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trailratedtj

force fetch training

37 posts in this topic

first off im training my first forced fetched dog. It was a tough start as it was for him and me. Normal i dont force fetch, but my lab is very very stubborn and i felt it to be a need for reliability. My question is regards to speeding up the approach and delivery of the object. Granted we have just made it to the point of tossing the object a few feet(5-8') he is rather sluggish. How to i speed things up? does it gain as he settles more into the force fetching? Should i praise my butt off? should i introduce a slight bit of e-collar while giving the command till he makes the pick up and then praise him to speed up the return?

any help will be much appreciated.

p.s. this is not a should i force fetch or shouldnt i force fetch thread. no stoning to death.

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How did he react to close range object...say when you first started the forcing process? If you used enough pressure the dog should be almost lunging for the object trying to turn the pressure off. Sounds like he doesn't feel the need to really turn off any pressure.

Did you start with ear pinch (or something else) and how did he react to it at close range...fast/slow response? Did his response slow as you moved out in length?

I would assume your dog has been collar conditioned?

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Trailrat,If it's in the budget i would consider having your dog force trained by a pro...It's a touchy deal and not always fun and friendly,just a thought...

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When you are having him pick it up from the ground right in front of him, is he lunging for it? It sounds like there may not be enough "force" in your training. You may want to hold him back a bit and have him work through the negative pressure to get to the plug. One more thing, have you done the walk and fetch drill? I find that an easier transition to get them moving to the 5' to 8' distances.

Keep in mind that this sets up all of your blind and casting work, so you need to build the abiltiy to make him go as you direct him. Don't get frustrated. The first dog you force fetch is always the hardest. It also really varies from dog to dog. Some go easy and some go hard. Be patient and you will get there.

If you are not experienced with the collar and your dog is not conditioned, I would avoid it at this point in your training schedule. You can get the results you want without it.

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I have the same questions as 311. Sounds like you might need to back up a few steps. I always start with a dummy in hand, then to ground, then a ladder of dummies away from the dog, and eventually a pile. I mix pressure in and out during the whole process. Any mistakes in the steps and we just back up and start over again. An e collar would be a good idea for pressure if they are conditioned. Introduce the collar to the forcing with the dummy in hand and work your way out. No expert here, but it has worked on a couple dozen dogs now. grin.gif

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Lots of ways to put pressure on the dog out and back. The easiest and most reliable is the collar.

But as everyone else has pointed out, is he actually lunging for the bumper? If not, he is not neccasarily there.

One way to get them to speed up on the way to the bird is to use a leash and sit stick and hold them back while applying some 'pressure' to them with the stick, they are clawing to get to the bumper. I do this step in between the ear pinch and the collar. Once they are pulling hard on the leash we work them into the collar. They will fly out to complete the retrieve. If they 'pig' on the way back... a light correction on "here" with the collar will get them flying again. The faster you get you dog going on retrieves, the better they will do marking multiple falls (getting back to you faster to deliver birds) and the better they will do running blinds (run faster equates to better lines).

But I agree with JDM. If he hasn't been collar conditioned, use the tools you have right now... they will get you by.

Good Luck!

Ken

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he is lungeing for the what ever object im using(bumper, dowel, corked butt end of fishing rod,etc,) after thinking about i might be rushing the short tosses. He's does not lunge for the ones dropped at his feet as compared to the ones in fornt of his face. He is collar conditioned and has been trained to come with sight pressure on the collar(being released once returning to heel). I beginning to think theres not enough force yet applied, but when i do throw something he reacts instantly thinking he needs to go get it before i get pressure, but then slowly mosies his way to it then back.

another thing, when i do a short toss and he makes the pick up and begins the return, occassionally he will stop 5 feet or so from me and sit still holding the object staring at me with a timid look. Giving him a stearn "come" command or 2 he then finishes up at heel.

Im not to worried yet becuase we are still early in the game. It would be nice to have him ready by mid duck season but its not gonna rush it. i hunted dogless last year and another year wont make a difference.

also, how long does the average force fetch process take?

thanks for the help so far. keep it coming.

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just an update....

Duke is taking well to the force fetching. It tooks a day more of tossing and re-enforing the fetch and his is now blazing a trail to a from the dummies.

The bond I've read about that is created with a force fetch program is clearly present. All commands that i give him now are getting crisper and crisper. Hopefully if force fetching continues to progress and i can start working live birds and maybe have him out by mid duck season.

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Congrats on FF your first dog. It can be a little nerve racking the first time but it will pay off for you in the end.

