Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone direct me where I can find informatin on any websites or other places that I can find information on Poodles who work/retreive? Never having been around any dogs who hunt or retreive, I don't even know where to start, but I would love for Cash and I to learn.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
Did Cash show interest in retrieving as an eight week old puppy? One of the criteria I use in selecting a Poodle is good retrieve drive. One because I like to play fetch with my dogs (it is an easy way to exercise them) but two, because I think it shows good work ethic and a desire to work for and with people. All of my girls retrieved to hand a 8 weeks.

Anyway, does he show interest in retrieving now? Does he like to carry toys around? If so, your job is going to be easier.

You have a couple of choices. You can wing it and see what happens, you can use a clicker to shape behavior, or you can use a traditional forced retrieve method.

If you are going to wing it at home, I'd get a high value toy that he really likes and that is easy for him to hold in his mouth. This could be a tennis ball (good because they roll and get the dog excited) or a stuffie toy. Put Cash on a very thin long line. You can make one by going to the hardware store and getting a nylon cord and putting a snap on the end. This is going to be used to reel him in once he goes after the toy but it will be thin enough that it won't get in his way and discourage him.

Tease Cash with the toy. Get him really worked up and then toss the toy about 3 feet away. When he goes and picks it up, PRAISE PARTY PRAISE!!!!! Encourage him to come back by running backwards away from him. If he does not come back, you can reel him in. Hopefully he will not drop the toy (this is where a stuffie is good). When he gets back, tell him to "give" and release the toy (this should be taught as a separate exercise) and reward him with a treat.

If Cash has no natural desire to chase and retrieve, you will have a long row to hoe.

Teaching a real as opposed to the above play retrieve is another thing. Performance dogs need to be taught that retrieving is compulsory and not optional. You can't have a field dog quit in the middle of a hunt and if your obedience dog does not retrieve on command, you will flunk your test.

This is where systematic training comes in. Most hunt and competition folks use a traditional ear pinch to teach what is called a forced retrieve. You need a highly experienced trainer to show you how to do this and you will need lots of background obedience work before you move on to this step. I don't think you need a "hunting poodle" person. An experienced competition obedience person will do.

I don't know anyone who uses a clicker method to teach a competition retrieve, but I know that there must be folks who successfully do. Contact your local kennel club and ask for the phone numbers of people competing in Utility obedience. Call them and start asking about training opportunities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,345 Posts
This is where systematic training comes in. Most hunt and competition folks use a traditional ear pinch to teach what is called a forced retrieve. You need a highly experienced trainer to show you how to do this and you will need lots of background obedience work before you move on to this step. I don't think you need a "hunting poodle" person. An experienced competition obedience person will do.
Yeah, I just found out about the ear pinching thing a few days ago when I was talking to a trainer that trains shepherds for search and rescue, impulse control, and sniffing out narcotics. She was saying that there isn't really a really kind way of training a retriever, as remote collars are often used as well.

I was getting a little discouraged about the whole thing, not being sure how well I'd be able to harm my puppy, but she sent me a link to this site.

http://www.bestretrievers.com/

And she knows the guys that does the training, saying that if I wanted the best retriever, it really is the way to go. I'm still considering it, I'm just not sure about the whole process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
cbrand - Thank you for all the information! Right now he only occassionally goes after one specific squeeky toy. I didn't have him at 8 weeks. He was 13 weeks when we got him. I don't necessarily need him to hunt, but I do want to get into advanced obedience, utility, with him eventually. His focus is really good when he's "on" and he is doing a very reliable ON LEASH recall. (I won't try off leash for some time!). He also will "finish" and heal well. When we are not working he is the most laid back puppy I have ever had!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
I will finally have a chance to start training Enzo retrieving. I should be going to a dock diving class next weekend. To get him into jumping in the water to get his toys. Enzo has a very high prey drive so We will see what happens when he goes. He went to the beach once and loved it and he can swim :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Dock diving sounds like a blast! Cash's prey drive isn't that high, so I think I'll see what I can do on solid ground before we hit the water..lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
Dock diving sounds like a blast! Cash's prey drive isn't that high, so I think I'll see what I can do on solid ground before we hit the water..lol
Does Cash like water ?

Yeah lol start out slow. Cbrand gave great advice. Enzo too prey driven sometimes Not sure if you saw the video of him finding my cats ? He chases my cats when I make them get out of my room lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Honestly, he hasn't been around much water. We have a large pond, but the dogs always smell SO bad after they've been in it, we haven't allowed him down there. There's also LOTS of burrs and stuff to get stuck in his coat. (I spend 3 hours pulling burrs out of his coat two nights ago- I swore next time he would get shaved!)
He does try to chase our cats sometimes though - I have been trying to break him of it because they told me his mother will kill any cat that she can catch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
To start out with fetch

I have to say Bella loves to 'fetch' more than any other dog I've known! I won't hunt with her, but it's sure fun to play with them.

