My input as being someone who just recently spent the last 6 months reading, watching, and re-reading / re-watching everything I could get my hands on. And I am using SmartWorks BTW.
You need to realize that as aforementioned, there are many moving parts and many steps. It's not an A-B, it's an A-Z.
Collar condition teaches the dog what pressure is, and how to respond in order to turn off that pressure. If you were to strap a collar on a dog and shock it, it doesn't know if it stepped in a certain spot and got shocked, if the weather that day shocked it, if it licked it's lips and got shocked. You teach it off of a KNOWN command (usually here because you have a checkcord to make the dog comply and reel it in). Often times when first introduced, dogs will want to bit at the collar or shut down. By reeling them in, you make sure they understand that by complying with the command, they are relieved of pressure.
Force Fetch is the same thing. You are teaching a command, then introducing pressure, and teaching the dog by complying - the pressure is turned off. There are just many more steps in the process with force fetch, and many more things you have to "read" in the dog to make sure the proper amount of force is used, but not too much. Timing as mentioned is imperative.
A general misconception is that once you teach fetch, that the dog knows fetch in different situations. Each situation is a complete new learning process - think of it as a chapter in the book of force fetch. You have to teach from your hand, transitioning from your hand closer to the ground, from the ground, out in front (tossed), in the water, etc. Each one of those steps is a completely different learning scenario. This is a very brief description, but just some pointers that I learned after all my wading through literature. There is no shortcut, the more educated you become on the topic, the better and more confident you'll be in implementing FF.
Hope this helps, you've been suggested some good programs. Spend some time and money learning - it's a small price over the lifetime of your dog. Might as well make it an enjoyable life.
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