My dog is seven months old. I thought he was FF. I have used a wooden dowel, paint roller, bumpers and frozen ducks during FF. I went through 4 days on the table then moved to the ground. After another four days, he was going hard to bumpers just in front of him, so I moved onto walking fetch. Did that for a few days and he seemed to have the concept. Moved on to force to pile. I am doing it two ways. One is having him at heel and bumpers about 10-25 yards away. The other is with him about ten yards away, facing me with a pile of bumpers 25 yards behind him. Both situations I use back command. When he is facing me, I use a back cast gesture as well. Again, pretty much 100% on both.
So today I am at a club training day. Running three singles in a row, we ran two series. First series he does pretty well. Ran past 1st mark twice (bumper, 30 yards) picked it up the third time, contribute this to new area bunch of dogs and people around etc...next mark (bumper, 60 yards) spot on. Last mark (frozen duck 80-90 yards) spot on.
We get to the next series different field, but marks are pretty much the same distance and sequence. 1st mark (bumper) he goes hard to it, sniffs it and then starts going into a search, runs all over the place in the general area of the bumper, goes behind the blind where the launcher is. I recalled him and sent him again picks up the bumper and brings it back but with zero drive. Pulls the same stunt with the 2nd mark (bumper) but didn't have to be resent, the third mark is the duck and does better, still, searches a little but grabs the duck and brings is back pretty well but not nearly as good as 1st series.
My guess has he only wanted the duck after the 1st series, and that's part of the reason he didn't pick up bumpers. I took him off to the side and did walking fetch and force to pile with bumpers. He did perfectly. I didn't run the third sequence to avoid reinforcing any issues he may develop as a result of not readily picking up bumpers.
Sorry for the long post short version is where have I gone wrong with my FF?