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lawdog

Force Fetch Training...

10 posts in this topic

I'm thinking I am going to have the new pup force trained, I didn't with the old one, but think I should with this one. He's just 6 mo's old and is a lab. He was a little rough with the rooster he got last week (his first bird) and then wouldn't give it to me and I don't want to let those bad habits go.

I have a couple questions maybe you guys can help with.

1. How hard is it to teach this? (I don't think I have time to do so now anyway, but always liked doing my own dog training)

2. Are there guys in SW MN that would do it and do it well for me?

3. How much money would it cost and how long would the dog be gone?

4. When would be the best time to do this?

Just gathering information right now...

THANKS,

Jeff

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lawdog,

I haven't ever worked with a lab, but in my exprience with britts I'd say let your pup have fun & learn to love birds & hunting this first year. Then do some good yard work next spring & summer. If your pup is finding & picking up the the dead birds now the rest should come with time. I'd work on obiedence & the give command. & rember most of all keep it fun for you and your pup!

Ike

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Quote:

I have a couple questions maybe you guys can help with.

1. How hard is it to teach this? (I don't think I have time to do so now anyway, but always liked doing my own dog training)

2. Are there guys in SW MN that would do it and do it well for me?

3. How much money would it cost and how long would the dog be gone?

4. When would be the best time to do this?

Answers that I found to work for me.

#1 It takes at least two weeks for a good dog to be force trained in fetching.You can ruin a good dog if you do it wrong.

My trainer said Mandy would just take the pain and lay down.He had to use lots of repatition with her and a little toe stepping to get her to fetch on command.

I recamend a trainer to do this work.

#2 There are good dog trainers all over the state, I know there are two for sure over on the SW side that are known to be exelent.Some one here recamended them , but I can't think of the names right now.

#3 Money should be second thought, but it is a factor to conseder.My cost was $1500 for two and a half months of training at Elk River Kennels.

I found that to be a good average price, the break down is $550/mo and $125 to $175 for first month of birds.

Second month was almost nil on bird cost as they work with dead birds more than live ones.

#4 Some people recamend a year, but most trainers will start them at 6 months.At the younger age they need lots of birds and exposure to gun fire.As they get older like 8 month to 9 months they would be starting the actual bird dog training.

Now I had Mandy in at 6 months, but I did as much training as I could before I took her there.

The basic for a good trained dog is the big three,SIT,STAY, and HERE.

Any trainer will start out doing those commands, if you have them down already then that sure helps the trainer to move on to better things.

Do a search at Google for trainers in Minnesota, that should give you a list to start with.

And if any one here remembers the name of the trainers from the western side they will help as well.

Benny

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Force fetching is not that hard, unpleasant for you and the dog but not hard. You should have a good plan in place before you start. I would say talk to a trainer before you start and read up on it first. There are a number of good books on it, one of the better ones is the smartworks books by Grahm Evan.

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I'd give it some time before you do the trained retrieve on the pup. Don't make your decision on one bird. It was his first bird and a lot of pups will do what your pup did. My current pup is doing the same thing. They get wound up, sometimes frustrated when they've been hunting hard all day and finally get to mouth a bird and they want it all to themselves.

My previous dogs first retrieve was a doosie. She chomped the heck out of the bird, finally came toward me with it and then veered off into the plowing and proceeded to try to bury it. After several kills she started retrieving to me with a soft mouth.

I say give it some time and then reevaluate.

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I force fetched my Drahthaar when she was 11 mos old. She was solid on all her basic commands come sit stay and whoa and was collar conditioned. I did some research on the various hunting and dog websites . Then I got the trained retrieve 2 tape force fetching tape from tri tronics. My breeder recommend that method and helped me get started. It was not hard but as others have said it can be uncomfortable for you and the dog. But you can't give in and you have to follow thru. It took Greta a full month to complete as she was a soft dog and I had to go slowly. I'm glad I did as Greta now listens better on all commands and has been a fine retriever. This is her 1st season and she has retrieved about 12 duck 4 geese and over 30 pheasants. DO some research on the web get the tri tronics video. Keep working your dog on basic commands until they are automatic even with distractions. Break her to the e collar then go ahead andd force fetch. This is my 4th dog and the only one I force fetched. After force fetching Greta I wish I would of done it to all of them.

