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When training Gigi, emphasize teaching by showing what and how, providing rewards and working toward precise repetitions. The initial warm-up is heeling skills in grass (a distraction).
Begin each teaching phase with a Hillmann amped “Gigi!“ (fetch) off the ground (or out of hand) and continue to walk off at heel holding the bumper. If she drops it, just put it back making no big deal about it. Next is to work with one distant, non-moving bumper retrieve (then two) placed at 6-7 yards. Retrieves are to be initiated by either “Gigi!” and/or “Back!! On the returns, continue to walk off heeling while holding. Then finish with “Sit!”, calm praise (with hands on) and “Out!”
Eventually, end the session by tossing a single bumper to the same spot where the two planted bumpers were placed and do the retrieve. The moving bumper is more excitement - same expectations. Repeat for several days (precise practice) until it is “smooth” and automatic. Once taught, the next step is to integrate this skill set into the overall content of full training setups.
In addition, this eventually becomes the "do something she does really well" ending to other training sessions. note: more reps = skills maintenance and enhanced engagement
Also, refer back to the May 22nd journal entry for a Bill Hillmann YouTube link describing the individual components of a retrieve. Each should be taught individually.
The single element which is the key to Hillmann's program is "The Game". It appears to be a relatively easy action to create. However, it was not until recent conversations with Jim Wegmer that is obvious the process was not being fully integrated into the training sessions. The game is not just getting a pup "amped up", snapping into a sit.......then proceed with a training setup.
......to be continued