I have a 17 month old male lab that I had trained just like my 6 dogs before him. FF, CC, Obedience ect. I ran him in AKC Junior Hunt Tests this summer without a glitch. No hard mouth, nothing. Not during training and not at hunt tests. This fall I started pheasant hunting him and for the first 6 hunts and 20 retrieves, no problem. He has been FF on ducks, geese, pheasants, chukars, pigeons and doves. No problem. Then, on one hunt a bird went down and I didn't see my pup for some time. Then he came back with feathers in his mouth without a bird. Then things went well for a couple of hunts and probably 10-15 retrieves. Then a bird went down and I didn't see him for a bit so I went looking for him and found him dismantling a pheasant. I took the bird away from him and didn't let him hunt the rest of the day. I then had another person throw pheasants for me where I could see him and absolutely no problem. 20 or more pheasant retrieves without a problem. Then I found him eating another bird. I then went to just throwing pheasants in my yard for him. No eating but he is now crunching the bird.
Do I need to go back to square one with FF? I have never had a dog eat birds before. I've had puppies pluck birds before they were FF but once they were FF I have never had a problem.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.