I have some many people ask me what the best age to force fetch their retriever is. I'll answer that question shortly but lets address what force fetch is and what that involves. First force fetch has a few commands the dog will learn: Fetch, Hold, and Drop. FETCH means for the dog to get something in its mouth, it could be a bumper, a wooden dumbell, and the over all goal a waterfowl (ducks and geese) and even other bird species. The HOLD command is just that, it means for the dog to hold what he just retrieved in his mouth. One good reason for the dog to hold is if a bird is crippled and can still swim away or even run, if your dog releases the bird it could be lost. And that brings us to the DROP command which means for your dog to release the object from its mouth to your hand.
Now that we know what force fetch is and a few reasons why we say the commands involved in force fetch lets address the right age. If you guessed 6-7 months of age for your young retriever you would be correct. But why is that age the right answer? Well thats when the dog has its permanent teeth in. That's why you wait to force fetch to 6-7 months of age. If you don't then the you could injure your dogs mouth and make the dog not ever want to put anything into its mouth when you tell it to. Plus most dogs aren't mature enough to handle the pressure of an ear pinch which makes the dog open its mouth. Extreme Retriever Kennels highly recommends sending your retriever to a professional to get force fetched because that's just the beginning of force fetch and there is many more stages that have to be complete before your retriever is fully force fetched.