Force fetching, also known as conditioned retrieving, is a method by which a dog retrieves an object without applying pressure. This is of the greatest value in hunting situations, particularly with regard to partridge, pheasant, and fowl, which are bred for the purpose of hunting. Breeding these animals takes a great deal of time, effort, and money and hunts are usually expensive to join. Therefore if you have a gun dog, or are taking your dog along on hunts with you, they need to be extremely disciplined. If your four-legged friend is able to force fetch for you, this will save you a lot of time and inconvenience. You will be able to enjoy shooting and hunting poultry and game, with your furry friend fetching the game for you, especially on a miserable rainy day, saving you traipsing through the mud and ruining that expensive jacket you worked so hard for.
This is a very useful command for those that work in the country, shoot or are looking to get into shooting and have a retriever type dog. It ensures the dog simply fetches the game for you and doesn’t let its natural instincts take over and damage the bird, ruining the product. This will ensure that the game can later be used to make delicious meals such as partridge and pear pie. It would not be possible to teach just any breed of dog this command; instead, this command would be best suited to working dogs and breeds such as Retrievers, Labradors, and Spaniels. The speed at which the command is picked up depends on the individual and will take a minimum of six weeks, but could take a deal longer, so don’t be disheartened if your pooch doesn’t pick it up immediately. This command is complicated and requires a lot of discipline, therefore it would only be suitable for fully grown dogs above a year, which have had prior training. However, once trained, this is a great exercise of obedience and your dog will find force fetching rewarding.
In order to get started, you’ll need a bird that has been collected from a shoot to practice on, lots of patience and high value treats such as chicken pieces. The dog needs to have a firm understanding of the commands fetch, leave, and give before you can get started. Therefore you will need to get your pooch up to speed on these tricks first and it would be advisable to look at our guides on these tricks or attend training classes. You will need to use some form of head restraint initially in some of the training techniques, this can be made from a collar and rope, and will need to be secured to an immovable object. Make sure this is comfy for your furry friend, therefore not too tight and will not cause them injury--never leave them unattended in the head restraint.