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I was hestitant to go the force fetch route. My dog loved retrieving around the yard and did well during training in the field. I figured it would not be needed. However, 1st year pheasant hunting my dog was spotty on retrieves and did not want to hold the bird very long. I was not satisfied. 2nd year pheasant hunting (post FF), bird finding machine. Even sitting nice for photos.

zeusfetchya2.jpg

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yeah, i love it. Deffinately nice with a good foundation in "heel" , "come", and "hold". He will hold things forever and returns perfect by my side patiently waiting for the "drop" command.

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just another update...while working the force fetching i decided to begin bird work in hope to have Duke ready for duck season. After a quick walk over to the farm we had ourselves a good ol' pigeon. I released Duke and started to get him wound up.I then sprung open the door way into the rest of his life THE PIGEON. Boy did we have oursleves a good time. It took about 5 minutes of him nosing, barking, pawing, and a bit of growling and the switch hit. I knew it had happened when i picked the bird up and started to walk off, he went crazy for it. Jumping and nosing me, running in front of me cutting me off. I started ginning ear to ear, turned around and tossed the bird back out and gave the commands and the next thing i knew the bird was back in my hand. It was great. A few tosses later i stopped as to not bore him and put the bird in the back of my vehicle. I turned around and notice Duke in the field trailing the bird's scent trying to find it. I pulled the bird back out and tossed it in some thick stuff and started giving Duke the "hunt" command. 10 minutes later he was 3 for 3 for finding the planted birds.

Over all a very very nice day, we took another step foward in Force Fetching, figured out the Duke really likes birds, and then awoke the nose of a hunter. Every guy that trains a hunting dog always has that little thought in the back of their head of something going wrong or not being able to get what you want out of the dog due to our training errors or just natural errors in the dog. That thought is now gone and i am now very confident that Duke and I will make it.

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oh yeah, nice wirehair Gills, my new neighboor has two of them. Thats actually what dog i should have right now, but the "soon-to-be" thought they were ugly and "looked like old men".

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Thanks. He is a wirehaired griffon. It is funny how many people think he is an older dog based on his look. He will be 3 yrs old this December. I have some high expectations for him on pheasants this season and I am hoping that we turn the corner on ducks. I have been working on hand signals, so we will see how well they translate to real life hunting situations.

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i still want another pointer...might just have to sneak a little wirehair in the kennel one day. Once she sees a puppy it wont matter anyways.

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You guys all think us girls are a sucker for those puppy eyes.. Will give you a clue here.. we have to act mad and pretend we don't want it, cause we all know its us girls who do the cleaning..in most cases, you guys know how to get us cold heart females to give in with the warm fuzzy puppy.. lol

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Is this the right way? There are so many views on this, and i been reading as much as i can on FF.. This one made the most sense to me but i am not fully sure if its the right way

Force Fetch Training, Delivery to Hand and Related Behavior

Force fetch training is training pup to fetch or pick up on command, a dummy, bird, or other object. The purpose of force fetch training is to accomplish the following goals:

1. Cure the fault of either not delivering to hand and/or dropping birds

2. Cure the fault of having a hard mouth

3. As the behavioral basis for forcing a dog on lines.

Delivery to Hand

The simplest solution to delivery to hand is to never let pup get started dropping dummies. Many puppies are born with a tendency to deliver to hand, but are inadvertently “trained” at a young age to drop the dummy on they way to the handler.

There are several ways to get pup to spit out that dummy on his way to you:

1. Grab at the dummy as pup comes up to you. You will likely startle him and cause him to drop the dummy. Don’t grab at the dummy. Crouch down and slip your hand under pup’s chin as he comes up. Help him hold the dummy in his mouth and stroke his head and praise him a couple of minutes as he holds the dummy. Then take it from him.

2. Jump at pup as he is coming up and cause him to run from you. Puppies have an innate behavior to chase and “be chased.” Use the former. Move away from pup a step or two as he comes up to you with the dummy.

3. The first time pup you throw something for pup to retrieve, he runs for the bushes with it. You chase and catch him. He spits out dummy somewhere along the way. The solution is to give for several weeks all subsequent retrieves in a place with no escape exits. A long hallway in the house is excellent. Develop well the good habit of delivery to hand before you venture back around bushes again.

