Retriever Training – Steadiness using Premack

Having just watched one of Susan Garrett’s podcasts on the Premack Principle I though of this blog post where I used Premack to teach my dogs to be steady on a retrieve.

Louise's Dog Blog

In retriever tests and trials it is a requirement that your dog is steady in the line until sent by the handler to retrieve.  An unsteady dog will fail to mark the fall accurately, particularly if the fall is in cover of some sort, so steadying a dog is one of the skills it is important to master if your dog is to “make the grade”.

Punishment as Motivation – not Recommended

Traditional trainers through the years have used punishment to teach the dog to remain steady.  Some dogs are brought into line wearing a lead which will then bring the dog up short as he runs out and hits the end of the leash.  Some trainers clip their dog with a heeling stick or whip as they run out.  Some trainers “correct” their dogs at the slightest sign of breaking with a helper armed with a BB gun or…

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One Response to Retriever Training – Steadiness using Premack

  1. Missy Skeeter says:

    Easy with a retriever…simply have another retriever honor, if one retriever creeps or is noise, she is denied the retrieve and the other retriever is released for the retrieve. Simple and effective.
    If no other retriever is available, the human trainer can do the same using stand alone marks:


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