On Thu, 22 Aug 2002 00:41:27 GMT, "Matthew Au"
>I have a 14mth old lab. How do I teach her how to play fetch? She is not
>very interested in toys (of any kind) I have not seen her fetch anything,
>how do I even begin teaching her? How do I get her to be interested in say
>a ball or a frisbe?
>Thanks in advance,
threatened to sue us for infringement for discussing. I'm looking
forward to having you demonstrate these advanced techniques
in front of a criminal judge and jury for felony animal abuse.
"Another excellent and more recent resource is the Tritronics
Retrieving Manual Retriever Training by Jim and Phyllis Dobbs and
Alice Woodyard, which despite its association with the Tritronics
electronic collars has many excellent descriptions of training
techniques that do not use the collar, including an overview of what
they also term the "conditioned retrieve." (This is not a promotion or
condemnation of electronic collars; merely a note that the Retriever
Training book is useful for the person without an electronic collar
THE FORCE FETCH
Alright! Now you are (finally) ready to force fetch your dog. I
repeat, you want to have an experienced person help you out,
someone who has already force fetched her own dogs whether for
obedience or field. This step in the training entails what is termed
avoidance behavior. In a nutshell, the dog is taught how to "turn off"
a negative stimulus. He is carefully taught that he has complete
control over it. This is a very effective way of teaching, but does
require a more astute sense of timing than some other training
methods and is very difficult for some people to do, for a variety of
reasons. However, if the dog properly knows HOLD at this point, it's
easily done with a minimum of fuss.
Return to your quiet starting place, with the dog on a collar and
leash in front of you, sitting quietly. Instead of opening his mouth
as you have been for the HOLD, put your hand through the dog's
collar (to hold him steady) and with your thumb and forefinger pinch
the tip of his ears and say TAKE IT (or FETCH, or whatever
you want) Watch his mouth closely -- the moment he opens his
mouth, pop that dumbbell in, let go of his ear but not the collar, and
PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE. Do this three or four times per session.
When he is opening his mouth in anticipation of the dumbbell, the
next step is to hold the dumbbell just past his lips. This next step
is for him to move his head forward that inch (or half inch) necessary
to get the dumbbell. At this point, he has a pretty good notion that
getting that darned thing into his mouth is the way to turn off the
ear pinch. Most dogs will lean forward and get it. That's his second
milestone! Praise, praise, praise and repeat three or four times this
session. Remember, I said these sessions were no more than 5
minutes or so each. That's still true.
Gradually extend the distance so he has to reach further to get it.
Now here is where a few subtleties come into play. It's not enough
for him to merely reach out and grab it. You want him to commit to
getting it. You want him to be intent on getting it. If he sort of
limply reaches over and gets it, that's not what you want. If you
pinch him but have to drag him toward the dumbbell, that's not what
you want either. We're back to the visualization. What do you want
him to do? You want him to, if necessary, bust through just about
anything to get that dumbbell. So hold on to that collar until you
feel him pulling out of it to get that. That's his commitment. You
want to say TAKE IT and have him just about explode out to get the
dumbbell. As you get further along in this, you will release him
when he's made a good commitment -- this will help shape a speedy
response nicely. I think you can see why it helps to have an
experienced person around when you are doing this! It can
be difficult to keep all these things in mind when you are actually
sitting there with a dog in your hands.
About the ear pinch: You must keep the pressure up until the instant
he has the dumbbell securely in his mouth. Many people have
problems getting the pinch right, either they do not pinch enough,
or they have a very stoic dog in which case a collar may be
needed to help make the pinch more effective. Also some dogs are
screamers, and if they find that they can stop the pinching by
screaming, they've learned the avoidance technique just fine -- but
not with the behavior you had in mind!
Don't let your dog scream. Use your hand to hold his muzzle closed
and tell him to quit moaning. Some dogs will collapse into a
heap. Don't let them do that, that's why your hand is in the collar.
Hold them up and get them back into a sitting position. What your
dog is doing is trying to find other ways of avoiding the ear pinch.
You need to be firm and consistent and demonstrate that
getting the dumbbell is the only means of avoidance.
