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Force Fetch?


mcmsek

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I have just picked up a black lab and have heard you guys talk about force fetch but I have no idea what it is, can someone please explain it to me?

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In a nutshell you are training the dog to pick up, hold, and release on command. Ie. a trained retrieve. It is done to make a dog a reliable, non-slip retriever. They do this with all breeds of hunting dog. Sometimes a dog will decide it doesn't want to retrieve. With the trained retrieve the dog will learn that retrieving isn't optional, it must retrieve.

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  • 4 weeks later...

gspman and/or setterguy,

My 1.5 year old field setter needs some help retrieving. When I got him as a 6 month old pup after last hunting season he would fetch up a tennis ball and bring it right back. I was very pleased with the natural instinct for it that he showed. Suddenly mid summer he stopped for no apparent reason and seemed disinterested in retrieving anything. I thought that real birds might be what it takes to get his interest back but this hunting season after just letting him go to see what would happen, he would not retrieve for me. He would go after the bird and stop it but not bring it to me. Then I tried doing a little work with a dead bird but not interest in carrying it to me. He does mouth the birds and does not seem to mind the feathers which is what my old dog didn't like.

A friend of mine had his setter force broke and is very happy with it but I can't believe how many hundreds he spent on just that training alone.

I'm familiar with the concept of force breaking but would either like to see a video, get some advice from you guys or see if someone would be interested in getting me started on it. I'd be willing to drive and spend some time some day this winter getting some help getting started on it if either of you are willing or able.

I was very pleased with this dog as a hunter this fall except for this one aspect.

I did all the training of my old English setter but this younger dog seems more difficult to train. Very confident and capable as he hunts his own style but suddenly turns submissive and reverts when I try to "coach" new things with him. This is why I want a little help getting started with the force breaking on the retrieving.

If you have any ideas, please feel free to e mail me at carlsons at brainerd dot net

Of course I'd be willing to pay for any training time to get me started.

Thanks,

ccarlson

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I have had very good success with they movie " Water Dog"...which i purchased from Scheel's here in St. Cloud. gooes through alot of fundamentals up to a finished retreiver and then some. my two cents

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ccarslson - While some lines of pointing dogs naturally retrieve, they were originally not bred for retrieving so sometimes some training is needed. If you insist that your dog retrieve then a "force fetch" is the only way to ensure a full retrieve every time. I have seen it done, and helped do it to another guys dog but I don't know if I could ever do it to my own dog. Its not because of the amount of pain that is inflicted its just that it is VERY tedious training. I know myself well enough to know that I would get frustrated with my own dog, and thus cause more harm than good. The thing about it is this, you cannot accept anything other than perfection during the training process, the dog must learn that there are no other options than to bring that bird back to you and hold it until you say so. If you are looking for someone to do this for you I have a couple of names I could give you. If you have any other questions feel free to post. Hope this helps

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Setterguy,

I know exactly what you mean about trying the force breaking myself. Hate to screw up what seems to be a really good thing except for this one aspect of the dog. Unfortunately, it's the same exception my older setter had and I always said my next one would be better at retrieving. As I said in the other post, he appeared to be retrieving great until he decided to quit one day.

Do I dare just keep trying to spark interest with him by throwing the tennis ball to see if he'll bring it back? Of course I don't mind trying it once or twice to see what he does but if he's not bringing it back to me I hate to keep repeating the excercise in failure.

I may check into that retrieving book the other fellow mentioned too.

Thanks for your help.

ccarlson

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as a rookie I cant offer much advice, but how often have you been working on retrieving? If its been alot, maybe stop for a week, then have him retrieve a bumper 2 times try to get him really excited about it, and then just stop after 2 throws, then wait again for a day or 2 again. Then try working with him again.

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I have a golden retriever that has also quit retrieving. As a puppy, she would retrieve everything. Then this spring, she just quit. She won't retrieve anything now. It bothered me this year when I lost a pheasant because she wouldn't find it. Are their any good trainers in SEMN? I'm considering sending her.

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An update:

The other day I was out and giving the dog some attention and thought I would throw the tennis ball. He ran right over and brang it back to me three times in a row. Not wanting to end on a bad note, I praised him and played with him but put the ball away.

I'll do this a couple times a week for a while. If he doesn't retrieve it, I'll go back to the old practice of just putting the ball away and walking away from him without giving him any attention. Hopefully he'll learn again that it's fun to retrieve and he gets praise from me. Once he's got that down, I'll work up to bird wings on a bumper etc.

Hopefully he's back on track and will develop from here.

ccarlson

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Try Chris Smith. I'm not sure the name of his Kennel but it is down there some where.

GOOD LUCK

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