Using a Target Stick for Stop Whistle?

Discussion in 'Gundog Training, Fieldwork, & Field Trials' started by charlie, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I am trying to use a target stick to get distance with Charlie's stop whistle. So far we are only in our yard, so this is what I do, I sit Charlie up on my left and direct him with a hand signal to the stick, click when he touches it with his nose and treat but how will I eventually just use the stop whistle without him expecting a C&T? He was pretty funny for a while bringing me the stick :D he eventually got it :rolleyes:

    I did do lots of work with it around the house before I started in the yard. Lots of highs, lows, side, floor etc. as per some video's I watched.

    Is this the wrong use of the stick and will it help?

    Thanks so much xx :)
     
  2. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    If your stop is properly on cue, then just blow your stop just before he gets to the target stick. He should stop. If he doesn't, then your stop cue isn't strong enough.
     
  3. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Should I still C&T? Thanks Julie.
     
  4. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator

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    Yes, you can still use a C&T - depending on how you've applied the clicker before, he'll either take the click to be a release, at which point he'll come to you for the treat, or you can go to him, or throw it to him. Lots of people recommend you reward in place or behind so the dog doesn't anticipate returning to you which may make him start creeping, but the opposing view is that it doesn't really matter what the dog does after the event marker, if that's his release.

    If you can muster up a helper, I found that using a bowl of food is more powerful for training the stop than my target sticks (although they're great for when you don't have a helper). If he doesn't stop, the helper simply picks up the food so he can't self-reward. If he does stop, you get to use Premack by sending him to get the food afterwards.
     
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  5. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Oh that's brilliant Fiona, thank you for your help. I click and go to him to treat. The bowl of food sounds like a great idea, when my little helper gets home I will give it a go :)
     
  6. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    The food ball and also a thrown tennis ball (not both together, separate excercises) were how I taught my Lab and he is a whizz on the stop whistle. The stop whistle should mean "stop and look at me and I am going to tell you what do do" eg, get the tennis ball, eat your treat in the bowl. I am wondering if Charlie might get muddled in thinking the reward is for touching the target stick?
     
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator

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    The idea is that you stop the dog on the way to the target stick - the target is just a way of getting the dog to move away from you.
     
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  8. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

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    If you get a food bowl with a lid the dog can't self reward (a tight lid for those determined pups!) Then when the dog stops you go and take the lid off the bowl so the dog can take his reward......
     
  9. JulieT

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    If you send to a food bowl though, you are working on stopping when heading to a distraction. Helen is working on increasing distance. Really you want to do one thing at a time. Either stopping when heading towards food, or distance. If you need a motivation to run to the target stick, just put some sardines on it a few times...:D
     
  10. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    Oh I see! I thought the dog had to touch the target stick and get a whistle sit :rolleyes:
     
  11. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    Sardines on a target stick, that would take some stopping the dog!
     
  12. JulieT

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    You don't! If you are only working on distance. Just stick sardines on the target stick, send dog. You can rapidly get out to 50m+. Then send the dog without sardines. Dog looks up when gets there 'oi where are my sardines!' and you blow your stop then take him the sardines. It's just like a missing retrieve, only it's missing sardines. :D:D:D
     
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  13. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator

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    I was just lamenting all the walking back and forward I would have to do with sardines in lieu of a helper, and then I had a brainwave... a drone! This could be all our training woes solved! :rofl:
     
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  14. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    OOh clever thinking :)
     
  15. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Saw a guide dog trainer do it with her own Labrador at clicker camp. She got 100m on her target sticks while the rest of us were messing with C&T for a nose touch. :rolleyes::D
     
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  16. JulieT

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    A sardine dropping drone would certainly be a big help! :D With all sorts of things.
     
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  17. snowbunny

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    A sardine-dropping, dummy-picking-up, videoing drone. I'm on it :D
     
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  18. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    My problem Stacia, is Charlie doesn't value a ball :( x
     
  19. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I have been doing some work with the target stick and so far:- Sit Charlie up, send him to the target stick, just before he gets to it blow my stop whistle, he whips round BUT walks about a couple of feet towards me then sits, treat, is that OK? I know it's just a few sessions but I don't want to get this wrong. Thanks :)
     
  20. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator

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    Well, if what you're after is a turn and sit, then it's obviously not perfect, but whether it's OK depends on what your own standards are, really :)
    How have you trained the stop up to now, before using the target stick? Have you used a hand signal as well as your whistle? I found for a good while that the raised hand was a lot stronger than the whistle, but I used the hand from the get-go, so it may depend on how you trained it. If you do have a hand signal that you may have faded, then it would be worth reintroducing it at this point - as you're making it more challenging by adding the distance, you can make it a bit easier at first by bringing back the visual cue.

    But all that's rubbish if you didn't start with a visual cue, so it would help to know what you've done up to now :)
     

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