4. Pup comes up to you with the dummy and you start harassing him to come to heel and sit to deliver. He either starts dropping the dummy, or stops coming to you or both. The right way to have pup heel and sit to deliver is:

a. Attach a 6-foot length of cord to pup’s collar for him trail.

b. When pup comes to you with the dummy, crouch down and slip your hand under his chin to hold the dummy in his mouth as you stroke his head and praise him as he holds the dummy. Then take the dummy from him, and with the check cord guide him to the heel position and command “sit” with a pull upward on the cord. After he sits pet and praise him. After a number of repetitions pup will be heeling and sitting automatically after you’ve taken the dummy. Next just reverse the sequence. When he comes up, don’t take the dummy until after he has heeled and sat. He will be so much in the habit of heeling and sitting that he won’t drop the dummy.

5. A more insidious cause of dropping dummies is the use of plastic dummies. Plastic dummies are slippery when wet, and less comfortable for a dog to carry than canvas dummies. Dogs are more likely to drop plastic dummies than canvas. Using plastic dummies increases the probability of encountering problems with pup delivering to hand.

Force Fetch as Foundation for Field Trial Lining

Force fetch training is done on nearly all field trial dogs in America because of the importance of lining to the field trial dog. If you don’t plan on running field trials, and your dog delivers to hand, and is gentle with birds then you do not need to force fetch train him.

If you are going to run field trials and want to win then you should force fetch train pup. The force fetch training is the foundation behavior for lining and is a necessary first step for forcing pup on lines.

Hard Mouth

A dog has a hard mouth is when he crushes birds, eats birds, or refuses to give up a bird. This is a major fault as it pretty much renders pup useless for his primary function which is retrieving birds. A thorough force fetch training regimen will usually counteract hard mouth.

The Hidden Danger in Force Fetch Training

The hidden danger in force fetch training is that it compensates for behaviors that should be developed by selective breeding. This idea occurred to after a few years of working with many puppies of American Field Trial breeding and many puppies of British Field Trial breeding. There is a glaring behavioral difference between the two genetic pools of puppies. A much higher percentage of British puppies automatically deliver to hand, than do American puppies of field trial breeding.

You don’t have to look far to find the reason. The British very seldom force fetch train their dogs. This training practice is not widely accepted or practiced in England. Therefore, in that breeding population, soft mouth and delivery to hand is developed by selective breeding. Dogs that are not soft mouthed or that don’t deliver to hand, are not successful field dogs and thus tend not to be hunted or campaigned in field trials. Thus they also tend not to be bred to for good working stock. In England, selective breeding is still operating to produce soft mouthed retrievers.

In the US working retriever population, training is operating to produce soft mouthed retrievers. Selective breeding for soft mouth and delivery to hand has been replaced by training to develop these traits.

Since fetch training has become a general and nearly universal practice in the training of field trial dogs, we are camouflaging one of the major traits that molded the retrieving breeds through selective breeding of hundreds of generations. When you cover up a primary trait with training, then it no longer has value for selective breeding. Today when you look at a prospective sire for breeding, you can’t tell whether his soft mouth and delivery to hand came from his ancestors or from his trainer.

One of the primary traits for which retrievers have been selectively bred since entering into a partnership with the sportsman has been delivering to gently to hand an undamaged bird. With the widespread practice of force fetch training we have effectively reversed years and years of breeding selection for soft mouth retrievers.

Force Fetch Training – When to Do It

Only force fetch train if and when you have to. If your pup delivers to hand naturally, reinforce and reward that behavior. Don’t do things that cause pup to change that behavior. Then you may never have to force train him.

The two behaviors that may require you to force fetch train are (1)dropping birds or dummies; (2)hard mouth. Neither behavior requires an immediate resorting to force training. With both you are better served to wait on the force fetch training.

If your dog is hard mouth and rough on birds, simply train him with dummies for several months, until he is obedient, steady andoing double marked retrieves and blind retrieves with confidence. Check him on birds again after that several month period of working strictly on dummies. Often the force of habit will prevail, and the hard mouth will be overridden by the strong habit of retrieving dummies softly to hand. On the other hand sometimes the hard mouth is still operating. you take him through A thorough course of force fetch training will usually cure it. . Cease all other training for a couple of weeks while the force fetch training is in progress. In the case of the hard mouth dog you should condition pup on the dowel, dummies and on birds. After the dowel and dummies you should force him to fetch first frozen birds, then unfrozen birds.

For the dog that is dropping dummies the solution is similar. If he’s dropping them within a few feet of you, simply ignore it and continue with his initial obedience and retrieving work. After he’s had several weeks of obedience work and is steady and doing double marked retrieves with confidence, start the force training. Cease all other work with pup while you are engaged in the force fetch training process.

