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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There seems to be a lot of discussions here and elsewhere about force fetching. I know the drill and don't have a problem with the technique but wonder why you would use it on a dog that you can get the same results with not using it. Now I'm not a field trial guy just an average hunter who has trained my own dogs. Some I have force fetched others, including my present dog, I have not because frankly these dogs do exactly the same things a force fetched dog will do without the extra step. I will say that I have the luxury of having my dogs with me alot so every day is a training session of some sort. I'm sure the pro trainers have decided that this is a way to guarantee that a dog will be as close to bulletproof as possible in a trial situation and maybe it shortens the training process buy I think it is redundant on certain dogs. Just wondered what everyone thinks.

Mac
 

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I like to go only as far as the point when the dog learns that fetching is not a "if you feel like it " option. I often joke that my training grounds are not a union shop. That said, once they have it in their heads that they must retrieve,then we go back to the yard retrieves. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with that. The reason I bring this up is that it seems to be the standard answer to every dog training question, although not as much here as some other places, and frankly just dosen't make much sense. I'm not saying it's wrong I just think it's a case of follow the leader right wrong or indifferent.
 

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The reason you don't see it here so much as other places I think is that this a primarily a hunting board, not strictly a dog board where there are alot of "dog game" guys. (not attacking dog games I'm going to be doing them too)

I chose to FF my dog, because I love seeing fully finished dogs. I love watching a dog pick the bird up, not rolling it around in its mouth, come to heel (still holding it), and not just spit it out when the dog feels like it. My shorthair was getting real sloppy on delivery so I decided to FF. Don't get me wrong I'm not making a dog retrieve that has no inclination to do so, because she has lots of retrieve in her. I'm just polishing her chrome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Brian I completely agree with you. If you have a dog that is getting sloppy in their retrieves FF is the drill. My two labs have just not had the problem, if anything I've had to work harder on the drop or leave it command. I probably forget (odd) that not all the dogs I've hunted with over the years made perfect retrieves all the time.

Mac
 

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While onthis subject, I just took in a Lab that is 4 years old. I got her from a freind of a freind. He retired from hunting. I had her a week. She is very well mannered on a leash. She will sit to the whistle. I took her to the feild and she has a lot of drive, but she wants to play with the dummies. I brought back to the yard and it looks like I'm gonna have to FF the dog. I've never done this before. Whats the best outlet on learning how to do this.
TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are lots of videos and books out there. I think "The 10 minute retriever" by James and Amy Dahl is a pretty good resource. I'm sure there are others as well. Good luck with your dog.
 

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I would read or watch a few videos on force fetch and then go from there. Do you use an e collar---If so I would watch the videos geared toward teaching the method with the collar.

As far as why you would force fetch a dog---

I would say that right now your dog does it because he wants to. What happens when you send your dog for some type of bird that eh does not agree with---Most dogs have problems with dove(because of the ammount of feathers that come off)

Now you are out at a dove field with a dog that wont retrieve your birds. You could try a harsh correction, but more than likely that wont do it---Then you get into the trials and testing where pointing dogs are expected to do 20min water searches.

So I would say that if you are the casual hunter that doesnt trail the dog and is happy with the delievery and blind retireves of your dog then there probally isnt a reason to force fetch the dog. I would say that you are one lucky person to have two dogs that do everything perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't say they did everything perfect mfetter, what I did say was that they will pick up everything I ask them to and will hunt for a cripple or mark untill called off. I did not force fetch these dogs at least in the manner that we are discussing here. Also I've spent hundreds of hours with these dogs, that makes a big difference. Believe me these dogs are not perfect but they understand what I expect of them.
 

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A lesson I learned the hard way is that you either FORCE Fetch a dog, or you don't. If you go through it just 'hard' enough to teach HOLD, FETCH, and GIVE, then you aren't FORCE Fetching the dog. You are just teaching new commands. While under cetain conditions this might suffice if you have a dog with exceptional drive, there WILL more than likely be an occasion when the dog will refuse a retrieve. It could be a big old mean gander with nothing but a broken wing, it could be the greenhead that is next in line after that gander, or it could be a canvasback floating feet-up 20 yards in front of the blind when it is 5 degrees and the ice is thick. The option to refuse is there, and valid for the dog because they have not been taught otherwise. There are always exceptions, but for the most part this will be the case. Now is that okay if the dog refuses one retrieve out of 1000, probably.

