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Flora & Molly

Force fetch horror

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I had a bit of a break in Molly's retriever training and picked it up again today. 
We had a lot of fun so I figured I would try a serious training schedule to see how perfect we can become (and I happen to have a lot of time on my hands).
I read up a little in my wonderful retriever book and have a plan in place. So far so good.

Molly sometimes holds the bumper by the rope or "cigars" it. When she does this she tends to drop it. No big deal, but would be an interesting challenge to train a correct pick up and delivery.
My wonderful book didn't adress this problem so I looked to trusty Google to find a solution. And I came back horrified, I have to write it down to get it off my chest really.

Pinching ears and slapping the dog are the results I found. Such a very different tone to my very positive retriever training book. I think what horrified me most was the casual tone in which people talked about pinching ears and "not having time for nonsense like that". 
I mean, I can get a bit cringy when people are afraid to say "no" to their dog and cookies are the only solution - but this went a bit too far in the other direction. 

Just needed to share, this isn't something you encounter where I come from as far as I know. 
Needless to say I won't be pinching Molly's ear when she holds the bumper by the rope :blink: pretty sure she'd go off her food

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Why would you be horrified if you searched for *force* fetch? Seems the teaching of a *force* fetch is just that, forced.

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A bumper? Ok, unlike many objects, a bumper doesn't really have a clearly *defined* area to hold it. I'd loose the rope, I know, no velocity to throws..and back chain marking the bumper itself for holding.  There are some things I am just not going to pick on with my dogs..you bring it back i'll toss it, maybe! Good luck though!

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With most dogs I wouldn't care at all, and just throw stuff if I feel like it. But for Molly just throwing stuff makes her obsessive and lose her brains. Hence the retriever training, keeps it fun for both of us - and she gets to work which she loves.

thanks for the advice. I will have to learn to throw better without the rope :P

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What I did with my current girl is put her in a kennel(not crate) with a couple of toys. Every time I went to let her out I told her to bring me a toy. Prior to this, she would grab a toy and drop it or bring it part way, etc. If she didn’t bring me the toy after a few commands and encouraging, I closed the door and went away. Later, we tried again. When she did bring it we had a party and she came out and we went about our business. From there we worked up to holding while I touch her face, pretend to take it, tug gently on it, etc. and not release until I give the release word. She’s made a ton of progress! 

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I rarely go to sites showing how to train anything to a dog unless I know the source or someone I trust recommends it to me. So many of them are cruel to the dogs and I can't stand it, so I understand how you feel. I am not one who never says "no" or, for that matter, would never scold if the transgression were especially bad. But I would never hit or cause physical pain in any other way, and don't think that is ever necessary. Or fair.

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It’s a very traditional way to train a release among competitive obedience trainers, it has always made me uncomfortable, I am a “force free” trainer especially when dogs are learning new things I just can’t imagine any animal including humans being able to learn well with the threat of pain. Now if you walk across my coffee table because it’s the shortest route I am not permissive you will be hearing a suitable correction, but it won’t be physical.  

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