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machohorn

Please explain

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I am a little confused about some terms, can some one or many of you please explain the terms Force Fetch, Steady ,Whoa? And when to use these commands/ when to start introducing a pup to them. I have a 8 week old chocolate, He knows sit , working on stay command and knows Go, give and No exceptionaly well.. I have been looking back through these forums and every one uses these terms but to me it's just another word. Thanks Mac.

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Force Fetch - Training the dog to retrieve. Teaches the dog it must retrieve, that it's not optional. Sometimes used to cure hardmouth.

Steady - For pointers the dog is trained not to move when point is established. Will remain steady through the flush and the shot and fall of the bird. Will not retrieve until sent to retrieve. Also will stop if a bird flushes while the dog is running. Don't know exactly what it may mean for flushers. Probably to sit when a bird flushes and remain sitting until commanded to do something else.

Whoa - Generally this is a pointing dog command but could be useful for flushers too. I think the flusher equivalent to whoa might be hup. It's a command to tell the dog to stop, stand there (or sit there for flushers), and don't move until released with another command. To me this is the most important command a pointing dog can learn.

Also don't overdo the obedience stuff right now. Your pup is only 8 weeks old. Let him be a pup for a while.

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I just work him on the sit part for food, treat after doing good, when he retrieves his ball or dummy 3-4 times then another small treat, then it's play time I take the wing out and let him chase it a bit, then let him grab it then Give. another small morsel, what I give him each time is a small chunk of doggie treat about the size of a M& M. Also the last 3 days the grand kids 1.5 and 2.5 yrs. come over to play with him. they trow the ball, run, and yesterday they even got him to sit in the electric gator and gave him a ride! and every 3rd. day he gets to go swimming, this is all fun times for him. Now this weekend he will be going on his 1st. camping /boat trip, Me the Mrs and the 2 G, daughters and the pup, This outta be very interesting!

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I know GSPman already went over these but I already wrote all of it so I will post it anyways.....but here it is again from my perspective (Pointing Lab guy).

Force Fetch (FF) - The process of training the dog to retrieve any object to hand on command, with the use of pressure. During the process of FF the dog learn how to remove pressure(ear pinch, toe pinch) by retrieving. This also sets up future training as once through FF the dog has learn to respond to and deal with pressure.

Steady - The dog does not break from where he's at. If the dog is steady he will not leave your blind until released. There are different levels/forms of being steady. Steady to wing, steady to shot, steady to fall. Example: a dog that is steady to wing will not chase a bird once flushed (he will sit or stand depending on how he was trained), but may go once the gun is fired. This dog would not be steady to shot at this point.

Whoa - What whoa means to me is DON'T MOVE. Feet should not move, head may. This can take a decent amount of time to ingrain in the dogs head but eventually any time I saw whoa the dog DOES NOT MOVE. This can be a good tool to use for training steadiness (steady to wing/shot). I personally don't use this on pointing, but many pointing dog trainers may, or may use it in other ways.

As GSP mentioned....your pup is VERY young. Let him have fun at this point. No harm is doing sit and very basic stuff.....but no need to rush anything either. Sit back and watch and enjoy this time with him. You will have plenty of time in the upcoming months to train your gun dog. DON'T over due the retrieving. 2-4 retrieves and put him away wanting more!

Take your pup on walks daily in fields and terrain that he will live for when he's older (fields for upland dogs, woods for grouse, etc). Don't give any commands..you don't need to speak at all......just walk and watch him, see how he reacts to you and his surroundings. It will be a good learning experience for him. After a few days find some thing that may challenge him a bit (but wont harm him). Climbing over logs, going through tall grass, bushes, steeper inclines...etc.

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I had to run him over to Princton last night to see the breeder and a shot, on the way home we stopped at the refuge by orrock and took him on a walk, tall grass then woods I went in the grass, and he followed me right in, Stayed at my heels so I had the wifey call him to her Zoom! off he went, a short walk I I called him Zoom here he comes. The woods was a little spooky to him and way too many deer fly's , Skeeters for me. 45 minutes of a walk was great. he did flush 1 tweedy bird gave a 3foot chase then watched it fly away. He is getting lots of different exposures to life.

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I had to run him over to Princton last night to see the breeder and a shot, on the way home we stopped at the refuge by orrock and took him on a walk, tall grass then woods I went in the grass, and he followed me right in, Stayed at my heels so I had the wifey call him to her Zoom! off he went, a short walk I I called him Zoom here he comes. The woods was a little spooky to him and way too many deer fly's , Skeeters for me. 45 minutes of a walk was great. he did flush 1 tweedy bird gave a 3foot chase then watched it fly away. He is getting lots of different exposures to life.

