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Force Fetching


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Never too old. Just makes training a bit more of a challenge... It most likely will take a bit longer and need more re-inforcements so that you remove the bad habits and replace with the new training.

No such thing as 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'... you most certainly can.

Good Luck!


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Unsure how well you know your dog, but if you can tell when he's putting one over on you, you'll be much better off in the force fetch process. It's important to know how much pressure your dog needs for the message to be received, but it's also important to know if your dog has figured out how to turn the pressure off without doing what he/she is asked. Make sure it's the former and not the latter!

Case in point: when force fetching my GWP last summer (he was about 14 months old), I slipped up once and it cost me. When transitioning from the ear pinch to the collar, Remy would howl every time he was stimulated...even on the first level! Initially thinking I was electrocuting my dog, I wouldn't sustain the pressure, thus allowing Remy to believe he could stop it by howling. Bad, bad mistake. Eventually my breeder informed me the dog was working ME and not the other way around, so we upped the juice a bit and Remy got the message loud and clear. Force fetching was a long, difficult process, and it took a while before Remy fetched anything with enthusiasm or without his head hanging low and his tail between his legs, but now he's a gal-dang fetching machine. Just yesterday I had him fetching multiple bumpers in the Red River, where he had to fight the current to grab the target. I was about 50 yards up on shore, and he absolutely will NOT drop anything until he is heeled at my side and I command "give."

Trust me, the process may seem impossible at times, but the end result is well worth it!

Good luck!!!

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Thanks for the advice guys. His first year hunting he did awesome, but last year he did not do as well. Been doing some retrieves this year and he likes to mess around before bringing back his bumper.

What method of force fetching is better? E-collar, toe pinch, or ear? Also, my dog has a huge pain tolerance.

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Start with the ear pinch and transition to the e-collar. If the ear pinch doesn't work, toe hitch pretty much will solve the problem (only problem with the toe hits is it can't be readily utilized in a field situation, but hopefully by then you'll have him properly collar conditioned and can correct him accordingly).

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