I have an 8 month old puppy. I wouldn't say he's totally "finished" with force fetch, but he's far enough along that he will pretty reliably retrieve on command.
He's just recently started getting marks thrown by a bird boy versus just hand thrown bumpers from me at the line. His tendency has been to want to run to the bird boy. Tonight I took him out with the plan of working on that issue. I've worked up to about 50 yards of me leaving him in a sit and throwing marks myself, so I was my own bird boy tonight. I took him to a mowed field with no cover.
I threw long flat angled backs. First time, he ran to me. I threw another bumper but I didn't think that was teaching him anything about not running to me first.
So next time, he ran to me and I told him "no, fetch" and he ran over to pick up the bumper.
After that he stopped running to me, but he would look at me while he was running towards the bumper until he passed me. Better, but still not what I want.
So I threw three bumpers in a row towards the same spot before I released him. That seemed to help focus him, but he would still glance over at me once or twice while running.
So a vast improvement, we went from him running directly to me, to him staring at me while he ran, to him just giving a glance at me. Am I on the right track? Tomorrow I should be able to have someone else throw for me.