Smart Fetch

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RichK
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Smart Fetch

Post by RichK » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:45 pm

I'm looking to force fetch my almost two year old this winter. I'm looking for a program to follow. Any opinions on the Smart Fetch DVD?

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KwikIrish
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by KwikIrish » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:02 pm

I'm putting our whole crew through it, and it is a really easy and well laid out program for this first timer to follow. Not only that, but Mr.Graham is readily available here on the board, always willing to answer questions, though I find most answers via search function. Good luck.
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Doc E
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Doc E » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:05 pm

Get the book as well as the DVD.
"SmartFetch is the way to go.

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Pepper » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:13 pm

KwikIrish wrote:I'm putting our whole crew through it, and it is a really easy and well laid out program for this first timer to follow. Not only that, but Mr.Graham is readily available here on the board, always willing to answer questions, though I find most answers via search function. Good luck.
OK..Easy on what you say...but lets not go overboard...Your colors are showing for you and Evan....Please don't do that. :) Don't be a troll. Evan doesn't need that. :) His program speaks for itself for those who know. Just saying.

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:01 pm

Pepper wrote:
KwikIrish wrote:I'm putting our whole crew through it, and it is a really easy and well laid out program for this first timer to follow. Not only that, but Mr.Graham is readily available here on the board, always willing to answer questions, though I find most answers via search function. Good luck.
OK..Easy on what you say...but lets not go overboard...Your colors are showing for you and Evan....Please don't do that. :) Don't be a troll. Evan doesn't need that. :) His program speaks for itself for those who know. Just saying.
What she said was true and in no way overboard.
but I am lost as to what you are trying to say.
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Tooling » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:44 am

ezzy333 wrote:
Pepper wrote:
KwikIrish wrote:I'm putting our whole crew through it, and it is a really easy and well laid out program for this first timer to follow. Not only that, but Mr.Graham is readily available here on the board, always willing to answer questions, though I find most answers via search function. Good luck.
OK..Easy on what you say...but lets not go overboard...Your colors are showing for you and Evan....Please don't do that. :) Don't be a troll. Evan doesn't need that. :) His program speaks for itself for those who know. Just saying.
What she said was true and in no way overboard.
but I am lost as to what you are trying to say.
+1

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by marysburg » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:10 am

+2 KwikIrish is right, and her comments are in no way embellished. I use the book and DVDs and the layout and instruction is great. Will be using it on my 4th dog this winter, and when I ran a UT test this summer with our youngest Britt, the judges asked me if I had used a system to train the retrieve, and complimented the dog on her performance. Smartwork and Smartfetch are the real deal.

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by jfwhit » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:56 pm

Rookie trainer here. I'm assuming even though its focused on labs. It is versital for all breeds?

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Sharon
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Sharon » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Well , you don't train a pointing breed like a retriever or a versatile. Once you have your pointing breed doing what he is bred to do well , then you can move on to the retrieving skills needed. The "Puppy Development " dvd is good for all pups.
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:33 am

Sharon wrote:Well , you don't train a pointing breed like a retriever or a versatile. Once you have your pointing breed doing what he is bred to do well , then you can move on to the retrieving skills needed. The "Puppy Development " dvd is good for all pups.
Why not? Explain yourself woman.
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EvanG
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by EvanG » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:35 pm

jfwhit wrote:Rookie trainer here. I'm assuming even though its focused on labs. It is versital for all breeds?
Yes. In fact you will see versatile dogs going through the program on the DVD.

EvanG
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by polmaise » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:08 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
Sharon wrote:Well , you don't train a pointing breed like a retriever or a versatile. Once you have your pointing breed doing what he is bred to do well , then you can move on to the retrieving skills needed. The "Puppy Development " dvd is good for all pups.
Why not? Explain yourself woman.
Me Too ? :)
If it is already bred to do it , then why teach it?
:P
European Champion with them 'Pointers' teaches 'retrieving ' first!...and it may come as a surprise ? (or not?) that them 'Hubertis' pointing folk next 'check in' the stop whistle :wink: ....Just like ''Retrievers'' !... :mrgreen:

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ezzy333
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by ezzy333 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:57 pm

And in this case Sharon is right. You can train them like you do a retriever however their breeding, temperament, age of maturity, and the level of retrieving we want in the dogs is quite different. For those of you who make your living or have a dog for the sport of training, do it. For most hunters there is a big difference.

Ezzy
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by lvrgsp » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:15 pm

Evan,
Do you have a preferred company to buy from, as in I buy from a specified place and it helps support the website, or certain organization. Just curious


Thanks,
Lvrgsp

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Sharon » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:59 pm

ezzy333 wrote:And in this case Sharon is right. You can train them like you do a retriever however their breeding, temperament, age of maturity, and the level of retrieving we want in the dogs is quite different. For those of you who make your living or have a dog for the sport of training, do it. For most hunters there is a big difference.
Ezzy
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thank you ! for saving my butt Ezzy!( What do you mean, "in this case." :wink: )

From what I've read /learned/practiced , a pointing breed learns first to find that bird and hold that point for me. ... many steps to get there of course. The bird teaches the lessons mostly. Retrieving the bird comes later and in AF trials isn't even needed.

