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.
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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