We started when we got her at just under 3 months and would just do lots of praise and treats (kibble) when she brought it back to us. We've just started to have success with 'drop it' through similiar techniques. Though not yet if it's contraband we want her to drop. grumble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,145 Posts
Honestly, he hasn't been around much water. We have a large pond, but the dogs always smell SO bad after they've been in it, we haven't allowed him down there. There's also LOTS of burrs and stuff to get stuck in his coat. (I spend 3 hours pulling burrs out of his coat two nights ago- I swore next time he would get shaved!)
He does try to chase our cats sometimes though - I have been trying to break him of it because they told me his mother will kill any cat that she can catch.
If he chases the cats then he has a prey drive. Enzo wont kill my cats but he chases them for fun and play. Turn that prey drive away from you cats onto toys. Enzo loves feather cat toys lol Try this ( I am going to buy on soon) http://www.gundogsupply.com/wildwingdummy.html. I am also going to buy a dokken dummy which is this http://www.gundogsupply.com/dokkenducks.html

Along with this book ( probably buy it right now as I type lol )
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1890948330/sr=1-1/qid=1255026664/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1255026664&sr=1-1&seller=

don't buy it from amazon though other websites have it for 24.95
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Our dogs (Portuguese Water Dogs) are all fantastic retrievers and have achieved the highest levels in water work, which has a lot of controlled retrieve situations. We choose our pups in a similar way to Cbrand (look for the natural retrievers in the litter), but we mostly use play training and reward/ clicker methods.

First we get the dog liking to retrieve through games such as CBrand described above, then we train them for performance. So far we have never had to use any ear pinch methods. Having said that, we compete for fun rather than for top performance spots - although some who think my mom doesn't take competing seriously have watched her title multiple dogs in a single week-end. So I guess my point is, you can have fun with training and still get good results, it depends on what methods you're comfortable with. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
The descriptions of 'prey drive' make me laugh thinking of my childhood retriever mix. She had a huge prey drive that would have her bolt across the street in front of cars, sit motionless at a mystery hole in the yard for hours, point, chase birds she had no hope of catching, the whole 9 yars. However she was scared to death of water and loud noises. LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
I have to say Bella loves to 'fetch' more than any other dog I've known! I won't hunt with her, but it's sure fun to play with them.

We started when we got her at just under 3 months and would just do lots of praise and treats (kibble) when she brought it back to us. We've just started to have success with 'drop it' through similiar techniques. Though not yet if it's contraband we want her to drop. grumble.
Don't teach her to drop it, teach her to "give" as in let you take it out of her mouth. In competition you never want a dog to drop a dumb bell, article or bird.

In fact, all of my dogs are taught to pick things up. They have to hand me the frisbee or ball if they want me to throw it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
cbrand - Thank you for all the information! Right now he only occassionally goes after one specific squeeky toy. I didn't have him at 8 weeks. He was 13 weeks when we got him. I don't necessarily need him to hunt, but I do want to get into advanced obedience, utility, with him eventually. His focus is really good when he's "on" and he is doing a very reliable ON LEASH recall. (I won't try off leash for some time!). He also will "finish" and heal well. When we are not working he is the most laid back puppy I have ever had!
Laid back is good in a house pet, but not necessarily good in a performance dog. If you want to get all the way through Utility, you are going to have to build and develop his drive.

Are you working with a trainer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,686 Posts
First we get the dog liking to retrieve through games such as CBrand described above, then we train them for performance. So far we have never had to use any ear pinch methods. Having said that, we compete for fun rather than for top performance spots - although some who think my mom doesn't take competing seriously have watched her title multiple dogs in a single week-end. So I guess my point is, you can have fun with training and still get good results, it depends on what methods you're comfortable with. :)
I never thought I'd use an ear pinch.

My Sabrina has retrieve drive that would put any Lab or Golden to shame. She also has the work ethic of a Roman Centurian. I NEVER had to use any compulsion training to get her to retrieve. Retrieving was its own reward.

Izze loves to play and retrieve, but she is a softer poodle than Sabrina. I had trouble with her doing dead retrieves on things that did not interest her (i.e she would chase and get a thrown ball, but she would refuse to retrieve or quit if I sent her out to get a metal article that was put out for her.)

I used an ear pinch method but I didn't use it as hard as some trainers do where you pinch until the dog opens his mouth in pain. I simply used a relatively gentle ear pinch so that she had a clear retrieve correction that was differenct from the correction she recieved for not healing or not jumping etc.

It was difficult at first and we struggled and she had melt downs, but we eventually worked through it. Now, she is really enjoying her retrieving work. The compulsion training has given her the confidence to know that yes she can pick up and carry a variety of odd things in a variety of situations.

Also, anyone interested in Competition Hunt work would be smart to find non-Lab people to train with. The Lab folks are really, really hard on their dogs. Many of them don't think that you are doing it right unless your Lab is screaming when you zap it with the E-collar. A Lab will take that kind of abuse, but a Poodle will resent you for it. Try to find a Golden person to work with. They are usually a little kinder to their dogs.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top