How to get your dog to pick up that bird!

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How to get your dog to pick up that bird!

Postby ACEBLDRS » Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:08 pm

I started to write this to answer a question for someone. I decided that i was being very long winded as usual, so I started a new thread.

By now most of the guys on here should have read at least a few threads about Force Fetch. This is the only true way to Force your dog to pick up anything. Until you do this, the dog is only doing what HE wants to and what his breeding tells HIM to do. Yeah, he is happy that you are happy, but don't be fooled, he is pleasing himself. When something comes his way (like a goose flapping) that he doesn't want to deal with, or is to intemidating, he simply won't perform. Then we stand on the shore yelling and screaming words to him like "FETCH" that he truely doesn't comprehend.

In order to "FORCE" your dog to pick up a mean goose 50yds away, you have to teach him to do it. First you start with forcing him to hold something in his mouth, and then move onto forcing him to "FETCH" something. It is a process that is part of the retriever training, just like sit or stay.

Most people don't want to go through the Force Fetch training, because much like the dogs first flapping goose, it is a little intimidating. At least I know it was for me. Or most people are just to lazy, because it does take a lot of work.

Force Fetch is the only real way to make your dog fetch something even when he doesn't want to.

Water to cold? "FETCH"

Bird to mean? "FETCH"

Don't feel like it? "FETCH"

You will be teaching your dog that things don't happen on his terms anymore, they happen on your terms.

FF is the basis of absolutely everything in training past sit and stay. If you have any plans on your dog being anything more than a dog that only retrieves for his own pleasure, then FF is a must.

Blind retrieves all start on the basis of Forcing your dog to fetch something, even if he doesn't see it.

I am not a pro, and am only in the process of training my first dog. But i do understand the importance of Force Fetch. So if any of you have problems with your dog picking up birds, the first question anyone is going to ask is, "is your dog FF".

my .02
.....you've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

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Postby NOVAggie » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:07 am

Sorry newbie here, so force fetch do you pull teh dog to the bird/dummy and put in his mouth and hold it in his mouth? I understand teh concept but not the practice. Sorry
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Postby gsphunter » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:20 am

Novaggie, no you do not take the dog to the fetch object. It's a long series of training, starting with holding and object and then with a dog actually reaching and picking up an object, then this is transferred to retrieving. If you scroll down the threads, you'll find some more write ups about this.

Something to add to what ACE is saying: If you give your dog the "fetch" command, "back" command, or the "eat crap" command when you send the dog for a retrieve, and you haven't FF you are only releasing the dog. This is my opinion anyway. A dog that hasn't been FF like ACE said is only doing what it wants, and most of them want to go get that bumper, bird, etc.. and you are just releasing him. Just like saying "O.K." or Free. I actually send my younger dog on "ok" because he hasn't been FF yet, and the word "fetch" means nothing to him yet.

On another note, don't be so overwhelmingly hard on your dog that they cannot please you. I learned this the hard way, because I started pushing to hard to fast with my older dog. It got to where retrieving wasn't fun anymore, because I wouldn't let her have days where she wasn't learning new stuff so she was always being corrected. I'd rather have a dog that might disobeye once in a while than one that doesn't work with enthusiasm. You can force a dog to do whatever you want, but it's hard to bring back enthusiasm about something that just becomes a chore.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought it might be worth while.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:04 pm

good additions gsphunter. My biggest frustration with ACE was my own downfalls. By trying to push to fast or skip steps and not keep the dogs best interest in mind. Once I slowwed down and concentrated on TEACHING my dog, we both started having fun.

NOVAGGIE. IF you want to read more about FF then pm me your email address and I will send you a nice article on the step by step process. It is what i used along with guys from this site to help me get through it.
.....you've got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

Dirty Harry

Die' en ain't much of a livin' son.
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