dukslayer888 wrote:I had a question on the first part about sitting on command....he used to sit on the first command, but now he seems to hesitate longer and longer. He will still sit on the first command but it will take him a few seconds....
Well, if you aren't correcting him, then he will think its okay. This is very common and that's why I mentioned it
First try to determine if he is just slacking (often to have some control over the situation but still obeying) or if he is frightened or lacks confidence in what he's supposed to do. If the first, then just correct him if he doesn't sit immediatly. You can give him the command then say "no" repeat sit with simultaneous snap of the lead or tap on the rear depending on how you have corrected for sit in past. Most likely he will act confused at first and be slower even than before as he hesitates. If he does this, just work through it. Praise and treat as soon as his hind hits the ground. Becareful with repeating sit. The second time is only to avoid confusion because he thinks he know this command. Don't llet him get into the habit of making you repeat it. Once he starts to get the idea and sit quickly say it once only, and if you need to correct don't repeat the command.
The second option, If he is insecure of what you want or frightened, just use postitive rewards when he gets it right and a CALM "no" for correction until he know what to do. Then you can correct as above to speed him up.
dukslayer888 wrote:and also when we are in the field and I yell sit...he often comes to me and then sits..
Start with this in the yard first after you have fixed the problem above. You have to read your dog on this one (on every problem really!). My lab was really snappy on sit but tried to return, as is very common also.
I told her to sit when she was about 6 feet away and as she tried to run back I quickly said "NO" "SIT" and held my flat hand out in a stop like signal. At the same time I slowly took several steps back to keep abou the same distance between us. She hestated then sat. If the dog moves a long distance then say "no" and go move them back to where they were and sit them then move away slowly and correct if they get up. Drill a little bit for a few days to speed up the sit again then ask when they are further and further out. Some dogs need a firmer way to stop them. I worked with one that was stubborn but very soft and wouild run to me at the slightest confusion. If I had said no she would run to me anyway. For her I put a stake in the ground and ran a 25 foot check cord through it to her collar. That way if I held the cord tight she would be pulled toward the stake, not me. She got the idea pretty quickly. (Lots of pointing dog people use this method for whoa training for the same reasons.)
I still drill this with my lab all the time and she's 3. I throw a sit command out at all different times and keep her quick. It's very easy for them to start to hesitate.
I'd refine this stuff before working on the bird issues.
I bought the book on amazon.com used for around $20. If you are going to try to fix the retrieving stuff yourself I really reccomend it. Otherwise or perhaps even so get together with a local trainer. Many times they will trade a little consultation for some help, cause they always need extra hands... I know I do