Forcing the issue…

Force-fetch training goes by many names: force breaking, force retrieving, conditioned retrieve, etc. While the techniques that fall under these names vary a bit (here’s the right way to do it), the desired results are the same: to produce a soft-mouthed dog that retrieves to hand on command. Oddly, it’s a training technique that’s used a lot on labradors and other retrievers.

Puck retrieving a grouse
Puck retrieving a grouse

It’s also used more and more in the pointer world, especially on English Pointers and English Setters. While plenty of people agree with using it, not everyone thinks Forced Fetch is the best way to go. The folks at Superior Pointers are in this “not everyone” camp. You can read why by checking out this thoughtful article article from their website.


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2 thoughts on “Forcing the issue…

  1. I was always interested in the force fetch. But I wasn’t always convinced that the ear pinch would be the best method. After some research, and experimentation, I came up with something that looked similar to this.
    While not done on a Bird dog, it shows the incredible amount of reliability that can be achieved by using low level Negative Reinforcement, and Positive Reinforcement, therefore not over stressing the dog.

    Just a different perspective.

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