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Thread: Force Fetch question

  1. #1
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    Default Force Fetch question

    I am proceeding through training my first dog slowly and patiently. I used the Hillmann puppy dvd and now and following fowl dawgs. (and I have Lardyís Articles). So far so good.
    Obedience went well, so did hold and now Iíve started FF. My question is, when I apply pressure to the dogís ear about half the time heíll go for the bumper. The other half he wants to go for my hand that is pinching with an open mouth. Not real aggressively, kind of in a way of trying to tell me to stop rather than bite me.
    Is this a sure sign Iím using too much pressure? For what itís worth my instinct tells me Iím not using too much but Iím not sure. Iíve just stayed calm and managed to get the bumper in the mouth most of the time and praise him. Itís been 3 sessions but he seems persistent on protesting.
    For what it's worth, I'm not in a position or mindset to seek a pro right now as I often see that advice.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Willow SGD's Avatar
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    I'd say maybe yes, but too hard to tell. You're having decent success. I think as armatures we don't have experience to judge the dog as well so for me I'm apt to creep up on pressure. Every dog reacts different, but he's telling you this is significant pressure that he want's it to go away now. Your following a good program and from Illini to another you're hopefully watching the dog and judging the pressure. Three sessions is not much, but I'd like to get the bumper in every time. I'm sure people will say, yea but you didn't see what my dog tried to do. I like to have the hand under the collar that doing the pinching and out of the way and object against the lips, so as soon as mouth opens the bumper goes in and pressure off. If he's responding quicker than you can I'd back off and start with lower pressure and very gradually increase it until you get the mouth opening without such a significant reaction as going for your hand. You don't want him to win by getting you to stop the pressure and no object in mouth. If this goes against the exact FF program you're using then by all means stick with it and someone will add more help I'm sure. You can do this if you're more persistent than he is and you do as you say remain calm try and keep the dogs attitude high.
    Bob Stewart
    Central IL.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    How can anyone on this site know if you are using to little or to much pressure? I could give you general information but since I can't see how your dog is responding, other than him trying to get his mouth on your hand which is real common, I'd just be guessing. Three sessions won't tell you much. The reason you see advice along the lines of "maybe you should find a pro" is because in most instances it is darn good advice. And precluding that what would be wrong with seeking out those that may have trained dogs successfully and to higher levels than yourself, they can be found in retriever clubs and training groups. I have yet to see a good dog made solely from informational videos and internet forums. I'm sure you may find some that are in the business of selling this information and some on these forums as well that may disagree.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Can you post a video? Hard to tell what's going on from just words but it doesn't sound that bad for only three sessions.
    Wayne Nutt
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    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
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  5. #5
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    @willow: not letting him avoid the pressure with his actions makes sense. Thanks for that thought.
    @ Bruce: I agree a pro is good advice but I'm just not to that point. Just seeing what I can pick up from those who have been there before. I did seek out a group and they were very helpful. But I could not commit to membership and did know the etiquette if that makes sense. Time and money are very short right now. Even that Lardy articles and Fowl Dawgs was financially driven. Though I'm very happy with both.

    Let me ask this...any harm at all in backing off and using less pressure? Such a thing as too little?

  6. #6
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    Yes, too little pressure and you won't be FF. Each dog will train differently and internet training especially at this point in the training is almost worthless.Get with a good group with knowledgeable people.Many pros do day training as well.Call and see how much it is.
    Jeff Gruber
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  7. #7
    Junior Member Willow SGD's Avatar
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    Beaker,

    Bruce is correct, no one can tell you are using too much pressure and you asked for an opinion, it's the internet and that's what we do, so take it for what's it's worth. Here's another opinion, I would not let someone tell me you can't do this yourself, you're already making good progress and it's your dog you want to train, not mine, not anybody else's. It' also my opinion that if you get stuck and are not making good progress you should seek on sight help form someone recommended in your area. It almost would be worth a drive to Rockford to watch see first hand. Bottom line as others said pressure is dog specific and too little and too much is relative so you'll work it out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Beaker, you're about three hours south of me...if you want to come up, I'd be glad to help you through it.
    Sharon Potter

    www.redbranchkennels.net

    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.

    Team Huntsmith

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    Beaker, you're about three hours south of me...if you want to come up, I'd be glad to help you through it.
    Beaker, if you can, think seriously about taking Sharon up on her offer. Also, I believe you can do this yourself but when you are talking about the total investment we put into our dogs it pays to look at professional advice from time to time.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

  10. #10
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce MacPherson View Post
    Beaker, if you can, think seriously about taking Sharon up on her offer. Also, I believe you can do this yourself but when you are talking about the total investment we put into our dogs it pays to look at professional advice from time to time.
    Absolutely, that is too good an offer to ignore. I have been training dogs (as an amateur) since 1979, but only the eight Golden's I have had over that period, I have also worked with pros and serious amateurs since 1992 a lot, IMO force fetch is the one hardest step for a newbie to do himself without having seen it done by a good trainer in person. Even knowing what you are doing it takes a fair amount of practice, physical dexterity and timing to do well.

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