ninnyboy Re: + My dog won't play!Force-Fetching Without "The Collar"

Description of your first forum.

ninnyboy Re: + My dog won't play!Force-Fetching Without "The Collar"

Post by Jerry How » Mon, 10 Jun 2002 12:40:04

HOWEDY Disciple Chad,

> Howdy Jerry,
> I do this for the same reason I pick up after Frank's pooped
> in someone's yard.

Yeah? Reminds me of the joke we used to have about gyrene
lootennant and the enlisted army the crapper off base.
The gyren while washin his hands sez 'don't the army teach you
boyz to wash your hands  after usin the toilet soldier?" The dog
face sez, "no sir, in the army they teach us not to***on our hands."

> It is out of respect and curtesy for others.

In some cultures it's customary to use one hand for
greeting and the other for maintenance. In my culture
its customary to relieve ourselves where appropriate.

Yeah. That's HOWE COME my student's dogs learn to
relieve themselves in 2 minutes flat when and where
they're asked in about a week of training during regular
breaks, no special lessons. My dogs can't be wasting
time relieving themselves, we've got busy schedules
and can't play games runnin around the block till the dog
gets the urge. We CONDITION that URGE in a couple
days, then we can train it off lead, and then we can just
send the dog out the door to his spot and to return im-

> I'm sorry that you've not learned this one, too...

What hand do you wipe your ***with, Disciple Chad?

Talk about polite. marybeth's dogs eat poo outta each
other's butts so she won't have to pick it up off the
floor and get it away from them...

> Best,
> Chad
> (PS. Fat chance that your "information" will put anyone out of


As stated. That's The SYNDROME. You've been JERRYIZED, Disciple Chad.

> On 08 Jun 2002, Jerry Howe opined:
> > You're right. That's HOWE COME you trim crossposts put ninnyboy in the
> > subject header and snip text, just like professor lyin doc SCRUFF
> > SHAKE dermer recommends in his killfile INFORMATION that's gonna put
> > him outta goddamned business campaign, Disciple Chad. j;~)

It's a bitter pill to swallow. I could pinch your toe till you open your
mouth as your pal sindy "don't let the dog SCREAM" mooreon teaches
in her toe hitch on our faqs pages at k9web. Tell 'em Jerry sent ya.

> Chad Andrew Herring
> University of Chicago Divinity School
> Theological Ethics Program
> Oak Park, IL

Try this:

 Oak Hill Kennel
Force-Fetching Without "The Collar" Part II
by John and Amy Dahl
First published in The Retriever Journal, April/May 1998

Last issue we described how to teach your dog the most important part of
force-fetch: to carry and deliver dummies with a firm hold and without
fumbling, rolling, or dropping them. With the "fetch" command, we condition
a fast, positive pick-up and, equally important, establish the basis for
reliably going when sent. When the procedure is complete, you will discover
an added benefit in the dog's respect for, and appreciation of, your
authority. Responses to commands become faster and more willing; in general
the dog seems to thrive on being given instructions and on learning, in
place of the doubtful compliance typical of the unforced dog.

Introduction of the Fetch Command
This step is not difficult, but it is important for what follows. As when
you were beginning the hold, place the dummy in the dog's mouth, but this
time say "Fetch!" as you do so. Give the dog a chance to get a good grip on
the dummy and hold it for a second or two, then take the dummy as you say,
"Leave it!" or your release command. Continue to include movement and an
occasional longer hold. Five to ten repetitions of "fetch!" in one spot
could be followed by holding while heeling to a new spot. Use your judgment
regarding praise in this stage: for some dogs it is motivating, but others
are distracted by it. You can always praise a dog that sits to deliver after
an extended hold.

Preliminary: grasp the
collar, force dummy into
the dog's mouth while
saying, "Fetch."

Administering the ear pinch.
Spend enough repetitions so you are sure the dog understands that "fetch"
means "the dummy goes in the mouth." Now get ready for a session that will
last as long as it takes. It is time to expand the meaning of "fetch" to
mean, "open your mouth and accept the dummy." Start with a review of the
"fetch"-"leave it" routine. Then sit the dog, grasp hold of the tight buckle
collar with your left hand, hold the dummy in front of its mouth with your
right hand, and say, "fetch" as you press the dummy against the dog's lips.

A common and reasonable response to the sudden discomfort is resistance--the
dog clamps its mouth shut. This is fine, except that you are going to keep
up the pressure until you overcome the resistance. It may take a few seconds
or over an hour. If resistance is prolonged, repeat, "fetch" in a calm voice
at intervals to remind the dog that you are asking it to do something
specific. When the clenched mouth slackens, quickly roll in the dummy.

