FETCH Command made easy

The FETCH Command made easy by Bill Hillmann

Bill describes the 4 stages of commands, including the Fetch command.
A golden retriever female “Torch” makes her debut in this
retriever training video.

  1. TEACH the ‘Fetch’ command physically
  2. REWARD the correct action with praise
  3. REINFORCE the command with the E-Collar
  4. PRACTICE the command over and over


In Bill’s Force Fetch training he ‘teaches’ the ‘FETCH’ command with no ear pinch or toe hitch. He teaches the command with excitement so Torch doesn’t even realize she is learning a new command!

When Torch starts to reach for the bumper, Bill says, “Fetch!” This is teaching her the fetch command using no force, only teaching. It’s teaching with excitement. It might take a little longer this way, but your dog will have more desire and style when you’re finished.


Bill holds a bumper getting Torch very excited by teasing her with it. The frustration creates desire and when she finally gets to grab the bumper, he says the word, FETCH! The instant she gets it in her mouth, he says “Good!” and makes a big deal about it!


Torch is collar conditioned to the “sit” and “here” commands using the SOFT COLLAR method, but not the “fetch” command – YET. When you get to the point that the pup has successfully fetched so many bumpers from your hand and off the ground that there is no question in your mind that a light ‘nick’ (Fetch – ‘nick’ – Fetch) will not interrupt her from successfully completing the Fetch, then follow the ‘Fetch’ command immediately with a small ‘nick’ on the E-Collar. When she grabs the bumper, praise her and rub her with “all the enthusiasm you can muster”.

Bill demonstrates the timing of the sequence: Fetch – “nick” with the collar – GOOD! This is shown in slow motion multiple times in the DVD “FETCH COMMAND”




Bill recommends that you practice this without a dog until you’re positive you have the right timing. Make sure the training sessions are fun by alternating excitement and fun retrieves with ‘fetch’. Don’t sit in one spot and do fetch – “nick” – fetch. Do a little ‘fetch’ and then go and do something else. Come back and do more ‘fetch’, and then go to something else, etc. Torch doesn’t even realize she’s getting ‘force fetched’!

Through this process, the pup’s response to E-collar reinforcement will progressively improve. The electric collar should not be over used. The pup’s attitude will dictate everything … this is where you maintain balance … … ATTITUDE!

If the pup’s attitude declines, then amp it up with excitement. If the pup has too much excitement, then control it with obedience and fetching.

Bill says “If you over-do something, over-do the excitement — not the E-Collar.”

Make sure your sessions are FUN! When it is no longer fun for the dog, then it’s not good training. Bill demonstrates ways to mix in other parts of training in the DVD. Always start your sessions with EXCITEMENT to get your dog in the right frame of mind.

Balance the excitement with a working obedience mode and retrieving. You will need to balance between the two modes with dog’s temperament. Begin with excitement, and lead into teaching slowly. Using the E-Collar to reinforce during the session, and ALWAYS end on a happy note. Mixed your sessions up, but be sure to keep them in BALANCE.

If your dog is not in balance, then you’re not training properly. You must monitor the balance of your dog from moment by moment, especially with a young dog. The moment you notice the dog loosing interest add more excitement, keeping them in balance at all times. Watch how Bill does this in his video, and you will have the dog of your dreams!

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