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Thread: Newbie Question...please be patient with me...

  1. #1
    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    Default Newbie Question...please be patient with me...

    Why is a force fetch needed for a dog that is crazy about the retrieve? I understand that the reason people do it is for those situations when the dog chooses not to retrieve, or to not retrieve the right thing. But it those situations, it seems to me that a little scruff shake will do the trick just as well as an ear pinch?


    I am not opposed to an ear pinch, by any means...I just want to understand why you would do it for a dog that is already retrieved obsessed.

    I do not do field work, I only do competitive obedience. But I think that field people have a deeper understanding of this process. I've tried very hard to understand this. Please try to explain in very basic terms. Thank you for helping me to learn....I appreciate your kindness and generosity in sharing your years of experience in this area.

    Robin Clark

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    Senior Member Socks's Avatar
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    Hopefully better people than me will answer, but here goes. It's part of the training process. It turns fetching into a command versus something fun to do, but when done right fetching stays fun. Also, it teaches the dog how to handle pressure for upper level training.

    Hope this helps some.
    Joe Dickerson

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    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Robin, a scruff shake is more of a "knock it off, don't do that" in dog language. An ear pinch in itself has no meaning to a dog other than "ouch". We have to help them translate that into "if I put something in my mouth, the ouch stops"....and so they learn to find the path to turn off pressure, with some guidance from us. It teaches them to focus on finding the solution to a situation rather than simply reacting.

    Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training.
    Last edited by Sharon Potter; 04-03-2014 at 08:54 AM.
    Sharon Potter

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    Force fetching is the foundation and very beginning of blind work,and also teaches the dog how to escape pressure for later advanced training.
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    Senior Member Pam Spears's Avatar
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    Robin, I just attended a Connie Cleveland seminar. As you know, she is one of the prominent obedience trainers in the country: the fact that she is also a field trailer is a bonus for those of us who do field work as well as obedience. She considers the trained retrieve to be one of the 3 most important things an obedience dog (of any breed) can learn. To paraphrase her, "once you get that trained retrieve on your dog, your relationship changes permanently. Your dog is now a working dog, not just a buddy."

    We watched her teach the process to someone with a young golden who had not been through the process. He was literally reaching for the dumbbell *on the floor* by the second day.
    Pam
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    Reasons I like the ear pinch:
    - I can easily control the amount of pressure used for that particular dog at that particular time
    - the dog learns how to get himself out of trouble when things start going South
    - ears of my dogs are usually near the same height if my hand, so it doesn't take a lot of movement on my part
    - an ear pinch initially means to my dogs "retrieve", but over time it can be generalized to mean "you know what to do, give me more effort" and I can use it for other skills, not even related to retrieving

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    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for your kind responses. One of my dogs was force fetched by Connie. I've never had to use it for a retrieve correction but I do use it as Golden6824 points out for "you know what to do, give me more effort". Sandy Ladwig...an obedience competitor who does not do field work uses a scruff shake for her retrieve correction most of the time and reserves the ear pinch for serious lack of effort, particularly on heeling....sometimes on directed jumping go outs. I have followed in her footsteps on this philosophy.

    My 20 month old golden has NOT been force fetched because I am spastic in my teaching of it. I am dithering about what to do. He does not do field work...only obedience.

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    Conditioned response to known command.
    Bert Rodgers

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Spears View Post
    Robin, I just attended a Connie Cleveland seminar. As you know, she is one of the prominent obedience trainers in the country: the fact that she is also a field trailer is a bonus for those of us who do field work as well as obedience. She considers the trained retrieve to be one of the 3 most important things an obedience dog (of any breed) can learn. To paraphrase her, "once you get that trained retrieve on your dog, your relationship changes permanently. Your dog is now a working dog, not just a buddy."

    We watched her teach the process to someone with a young golden who had not been through the process. He was literally reaching for the dumbbell *on the floor* by the second day.
    If you don't FF your dog yourself and someone else does it; is he your buddy or your working dog? Curious!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training.
    Well said.
    "Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training." Sharon Potter.

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