Repetitions of this routine should quickly become easier. Continue to
practice until the dog readily opens its mouth on command. Now you are ready
to progress to what most people think of as force-fetching: the ear pinch.

Reaching for the Dummy
Slip an empty shotshell into your pocket before the next session. As always,
begin with some review. Then sit the dog. Take hold of its buckle collar and
ear as follows. Slide the last three fingers of your left hand towards the
dog's head under the collar, and curl them over the collar to grasp it
firmly. With your thumb and index finger, pull the dog's left ear back over
the collar (inside up) and hold it there gently. The "ear pinch" is
administered by pressing with your thumbnail at the boundary between hair
and bare skin (don't pinch yet). Depending on the size and strength of your
hands, you may want to press against the collar or against your index
Hold the dummy in front of the dog's mouth. Say "fetch" while pressing the
dummy against its lips and pinching its ear. If the dog opens its mouth,
roll the dummy in and quickly let off the ear pressure as you do. Praise it.
You want it to get the idea that the ear-pinch means, "get that dummy in
your mouth!"

If the dog clenches its mouth shut, you may be in for another extended
session. Keep pinching and press the dummy harder against the dog's lips.
Repeat "fetch." Again, keep your voice calm. If several minutes pass and the
dog still does not open its mouth, get out the shotshell. Try pinching the
ear between the metal casing and the collar, even the buckle on the collar.
Persist! Eventually, the dog will give in and open its mouth. Be ready, roll
that dummy in, stop the ear pressure, and praise the dog.

Fortunately, you usually don't have to fight this battle more than once
(perhaps because the ear is getting tender, or the dog has decided it isn't
worth it). After a fetch command, the dog (not you) should be holding the
dummy. Tell it to "leave it" as you take it away.

If your dog resists opening its mouth, just do 10-15 repetitions and end the
session. If it complies readily, then after a few repetitions pinch its ear
and say, "fetch," but hold the dummy still and maintain ear pressure. Use
your hold on the buckle collar to force the dog's head forward. As soon as
the dog's mouth is approximately around the dummy, release the pressure. The
command now means, "reach forward and take the dummy." Repeat.

As it starts to get the idea, stop pushing its head forward. You want the
forward momentum to come from the dog. Soon it will try to grab the dummy
before you can pinch it. Hold it back by the collar until you give the
command. As when we restrain young dogs on marks, this restraint will
increase its forward drive.

Start mixing in instances where you give the command and stop restraining
the dog, but do not pinch the ear. Try not to be predictable about when you
do and do not pinch--maybe pinch twice in a row, then do three fetches with
no pinch. You want the dog to think that it is "beating the pinch" by
getting the dummy fast. Any time it is slow, pinch! Now you can use a new
standard for knowing when it is time to progress: if the dog is reliable at
one level after several repetitions without a pinch, it is probably ready to
move on.

Start holding the dummy four or five inches in front of the dog when you say
"fetch." When it is solid reaching this far, hold the dummy farther forward.
Soon it will have to stand up in order to reach far enough. Now tell it to
"hold," then "sit" with the dummy before telling it to "leave it." If you
restrain it by holding the collar, it should start lunging aggressively for
the dummy when released. If it doesn't, you may be trying to advance too
fast--back up and work on a shorter reach. Be sure you are in position with
your hold on collar and ear every time you give the command, whether you
plan to pinch or not.

When your dog will lunge three feet and grab the dummy, whether you pinch
its ear or not, you are ready to move on.

Picking the Dummy up from the Ground
This is another area where resistance is common. It seems that picking up an
object from the ground requires a far greater subordination of will than
does grabbing it from your hand, and most dogs need some convincing. We try
to break it down into several parts: holding the dummy lower, holding just
above the ground, holding by the string with one end on the ground, standing
with toe on end of dummy so that it is tilted up, and finally dummy lying on
the ground. Progress through the different holding positions as before: when
the dog is solid and reliable, move on to the next. Make sure, when the
dummy starts contacting the ground, that it does not get dirty or sandy.
Dogs don't like the feeling of grit in their teeth. Working on a lawn will
keep it clean.
If your dog is one that totally balks at picking the dummy up off the
ground, and you have tried going back to review previous steps, you might
make some headway by giving in a little. Toss a dummy forward far enough to
be a short freebie and release the dog. Repeat but say "fetch" as you
release it. Repeat, shortening the distance--approaching the problem from
the opposite direction, as it were. Sometimes simply kicking the dummy to
move it forward a little is all that is needed. Intuitively it seems as
though the dog must be forced through every part of this procedure, but
experience shows that relenting a little at this point may be just as

Some dogs will not respond to "easing up" with a short throw, but will
squeal, thrash around, and direct their efforts to escaping the ear pinch by
every possible means except getting the dummy. As mentioned previously, it
is important not to establish a pattern of struggling with the dog
physically. If you cannot physically restrain the dog, increasing the
pressure may do the trick. You can press the dog's ear with a shotshell
instead of your thumb; even get a studded collar and pinch the ear against
that. Make the dog's need to stop the pinching so urgent that resisting your
will fades in importance.