Good Luck

Mwal

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Lawdog... I've forced every dog I've had the last 20 years. I feel it is very important to do if you want a fully finished dog. With that said, as others have pointed out don't sweat these 1st birds, especially when the dog is 6 months old. Do the best you can with them right now.

Forcing should start when all the adult teeth have come in, no sooner. This is usually around 7-9 months. I usually force at around 9 months myself. If a dog picks up on the forcing rather quickly, you may get through it in 3-4 weeks. It really takes that long to get it to sink in. If your force is going to include forcing to piles and line drills (to be used later for blind retrieves) it may take as long as 8-10 weeks. You have to remain committed to the training and be VERY rigid in the training. any slacking off will set you back.

If you aren't committed to going through with a strict regimen like this I'd highly recommend a pro to do the work. An improperly forced dog will sometimes be worse off than a dog who has not been forced. Done properly you'll never have a retrieval problem with that dog.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Lawdog,

I worked with a professional trainer and he provided me with the Tritronics video set mentioned in another response. A very good program. Basically we met once a week to have the trainer review our "homework" and then help us move forward through each step and since there were in a class setting with a half a dozen dogs we were all at slightly different stages which allowed us all to view problems other trainers/dogs were experiencing---this worked very well. I'd wait until your dog is older unless all other aspects of obedience are in place. (when you are having a particularly bad session with the dog you need to be able to fall back to a command that the dog has mastered and will succeed at to build back up the confidence in the dog and "finish strong")

I also want to confirm that this is not a real pleasant time to own your dog. My dog used to hear me open the cabinet where the training collar was stored which was also the cabinet with the dog treats and morning Milkbones---she would fly off of her bed (house dog) and go hide behind my wife! If my wife wasn't on the correct floor of the house she'd slink to a corner. She is and was a soft dog in manner but pretty stubborn in alot of ways.

Unfortunately, one of my daughters got real sick just as we were working to finish up the program (she would hold and fetch anything except a live bird!)and we never got it completed. Some things just don't matter as much at certain times.

Basically I've got a dog that will hunt all day (GSP)and will fetch anything that is totally dead on the ground or in the water. She fetchs sometimes on alive knockdowns but that is hit and miss and at this point in time I've made up my mind that I can live with her at this level. She actually will stand on roosters until I get there to pick them up but it is a bit frustrating when she leaves the ducks on the water surface.

On my next puppy I have vowed to complete the fetch program so I'd highly recommend it, but it takes alot of work (only do this during the winter time as you want the summer to work on hunting commands).

Irv

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I'll do it for other people, just not to my own dogs. Its a difficult thing to go through and when a dog has a relationship with you. I think it makes it a little trickier. Ever see the dog whisperer? Same concept, A dog will respond quickly to someone that oviously is ahead in the pecking order. If you come in that way, a dog will sumbit to you quicker. I know a guy in Watertown that is the best, shoot me an email and I'll get you his info. Good luck with the pooch, whichever way you decide to go.

jnovatney at msn dot com

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Some good advice already but do not jump the gun too soon and send them out. The season is over for most parts and you have months to work them and get a VERY young dog conditioned to the wild birds. Lots of training things to do yet. A good trainer next summer could turn things around once you have specific things to work on. Enjoy the new pup and develop them in to your way of doing things.

Always time to send them out at this time of year. Obedience and maybe some handling will help a lot. The bird stuff will come but if in a few months things do nto change there are a lot of people on here that can help and suggest a good pro to finish and tune up the young dog. At least you have a dog with a drive and a nose!

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