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Discussion Starter #1
I was just working on the retrieve, and I couldn’t help but realize how much I hate doing forced retrieves. It’s a training exercise that neither me or the dog enjoy. I suppose I’m past the worst of it now, I just wanted to see you guys opinions on it.
 

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Hmm...

Forced retrieves? What is that? I've never heard of it!

What I did was make a game of it, indoors at first, to teach the rules of the game. Bring it back HUGE party with praise and treats!

Then outside in the backyard same deal. Now, and from then on, she KNEW the rules.

What is a "forced retrieve"?
 

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Hmm...

Forced retrieves? What is that? I've never heard of it!

What I did was make a game of it, indoors at first, to teach the rules of the game. Bring it back HUGE party with praise and treats!

Then outside in the backyard same deal. Now, and from then on, she KNEW the rules.

What is a "forced retrieve"?
I’m not exactly sure what the forced retrieve is. But the way you taught it is just how I did it Tim, and Mia loves to play it. But do you have to play it? If neither you OR your pal wanna play it, then why play?
 

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As a rule of thumb, anytime yourself thinking of the word "forced" stop and figure out another way to accomplish what you're after!

In this case, yeah, don't force it. Make it a game! It IS a game right?!
 

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I was just working on the retrieve, and I couldn’t help but realize how much I hate doing forced retrieves. It’s a training exercise that neither me or the dog enjoy. I suppose I’m past the worst of it now, I just wanted to see you guys opinions on it.
Did you go right to a forced retrieve, or was it because he wouldn't retrieve real well? Generally, you have to see it through, but I did switch mid way with my Rott and it turned out ok.
 

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I’m not exactly sure what the forced retrieve is. But the way you taught it is just how I did it Tim, and Mia loves to play it. But do you have to play it? If neither you OR your pal wanna play it, then why play?
They're talking about competition retrieving which involves particular rules and formalities. :giggle:
 

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Forced retrieve training typically involves pinching the ear. It’s a method the obedience club here in my city has always used.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When I was only doing it for play, there wasn’t a need for force. You guys are correct, I personally would not use force to teach something for play. In this case for a competition retrieve, it was the most effective method. I did start with a natural retrieve but to get the hold and finish I had to use force. It is now at the point where I’m simply adding in excitement and fun again. It’s pretty much the only obedience exercise in IGP where I’ve needed to use force to teach, which is why it’s my least favorite.
 

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Try working on the components separately and as a game. So fetch is a game, hold is a game, and we do them separate before together. A surprising number of dogs struggle with that hold. They want to chew or tug or just spit it out.
I used to put the dog in a sit, hand them the dumbbell and then take it right back. Some dogs I moved up quick, some in milliseconds lol. But I kept it separate from the actual retrieve until the behavior was learned and done with enthusiasm.
 

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I appreciate the explanation, but I still don't understand the need to use force to teach anything.
 

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I appreciate the explanation, but I still don't understand the need to use force to teach anything.
I have a friend that is an incredible obedience trainer (competition). She used to use the forced retrieve method, until she went to some seminar and learned a different way. She said she would never do a forced retrieve again. I’ll have to ask her what she did.
 

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I have a friend that is an incredible obedience trainer (competition). She used to use the forced retrieve method, until she went to some seminar and learned a different way. She said she would never do a forced retrieve again. I’ll have to ask her what she did.
I was taught to train the forced retrieve. The concept made me a bit nauseous and I never used it on another dog. As far as I was concerned if that level of compulsion was needed then the title was not worth it. There are other methods that are just as effective.
 

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I get how it's done, though I've never tried teaching it. I can see how using negative reinforcement would be more efficient, but it's hard to imagine it would be more effective.

Steve did say they "used to think" so sounds like it's being phased out? What is the more current process Steve?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It does feel very archaic, and doesn’t follow a lot of modern training techniques. I don’t doubt that there are motivational methods that could produce similar results, but the people I’ve worked with who have had issues with the retrieve, end up using a force retrieve or some variation. There’s no doubt it leaves a bad taste.
 

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Well, I prefer motivational, but you gotta go with what ya know, so don't beat yourself up about it! Your dog will be fine!

I'm guessing, since Steve didn't respond is that things are shifting back toward motivational.

It can be a lot more time consuming to get "snappy", "flashy","podium winning" obedience using motivational methods. So there is that...

Time is money, or at least it used to be...
 

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And back a few years, I spent a couple years working hunting dogs. Most are not at all handler focused, and don't give a hoot whether you're happy with them or not.

So, negative reinforcement was the name of the game! It was used to teach most behaviors, and it was/is highly effective!

No dogs were hurt in the training, beyond mild discomfort!

With GSDs I have always been totally focused on the dog, and I've found every single one to be so focused and handler aware, even harder dogs, they know. No need for coesrsion, just guidance and praise!

There lots of people on this forum that have more experience than I do, I'm guessing. They may think differently, or have had different experiences. It's all good!

But for me, I will always use the least invasive training method I know when working with any dog, but with a GSD especially! With GSDs, relationship is EVERYTHING! IMHO!
 
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