Retrievers start at 8+ - weeks learning to retrieve and become experts at retrieving under a variety of circumstances. Amazing skills!

PS Evan's great training aids are for teaching retrieving to retrievers /pointing breeds/versatiles , but I wouldn't use it to teach my setters to find and point birds .

I use that word "teaching" which annoys some. I'll start to say , "provide the learning opportunity ".
How's that? :)
[I know nothing about training in Europe Mr Polmaise.)
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I read in Auldrich's post once that training versatiles is " different ". I was going to ask him why. :)
Maybe you can explain why training versatiles has some differences gonehuntin'.

Re: training order

Postby gonehuntin' » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:50 am

"There are precious few books that specifically address the versatile breeds. Best I've seen is the NAVHDA Green Book. Join NAVHDA to get it. Chuck Johnson has a new book out on training versatile dog's but I haven't seen it yet." quote
Last edited by Sharon on Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:13 pm

Oh boy, I get to argue the point with both of you!! :D To me, the only difference is that where you concentrate on developing a flushing dog's quartering in the field, you concentrate on developing a pointing dog's desire to point. All else is the same; retrieving, obedience, etc. I think the reason many pointing dogs don't like to retrieve is that everyone is afraid to promote the retrieving desire in them for fear of making them harder to staunch. They are both worked on traps in the field, both should be introduced to water and birds.

There just isn't much basic difference to me the way I do it. Evan's dvd's work equally for pointing breeds and retrieving birds. IMO. 8)
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Sharon » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:22 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:Oh boy, I get to argue the point with both of you!! :D To me, the only difference is that where you concentrate on developing a flushing dog's quartering in the field, you concentrate on developing a pointing dog's desire to point. All else is the same; retrieving, obedience, etc. I think the reason many pointing dogs don't like to retrieve is that everyone is afraid to promote the retrieving desire in them for fear of making them harder to staunch. They are both worked on traps in the field, both should be introduced to water and birds.

There just isn't much basic difference to me the way I do it. Evan's dvd's work equally for pointing breeds and retrieving birds. IMO. 8)
Absolutely true in my case ; also as I've trialed bird dogs more than hunted with them . :oops: Almost all my hunting has been done with beagles.
(See what I added in my post gh.)
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Pepper » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:05 pm

Because I seen the same antics on two other forums. One forum has caught on and has basically stop it and it is a retriever forum I am speaking of. :)
Flame away. LOL

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Sharon » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:16 pm

What are you talking about Sir? I'm too stupid to know what "flame away" means?
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by KwikIrish » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:51 am

Pepper wrote:Because I seen the same antics on two other forums. One forum has caught on and has basically stop it and it is a retriever forum I am speaking of. :)
Flame away. LOL
The same antics? You mean an honest review and recommendation?
Not every forum censors to that level. Enjoy yourself here, and relax a bit.
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by EvanG » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:58 am

lvrgsp wrote:Evan,
Do you have a preferred company to buy from, as in I buy from a specified place and it helps support the website, or certain organization. Just curious

Thanks,
Lvrgsp
The best is our site at http://www.evan-graham.net . Click on the store tab.
polmaise wrote:If it is already bred to do it , then why teach it?:
Because no dog was ever born knowing what form a retrieve should be executed in to be of greatest use to a hunter for the preservation of game. And no dog was ever born that would or could 'naturally' perform a blind retrieve...in ANY form. But here is a quote from the book SmartFetch that addresses this question.

“But we are training dogs that have natural drive to retrieve!”

“Why would I want to force my dog to do something he does naturally?” goes the frequently asked question. After all, retrievers are bred to retrieve by instinct, aren’t they? We would all like to think so, but many are bred just to sell, i.e. puppy mills. Many others are bred with objectives other than retrieving, such as those engineered for their appearance alone, i.e. the show ring. But our focus is on working dogs – dogs bred to do the work for which the breed was established, hunting; bringing game to hand. Why would you need to force a dog like that to do the very work he’s been bred for?

You see, it’s the absence of information along with a love for the dog that drives such inquiries. It’s reasonable, and it’s a question that begs to be answered. So, perhaps this insight will help clear up some of the misunderstandings about this very important subject. Certainly, there is nothing new about people seeking an alternative to doing it – frequently because they have just enough information about it to think it’s something that it isn’t. I think it’s that word, force. A new trainer often hears that word and gets an instant mental image that sends them running the other way!

It won’t go away, and for good reason. Let’s start by clearing up what force fetch actually is (or isn’t).

The Myths

More appropriately, there are more misperceptions than myths surrounding the process of force fetching retrievers. I think it starts with the term force. To the novice trainer/dog lover that word summons visions of a dog being thrashed or brutalized in some way or another. There are stories, some true, some contrived, about harsh measures being used to force fetch, like using bottle openers, pliers, etc. Nothing like that will appear as a suggestion in this text because it has nothing to do with how I approach it. Let’s start there and clear the air about that subject.

