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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The GSP has been doing great. She's steady to all kinds of distractions on the barrel, platform, board, and now really anywhere in the yard.

I have been whoaing her with a check cord around the waist (not cinching her waist, just attached to her collar, then through a handkerchief tied to her waist). I have been tossing treats or bumpers out into the yard and during the retrieve, whoaing her from behind. It has few days since I have had to use the cord, and I could even toss a treat, whoa her, toss two more while she held steady, and then release her to collect all three treats.

Well, today I felt that she could use some more freedom, so I went to the e-collar on the waist. If she gets a poke in the field, level 3 seems to be the magic number. Level 1 is so low that I can press it down hard into my wrist continuously without really even feeling it. So, rather than shocking her needlessly to "find" the right level, I logically chose level 2.

Anyway, I tossed a treat, whoaed her, released her -- no problem. On the second attempt, I tossed the treat, whoaed her, and she paused for about two seconds and broke for the treat. Without a word, I nicked her. I "know" it was supposed to be a continuous shock, but as soon as I hit that button, her tail was tucked and she was cowering at my side!

I heeled her and walked her to the treat, gently encouraging her with the command "find it". I tossed one or two more, but she wouldn't go after them at all.

I stripped her of all collars, and we worked on "here" for a few minutes; then we wrestled and played for a while. After a good long break, and still no collars, I tossed a couple bumpers then a couple treats and she happily went after them. However, I whoe-ed her on one, and she immediately tucked her tail and heeled... More recall, more playing and our session was done.

Well, I'll exercise her tomorrow, but no yard work. Then Thursday we'll go back to square one and quit as soon as she looks uncomfortable.

I just hope I didn't erase two weeks of whoa training (or worse -- like 4 years of field work!) with the push of a button...

KW

P.S. Yeah, I've been running my pointer for 4 years without ever teaching her "whoa"... pretty sad, I know!
 

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Next time you toss a treat like that make sure it is in a direction that leaves you between the dog and the treat and if the dog goes for the treat don't nic the dog jump on the treat and don't let the dog have the reward. It won't take long before the dog realizes if I go before I am sent I won't get the treat.
 

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It sounds like your pup is doing an excellent job at recall when pup is nicked!!! However, this is not what you want her to do, correct? I don't want to say this but I feel I have to, to begin helping you out in your other training. I never teach a dog to "Come" using the ecollar as their first command. Hopefully, you're beginning to see the logic behind this now. Anyways, let bygone be bygones and let's figure out how to change pup's behavior.

First and foremost, it sounds like you are going way to fast in your training based on your previous posts. Slow down. At each step of the process, your dog should end up completing the task religiously and confidently. Pup should complete each step with it's tail up. Pup is saying that I know exactly what to do and I am confidently doing it. When you see this much confidence in you pup, then move on. With this being said, you need to go back where the pup doesn't have the chance to heel/recall. How do you do this? Go back to pup's side during your training and continuously stimulate pup before you give the command. Pup will think, what the hell is going on here, I am recalled but I'm still getting zapped. Use your lead to help pup "Whoa" but continue stimulation until pup stops. After successful completion of this step ... for many days ... then you can begin to give your command, then zap. After succesful days of this, begin moving farther away from your pup.

To me it appears that pup is confused on why he's getting stimulated, therefore, he's doing what he knows best, and is recalling. Pup doesn't realize that he can control the stimulation by OBEYING THE COMMAND. This is what needs to be reinforced, obey the command, not what he was taught previously.

...or you can put pup up on ebay for auction. Good luck!
 

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I had heard the belly is a much more sensitive spot compared to the neck. Maybe 1 would have been fine.
SLOW down.. back up and ease into this..
 

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This is a situation when I really like a Tone Mode on a collar..........

The Tone is an amazing option on a collar especially when you have a willing worker.

I would never buy a collar without one.

The dog has to respect the collar first then it falls right into place.

Just my .2 cts
 

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Might pay to spend an afternoon or two with an accomplished trainer. A couple hundred bucks is a small price to pay over the life of a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
SUCCESS! Er... at least improvement! After the 24 hour break, the GSP was willing to give "whoa" another shot. I kept it light and easy on Friday, playing some "whoa" games in our basement with her.