IMO...this is great! One thing I would personally change though is try doing it more with just you two. Just to help create that bond more. His focus would be on you and you alone while your out, and again no need to distract him by calling him or anything.....just let him figure things out. But...that's just the way I prefer. This concept was from a trainers program that I prefer to follow. Her thing is to do this every day...for the first 6 months.

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Very good stuff. Excellent descriptions of the terms. One additonal bit of info - the pup probably isn't going to venture away from you too much in the woods/fields until he gets a little older. He feels secure by you especially in areas he's never been to before. Once you introduce him to birds or he starts to find birds then he'll start going out and seeking them. That was something I was worried about for a while with my first pup. He would always be beside me until he got some confidence to go out on his own. Once he got the taste/smell of birds he then started seeking out birds and hunting ahead of me.

Some dogs start hunting earlier than others but it'll happen so be patient. It's also fun to see the clumsy little pups falling down in the woods anf fields. I laughed so hard wathcing my frineds Viszla do a total face plant chasing a quail a few weeks ago, too funny. Just make sure he's pretty relaible on come/here to return to you because once he starts to get a lot of bird exposure he generally will rather hunt than come back to you. Lots of people think their dog listens great until they get on birds, birds change their life forever.

It's a great time, watching them figure things out is an amzing thing to experience, enjoy it. I wish you all the best.

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One additonal bit of info - the pup probably isn't going to venture away from you too much in the woods/fields until he gets a little older. He feels secure by you especially in areas he's never been to before.

Good point! Don't worry if he stays at your feet initially.....eventually he will start to venture out over time.

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Mac,

that is a lot of good info posted up. a couple things i have to add: IMO, i don't teach the "stay" command, because sit means sit. it is one less commmand to teach the dog then.

also, to start him coming back to you when retrieving, you can do the "hallway retrieve". go to the longest hallway in your house, shut all of the doors, and throw the wing, ball, bumper, etc to the end, he now has no choice but to come back to you.

make sure he is getting plenty of exposure to different people, especially kids, if you will be around any ever, and exposure to different dogs. also, try to take him as many places as you can, plenty of car rides too. I just try to get him comfortable with anything he may run into in everyday life once he gets older.

I also take my pups out in the boat at young age, get them used to riding in it. and also, don't be afraid to take him swimming, don't trow anything very far out, but you can throw a bumper a few feet out, or you get in the water and splash and play around, let him know its fun to be in the water.

and like the others have said, don't worry too much about formal obedience right now, let him be a puppy, and cherish these times, cause they go fast, and they never come back again... you'll have plenty of time to crack down on training when he gets 4-5 months old.

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sit means sit

Great point!

To each their own but many do not use the "stay" command. If you sit your dog and he moves, he just disobeyed the given command. Re-enforce the sit, you don't need a second command to do that (if that's what your using it for). It can sometimes be hard to keep yourself from using it....but after a while you will get used to it.

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Sit vrs Stay = same . Thats a great tip! he's been to the lake twice, loves the water, swims pretty good. I also plan on taking him to the Game Fair. He's getting plenty of exposure. Kids of all sizes, Neighbor hood dogs. I get home about 3 hours b4 wife so we have plenty of bonding time. My Beagle of 13 years was put to rest in Feb. he was just a lovable pet. b4 that I have had 3 labs,2 coon hounds,a spanial, a bunch of cats and fish. So 6 months with out a buddy was getting to me. 20-25 years ago when I had my labs I just trained them for what I needed, hunt / farm dog. I hope this guy brings me enjoyment well into my "Retirement" years.

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Just one more thing I would do - all of the other suggestions are RIGHT on.

I would pet your puppy when he eats. Put your hand in the bowl when he is eating. We all tend to hear bad stories about a dog eating and a child putting their hand in the bowl and a bite happens. This can be solved early.

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I already pull his tail, pet, move his legs, move his dish so I can give fresh water. All my dogs have never had a ugly moment at this feeding area, My kids are 28 and 30, now Grand Kids so I know it's very important to get them adjusted to any thing possible, The oldest G.K loves to feed him so we let herand tell her to pet the pup and talk nice to it, she's 2.5 They also give treats and tell the pup "No Bite", Be Good.

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Just one more thing I would do - all of the other suggestions are RIGHT on.

I would pet your puppy when he eats. Put your hand in the bowl when he is eating. We all tend to hear bad stories about a dog eating and a child putting their hand in the bowl and a bite happens. This can be solved early.

thats a good point. another thing to do is handle their feet, toes, ears and mouth a lot when they are young. this will make things easier when you clip nails, checking ears for stuff, and mouth too. they won't fight you as much when they get older, because they are used to it.

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