Are you confused by all of the different retriever training definitions that trainers use? Like most other sports and hobbies, the retriever training world has it’s own words, phrases, and terminologies that are unique to the industry. I have composed a list to help anyone interested in trained retrievers know what they might be getting.
- Obed. – This is short for obedience and means that a dog will heel, sit, stay, and come on command.
- Whistle trained – This means a dog will sit and come on voice commands or with the tweet of a training whistle.
- FF (force fetched) – A dog that has been force fetched now fetches on command and not just because it wants to.
- CC (collar conditioned) – This dog fully understands the use of the electric training collar and knows that simply obeying the commands relieves the pressure from the collar.
- FTP (forced to pile) – This is a dog that has learned to go back to a pile of bumpers on command.
- Steady to shot – This is a dog that remains in position after game has been shot or bumpers have been thrown. This dog only goes when sent.
- Mark – A mark is when a dog sees a bird fall then marks it’s location and retrieves it.
- Multiple marks – Also known as doubles or triples. This is when a dog marks several birds and remembers them. The dog is sent to retrieve the birds in a determined order without hand signals but instead by its memory.
- Hand signals – A dog that knows hand signals is able to be directed to a downed bird in a field or water by the handler signaling with his hands which way the dog should go.
- Blind retrieve – This dog retrieves a bird it did not mark based on the handler’s use of hand signals and whistle commands.
- Honor – This dog remains steady while another dog hunts downed game.
There are also different classifications of trained dogs. Keep in mind these are very general definitions so always check with the trainer for specific details.
I. Started retriever: At the very least this dog is obedience trained, socialized, and able to perform single marked retrieves and deliver them to the handler (if not delivered to hand as prefered at least within a few feet).
II. Seasoned retriever: This dog should be obedient, forced fetched, collar conditioned, able to perform blind retrieves at or near 100 yards on land and in water. The dog should respond to hand signals with at least 60% accuracy. This dog should be steady and able to perform double marks up to 100 yards on land and in water. Dog should be able to hunt from a blind or boat and used to decoys, duck calls, etc. Dog should be able to catch crippled ducks and scent trail a duck. This dog should retrieve about 90% of ducks shot in a hunting situation.
III. Finished retriever: This dog is the real deal! He is able to do all of the above with the addition of 150 yard blind retrieves with about 90% accuracy on hand signals, triple marks out to 150 yards, and honor another dog. Very rarely will this dog lose a downed bird.
For any additional questions, please free to call us at (409)460-2314.