Training the Retrieve

with Michael Ellis

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 10 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $55.00

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Over the last 30+ years, the methods used to train dogs to retrieve have been evolving. Traditionally, most dogs were taught to retrieve certain objects through the “Force Fetch” method, which relies heavily on negative reinforcement (pressure) to teach the behavior. While many dogs were able to get through this process, it was not the most pleasant experience for the dog (or the trainer). Many dogs wouldn’t bounce back from the continuous stress of the process and would eventually be ‘washed’ from training programs. When marker training started to gain popularity, trainers began teaching the retrieve in a manner that required no pressure and the goal was that 100% of the retrieve would be trained with rewards.


The 2018 release of Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis is unique in that it not only teaches you the entire process of training a formal retrieve with the use of reward-based training techniques, but Michael also explains and demonstrates in detail, how and when to properly utilize pressure-based techniques in the retrieve if the trainer finds it necessary. Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to train a formal retrieve, whether it be for a sport or competition obedience dog, a service dog, hunting dog, or if you simply want to train your dog to get a beer from the fridge. This course will cover all of the foundational skills needed to train the formal retrieve as well as some common challenges trainers may face and techniques to troubleshoot those challenges. We’ve designed this course to accommodate a wide range of skill levels for both trainers and dogs with no prior experience is necessary to start this work.


We’ve designed this course to accommodate a wide range of skill levels for both trainers and dogs. This includes dogs training in disciplines such as hunting work, service work, competition obedience or your companion dog retrieving a beer from the fridge.


Retrieving is considered an advanced behavior and has multiple pieces that need to be broken down is a behavior that is predicated on a series of pre-requests. The Power of Training Dogs with Food which is an extremely useful DVD that talks about how we manipulate and shape behaviors, how we build focus and engagement, how we use food in our training. Advanced Concepts in Motivation and The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog which are a huge part of creating reward events or building motivation in the dog for the activities used in retrieve to reinforce behavior. Leash Skills will cover leash pressure and how we condition the dog to the lines so we don’t create stress while the dog is under leash work and trying to learn a new behavior at the same time. We also have DVD’s on the Electric Collar that will talk about the conditioning process, which is very important if you intent to use the electronic collar for your dog in your retrieving work. These DVD’s would be very useful in preparing your dog for some of the work covered in this course, but not necessarily essential.

Course Outline


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What's the difference between this course, the DVD, and the stream?


DVD:  3 hours 31 minutes (physical copy)

Stream:  3 hours 31 minutes, lifetime access, stream from anywhere

Online Course:  80 videos (202 minutes), additional text content, lifetime access, stream from anywhere on any smart device

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