For me the Force Fetch is more of a transition from 'puppy training' to 'retriever training'. It might very well be the dogs first experience with pressure, and a major bi-product of the effort is teaching the dog how to handle pressure administered from the trainer. It is also, in most cases, a significant 'short cut' in obtaining a known commodity. Now the brutality of the process is subject to debate and will vary greatly between the pro trainer and the guy training his own dog.

For me, HOLD and GIVE can easily be taught to a dog without the use of much pressure. FETCH on the other hand is not something I feel one can achieve MY desired results for without the use of a fair amount of pressure. I want to see gravel spin or cornstalks fly when I give the BACK (aka FETCH) command. I want there to be no doubt that I'm serious. I'm saying THERE is something you need to go get, hold, and return to me in the quickest possible fashion.

Everyones expectations are different, and the amount of time one can dedicate to retriever training is limited for most of us. I just like to move a dog to the end game as quicly as I can. I want them to know what is expected of them and that I am more than willing to enforce any command that I issue.

Just my opinion...
 

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I think that force fetching didn't used to be a must in most hunting dogs. These days, it is harder and harder to find a true hunting bread dog. This is why force fetching is becomming more common. Force training also sets a base of advanced OB training which is going to be needed as you start the line casting etc....

This is the way I look at force training. It is simply teaching the dog that it feels good to put the bird in his mouth, bring it to me and deliver it to my hand. When done correct most dogs become more excited as they retrieve because it seems more rewarding to them...

JMO

Mike
 

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I think the Force Fetch was not as common in the past because of the modern age of info at the finger tips, and to a lesser extent because of the instant gratification society we live in.

Force Breaking (Force Fetch) used to be considered a radical cure for a specific problem. Retriever trainers 'evolved' it into more normal part of a training curiculum. It has a bad name because of its once radical past, and evokes the ire of the kinder hearted trainers simply because of its name. The Force Fetch and the e-collar are two VERY misunderstood tools. There are plenty of good hunting pedigrees in all the retrieving breeds. Heck, you could probably take any old lab and end up with a pretty decent hunting dog without using either one of them. But the Force Fetch and use of an e-collar can bring precision, crystalization, and control that otherwise would take a very long time to attain.

So, modern trainers realized the merit of force fetching a retriever, how it could be one of the hubs on which they base their training. From that point, the word has gotten out through books, videos, and the internet. Now everyone that looks for info on training a retriever will at least hear about it. The problem is that it is shrouded in a cloud of mystery and legend. If people would just realize it is a very straight forward process, with a very specific end goal, it wouldn't be such a big deal.
 

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Mac,

Don't do that. I agree with your original post and have caught myself several times trying to suggest something OTHER than the Force Fetch simply trying NOT to sound like a broken record. It isn't the cure all for every retrieving ailment, that is for sure. Too many people just throw it out since it seems to be such an obvious solution. Many times it is A solution, but not always THE solution. I always use raising kids as an analogy to dog training. Example, someone has an extremely unruly kid and a 'professional' tells them that some new 'technique' is the cure. While it may be a quick, abrupt, and effective method for addressing the problem, the REAL answer would have been for the parent to have spent more time with the kid when they were younger. So the 'technique' makes everyone feel good about themselves without impuning the parent. That bugs me.

I think this is the point you are trying to make, and if that is true then you see I agree. I just happen to believe that A 'proper upbringing' for a retriever CAN include the Force Fetch. Not that it has to, or that there is no other way. I just look at it as somewhat of a guarantee. So I do what you do AND Force Fetch the dog.

Just my opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was kind of being just a little tounge in cheek there.And I agree you have it right. I love this forum where you can kind of hash these things out because there are things to be learned on both sides and the day I quit learning you guys are gonna have a long way to travel for the wake. :smile:
 

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Steve makes a good point---To say that all dogs can be trained off any one method is rediculous. Every dog is different you need to do what works for both you and him.
 

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Steve,

Agree and disagree....I think . Let me make sure I understand what you're saying; that any kind of FB/FF is subjective to the dog at hand ?
 
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