If pup is dropping birds far away from you, move his work to the water for a couple of weeks. Usually a dog won’t spit a dummy while he’s swimming with it. He will generally wait until he’s exiting at water’s edge, then he drops it. Therefore give the distant dropper his retrieves at the water. The basic principle here is that you want a dog to have some foundation of obedience training and retrieving work before you put him through the force training process.

Force Fetch Training – The Mechanics

Force fetch training is bad for the breed, but we seem to be saddled with it. The ceasing of selective breeding for soft mouth insures that more and more sportsmen will have to force fetch train their dogs to compensate for the lack of breeding selection. Force fetch training appears to be a necessary evil. Therefore I present the mechanics of performing force fetch training.

Force fetch training is a negative conditioning process training the fetch behavior as an escape response. The negative stimulus which pup is escaping in the force fetch training is an ear pinch or toe pinch. The sequence is:

Signal

Negative

Stimulus

Escape Response

Reward

“Fetch”

Ear or Toe Pinch

Grab Dowel in Mouth

Stroke slowly and gently on head and top of neck with gentle verbal praise

That describes the total conditioning sequence. For the best results and least amount of force used, the sequence should be carefully structured and progressively built. This behavior can be accomplished in as short a time as 3 or 4 ten minute sessions or it might take 15 or 20 sessions. A lot depends on the nature of the individual dog being trained. A lot more depends on the skill and experience level of the person doing the training. With a cooperative dog and a skilled dog trainer the process can be accomplished gently and rapidly in 3 or 4 sessions. With an uncooperative dog and a novice trainer, it might take many more sessions.

Ear Pinch or Toe Pinch – Ground or Table

There are two places and two methods to do the force fetch training. You can do it on a table using the toe pinch or you can do it on the ground using the ear pinch. If you are a fairly skillful dog trainer and have a cooperative dog, then force fetch train on the ground using the ear pinch. This method is simpler, and faster for a skillful trainer. I have used both methods extensively. I prefer the ear pinch on the ground because it is simpler and faster. I have also watched a large number of novice trainers attempt the force training process on the ground and have seen a lot of lost tempers, confusion for the trainer and confusion for the dog. Generally the novice trainer attempting to force fetch train on the ground will nearly always use too much force, and hamper the process.

If you are a novice trainer, make it easy on yourself and your dog. The toe pinch method used with a dog up on a table is much the preferred method. It is more complicated and takes longer, but it is also much harder to screw up.

Tethering pup up on the table puts you in complete control and makes it much easier for you to elicit the desired response from pup at the right time. Putting pup on a table for force fetch training also accomplishes several other objectives:

1. It puts him in an unfamiliar place, which gives the trainer an advantage

2. It removes you from physical contact with pup. It is much easier for the trainer to maintain an objective attitude and keep his emotions out of the picture. Thus a training session is much less likely to degrade into a wrestling match.

3. It puts the trainer in a comfortable position. The trainer is less likely to lose his patience.

Building the Behavior Chain

Looking at the table and toe pinch method, start with the table. A 4 x 8 sheet of plywood is a good size. Make it waist high and sturdy enough to support pup. About three feet above the table string a length of cable running lengthwise. The cable will initially serve to anchor pup in place and subsequently as a “trolley wire” to allow pup to move back and forth the length of the table. Then you begin a step-by-step behavior building process. Looking at the basic elements of the behavior and building them in sequence is by far the easiest on pup.

1. Pup must learn to give to pressure on the collar on his neck. Since you have already obedience trained pup, he will have learned to give to his neck.

2. Put pup on the table and let him get comfortable on it. Anchor pup to the cable with a few swivel snaps fastened together. Tie him short enough that he is in the sitting position. Walk him back and forth on the table a few times while petting and encouraging him. Get him comfortable on the table.

3. The next step is to make him accept a foreign object in his mouth. First make him accept your hand in his mouth. If you don’t like dog saliva, put on a leather glove.

a. Grab pup’s collar with your left hand so you can keep his head still.

b. Put your right hand in his mouth, grasping his lower jaw. Pup will probably resist the hand but hold firmly on his collar with your left hand while keep the right one in his mouth. Talk calmly to him. He will after a few minutes quit fighting the hand in his mouth and relax. When he’s relaxed then you know he has accepted the hand. Then keep the right hand in his mouth and stroke him on the head while give him some praise.

c. Put the hand back in his mouth a couple of times and pet and praise while the hand in his mouth.

