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

  1. #11
    Senior Member Pam Spears's Avatar
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    Mary Lynn, I'm not experienced enough to know for sure... but at the seminar Connie demonstrated and did the first couple of pinches, then had the owner do it. I'd say that if someone else force fetches your dog, the owner ought to go through the steps too exactly for that reason. For those of you who send your dogs out for force fetching, does your trainer work through this with you?
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  2. #12
    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    Interesting question Mary Lynn Metras. I will tell you that the dog (a Border Collie) who Connie force fetched has been very difficult because she and I had a poor relationship. It is improving slowly over time with a great deal of work on both our parts. Do you think I'd be better off in the future to spastically force fetch my own dogs? Or would I be better off to allow an expert to do the work initially. In my Border Collie's case Connie did the very beginning where timing is so critical, then I took over and worked it for 2 days. Since then I have not used it on the retrieve. Maybe I ***should*** have. One of the primary errors that she suffers in utility is picking up the wrong glove. I have never ear pinched her for picking up the wrong glove and maybe I should have.

    Does anyone else feel that they are spastic and inept at teaching the force fetch? It is one of the few skills in obedience I am uncomfortable in training.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    I think there are three things that are hard about FF for a lot of folks. Timing, reading the dog, and not being emotionally involved. The better the timing, the faster the dog picks it up.

    The fourth thing would be that a lot of people only have to do it every ten years or so, while some of us who do it for a living spend a good deal of time chained to that table.

    I do think that learning the process and getting your hands on it is good.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    . One of the primary errors that she suffers in utility is picking up the wrong glove. I have never ear pinched her for picking up the wrong glove and maybe I should have.
    An ear pinch used in this context would be unrelated to force fetch. The ear pinch is initially a cue and eventually a correction, for NOT picking something up....not for picking the wrong object.
    Sharon Potter

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  5. #15
    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinZClark View Post
    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?
    Think about all the things that the dog was doing correctly at the time.

    Not just the single undesirable behavior it was doing wrong that you do want to punish, but everything else that was going on that you don't want to punish.

    If the dog understands the scruff shake (pressure) as punishment for what it was doing at the time, exactly what are you punishing with the scruff shake?

    The answer is that you don't know.
    So, you are punishing everything that the dog was doing at the time.

    In order for you to apply pressure as a correction for anything that the dog is doing wrong at the time that it is involved in the act of fetching, without also having the dog understand it as punishment for fetching, you have to make sure that the dog understands pressure as reinforcement of the command fetch.

    That's what FF does.
    It makes pressure mean fetch, to the dog.
    Considering the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity". -Unknown

  6. #16
    Member Bob Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    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.
    Never have heard it explained better. Well said Sharon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Spears View Post
    Mary Lynn, I'm not experienced enough to know for sure... but at the seminar Connie demonstrated and did the first couple of pinches, then had the owner do it. I'd say that if someone else force fetches your dog, the owner ought to go through the steps too exactly for that reason. For those of you who send your dogs out for force fetching, does your trainer work through this with you?
    I believe this is accurate.
    In my opinion the FF is the same as any basic command it must be reinforced. If someone else teaches your dog to sit, you must as a handler reinforce the sit command. If you don't as a handler reinforce the the FF you will in time have a sloppy ff the same as you will have a sloppy sit.
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    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.[/QUOTE]

    Very well said...

  9. #19
    Senior Member RobinZClark's Avatar
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    Wow! I am really getting some good insights here. I am so glad that I asked this. To people who do this for a living, much of this must seem so obvious. But to newbies, there are nuances that we can't see and understand, even after people have told us. You have to hear the same message in numerous ways to really understand. Like most things, once you understand things it is obvious, but until you do it is all a puzzle. Makes me want to drive up to WI to have Sharon help me do it right...

    Thank you so much. The more I read the better I understand. But I am still not confident that I won't mess this up if I do it on my own. Once every 4-5 years is not much practice.

  10. #20
    Senior Member IowaBayDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copterdoc View Post
    It makes pressure mean fetch, to the dog.
    It makes pressure mean "comply with the command", fetch is used as the primer but its a much broader lesson.
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