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More on the Force fetch

My 14 mos old lab has always been an agressive hunter/retreiver-I started his training at 10 wks and let him progress at his own pace-we started planted birds when he was about 7 mos old and on wild birds this past fall-he has seen quite a few birds and hunts in range and has always brought shot birds to hand and sat at my side-last week and this one, while at a game farm with both released birds and some leftovers fron other groups, he has started pointing which is fine -he has caught one bird at flush each time but he has started to drop birds at my feet-I want him as a hunter and form is not most important thing but fear this sloppy work may lead to other bad traits-I have never actually forced trained him but have made him pick up bumpers near and far at command etc I just never used a toe tie or collar for that although I use a collar now-should I worry ? or let him drop bird? he brings bumpers to hand and sits at side waiting to be released but birds are just too exciting and he wants to get back to hunting-Thanks Ralph


Your question brings up a very important point. The force fetch is less about retrieving than it is about control. I can, and have, trained dogs to pick up and deliver to hand without the traditional force-fetch. I cannot however gain full control over how a dog delivers every single retrieve without the force.

I recommend you read my explanation of the force fetch, then do the training or have it done by an experienced trainer.

A dropped bird may be a lost bird if it is a strong cripple. At the very least, dropped birds indicate sloppy retriever work and make progression to multiple marks and good blinds nearly impossible.

Best of Luck

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retrievers
Highland Retriever

For more information on force fetching, try:
What is the "Forced Retrieve"?
Force retriving with an E-Collar
Beginner's force fetching
Introducting live birds on Force Fetching
The Hold: The first step in force fetching
When force fetching doesn't work
Is force fetching with negative reinforcement necessary?

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