4. After pup has accepted the hand the next step is to have him accept a dowel. Use a six inch piece of 1” dowel.

a. Grasp pup’s collar with your left hand and hold him still.

b. Put the piece of dowel in his mouth. Hold his lower jaw till he accepts

the dowel and relaxes. Then stroke his head and praise while dowel is still in his mouth. You may need to use thumb of left hand to keep jaw supported and dowel in mouth while you are petting.

c. Repeat this 4 or 5 times.

5. Next you progress to the toe pinch. This is an escape response and looks like this:

Negative Stimulus Escape Response

Ear or Toe Pinch grab stick or dummy in mouth

a. Attach a 24” length of 1/8” cord to pup’s front leg with a clove hitch just above the “ankle” joint. Run a half hitch around his middle two toes. Pull gently on the cord so that it pinches his toes. Use just enough pressure that pup is uncomfortable and needs to do something. Simultaneously hold the dowel in front of his mouth. If he opens his mouth a little, push the dowel in. Simultaneously with the dowel going in his mouth, the pinch should cease. Then cause him pup to hold the dowel while you pet and praise. If he doesn’t open his mouth, then with the dowel hand, open his mouth a little by pressing his jowl against his teeth with your index finger. As the mouth comes open a little, put the dowel in his mouth. As soon as the dowel is in his mouth release the pinch. Then cause pup to hold the dowel while you pet and praise.

b. If the pup is not reach for the dowel when you pinch, or not opening his mouth, use for more time, not more force. Hold the pinch a little longer with same intensity, pry open mouth, insert dowel, and pet and praise. Generally more repetitions will get the job done.

c. Repeat the sequence until pup is predictably reaching for the dowel upon feeling the pinch.

5. When pup is automatically reaching for the dowel when he feels the pinch, then it time to add on the command “fetch”. The sequence will look like this:

Signal Negative Stimulus Escape Response Reward

“Fetch” Ear or Toe Pinch grab dowel pet and praise

a. With pup on table, give light pinch with cord and command “fetch” as the dowel goes in pup’s mouth. Repeat several times.

b. Lengthen the attachment from pup’s collar to the trolley cable, so that he reaches further to grab the dowel. Repeat several time until pup is taking the dowel just above the table top.

c. Wrap some tape around each end of the dowel so that it has a dumbell shape and the taped ends hold the dowel off the table. Then require pup to fetch it off of the table instead of out of your hand. Some dogs have a little trouble here. The normal human reaction is to pinch harder. The solution is keeping the pinch the same light intensity for a longer period of time, until pup grabs the dowel off the table.

7. Continue for several sessions until pup is automatically fetching the dowel from the table upon command without the toe pinch.

8. Give pup a session on the table with light a ear pinch instead of the toe pinch. The proper way to use ear pinch is to grasp pup’s collar with your hand. Then fold his ear back against the collar. Next lightly press your thumbnail against the ear which is layin over the collar. Press just hard enough that pup becomes uncomfortable and fidgets a little. Then put dowel in front of his mouth and wait for him to grab it. Release the pinch when he does.

9. Next give pup a session or two on the ground with a light ear pinch using first the dowel and then a dummy.

At this point, pup should be fetching dummies from the ground crisply with just the command “fetch”. This completes pup’s force fetch training unless you plan to run him in field trials. Field trial dogs will need an extension of force training in the form of forcing them a progressively greater distance to a pile of dummies.

The table method is complicated but structures the process so that a novice trainer can accomplish the training with minimum confusion to the dog, and minimum force.

Force fetch training without the table

If you choose to force fetch train wihtout the table you should go through the same sequence of steps as the table method. The major differences are that the dog is started on the ground, and an ear pinch is used instead of the toe pinch.

The Most Common Mistakes

The most common mistakes that beginning trainers make are:

1. Using too much force. The trainer applies the pinch, and doesn’t get an immediate response, so he pinches harder. Some dogs will respond by shutting down and doing nothing. The correct method is to apply the light pinch. It should be just hard enough that pup is uncomfortable, then provide the escape rout for him, by making sure that he gets the dowel in his mouth, which makes the pinch cease. There is not a requirement for speed. Keep the pinch at the same intensity and wait for the response to occur. Use more time, not more force.

2. Skipping steps in the sequence will make it difficult for some dogs to get the picture. When pup is not progressing, simplify. If he’s not grabbing for the dowel, slip it into his mouth and release the pinch so he learns what turns off the pinch. Whenever you encounter problems, simplify

3. Don’t think that the command produces the response. You the trainer produce the response with the pinch. Only after the response is reliably occurring do you start proceeding the response with the command “fetch”. That’s how pup learns.

