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How hard do you pinch in FF?


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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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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. :)
 

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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
 

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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
 
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Discussion Starter #5
DID I here someone say pliers??

NAWWWW!!!! :lol:
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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
 

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Ear Pinch

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


Nimrod
 

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Re: Ear Pinch

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


Nimrod
Care to elaborate? The term Amish is related to the use/non-use of the electric collar... has nothing to do with force fetch. Even your Amish leader, the Peakaziod, is a believer in the greatness of force fetch.

Shayne
 

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Nimrod,

Do you train 'Amish' because it is a more effective way to train an animal (dog), or is 'love and understanding' the driving force behind the development of a reliable working animal? What does the dog think? Just curious, Jeff
 

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Shayne,
I luv F-F so much I've taken to "proofing" the kids on their dinner time veggies :twisted: But I always must give credit to where credit is due? The "Amish" leader/originator is Mr. Webmaster himself, closely followed by Paul "kick'n QAA @ss" Young....my heros :oops: , hehe, j/k, not them the, aah forget it :lol:
Peake - Shayne funniest "channel lock wielding, sling shot slingin', choco dawgs are people too" cyber dawg trainer on the net 8)
________
MEDICAL MARIJUANA VAPORIZER REVIEWS
 

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I once applied for a job many moons ago as a professional hearing dog trainer. One of the questions in my interview was "How do you teach a dog to fetch?"

My perplexed answer was, "Well...it depends on the dog!"

I got the job.

Lisa
 

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Having been through the riggors of training a 'clammer' (she was an extremly talanted dog though) it became very obvious to me that the purpose of the pinch is to create stress. And stress is stress! How hard one pinches really doesn't change the degree of that stress, it only changes the degree of disconfort. For that reason alone I normaly will start out with the lip pinch manually opening the dogs mouth. That way even the clammer does't have to guess what I want when I move to using the ear pinch, and the ear pinch doesn't have to be all that hard.
tom
 
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Discussion Starter #16
As an update...

The pup has now been through 4 sessions of FF (5-10 mins each). She is to the point that when I reach for the ear, she tries to grab the dummy. I don't let her grab it until I say fetch though. This morning she was reaching out a foot to get the dummy. She's not lunging for it yet, but I think the restraint before saying fetch is making her start to do it quicker. I haven't pinched her hard really and I've gotten no refusals so far.

Is this a normal progression that ya'll have seen? It seems awfully early in the FF process for her to be at this point. Is her breeding really this good? Because, I know I'm not doing EVERYTHING right!

Thanks for all the input! I'm not hurting my pup unnecessarily because ya'll are so knowledgeable!

Eric
 

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One other thought to consider. If I have a 7-10 week old pup, I will have that pup in my lap while watching TV or wondering where the heck my wife is spending all two dollars of our money.

At this time the pup doesn't care what it bites as long as the object will fit in it's mouth, like the corner of a couch or my "GLOVED" hand. I will have something in my hand that the pup wants and will apply light pressure to the ear as the pup is attempting to get it in it's mouth accompanied with the "fetch" command. After a couple weeks of this, with increasing pressure, I generally don't have too much of problem when I get into serious FF. There will come a time when the pressure HAS to be such that the dog will yelp and the trainer HAS to be ready to insert the object at the proper time, when the mouth is open due to the yelp.

Your thoughts?

Jerry
 

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More info

We all know that it NORMALLY does not take that much pressure to teach a dog to fetch the bumper, but that is not what we are doing in FF. We are teaching a response to pressure (stress is what Tom calls it). I have always been taught that once a dog is snappy and clean at the level of pressure (ie how hard you pinch) used from the beginning, that you UP the pressure until you get a refusal, or a clam, or an avoidance response. That is the breaking point that you as a trainer are looking for. Most important - the dog has to be clean under normal pressure and KNOWS what is expected of him. Once you apply enough pressure to get the avoidance, work through it with repetition at the high pressure level. This is one method of Proofing. You have to generate (or manufacture) the refusals.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Gman,

Thanks for that reply. I think you really explained what I am going through. I knew the pup was learning the command fetch...but I was in doubt as to whether she was getting the "force" part of it. I'll take your advice and up the pressure some.

Eric
 
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