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I have a yellow lab and she is 5 months old. She is obedience trained but in the next month or 2 I will be forcing her. Can't decide whether or not to send her off to the trainer or force fetch her myself?
 

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I used the Smart Fetch DVD and book by Evan Graham for my bird dog and it went fairly easily. I didn't need to finish the whole system for a quail/pheasant dog, but it worked well. Just don't overdue the force part. When I ran into snags it was usually because I pushed too hard and the dog was afraid.
 

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The Perfect Retrieve is what I'm following with two dogs now. I think if you're short on time, FF might be tough on both of you. If you've got time and patience, you should be ok.
 

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Forcing Fetching a dog is easy . For about two weeks put your dog up on a table while your doing this . Open your dog's mouth and command fetch as you place the dowel in its mouth after two weeks use the ear pinch method . You'll do this by putting the dog on a table then taking a empty she'll hull and place it under the top part of the ear and when it yelps put the dowel in and say fetch then stick your finger under its jaw in the V part and command hold . Do this two -three times daily.
 

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If your dog will retrieve on command I don't see a point in force fetching. Not that I'm against it or anything. For instance there is a difference in getting on to fetch versus asking them to hold. If your dog is dropping bumpers or whatever retrieving tool your using before you ask them to give, then that's where putting them on a stand comes into play. Just remember every dog is different and being able to read your dog is the most valuable tool. When to apply pressure and when to let off is the key to learning.
 

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If your dog will retrieve on command I don't see a point in force fetching. Not that I'm against it or anything. For instance there is a difference in getting on to fetch versus asking them to hold. If your dog is dropping bumpers or whatever retrieving tool your using before you ask them to give, then that's where putting them on a stand comes into play. Just remember every dog is different and being able to read your dog is the most valuable tool. When to apply pressure and when to let off is the key to learning.
In theory it would make sense to do so ,but it ain't the case in real life . A dog will one day refuse to go fetch and this will give you a Avenue to make the dog go . My experience with Force Fetch is it seems the dog respects you more at the end of it . This also develops and brings out that drive to go hard until I say stop then when I tell you go again . It heads off chewed up birds coming back ,to lite of hold on birds and it starts the process of Blind running . Because from the table you will line the dog up to a pile of bumpers and command it to fetch and over time the word will change from fetch to BACK ! There's no difference in training a Duck dog vs Training a Grand Hunting Retriever or National Field Trial Champ . If you leave one thing out it leaves a Hole in the Training that will come back and bite you . So you train them all the same
 

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I have force fetched countless retrievers over the years. As said above, if you have the time you can do it yourself. I am a fan of the table method. I am the obiedence trainer at Breeze Hill Retrievers/Kennel. Wether you decide to send your dog off or do it yourself Logan and I would be happy to help you out. Barry 870-421-8229.
 

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Before you go the force fetching route, pick up a copy of Robert Milner's book 'Absolutely Positively Gundog Training'. He's an advocate of non- force fetch training. I've used his methods & my lab fetches well enough on doves for me. He's anathema to most force fetch people, but you might read his book and then decide.
 

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If you have a high prey drive but soft (can't take a lot of pressure) type dog consider Bill Hillmans method of FF.
I have done this with a few dogs that 15years ago a lot of people would have been considered to be wash outs.
 
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