4. Many beginning trainers get wrapped up in the pinching and forget the power of reward. Just because the pinch is working don’t neglect the reward following the correct response. Petting and praise following the correct response increase the effectiveness of the force fetch training process ten fold.

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I think it is very important to point out that you do not force fetch little puppies. I won't even consider it until the adult teeth come in. Generally, I will force a dog in the 6 to 8 month age range.

That was a very long post with a lot of info. I agree with some and some I question. If you want a dog that will ALWAYS retrieve, never crunch a bird, deliver to hand, and handle and run blind retrieves, then it is a significant part of the easiest training regiment to get it done. Of course it is possible to accomplish some or all of these things without FF, but there is a reason that many dogs have and will continue to be trained with the method: it works, it is fast, it is reliable, and if done properly - is not the barbaric and cruel practice that many allege on the topic.

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I don't think its for me, but i wont know till Hunter gets older. But is there something wrong with a dog bring it to you and dropping it before your feet and sits down?

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The word "wrong" on this topic is really related to personal choice. If you are OK with it, then it is not wrong. It is your dog.

If you want to run hunt tests or trials, then it is wrong because the bird has to be delivered to hand. You can fix that problem with "hold" which is the very first step of the FF process. I prefer a dog that delivers to hand for hunting. Cripples, chaos, etc... are all good reasons. I pheasant hunt a lot and many of the birds are still pretty lively when my dog brings them back. I don't want him to let go. I have seen birds get away at that point and they were not recovered, which is a shame. Still, owning and training a dog should be enjoyable and if you are not running contests, you are the only one who that dog needs to please and only you know what you will accept in terms of behavior.

I don't run trials anymore and over the years I am much more leniant on certain behaviors that I used to be.

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To answer your question if there is an issue with the dog dropping the bird at your feet. I would say yes. Unless every birds is dead, this will be an issue. Imagine your dog making a nice retrieve on a cripple and then stopping short and dropping the live bird.

The way that I view it, FF makes fetch a command and not an option. When I send my dog on a retrieve, he will search for a bird until he finds one. He is obeying the command. With that said FF is not for everyone though.

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I agree with JDM.

BTW....JDM....maybe you just need to shoot a little better so you don't have to deal with as many cripples, or FF your dog!! J/k J/k... grin.gif

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Quote:

I don't run trials anymore and over the years I am much more leniant on certain behaviors that I used to be.


Man, can I relate to that! blush.gif

JDM has it right... whatever suits your taste and style and what you percieve to be proper retriever traits, then that should be where your bird dog is.

The cripple issue is real and a great reason in and of itself to FF, but beyond that, FF is a great foundation to lay all future finish work, creates a bond between trainer and dog, and most importantly, makes the retrieve 'for you' and not for "him". When they drop a bird (or anything) at your feet, they are done with their part, in their mind... they did the part that they wanted to do and the rest is up to you. I like a dog to complete the task and do it for me. A lot of times the dropping at the feet trait comes from too much tennis ball work... (or the like).

Good Luck!

Ken

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That's for sure!!! grin.gif

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Quote:

FF is a great foundation to lay all future finish work, creates a bond between trainer and dog


Ken....great statement IMO!

I think this is one aspect of FF that people do not realize. FF is not only about the dog fetching for you, but it teaches the dog how to work with you and work through and deal with pressure.

As mentioned, it creates a bond between dog and trainer....and sets up a foundation for all future finishing work.

Thanks for bringing that up...I believe this is an important aspect of FF often overlooked!!

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      I scored a set of Striker Hardwaters for 25% off   bibs+coat. I fish early ice alone, decided to pull the trigger on a warm suit that can float if I end up breaking thru.  That crowd was insane. Happy to see the big turnout. All of the TV dudes were roaming around too, talking with ppl and taking pics. Had a great time and I'm happy to see how big the ice fishing community is getting. Just stay away from my holes!!!     jk. Looks like we could be gaining up to an inch of ice/day in metro lakes if this forecast holds. 
    • Big A
      That ion x does look sweet! Not sure if I can justify the switch from my current ion... what was your out the door cost?
    • vanwalleye
      I was thinking the same thoughts, I saw the pond by my house locked up, figure someone will be sitting in front of the courthouse before you know it..
    • Jim Uran
      I have to add that my buddy has had the Eskimo propane auger and loves it, he has a season and half using it and it hasn't given him any problems.