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Thread: Can Force Fetch go Too Easily?

  1. #1
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    Default Can Force Fetch go Too Easily?

    Maya, my 1 1/2 year old chocolate female is the first lab I've ever owned, and I'm training her using Fowl Dogs. I was slow to get started with her structured training last summer, so just made it through obedience by the time hunting season came along. She's always loved marked retrieves in the backyard, so we did a lot of those over the winter, when it wasn't 20 below here. She'll retrieve marks until the cows come home.

    Once the weather finally broke I started up with hold training. Took my time with it to make sure she had a really solid hold, taking about 3 weeks. Started the forced fetch two days ago and it's going so well I'm not really getting to do an ear pinch. Got the ear ready to pinch, hold the bumper a foot in front of her while she's on the standing table, and as soon as I tell her fetch she grabs it. The second day went just the same way, pinches not needed, even when moving to fetch off the ground. Today we did walking fetch in the yard and she's all over it. Never a refusal, taking off like a bat out of hell as soon as I utter the word.

    While I'm ecstatic that this appears to be going so well, is it going to come back and bite me in the rear end that I haven't had to actually 'force' her to fetch?

  2. #2
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    It is not going as good as you think. You are not just teaching fetch and hold, it is about the pressure and you have gone WAY TOO FAST to allow her to earn an ear pinch. You are not even close to where you think you are.
    Will it bite you in the ass? Probably
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    Senior Member Todd Caswell's Avatar
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    Ear pinch anyway and start holding her back making her work for it, she's doing it because she likes it not because she has to.. Had one that was the same way, did start to get refusals as soon as he figured there was more to it than just grabbing the bumper.

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    Senior Member BlaineT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    It is not going as good as you think. You are not just teaching fetch and hold, it is about the pressure and you have gone WAY TOO FAST to allow her to earn an ear pinch. You are not even close to where you think you are.
    Will it bite you in the ass? Probably
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  5. #5
    Member Zx10r2004's Avatar
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    I'm a newbie take this with a grain of salt! If you don't ear pinch and later down the road she Refuses to retrieve what will you use to make her? I ff my dog with bumpers and ducks with a ear pinch and collar. My dog was thrown a mark but it was a dokken which she never seen and she wouldn't pick it up. I commanded fetch and she started looking around for a bumper that wasn't there. I called her back and walked her over to the dokken and did the ear pinch with fetch. She retrieved the dokken fine after that. Is that was ff is for? Like I said I'm also a newbie.

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    Senior Member jrrichar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zx10r2004 View Post
    I'm a newbie take this with a grain of salt! If you don't ear pinch and later down the road she Refuses to retrieve what will you use to make her? I ff my dog with bumpers and ducks with a ear pinch and collar. My dog was thrown a mark but it was a dokken which she never seen and she wouldn't pick it up. I commanded fetch and she started looking around for a bumper that wasn't there. I called her back and walked her over to the dokken and did the ear pinch with fetch. She retrieved the dokken fine after that. Is that was ff is for? Like I said I'm also a newbie.
    There is a post from an experienced trainer fairly recently that is a great explanation of the intentions of FF. I tried to do a search but couldn't find it.

    The whole premise behind FF is first to allow them to associate fetching the item as an "off" switch to the pressure. Later, the ear pinch is used as a diversion/pressure for them to work through to get the fetch. This is necessary because it shows that the dog will perform the command of fetch when things are not "fun" anymore i.e. the start of work.

    So FF turns "I am getting this because it is fun" to "I am getting this because it is my duty to do so and I can."

    Just using an ear pinch to reinforce fetch [by the way you need to FF to a wide spectra of items (I always throw in a hammer and can of soup) and go through a solid progression either ending in stick fetch or if CC collar fetch] and your dog performing this, does not make your dog FF.

    Most on here go through an intense process before they require full blown field marks delivered to hand, especially concerning birds.

  7. #7
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    Yep, it really sounds like it's going "too easy".

    Am in everyones' camp thats' posted so far. Totally enjoyed what Todd C. mentioned about a dog who's previously already eager to retrieve- by adding some resistance and pinch an ear anyway. You're Pressure Conditioning you need some pressure. No need to overwhelm the dog with it. I'd suggest using the entire length of the table as well, so that pup can carry some pressure more than just inches or a foot.

    Remember too- that FETCH is a command. Pup may begin to anticipate when you put your hand up there and begin to move forward before commanded to or even before you pinch.. While that forward movement is a good thing, don't let pup do that-
    It's a command.
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    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    The late Howard N. told me about the 8 day rule. At day 8 plus or
    minus a day or so.
    It will stop being fun and you will start to get refusals. This is when you have to force your way through the session. FF on the table was "too easy" for both of my Pirate pups. The refusals showed up during walking ff.
    Hope this helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Nutt View Post
    The late Howard N. told me about the 8 day rule. At day 8 plus or
    minus a day or so.
    It will stop being fun and you will start to get refusals. This is when you have to force your way through the session. FF on the table was "too easy" for both of my Pirate pups. The refusals showed up during walking ff.
    Hope this helps.
    Howard did have a way of putting things.
    I was going to say something similar about FF going to easy. The last dog I FF'ed was near perfect for a full 3 week and then we hit the wall. I knew it was coming so I just kept working. Became one of the toughest I have seen and for 5 full days we fought it. Once we got through that everything smoothed out again. Good Luck
    Don

  10. #10
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    I'm in with everyone else she is fetching cause she wants to not because you have told her to. There is a drill I have done call fetch no fetch, I'm sure there are several on here that know the drill. It involves laying out a few bumpers in a line, commending fetch on the first one. Making my dog stay a heal and pass up the second bumper. And the command fetch on the last bumper. But I did not start this drill until we where past FF with collar. FF is not just about fetching something, it is also about teaching the dog to "solve" pressure by looking for a solution. Witch will later translate in advanced field work.

    Teach, Force, Reinforce
    Last edited by Justin David; 04-11-2014 at 09:37 AM.

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