Like the dog's tail, it depends.Do you teach a retrieve or do you rely on cultivating natural inclinations?
Though I've borrowed some from them, I wouldn't consider myself a "British style trainer," but I don't force fetch (in the conventional sense of the term) and feel I both cultivate my pups' natural inclinations and teach retrieving, largely through making building block successes easy and rote conditioning. Though I will use verbal and/or physical force, as well, when applicable. I'm on my tenth dog so trained, and only one had what might be considered formal "hold" lessons, and those were more along the lines outlined on the Wildrose site than the US mainstream's approach.Do you teach a retrieve or do you rely on cultivating natural inclinations?
If you do teach a retrieve, what is your general process?
If you teach hold as in the first steps of a force fetch (I am thinking along the lines of the hold as taught in Smartfetch), I can agree. But I would not call a positive reinforcement hold force fetch. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oFO9Z0oHBA 2:00 - 2:40)FF is as much about the hold as the fetch. So if your teaching hold I call it FF.
On several separate occasions I have heard British trainers (actual trainers in the UK) express confusion about why American dogs are force fetched. "Don't your dogs retrieve naturally?" The answer is, of course, that they do. As far as I can gather, most American retrievers get retrieves and marks nearly daily from the day they come home. Many continue to get marks while they are being force fetched. My duck toller retrieved anything I threw from the day I got him, and taught himself to retrieve to hand on the second day. If FF was to make the dogs retrieve, this wouldn't be possible.I train British dogs (I'm not advanced enough to say I train any specific 'method'), and I have not used FF on my last two labs. Their natural drive to retrieve was very strong early on, so I built on that and did not have to "teach" retrieving. I did put both through force hold, which I believe is different than force fetch (we can have that conversation if anyone wants to). I used something similar to Mike Stewart's method. This is simply to ensure the dog keeps the retrieve all the way in to heel and then delivers to hand.
If I had it my way, I'd spend all my time tooling around training dogs with different people and talking shop. In a world without teleporters and with rising gas prices, theorizing on the internet is the next best thing.We have invited many to come train with us in the Boise area, but have had few takers, but we are not out to change hearts and minds..most will revert back to the more traditional E collar methods..the only convert I could think of lately would be my brother's long time training partner Ted Miller..willing to train with anyone as long as you're not looking to get into a urinating match on styles...we respect almost all forms of training
They do have blind retrieves, but with their trials there is no set up blind. If the dog that gets sent saw it its a mark, if not its a blind. The judges choose the winner from the total performance of the dog. The dog will have both blinds and marks. Lining is not as important it seems though. Youtube "brackenbird minnow" and you will get an example of a british field trial.In my opinion based on my understanding of dog training and retriever training, the benefit of force fetch is in teaching and running blinds. British field trials don't have American-style blinds (I don't believe they have blinds at all), which IMO accounts for the fact that they don't force fetch their dogs. They don't need to, and there would be minimal competitive benefit in doing so. Different trial criteria means different selection pressures, in breeding and training methodologies.
There are plenty of dogs that retrieve everytime that arent FFd. It is simply one of many methods. The point of this thread is to discuss those other methods. BTW..I watch FFd dogs drop and occassional refuse retrieves in the field every year. It isn't a magic technique. BUT I have FFd several dogsForce Fetch or Forced Retrieve is a misleading name. Every retriever with even mediocre instincts will retrieve.
What "forcing" is about, and this is fundamental to a decent working dog, is teaching the dog to deliver to hand reliably and with a soft mouth, and, teaching the dog that retrieving is non-optional.
Yes, a dog with good instincts will retrieve most of the time, and will deliver to hand most of the time. But if you want your dog to retrieve and properly present the bird every time when given the command, you have to teach the dog that he has no option to do anything less.
You really are not close as to what FF accomplishes.So, if FF isn't to make dogs retrieve, what is it for? Personal opinion, I think the reliability claims are overstated. Is a FF retriever a more reliable retriever than a natural ability only retriever? I believe so. I don't think this is anything magical about the FF process, I think it is an outcome of a trained retrieve.