 Force: In retriever training this is a term that describes the use of pressure to achieve a sure and reliable response. Influence that moves something, says the dictionary. The amount of pressure is specified more by the dog than by the trainer. Often very little actual pressure is needed.
 Pressure: something that affects thoughts and behavior in a powerful way, usually in the form of several outside influences working together persuasively.

Nowhere in any definition of these terms is abuse or brutality, nor should it be. Like many things, force and pressure are either good or bad depending on how they are applied.

Another misperception is often the assumption that retrievers do all of their retrieving functions by nature, and shouldn’t need to be forced. Frankly, about all that dogs do by nature is to chase after motion, and follow their curiosity about what they smell. We cultivate the rest, both passively and through the use of pressure. Even the most basic puppy-fetch conditioning we all do to get them started is an act we contrive. These dogs retrieve out of self-centered impulses. Bringing birds to us is not a nature-driven act. Thankfully, it can be easily engineered!

Take a well-bred pup and turn him loose in a fenced yard for three years, or so. Leave him strictly to the influences of nature. Then go out one day and see how well he does on the type of retrieving work that would make him useful in game conservation. Compare his work to even an average gun dog with amateur training. How do you think it would come out? No brainer! Whatever natural gifts a dog may have, without some kind of guidance they will tend to be of little value.

It’s not a negative statement that retrievers need training to do the work we need them to do in the field and marsh. That type of work requires a dog to have good natural abilities, but also to be taught how to put those abilities to work because the skills and functions we require are our idea. We invented them. It’s okay. That’s why dogs and trainers are so often referred to as a team. Both contribute to the effort.

The Reality

First of all, force fetch is more than just one thing. It is a definable process with clear goals. But, within the process are several steps or phases. Those steps will be laid out later, but first let’s examine the goals.
1. To establish a standard for acceptable mouth habits.
2. To provide the trainer with a tool to maintain those habits.
3. To provide the trainer with a tool to assure compliance with the command to retrieve.
4. To form the foundation for impetus (momentum).
5. Pressure conditioning.

Mouth habits include such important items as fetching on command, even when your dog may be distracted, or moody, or any number of things that might interfere with compliance. Sure, you may get away for years without having such problems, but being smart and being lucky are not the same thing. Force fetch gives you a tool to handle this when it comes up, plus some insurance that it is less likely to come up due to this training.

Along with compulsion issues we need to mention a proper hold, and delivery on command. If my pheasant is punctured I want it to be from pellets, not teeth. That actually covers some ground in all of the first three categories.

Let’s spend a little time on number four. Lots of people use the terms momentum and style interchangeably. I think it’s important to distinguish between the two because of how they relate to this subject. Force fetch is the foundation of trained momentum, and provides a springboard into subsequent steps of basic development. Style has little to do with this. Here’s why.
 Style: A combination of speed, enthusiasm, and just plain hustle that you see in a dog going toward a fall. Style is the product of natural desire and athleticism.
 Momentum: In a retriever, the compulsion from the dog’s point of origin; defined in the dictionary as “the force possessed by a body in motion, Measure of movement: a quantity that expresses the motion of a body and its resistance to slowing down. It is equal to the product of the body’s mass and velocity”.

Clearly, this quality is a tremendously valuable asset in the running of blinds and overcoming diversion pressure. It even applies to running long marks, and/or marks through tough cover or terrain. When you need a dog to drive hundreds of yards against the draining influences of terrain, cover, re-entries, and all of the real and perceived factors that are so commonly momentum-robbing, having a dog with a reservoir of momentum is immensely valuable. Force fetch is where that reservoir is established, and can be built upon.

From the foundation of a forced fetch most modern methods progress through stages that continue to build on this principle. Stick fetch, Collar Condition to fetch, Walking fetch, Force to pile, and Water force are all extensions of the work we do in ear pinch or toe hitch, which are popular means to get it all going. When a dog has finished such a course the result is an animal far more driven, with much more resolve to overcome obstacles and distance and distractions.


Lest we forget ~
I am not suggesting that we harm or abuse dogs in any of this force work I’ve spoken of. The late Jim Kappes said, “A properly forced dog shouldn’t look forced”. I completely agree. Momentum and style are distinct terms, each with their own meanings, as pertains to retrievers. I firmly believe that both are traits that should co-exist in a well-trained retriever.

EvanG
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There is little reason to expect a dog to be more precise than you are.-- Rex Carr
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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by Doc E » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:46 am

I don't care how much "natural retrieve" my dogs have --- they are all going to be FF.

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Re: Smart Fetch

Post by BVK » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:32 pm

I have ff several dogs over the years and read about Evans program so I purchased his book and dvd. I can with confidence say that it is the most logically laid out (for the dog's understanding) program that I have come across. I followed it with excellent results! Like mentioned previously, Evan was available and answered my questions willingly if I ran into challenging situations. Thank you Mr. Graham for developing a quality program and for your exceptional teaching! By the way, I used it on a GSP!

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