Why "Forced Fetch" a French Brittany With a Natural Desire to Retrieve?

The "Forced Fetch" is know by many names; the "trained retrieve", "force retrieve", "force breaking" and so on.

No matter the name, the idea is to train, through the use of some form of compulsion, a dog to pick up an object in his mouth, carry it firmly but gently and deliver it to the handlers hand on command. I did this process on video of a friends dog and we posted it on Facebook last year (2021)and while the results were great, the understand of why we did it was missed by many who followed again.

I believe that all dogs should go through the process.

Many people fail to understand why a dog that already has the desire and retrieves naturally should be trained to retrieve. The truth is that the forced fetch is more about control than it is about retrieving. Most dogs that complete a force retrieve program are more pliable and obedient than dogs who still control how and when birds are retrieved. A dog that is properly force trained will retrieve items that I want him to retrieve, in the order I want them retrieved and will carry and deliver them in the manner that I expect. The retrieve is completed on my terms, not the dog's. Otherwise the dog is free to drop the bird, sniff around, take the long way back or dictate anything else he may wish during a retrieve.

A controlled retrieve and delivery is crucial to a hunt test and shooting bird field trials (like UKC Liberated Trials).

There are many methods and techniques for teaching the trained retrieve. While the concept may seem simple, the process can be very involved. It takes an experienced eye to know what technique to use with each dog to assure results. Too much pressure may crush a dogs spirit, too little will confuse the dog. I recommend that you look around and locate an established pro trainer or retriever club to do the training on your first dog. There is too much that can go wrong and it is too critical a step in training a reliable retriever, to leave up to the first timer.

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