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Thread: 2 year old BLF-Hard and soft mouth????

  1. #1
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    Default 2 year old BLF-Hard and soft mouth????

    I haven't been on here much lately but I am hoping I can get some help with a problem I have had with my female. She has been this way ever since she was a pup and nothing I have done has done anything to stop it. I was told just don't worry about it after FF it will clear itself up in time, WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! It has done nothing but get worse. I actually think I have two problems, but my gut tells me that they are inter-related.

    I didn't know it was possible for a dog to have a soft and a hard mouth all at the same time but this dog has done it. When she picks up a bird or a bumper while its still on the ground she crunches the heck out of it always has, yet when she returns with it her hold is so soft that the birds/bumper will literally just fall right out of her mouth (this is starting to slightly show signs of improvement), then almost every time she gets back to heel she will drop the bird/bumper and crunch it picking it back up, then while she is sitting at heel her hold is so loose and so sloppy that the bird/bumper will slide out of her mouth but as she is feeling it slip her response is to clamp down on it.

    When I say she crunches it, I can actually her bones cracking she clamps so hard. When I have her on the table or walking around in the yard I get very few issues, its only when she starts getting excited (which it doesn't take much to get her excited, a low volume verbal "good girl" will spin her up) that this start going down hill. I have tried giving her a Here-nic-Here on her way back from a mark when I see she is about to drop it and it doesn't make a difference. I have gone back through doing weeks worth of OB with a bumper in her mouth correcting for every time she rolls the bumper, drops the bumper, crunches the bumper; its not helping. I have tried knocking the bumper out of her mouth when her hold gets sloppy and ear pinching her back to it. Its almost as if she doesn't care about the correction as long as she gets to make the retrieve or carry the bumper around. I would start denial as a form of correction if I could figure out how to make the correlation for her but that is eluding me.

    For what its worth she does this with EVERYTHING, if she is just out running around with me in the yard and picks up a stick she does the exact same thing with it as she does with bumpers or birds.

    I am seriously at a loss for this. Has anyone seen this, know how or have any suggestions on how to fix this? Before anyone ask, I am following Smartwork.
    It's a Journey, NOT a Race

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    The first thing that comes to mind is that she hasn't been *properly* force fetched.
    Sharon Potter

    www.redbranchkennels.net

    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.

    Team Huntsmith

  3. #3

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    My current BLF was the exact same way. What worked for me was to use a very stiff bristled brush on the FF table and then walking fetch. The brush was painful to clamp onto but not to hold securely. The sloppy/loose hold was cured by using an 18" piece of 1 1/4" PVC on the FF table, offsetting it in her mouth from one end to the other so more effort was required to hold it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    The first thing that comes to mind is that she hasn't been *properly* force fetched.
    Sharon that was my first thought too because she seemed to go through it and grasp the concept so quickly so I ended up going through it again and really taking some serious time with it and the problem actually got worse after that. Force fetch made her so nervous and excited (not a good excited either just a spun up nervous act) that I could tell she couldn't concentrate and she acted really really pouty and sulky for weeks during and after it. I couldn't run marks during like I normally would because of her mouth issues. All I would have to do is brush her ear a very little bit and she would start lunging and grabbing for anything she could just so I wouldn't pinch her ear all the while she would be yelping, whinning, trembling and I never even grabbed her ear let alone pinched it.
    It's a Journey, NOT a Race

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Scott, You might get some ideas for solving your problem by reading and watching a dog being worked through a similar problem here:

    http://www.findretrievers.com/forums...8b47e801666e29
    Renee P

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    Senior Member Sharon Potter's Avatar
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    Scott, it still sounds to me like the process hasn't been thorough. I'm betting she thinks that the way to turn off the stimulation is just to put her mouth around the object....not hold onto it. It's a pretty common disconnect, but a concept they ned to learn. Also, a lot of dogs go through a sulky phase during FF, but I keep on it until they work through it before moving on. How many dogs have you FF'd?
    Sharon Potter

    www.redbranchkennels.net

    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.

    Team Huntsmith

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    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    Also, a lot of dogs go through a sulky phase during FF, but I keep on it until they work through it before moving on. How many dogs have you FF'd?
    I think all dogs go through this sulky period or period of resentment as Spenser called it. I don't feel that you can continue on to the final stages of force fetch, walking fetch, stick fetch, collar fetch, fetch no fetch, etc., until you have gotten through the period of resentment.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard N View Post
    I think all dogs go through this sulky period or period of resentment as Spenser called it. I don't feel that you can continue on to the final stages of force fetch, walking fetch, stick fetch, collar fetch, fetch no fetch, etc., until you have gotten through the period of resentment.
    Howard I agree with you. Sulking might have been a poor choice in words, this was more like being mind blown.

    This dogs response to a physical correction is terrible, she gets very animated, very nervous to do anything. Take for instance in the yard with a heeling stick, if I tap her for sit when I start heeling her again she will: stop, almost sit, run, sit, stop, sit, laydown, almost sit, run; she does everything hoping that its the right thing. All the while she is looking back up at the stick with her ears pins to her neck, her entire body trembling and whining. On the flip side though, you give her a stern NO and her world crumbles beneath her, what I mean is that she acts very well almost sad like she knows she just made a big mistake and the next time she will actually over compensate so she doesn't get yelled at again. This dog also get very spun up on praise, like I mentioned before even a very low volume, monotone, boring "Good dog" will get her bouncing around spun up crazy, so I have to make sure that I stay very very even keeled with her, not getting to high or too low which I have trouble doing from time to time.

    I didn't completely comprehend this the first time I went through FF with her and consequently got very hard on her when I shouldn't have and it has left a pretty big impact on her, to the point where all you have to do is reach for her ear and she is lunging at something, and yelping loudly. That being said I am attempting to do this without going back into FF if I can. I know the benefits to FF and I am a big believer in the process, but I just don't think this dog can handle it, at least not done by me and I just can't afford to send her to someone to do it. I realize that she will never be a master, qual, open dog and thats okay with me, heck I may not ever get this dog to run clean and pretty blinds. As long I can take her to the blind with me and get birds back in one untenderized piece I will be pretty happy, the rest will just be icing on the cake.
    It's a Journey, NOT a Race

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    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Sure sounds like LESS pressure is more likely the solution than more. This dog sounds like she has learned a whole bunch of incorrect responses to certain cues.
    Darrin Greene

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    Which program did you follow?

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

    https://www.facebook.com/BlackIceRetrievers
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    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

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