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View Poll Results: How hard do you pinch in FF?

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  • The dawg yelps and cries...obvious pain

    13 27.66%
  • The dawg is uncomfortable...no vocalization

    34 72.34%
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Thread: How hard to pinch?

  1. #1
    ericb13
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    Default How hard to pinch?

    I just started force fetch yesterday and I was wondering how hard ya'll administer the ear pinch. According to Dahl, you just want to make it uncomfortable for the dog. According to a local club-mamber and professional trainer, you pinch hard enough to make the dog "vocalize" (cry out in pain). I watched him do a force fetch demonstration and the dog was in obvious pain...she was thrashing around and yelling. He says that that is necessary. Dahl says it's not. I'd rather not be so hard on my pup, but I want to make sure she gets force fetched right also.

    As I am doing it now...I can tell that the pup doesn't like the ear pinch at all, but she's not vocalizing. Is this ok? I should add that she already knows the fetch command fairly well, because I would say it during the force hold stage.

    Thanks for any help,
    Eric

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Default

    FF is a conditioned response where the dog learnes to turn off the negative stimulas (ie the pinch) by performing the task. I start without making the dog vocalize but at sometime during force fetch you will probably get a refusal, at that time you must cause enough discomfort to make the dog respond or turn off the negative stimulas.

    It's not always necessary to pinch that hard but on ocassion it will become necessary. I've had several guys tell me that if the dogs ear isn't tender to the touch during FF your not doing it right. I've also been told that if your dog doesn't bite you at least once your dog isn't properly FF. I don't think either are necessarily true, however there is a little truth in everthing. Goodluck.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I pinch hard enough to get the desired reaction, most of that time that will result in vocalization. I typically start with MORE and work down to LESS.

    Shayne

  4. #4
    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Default

    You apply enough pressure to get the wanted result. I've had dogs start whimping when I made a motion towards their ear. So the vocalizing 'could' be a con. I've seen dogs with half moon scars in their ears, and never heard them utter a sound.

    How tender you wish to make the dogs ear, many times relates to how soon you want to complete the job. Many pros don't have the luxury of time that a single dog owner has, and their heavier pressure may be the way that part of the training is finished the quickest.

    As an amatuer, having some experience with FF after learning first hand from a pro I respect, it takes me from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the animal. Most pros are not given that much time, and after doing it a hundred times, read the animals faster and get the job done quicker.

    To me the importance of Force Fetching a dog shouldn't be placed in the hands of a beginner. It's the most important piece of the training puzzle the dog must have. It's the primary foundation in determining the animals tractability for all it's future training. Any beginner should, for the sake of the dog, seek guidance from a qualified, experienced trainer before attempting to do this by following a book or video.

    That doesn't mean you should ignore good training manuals and videos, but the nuances of FF are so numerous, a beginner would serve the dog and owner better with first hand knowledge.

    UB
    When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

  5. #5
    dudley
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    Default

    DID I here someone say pliers??

    NAWWWW!!!!

  6. #6
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    Default

    What about the dog that 'internalizes' ear pressure? These type of dogs tend to move slower as more pressure is applied. They may show you (initially, with mild ear pressure) they know how to shut-off the pressure, but never get real quick about it. With this type of dog I have never had great results by adding more pressure - I change the format.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Eric,

    In the words of Rex Carr, "Just train the dog". As others have said already, the amount of pressure will be dictated by the dog's response. Like the Dahl's and others, I use only the amount of pressure needed to obtain a solid response.

    It usually varies over the course of instruction with each dog. The process is conditioning the dog to turn off pressure (not necessarily pain) by responding to a command. Our job is to clearly demonstrate for the dog how to do that.

    Like many other aspects of training, the results of hurrying it along are usually substandard. Many dogs get the picture very quickly. Just train the dog. He'll show you when he gets it.

    The dog that "shuts off", or internalizes its response may well be a clammer, and training clammers is a subject all its own!

    Evan

  8. #8
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    In FF and other similar task I have found that vocalization does not correlate with the degree of physical force.
    I've had stubbord stoics that would never utter a sound, screaming babies the second they were touched and those that would turn. Reaction to the pressure(in any form) that is necessary to complete the task is different for each dog. The trick is to still have their tails wagging when the mission is accomplished.
    Tim

  9. #9
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    Evan,
    Ever had a 'clammer' that responded exceptionally well to collar pressure? How about a dog that internalized collar pressure, but breezed through force-fetch? Jeff

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nimrod's Avatar
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    Default Ear Pinch

    After what I have just read I am so glad that I am an Amish trainer.


    Nimrod

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