I have a 7 month old BLF and I have been following the Lardy Program. I have used ear pinch to teach fetch and have moved through all three steps outlined in Lardy’s program: ear pinch starting close all the way down to the ground, walking fetch and stick fetch.
I am trying to understand from those experienced with FF as to when you consider the dog fully FF. What behaviors do you expect the dog to exhibit when you say “this dog is successfully FF”? Or what type of behaviors does the dog exhibit when you say more FF work is required?
This is where I am at:
I have done stick fetch twice and she hasn’t refused to pick up a bumper and didn’t drop a bumper when tapped with the stick.
However when I throw bumpers for marks or just fun bumpers, occasionally (5% of the time) she will run to the bumper not pick it up, sniff around or even sit and look at me. I will command fetch while walking towards her. She doesn't immediately pick it up but as I get closer she runs and gets the bumper.
Secondly when she returns with a bumper I am working on front finish. I will command HOLD, HOLD and SIT (sometimes a whistle blast). She will sit but drops the bumper 80% of the time. When I command FETCH she almost always picks it up and I gently tell her to hold and she does until I take the bumper. If there is any refusal to pick the bumper up all I have to do is touch her ear and she quickly grabs the bumper.
Should I consider my dog FF and move on to simple casting using the occasional ear pinch when warranted or do I need to continue with stick fetch using ear pinch on every refusal?