Force Fetch To Pinch or not Pinch that is the question?
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Thread: Force Fetch To Pinch or not Pinch that is the question?

  1. #1

    Default Force Fetch To Pinch or not Pinch that is the question?

    I'm soon to start the FF with my girl. My plan was to build a 16x2' bench and train on it. I'd like to hear some opinions on best methods or alternatives. I plan on using the ear pinch if I can stop my self from crying (it's my girl!) Please feel free to give me your vast wisdom on this subject.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member GG's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Lompoc. Ca.


    Here's an aritcle i wrote many years ago, hope this ils what you had in mind.
    Aside from the usage of the electric collar, I think force fetch education is probably the most controversial subject in the dog training world today; many sing its praises while others curse its existence. What it comes down to is how well trained a hunting dog you expect to have as an end result, because you’re not going to have a well-trained field dog without force fetching him (my opinion, of course). Dogs become much better hunters and pets if they are taught to accept the fact that there are limits in life, preferably well defined limits, and force fetch is the beginning of that learning process. Dogs are driven by Mother Nature’s rules. It is not a natural act for a dog to retrieve an object/bird and bring it back to his master; just as picking up a bird from the ground and delivering it to his handler is not natural, that has to be trained into the dog. Some dogs are easy to force fetch and some are not. Reading the dog’s body language and responses to the force is, of course the key to determining the proper course of training action to take to complete your task.
    The word “force” conjures up many Draconian thoughts in some novice trainers’ minds, causing some to avoid any type of disciplinary action when their dogs misbehave. These trainers choose to disregard the fact that dogs perform better for the hunting team in the field when they are given a set of rules by which to hunt, and the basic commands, of which force fetch is one, are those rules. Once these rules are taught, forced and repeated many times they become habit to the dog and will override any of Mother Nature’s influences---at least the majority of the time anyway.
    Dogs do not always feel like performing their duties in the field, especially when exposed to extreme elements for long periods of time, such as a cold duck blind in January. Of course, every dog has his limit of compliance and should not be pushed beyond what he can endure. However, that limit of endurance seems to be much higher when all his hunting commands have been forced.
    Many, many years ago when I began seeking out a better way to train dogs, I now know how fortunate I was to find and work with a trainer whose system would not even exist if force fetch were not an integral part of the process. Force fetch is the first step up the ladder of discipline as well as the drill that will make your trainee deliver your birds to hand. Force fetch opens the door to a higher level of field work that we should all strive for with our hunting dogs. Force fetch makes it much easier to teach your dog to come when called and steady him to shot, because force fetch took him to a higher level of pressure acceptance.
    Every trainer, professional or amateur, has their own opinion as to what method they should use to train their dogs and that’s as it should be. If a trainer does not believe in force fetch he probably will not have a very obedient dog to hunt over in the field. No matter how many times force fetch is written about it will always remain a controversial subject; maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
    Good Hunting

  4. #3
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Burlington, Vermont

    Default Re: Force Fetch To Pinch or not Pinch that is the question?

    Quote Originally Posted by smokejmp52
    I'm soon to start the FF with my girl. My plan was to build a 16x2' bench and train on it. I'd like to hear some opinions on best methods or alternatives. I plan on using the ear pinch if I can stop my self from crying (it's my girl!) Please feel free to give me your vast wisdom on this subject.
    I think ear pinch is the way to go. Toe harness loop thing is a pain in the ass and collar fetch, Well one hand on dog, one hand on buck. I do not have a third hand for transmitter. Ear pinch is comfortable when dog is on table or ground. Trainor can stand next to table or plop their butt on a bucket if dog is on the ground. When you build your 16' table run a dog run cable above it, right down the center. This will be very handy, then after FF is done you have a great grooming table with built in restraint. You will use it for a great many things. Some folk make a special FF collar. They take an old collar and put a pop rivet or bolt threw it to give then something to press/pinch the dogs ear against. I have never done this as I have very strong hands. In the heat of a refusal, I do not have to bother lining up thumb, dog ear and bolt/rivet on collar, I just grab and pinch something brown and furry. But, a great many people make a special FF collar.
    Ken Bora
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Kansas City, MO


    I've consistently cast my vote for ear pinch. But it must be said that it's not all about which application of pressure is best, or more humane. That is determined far more by the person's temperate approach to it.

    I vastly perfer the hands-on dynamics of ear pinch because I can feel exactly the amount of pressure I'm applying in the moment, and control with greatest accuracy the instant of release. This allows me to do a thorough job without excessive pressure, and that appears to be the central question here for this individual.

    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)

  7. #5
    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Jun 2006


    The ear pinch is a nice tool to have available to you. Assuming you can put your hands on the dog you can make a timely correction when it is needed.

    I have used the toe-hitch on several dogs. It is easier to use on the table than the ground. This was with dogs that would not open their mouth regardless of how hard I pinched their ear. After a couple of sessions with the toe-hitch these dogs responded very well to moderate ear pinches. It does take a little coordinate. But, when needed is a wonderful tool.

    Have fun with your dog,

    Tom Wall

  8. #6
    Senior Member Misty Marsh's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


    Pinch the dog properly, consistantly and get it done and over with! I've seen to many people half ass pinch an ear, sometimes pinch an ear and wonder why the dog's inconsistant, well it's been taught that way . I'd rather go through FF once and "ingrain" the concept over a few weeks than spend the rest of the dog's life "nit picking" at it in fustration.

  9. #7


    Points well taken from all...thank you

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