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FF: train with an E-Collar?

My name is Adam and I have a 4 month old lab. He does well with sit and stay. He is does good with come depending on the situation and fetch is good as long as it's played with a chew toy. He will run after a bumper like a nut but then stops and turns toward me picks up the bumper and just stares at me. When I say come he just sits there so I start to approach him and he wants me to chase him with it. He does the same thing with wings. Now if I use the bumper in the house he fetches it and brings it to my hand with no problem. I have just ordered a Innotek 800 command series collar and I am a little nervous about using it. I also know I am going to have to force fetch the dog. When do I start this training? Is he to young to start this now? I want to be very careful not to ruin my dog. I don't want to sound like a sap but I love this dog very much so any advice would be great.
Thank you,


I was once told by a very good trainer that if you cannot train a dog without an e-collar, then you have no business training with the collar. Please do not use the collar alone to solve your problem.

You obviously need to force fetch this pup at some point but you need to work on some foundational issues first.

At least half of a retrieve involves the dog getting back to you so build a solid recall without the retrieving. Do this as an obedience exercise. Teach sit and heel as well and gain a good bit of control on the pup.

I usually start the force fetch when the pup has lost his baby teeth and is showing me lots of intensity, drive and maturity. For some pups that may be at 5 to 6 month old, other I may wait until 9 or 10 months. Generally speaking, the tougher and crazier the pup, the earlier I start. 7-8 months is usually a safe time to start if you know what you are doing.

I would encourage you to get with a Pro Trainer or retriever club that can guide you through the process.

If you are interested in reading more about my method for the force fetch, you can visit my website at and download my force fetch manual.

Best of luck,

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retrievers

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