On Saturday, I took her over to work some Pigeons with FindtheBird. At first, she was more "interested" in them than really "birdy" and wouldn't really point them. Mike had the idea to have her work a tethered bird and that really got her attention. I whoa-ed her on a waist-hitch check cord as the bird flapped around. The next planted bird she pointed and actually held for a few ticks.

Sunday, we were at the lake doing water retrieves (more for fun/exercise than retrieving training, really). After she was good and pooped, we did some "whoa" work on the crate, then in the lawn with a check cord. After that, I brought the bumper back out, getting her REALLY hyped up about retrieving, rewarding with a treat (well, piece of kibble) on EVERY return, and mixing up the land/water retrieves. She was just TEARING after the bumper, and on every 5th or 6th toss I'd whoa her. She'd screech to a halt, high on both ends, and wait for the "ok" to finish the retrieve. When she did finish: treats + attention + petting + praise = more excitement for the next retrieve. I only whoaed her 4 or 5 times, but man, she was putting on the brakes so hard that my Aunt asked if I was shocking her. I didn't even have her collar turned on! No check cord, nothing!

How this will translate to steadiness on birds, I'm not sure, but I'm excited to get her out on some woodies this weekend! Mike suggested a check-cord in the woods, and I think that's the plan at this point.

The EP is coming along MUCH more slowly, so I'm taking things MUCH more slowly! Any pressure at the waist is still causing a major freak out, so I'm going to have to take a gentler approach with her. I'm looking forward to working our way through it though, and this whole process has got me geeked about the upcoming season!

KW
 

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For what it's worth and I'm not sure how the other guys/gals on the board do this but I never "whoa" my dog INTO a bird. Dog must establish point first, then a soft "Whoa" to get them to hold steady. This is why, I feel, launchers are great. Pup goes on point or doesn't quite go on point, If pup gets too close, lauch the bird. Let pup educate himself as to how far he can get to a bird. Once pup starts to establish point, any movement, launch the bird. Stay behind pup when doing this type of training. Pup needs to learn that his movement is causing the bird to fly away.
If you're going to work him on wild birds this weekend, try to be the innocent bystander. Let him, run/chase birds, because he won't catch them. Let him begin to realize that he will not catch them. Bring your starter pistol along and when pups in full chase, snap off a round. Make sure pup has his sole concentration on the bird (best if chasing) and fire the first few shots from a distance.
 

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For what it's worth and I'm not sure how the other guys/gals on the board do this but I never "whoa" my dog INTO a bird. Dog must establish point first, then a soft "Whoa" to get them to hold steady. This is why, I feel, launchers are great. Pup goes on point or doesn't quite go on point, If pup gets too close, lauch the bird. Let pup educate himself as to how far he can get to a bird. Once pup starts to establish point, any movement, launch the bird. Stay behind pup when doing this type of training. Pup needs to learn that his movement is causing the bird to fly away.
Absolutely!

If you're going to work him on wild birds this weekend, try to be the innocent bystander. Let him, run/chase birds, because he won't catch them. Let him begin to realize that he will not catch them. Bring your starter pistol along and when pups in full chase, snap off a round. Make sure pup has his sole concentration on the bird (best if chasing) and fire the first few shots from a distance.
Under most circumstances I would wholeheartedly agree. However, he's been hunting this dog for a few years and has shown him a number of wild birds and the dog still has some steadiness issues. My pointer #1 was in a similar boat about at about the same age, and I attribute part of his rapid improvement afterward to stepping-in when he mis-handled his birds--not in a heavy-handed way, but simply placing the dog back at the location of the original point and whoa-ing him with praise to follow. Another thing that I believe helped was ceasing my practice of shooting at every bird that got off the ground: the dog had to handle the bird perfectly before I'd shoot.
 

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FindtheBird is absolutely correct. I've been responding to so many forums, I forgot that we were dealing with a mature dog. Take FTB's advice ... he's right on.
 
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