Hi Im very interested in this topic as my 2 year old lab appears to be damaging birds. She never makes a mark on a bumper but appears to damage the rib cage of some birds. She is very fast and picks the bird up without slowing down and then appears to take a better grip shortly after. This is where i believe she maybe damaging them as her delivery is very good. I have tried putting wire on them which worked for a short period at slowing her down but she is at it again so I was thinking of using the ecollar just before pickup and when she is re adjusting the bird. Any suggestions please.
Thank you! This has helped quite a bit. You are right that getting them to slow down or even stop and think seems to help alot. He has had 2 hunting sessions since my last post and it's a bit better. I corrected very hard making him drop and jump/yelp once, then put the bird back in his mouth and made him carry it with me back to our starting place. Then tossed it a few feet away and sent him for the same one. He did better and held the bird well. Since he is steady to release I also made him hold until I walked to the bird several times, then released him to fetch but was standing 1 foot away from the bird with a VERY good view and ready to correct. Then had him carry and heel the bird back to where we started. Also nicked a few times right before as you suggest. He looses his snappy return and gets sticky, but he is THINKING and trying to be careful so I am FINE with that at this point. Still he needs managing and is too much for the owner but I think he'll be a fine dog with an attentive dog savvy person. I did also notice that as he stopped chomping he started trying to turn his head away from me withe the bird. It wasn't the eye contact avoidance some dogs give when nervous, I don't think. I am reading this as "passive" possessivness and so I stepped away making him follow me to get him back facing me and then held his chin for several seconds watching closely before giving the drop.
Originally Posted by pmw
All in all, I think it's managable at this point. Thanks to all!