- Series A. Delivery shaping on poorman marks (Laddie, with Lumi resting in the van)
Additional comments on this session appeared in the DogTrek and PositiveGunDogs lists for this date.
The idea is to interrupt the dog’s determination/focus on digging back – which determination is resulting in the cast refusal. You want the partial come-in to make it easier for the dog to succeed on the next cast, thus putting him back on track with YOUR game rather than what’s sloshing around in his head at the moment.
Classically speaking, the verbal HERE takes the handler input out of the “normal mainstream blind” mode better – much better – than a whistle, in a game where the dog is expecting whistles. It gets the dog’s attenion as an “interruptive stimulus” better than the whistle—mainly because it is NOT a whistle, and therefore not “business as usual”. A come in whistle is something that the dog, especially after some experience with cold blinds, is apt to view as just a direction to move slightly toward the handler and pick up a blind. You don’t want him coming in and hunting for something in this circumstance, you want him coming in with his head up and his eyes on you, paying attention to you.
You want him to recognize that he’s going the “wrong” way by digging back and to therefore get ready for a recognizably different set of instructions.
Also, what many don’t realize, is that the come-in whistle comes to take on CR+ properties with experienced cold blind dogs. The longer a dog runs cold blinds, the more he learns that the come-in whistle predicts “something nearby to pick up.” In effect it becomes a conditioned +R predicting the +R of the retrieve. You HARDLY want that association when you use the partial recall to gain better control and better attention on a blind.
Hence using the verbal Here avoids all those traps. It avoids inadvertantly communicating to the dog “+R about to happen near your face” as it does so often when running cold blinds.
Also you can put nuances of authority into a verbal that most trainers have trouble doing with a whistle. You can make the Here loud, soft, neutral, not neutral, suggestive, non-threatening, “impatient” etc.
Lastly, to the extent that a dog finds being called in unpleasant (apparently yours do), you don’t want them making this association with the come-in whistle in general, which you want them to view as neutral and helpful input to direct them ever closer to the retrieve object (typcally it’s given because the dog overran the blind or might do so – being on the upwind side by 10 inches -- but is still close to the blind). You can avoid “polluting” your come-in whistle -- when used for the partial recall purpose to fix a cast refusal -- if you use the verbal for that purpose.
LLLLLRRRRRLLLLLLaddie's performance was excellent. The only problem was that three times on his way to P2, he ran to Q and the diverted toward Q1. I believe these lapses were a loss of concentration resulting from the difficult wind conditions.
based on guidance from Alice Woodyard and Jody Baker
BEFORE OTHER TRAINERS ARRIVE