I've got a pretty soft dog but he responds very well to light collar pressure. About 30-40% on my collar TT Basic is very tolerable to me. It was suggested that I use Hillman for force fetching and food rewards during the teaching process of hold since he's very food driven. Bumper in mouth for a couple of seconds, give, hotdog. Then sitting, hereing, and heeling while holding, tapping, and tugging a little. Now I've got his bowl of food in his open crate but won't let him have it until he holds while hereing, sitting, heeling, and giving a couple of times. He drops it occasionally but we start over. I've got him collar conditioned to sit, here, and heel. I have not started reinforcing fetch in the playful manner Hillman demonstrates, but he wants the bumper and jumps at it when told fetch.
So his hold is far from perfect, and he's still dropping bumpers right at my feet on retrieves. Is it right to start reinforcing fetch with collar and maybe forgetting about the hold standard a little? The reason I ask, it seems that once he understands that 'fetch' is now a command that will be reinforced when not in compliance, when he drops it, can I not command fetch and then nick for reinforcement?
I ear pinch ff'd a dog about a year ago and his hold was decent, but got much better after ear pinch. Kinda like Evan Graham calls sticky in that dog didn't really want to give up the bumper once he dropped it a few times and got ear pinched to ground to pick it up.
Hope all of that made sense.