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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Boykin pup is about 5 1/2 months and has been coming along nicely with his training... his obedience, especially sit is really solid (still working on heel but he is coming along)... we've started collar conditioning now with "here" and starting to see great results... retrieving drive is high (especially in the water)...

When is he ready to force fetch? I still haven't decided if I am going to attempt it myself or send him off, but I want to make sure that if I do send him off I've done everything necessary to get him ready to FF

He still has a few teeth left to loose, so I know he isn't ready yet, but I just want to make sure I have a game plan lined out to be working through while he is in the final stages of teething.

(Using Hillman, we're at about day 21)
 

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have you taught hold? How is his mouth? I like to see a pup that will heel, sit, hold and hold while heeling before I move to FF. To me it shows enough maturity that he is feeling responsible for holding on to that bumper even though there are other tasks going on. BTW Hillmann in his puppy DVD is just introducing the collar for FF. I believe he does break it down into FF sessions when the dog is older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We started hold along with Hillmann but then he started losing too many teeth and I didnt want him to associate the pain with bumpers... we're starting back on hold right now with soft bumpers but he really hates it... fights against it, paws them out of his mouth... im persistent but we haven't seemed to make much progress which is why I'm beginning to think I may need to leave it to a pro.
 

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I took a 7 month old pup through hillman more or less. I'd wait until all teeth are in before returning to hold. Then just be persistent and patient in teaching hold ala Hillman. I did not FF with the collar like Hillman describes in the puppy DVD nor did I follow his Fetch DVD. My pup would not retrieve a bumper so it was difficult to stick with Hillman on this. My pup had a great hold from the Hillman method when we started FF following Lardy's TRT.

Lardy does FF after formal obedience so that's the way I did it. You said you are still working on heel so I'd get that right before moving to FF. You are fighting a teething issue when you could be focusing on the obedience. There is no rush.

BTW, my pup breezed through FF from ear pinch to stick fetch in about 10 sessions or so. The hold was perfect and obedience very solid before we began FF.
 

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Not familiar with Hillman's stuff, but I would put off all hold or FF until he is finished teething. I don't think it won't put you behind if that is what you're worried about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys that helps a lot... Not really worried about getting behind, I know every dog progresses at their own rate, I just want to make sure I fill all the holes in my training before I move forward.... Really just trying to get the foundation solid before I move on
 

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Most trainers start the FF when their dog reaches the six month old mark. However, that age is only a gauge used by most trainers including myself and not a definite time line. Before you move into formal training with a pup he should be mentally and physically prepared to handle the rigors of force training. It takes experience and know-how to make that determination. if you're wrong you can destroy a sensitive pup or take an unnecessary piece of his attitude that can never be replaced.
good luck
GG
 
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