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Old 03-19-2014, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why dogs wash out? Causes, and solutions.

Help me understand this a little better. What causes a dog to wash out and what can be done to prevent this from happening?
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ill give you an example. Guy at my club wants to go to worlds. Has a nice male 19 months old. Lots of prey, great nerves, low prey threshold, HIGH defense threshold. Overall very nice dog could probably do well at the regional level and maybe even nationals with the right training. He just isnt a world level dog, as such he will likely be sold.

Nothing you can do about it imo, its what the dog is. A nice dog, not a world level dog.
The same dog as a female would make a good brood bitch especially with a title, but as a male he isnt top sport. He has a litter mate that has just a bit more of everything that could be considered "top" sport around here.

Then you get dogs with obvious issues, nerves, health etc. Again, not much you can do the dog is what it is.
You can always screw a lower quality dog up a lot easier then a high quality one. JMO if the dog is so easily inhibited by handler or helper error your probably better off with another one competition wise anyways.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ill give you an example. Guy at my club wants to go to worlds. Has a nice male 19 months old. Lots of prey, great nerves, low prey threshold, HIGH defense threshold. Overall very nice dog could probably do well at the regional level and maybe even nationals with the right training. He just isnt a world level dog, as such he will likely be sold.

Nothing you can do about it imo, its what the dog is. A nice dog, not a world level dog.
The same dog as a female would make a good brood bitch especially with a title, but as a male he isnt top sport. He has a litter mate that has just a bit more of everything that could be considered "top" sport around here.

Then you get dogs with obvious issues, nerves, health etc. Again, not much you can do the dog is what it is.
You can always screw a lower quality dog up a lot easier then a high quality one. JMO if the dog is so easily inhibited by handler or helper error your probably better off with another one competition wise anyways.
So washed out means they have hit a threshold limit and the particular dog can't go any higher? Something like that?

As far as training a pup, is there any thing to do so I don't wash a pup out? I try to keep it fun and switched up....I don't want a flat dog....So however I need to avoid a flat dog, please let me know....haha
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To a certain degree you can't help it. Some dogs are naturally explosive for a cue some can be made explosive for a cue. Many can't. Some have naturally good grips and deep bites some don't and it can't really be fixed. Some don't have the nerves for the pressure they see. Some don't have the mental endurance to make it through a routine. Some wash out because once you put control on them they don't want to do the bite work. Some get their foot stepped on by a decoy or helper or whoever or bite their tongues during the bite work and then don't want to do it anymore.

Long story short it's like Blitz says. The dog is what it is.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So washed out means they have hit a threshold limit and the particular dog can't go any higher? Something like that?

As far as training a pup, is there any thing to do so I don't wash a pup out? I try to keep it fun and switched up....I don't want a flat dog....So however I need to avoid a flat dog, please let me know....haha
It can happen for a bunch of reasons, but that is one of them.

As for training I was running into the flat issue recently despite keeping it all positive .
One trap I fell into is pushing to hard and creating a reactive instead of an active dog in training.

There are different things that can increase a dogs focus and drive to achieve the reward, again all depends on the dog.

With pups you gotta keep it really short, keep the dog pushing you for more.

Dont be afraid to terminate a session and crate the dog if its just not happening or if she is half assing it.

Re evaluate your approach and take steps back (this is hard for me).

Teach the dog to push you for the reward before you start luring.

A dog that could care less at 4 months can be completely different at 10 - 12 months. I do believe that leaving all but basic obedience and drive building until 1 year is benificial in some cases.

Im sure others have better advice.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree that you can't teach intensity. Dog either has the oomph or it doesn't. It either has the nerves or it doesn't. Dog is either going to pick up a thrown ball and run back to you full-speed and ram that ball into your stomach or its going to take its merry time.

Washed out to me just means a dog that likes to do the puppy training stuff like flirt pole prey work and tugging etc but once the work gets hard and more intense the dog doesn't up his energy and intensity. Or it could mean a dog that is good as a puppy but straight up can't handle the work as an adult. Basically it's maxed out on its potential.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for giving me a better understanding.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I also think that it depends on what the handler expects to do with the dog, not always just the dog themselves. Everyone in a club isn't always training for Nationals. Its only a washout if you can't possibly figure out how to make it work at any level or aren't willing to work at that level.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sometimes the dog is perceived as not the quality to attain the owners goals. Sometimes the dog just is not drivy, intense, confident etc.
Sometimes the club/handler/style just does not fit the dog.

A lady in Canada bought a young dog off of me....returned him in 3-4 weeks because he did not "fit" the training program. He was possessive of the toy/reward and did not automatically re-engage....he needed to be taught "two ball".

He went to another experienced handler who talked to the helper he was working with....he is about 6x IPO3, with Vs in all three phases (a few weeks ago was 97-95-97 I think, HIT) shown as a 2 and 3 at National levels, with a top 10 at a National...Get updates occasionally from the first buyer's coach/trainer who loved the dog...and who is friends with the owners coach....the first buyer still has not done anything significant and has gone through a couple of dogs.

So it is often a very very good dog who "washes out" because of human error or impatience.

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Old 03-19-2014, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Right a lot of those possessive dogs would have been great had the handler just rewarded with possession and made rules for the return later. When you give them chances to possess they return items for play far more willingly.

People so often forget the point of reward games is to reward the dog. How that occurs is largely up to dog preference. But that is off topic.
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