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Won't retrieve unless FF pressure applied

First I would like to say I really enjoy your site. I have forced about 5 pups, but still learn on each dog. My question is about force fetching. I have an 8 month old female lab. I have been using the toe hitch for pressure. She reaches well for the dowel only when the pressure is on. I'm trying to get her to reach for the dowel before the pressure. We have been forcing for almost two weeks now. And she still only reaches for the dowel when the pressure is on. When I say fetch she'll sit there almost like she's waiting for the pressure before she reaches for it. Appreciate any help.


Sounds like you have a hard case here. She is not convinced that you can make her reach for the retrieving item.

Here is what I would do with this dog. I would not use the fetch command with this dog for a while. Hold the retrieving item up for her, count to two, then apply the toe pinch, as she reaches for the item, pull it away and increase the pressure on the toe, then let her grab the item. Repeat this sequence (without a command) for several days. Always place the item in reach, then count to two then apply pressure, pull the item away and increase pressure.

What you are doing is the following: The two-second delay teaches the dog that she has two seconds to grab the item, if she chooses not to, the item becomes harder to grab as it moves away. Meanwhile the pressure increases making it even more urgent to grab the item.

Continue this process until she starts grabbing the item before the two seconds is up. When she will do that to avoid the pressure, you can start using the fetch command.

To learn more on the force fetch, please visit my website and download my eBook on the topic.

Best of luck,

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retrievers

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