Starting Your Dog on Force Fetching
By: Tom Dokken of Dokken Dog Supply
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0:47 Hey, first step on getting your dog started in the force fetching program is just getting your dog to comply with having something in their mouth. So a lot of people what they'll do is take a dowel stick, try shoving it in their dog's mouth and try to get them to hold onto it. But there's really an easier way.
I'm just going to take my gloved hand and I'm going to put it in the dog's mouth. And if the dog struggles, which a lot of them do because they don't want it in there, I'm just kind of hold that lower jaw and when the dog stops struggling, I'm going to take my hand out.
1:16 So actually here's what we're teaching the dog. I'm not teaching the dog that I want him to hold something in his mouth. I'm going to show the dog how to get rid of what's in their mouth. And the way to get rid of my hand out of their mouth is as soon as they relax for a second, I'm going to take it out. You also notice I'm not going to say anything to the dog. So if the dog is thrashing around a little bit, I'm just going to get it settled enough, kind of the first session here, and as soon as she relaxes, quick get it out. Timing's everything.
You don't do this for half hour, forty-five minutes. I might do four of these really quick, step away, and come back and do a couple. Just looking for the dog to acknowledge and start catching on that when that hand gets put in their mouth, if they just stay still, I'll take it out of there. This is kind of step one. Just makes life easier for not only yourself, but also the dog.
2:05 Well, hi Ellie. Well, hi baby. Let's do this. Let's do this. Good. Out.
2:12 Now, I gotta tell you this wasn't the first time I did this. This dog has a bunch of obedience training. But literally, literally I was up here for about five minutes earlier on in the day and the first time I put it in her mouth, she's struggling, struggling. I got her settled down. And because she's had enough obedience training and understands how to take pressure off with a choke chain and a leash, and she's had some remote collar obedience, she figured out pretty quick that if I struggle, you know, it just doesn't get me anywhere.
So that was kind of the result, you know, after one session with the dog. But it's important that these dogs catch on. Not to say that each time I do this she's going to be that good on it. There was a good indication to me that she went, unhh, I think I've got this figured a little bit.
2:58 Good girl. Good. Just opening that mouth, putting that hand in, making sure those jowls aren't in there. And if she doesn't struggle, I'm just going to take it out, like that. That easy. Once again I'm not going to do it for an hour, hour and a half. You're just going to make matters worse.
So that was pretty good. That was pretty good. Can we do one more? Can we do one more? Can we do one more? Huh? Good girl. Good. Out. Good girl. Out. Good. Good job. Good.
3:27 So that really, that really was kind of an easy session. There's one other thing that I'll do and I can actually do this with puppies. We're going to do an ear pinch force fetch. And really I don't do this with the adult dogs but with even a little puppy, if they'll take like a little treat out of your hand, which all puppies will do, and I'm going to do an ear pinch force fetch, with that little puppy, I can take an eight week old puppy and when he'll take something out of my hand, I'm just going to get him preconditioned for my force fetching that I'm going to do down the line.
So I'll just hold his ear and give him treats out of my hand and he's going to start grabbing for something. You got that little tail wagging and he's taking stuff out of your hand, well that's just kind of an indicator of the fact that if I touch your ear and grab for something. No pressure.
4:16 I'm just going to do this with her. Hopefully she won't take my hand off, adult dog here. But I'm just going to grab that ear a little bit and when I grab that, then she's going to move, move to my hand.
Good girl. Wait now. Wait. Grab that ear, right there. Once again, I'm not a treat trainer by trade, but I'm just getting the dog used to me touching that ear and then reaching for something. It's good like that. Once again this is one of those little steps to make life a little bit easier for yourself. Now, I'll just come back with the glove one more time, do a little session like this and then be done.
4:55 One of the keys for a professional dog trainer is not to belabor any of this stuff and do it longer than what the dog's attention span is. I would rather have five or six short little sessions without the dog everyday and some of this might last, depending on the age and the attention span of the dog, might last 30 seconds. Some might last a minute. I'd rather have a bunch of really short sessions versus one real long session when I'm starting with something.
Because what happens is, when you start a short session your dog is fresh every time and you also get a chance to see how your progress is going. And last but not least, if you start a session on something and your dog goes, oh geez, here we go, here's and hour and a half, your dog's attitude is going to go down really fast.
5:39 So one more really short session and then I'm off. Out. Good girl. Good girl. One more. Good girl. Out.
5:51 That doesn't look like a whole lot but what I saw after my first session that I had this morning is that the wheels are turning. And then I'm going to take this hand session, do this a little more and I'm going to keep it in her mouth a little bit longer. And then what I'm going to do is within a few days I'll put a little pressure on that ear and I'll push that hand in the mouth and I'll release the pressure. And pretty soon she'll start getting the idea that the pressure comes off of that ear when the hand gets in the mouth.
Then once I get to the point where she opens her mouth a little bit to accept my hand, then I can start with a stick and then just work my way from there.
6:27 You can either make this really hard on yourself or you can make it a lot easier. One other thing, see I've got her up on a bench? That's just to save your back so you're not bending over, making life a lot harder for yourself.
The difference between professionals and somebody who hasn't done this before, we do hundreds and hundreds. We're going to make life easy for ourselves and if life's easier for ourselves, we're making the dog understand a little bit quicker too. So nice little tip for you, easy way to start force fetching.
Good girl. Good.
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