|Pounce in Drive - A Hillmann Influence|
The term “fun bumper” in retriever training is
usually related to the idea of
being a reward or to reduce the impact of too much pressure. Either way, a
“fun bumper” raises a dog's level of excitement.
However, if a dog has not begun an activity and/or been subjected to any
pressure, the effect of what appears to be a “fun bumper” (in either case)
would be an “amped” (excited) dog.
Which is easier to deal with............an over the top, excited dog or one that is
calm? Is it possible to be both at the same time? Early on with pups, the usual
routine is to reach a gradual level of control and balance it with the excitement
of retrieving. Teaching control, focus and responsiveness are phased in. To
some extent, obedience and retrieving are compartmentalized before gradually
In a different perspective, training “in drive” demands that a pup be in a highly
excited state at all times. Doing so allows a puppy to learn how to seamlessly
deal with excitement from the beginning without continuous external pressure.
The ideal situation would be to develop a fearless, excited, dynamic and skilled
retriever that is "cool under fire".
For example, top level professional athletes find their game "slows down" and
becomes simpler because they have adjusted to playing “in drive”. Training a
puppy “in drive” works the same way. This translates to training a pup when
they are “amped” (in drive) so that specific, easily applied, fun OB “imprints”
turn taught responses into automatic, external, self-rewarding reflexes.
Therefore, “fun bumpers” may be more than just simple rewards or pressure
relievers. They can become “drive enhancers” which allow a pup to learn how
to be calm in the "middle of a storm".
"Pounce's Split Second Difference in High Drive"
stable, focused, high
"The Off Switch" "The On Switch"