While many Labrador and Golden retrievers can be accelerated through
force-fetch by using heavy pressure from the beginning, we do not recommend
that inexperienced trainers use this heavy-handed approach. If you cannot
reliably tell when the dog understands for sure what is expected, pressure
becomes mere abuse. The cost to the dog's confidence, in you and in its
work, is great.

By the time this issue is resolved, most dogs will dive on the dummy when
you say, "fetch," but many will fumble it, lie down, or just be very slow to
come up with it. This is continued resistance to your increasing authority,
and the job is not done until it is overcome. As your dog lunges forward
toward the dummy, move forward yourself so the dog remains in heel position.
As soon as its jaws reach the dummy, pull its head up with your hand on the
collar. This works best if you continue moving forward a step or two past
where the dummy was lying. If the dog drops the dummy, correct--use a chuck
under the chin or pinch its ear and place the dummy in its mouth. If it
doesn't make rapid progress, you can increase the pressure by requiring it
to pick up the dropped dummy (stay on the ear until it does).

Pull the dog's head forward and up to develop
a quick pick-up. The thumb is ready if the
dog fumbles and drops the dummy.  Reviewing with movement helps
maintain a good attitude

When the dog executes these fetches reliably without correction, without
your having your hand on its ear and collar, you are ready for the last

Stick Fetch

Stick fetch. By now the dog
is lunging for the dummy.
Stick fetch accomplishes two things: it teaches the dog that distractions
are no excuse to ignore a "fetch" command and it transfers much of the
momentum-producing power of the ear pinch to the stick, thus providing a
basis for force-on-back.
Get a stick 30- or 40-inches long. You can have a helper wield the stick, or
do it yourself. Don't make the stick any more obvious than it has to be.
With the dog at heel, toss the dummy about three feet in front of the dog.
With your hand on the collar and ear, say, "fetch." Immediately tap the dog
on the hindquarters with the stick. Repeat "fetch" and pinch the ear all the
way to the dummy. Repeat, varying how hard you hit the dog, sometimes not
hitting it. Again, you want to make the dog think that by going fast it can
avoid the stick. As it catches on, try using the stick and no ear pinch.
Usually not many sessions are needed (maybe 3-6). When the dog is digging
out to beat the stick and seems totally reliable without any ear pinch, you
are finished--you have successfully force-fetched your retriever.

Many trainers follow force-fetching with a "walking fetch" drill where
several dummies are lying on the ground, ten feet or more apart. Trainer
approaches dummies with dog at heel and says, "fetch" as dog's attention
focuses on the first dummy. Any refusals are corrected with the ear pinch.
After the dog sits to deliver, the trainer can drop the dummy behind the dog
for a later circuit. When performance is smooth, the stick can be added just
as in the fetch from a sitting position. If the previous steps have been
carefully done, the dog will soon be lunging eagerly for each dummy as soon
as it sees it.

We then work on getting the dog to wait until it is commanded to "fetch,"
using repeated "heel" commands and jerks on the lead. Generally we don't
pursue this to the point where it is absolute--the dog's getting the idea is
enough. Not all youngsters can take heavy drilling on contradictory ideas
such as "go" and "don't go."

"Happy bumpers" can also be good for the dog's attitude.
The walking fetch drill makes the transition to picking up a dummy the dog
finds on the ground, not only one which has just been thrown or placed by
the trainer. Now the dog can be sent to a pile, the foundation for forcing
on "back" and for blind retrieves. It can be sent, with appropriate hand
signals, to side and back piles, making an introduction to casting. And of
course, the dog should deliver perfectly and you, as trainer, have the tools
to enforce this: command "hold" as the dog emerges from water and considers
putting the bird down to shake, and pinch its ear if a dummy or bird is ever
dropped. While force-fetching is now complete, training has become more
varied and interesting and we are sure you will want to continue.

Top of page | Return to library | Home
Oak Hill Kennel, Pinehurst, NC (910) 295-6710
Copyright ? 1998 Oak Hill Kennel