better in the test! He was completely off his game today - kept sodding about. Goodness knows why, even Tony couldnt' guess. Maybe as it was a new group he was showing off for the pretty lady Pointer...

    it WILL be ok tomorrow it WILL

    ::)
     
  8. Sam

    Sam Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Good luck!
     
  9. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    and he .................................

    passed! woo hoo - with merit!

    and it would've been a distinction if he hadn't stopped to eat rabbit poo on the way to the dummy of the first retrieve!!!! :eek:

    obedience was perfect

    I'm very proud of him - we now just need to work on his focus and not playing with the dummy....
     
  10. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Congratulations!

    Many congratulations and very well done to you both. :) :)
    Fantastic news! Merit is very good indeed.

    Hope you have enjoyed the experience overall, and will keep it up!

    Pippa
     
  11. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Thanks Pippa - we have already started grade 2 so seriously need to sort out his sodding about with the retrieves but it is great to see him progress. I keep reminding myself that merit IS very good - Tony doesn't like to have anything other than distinctions so we felt we hadn't quite done enough rather than really be pleased yesterday!


    If he's not that enthusiastic still about retrieving at the end of this course we'll knock it on the head but after all he's still only a baby really so there's time yet.
     
  12. Sam

    Sam Registered Users

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    Re: teenage trouble?

    Merit is a brilliant result - super congratulations to you both!!
     

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