Remember to keep him under control. When he gets that dumbbell
in his mouth, pull him gently around back to you and sit him back
down. You may in fact want to sit him at your side in the heel
position (whether or not he actually knows the heel position), hold
the dumbbell in front of him, command him to take it and then pull him
back to a front or finish position as you wish. The pattern will do
him good later.
The next major milestone is putting the dumbbell on the ground for
him to pick up. For many dogs this can be a big deal and may be
difficult. Set the dumbbell on the ground just in front of them, with
your hand on the dumbbell. He may not reach for it, he may refuse --
keep up the ear pressure until he finally picks it up. If he really
doesn't seem to understand this, then break this down into an
intermediate step where you hold the dumbbell, but about 1/2 way
between the ground and his mouth.
Once he's picked the dumbbell off the ground, that's a major
milestone and you are just about home free.
As before slowly place the dumbbell further away on the ground in
front of him. Make sure he is pulling out of your hold on the collar
before you let him pick the dumbbell up. If he drops the dumbbell
from this point on, you will get control of him (put him in a sit
with a firm hold on his collar) and pinch him back to the dumbbell --
he can pick it up now so there is no need for you to put it in his
mouth any more. HE is the one responsible for getting it.
When he is reliably picking up the dumbbell a few feet from you,
then you can stop using the pinch at the beginning of the exercise.
You will instead reserve it for when he drops the dumbbell or refuses
to pick it up, etc. So for example, you might go out, place the
dumbbell 6 feet away, put the long lead on him, tell him to take
it. Let's say he hesitates and doesn't go out. Then you pinch, force
him to commit, send him to the dumbbell. Let's say he goes and gets
it, but starts playing with it. Pull him in, and if he hasn't already
dropped the dumbbell, take it out of his mouth, put it back where it
was, and pinch him to it.
There is one last problem you need to watch for. Many dogs,
especially retrievers, will start pouncing on the dumbbell once they
are able to run out a few steps to it before picking it up. So
transition to this point with a long cotton lead about 20-30 feet
long. With this you can spin him round the moment he scoops up the
dumbbell, teaching him that he cannot play with it. If your dog drops
the dumbbell, use the lead to pull him back to you (do not let him try
to pick it up), and pinch him back to it. the basic rule of thumb is
that if he drops it, he will be pinched back to it regardless.
Thoughts to Consider
Force fetching is never completely done, per se (as with any
exercise taught to a dog). You may need to do a refresher course
when it's something new to pick up, or if it's something disgusting
(like a very dead bird) to pick up. He may also start to get lazy,
you need to keep an eye on him. You may also realize you omitted some
step in training him that shows up later so you will have to go back
and fix it.
But you should also take care to make sure he doesn't forget any of
these hard-earned lessons! Make him carry things for you. He can
carry his own ball out to the park. He can carry his own utility
articles to the ring. He can help you carry a light bag of groceries
into the house. He can help you carry firewood. They will just love
this, and it's a good way to keep the talents honed. Use it!"
> Without recommending for or against the use of
> a collar in your situation,
enough to pull it off here...
but sindy "don't let the dog SCREAM" mooreon
wouldn't admit to that either.
> experienced in training with them (and whose
> dogs whose attitudes you like) to show you how.
SCREAM, hold its muzzleclosed?"
anything under fear of death.
HUNTIN dog to make it HUNT.
***ic DOG ABUSER.
You've been banned from two obedience clubs,
and it ain't for stealin their customers. They can't
have you on their property *** shocking and
It took you six months of hurtin your dog to train
IT to come.
> a dog who does not want to retrieve into retrieving;
by HAND, pinching and twisting ears and toes and
*** and beating dogs with sticks.
you're HURTIN him.
dogs for MONEY and EGO.
> you even get the collar and go over your situation with
> them extensively.
without HURTING IT and give him some money to
show you HOWE to HURT IT properly.
> and such that just can't be done in this medium.
trainer, your a dog abuser. I don't have no problem
training serious problem dogs on the net HOWE COME
you can't? I'll tell you HOWE COME. You're a blowhard