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Thread: mouth problems

  1. #1
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    Default mouth problems

    In light of the other thread I would like to get others thoughts on different mouth issues and the underlying issues beneath the behavior.

    Stickiness vs. Freezing..... are they related?

    Are they pressure related?

    What about what I would call a "nervous mouth" ? i.e. the dog that chomps and rolls birds as the excitement level increases......I've tried indirect pressure SIT stick or SIT nick and it seems to make it worse. If excitement level is low in training the mouth habits are good.

    Is this related to stickiness?

    I'm worried that all of these issues are different and may require different approaches.

    Thanks in advance,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lisa Van Loo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B3 View Post
    In light of the other thread I would like to get others thoughts on different mouth issues and the underlying issues beneath the behavior.

    Stickiness vs. Freezing..... are they related?

    Are they pressure related?

    What about what I would call a "nervous mouth" ? i.e. the dog that chomps and rolls birds as the excitement level increases......I've tried indirect pressure SIT stick or SIT nick and it seems to make it worse. If excitement level is low in training the mouth habits are good.

    Is this related to stickiness?

    I'm worried that all of these issues are different and may require different approaches.

    Thanks in advance,

    Bill
    In my experience, both sticking and freezing have at least a partial genetic component. I have never had a sticky dog that didn't also have a first-degree relative who is also sticky.

    I agree they are 3 completely different problems, and the solution is different for each. Freezing and sticking, I feel, are only "managed", never completely eliminated. But you can get a dog to the point where it only freezes or sticks offline (delayed response). Teaching a delayed reward helps a lot to minimizing these issues.

    Lisa
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rmilner's Avatar
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    I think that sticky and freezing are related, with sticky probably being a precursor to full fledged freezing. I think there are some genetics involved, but pressure tends to bring it out.

    I think in many cases the origin of freezing is using the electric collar on a dog when he has a bird in his mouth. I think the mechanism works like this:

    Freezing on birds- This is a classic escape response. The response is built by shocking a dog when he has a bird in his mouth. The shock causes the dog’s neck muscles to contract, which causes him to clench his teeth. To the dog this is a successful escape response that turned off the collar. Do it enough times and you will have a dog that will not release the bird to the handler. Frequently it manifests itself when the dog is stressed, as when running in a field trial.

    It would be interesting to know electric collar history of some confirmed freezers. If I had a dog that was an intermitant freezer, I would keep records of every nick or shock I gave him so I could check the prior week's history on every instance of freezing. I think there would be a correlation between number of shocks or nicks and a following instance of freezing.



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    Maybe so Mr Milner.....but......I have another dog(not the one I'm referring to here) that was trained in the UK to FTCH and as far as I know never wore a collar that freezes on birds and is sticky always. I pinch her flank to break the trance and she readily releases.

    The dog with the nervous mouth I do wonder about his FF history and timing/use of collar pressure.

    With him I am reviewing hold and delivery with no pressure starting in the yard and trying to gradually amp up excitement levels maintaining a better mouth standard so hopefully he won't be constantly readjusting, rolling,etc in a trial.

    Bill

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    Senior Member Vicki Worthington's Avatar
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    Everything R. Milner said may be correct, but I have always been advised that freezing is an avoidance tactic employed by the dog to avoid retrieving another bird OR it is a dominance issue that the bird is "the dog's" not the handlers.

    The avoidance comes from too much pressure in the field; the other comes from failure to yield.
    Do Something! Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way

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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicki Worthington View Post
    Everything R. Milner said may be correct, but I have always been advised that freezing is an avoidance tactic employed by the dog to avoid retrieving another bird OR it is a dominance issue that the bird is "the dog's" not the handlers.

    The avoidance comes from too much pressure in the field; the other comes from failure to yield.
    I am more inclined to believe the latter (dominance) than the former (avoidance).

    One, sticky dogs tend to be males.
    Two, sticky dogs tend to stick on the last bird (usually when they have done VERY well)
    Three, one bandaid, is to teach the dog that there is another retrieve waiting off line (tennis ball, glove, etc) if he gives up the bird on line
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    Senior Member lizard55033's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B3 View Post
    Stickiness vs. Freezing..... Bill

    Could someone define these for me please?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lisa Van Loo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Shih View Post
    I am more inclined to believe the latter (dominance) than the former (avoidance).

    One, sticky dogs tend to be males.
    Two, sticky dogs tend to stick on the last bird (usually when they have done VERY well)
    Three, one bandaid, is to teach the dog that there is another retrieve waiting off line (tennis ball, glove, etc) if he gives up the bird on line
    Agree.

    I think a lot of people believe this to be avoidance or pressure-induced, because most people, when faced with the problem for the first time, will apply pressure. Invariably, it gets worse.

    but when viewed as part of a dominance spectrum, it is exactly the same as a dog who is very dominant, but growls. So the handler shakes the dog up for growling. Only instead of fixing the growling problem (because it is a truly dominant dog) the growling gets worse. So the correction escalates etc. The sticking or freezing dog just escalates the problem with pressure, but pressure does not cause it (although it can make things worse).

    Delayed/random rewards help keep the problem off the line, but do not cure. Sticking on the last bird, when they are feeling very high/cocky is a hallmark trait of the problem.

    Also agree this is not an e-collar problem. Gopher's dam was a UK import, no e-collar, horrendous freezer.

    Lisa
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    Senior Member Lisa Van Loo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizard55033 View Post
    Could someone define these for me please?
    Sticking on a bird: reluctance to release bird, handler must pry or roll bird out of dog's mouth, or repeated commands to release.

    Freeze: dog is almost in a trance, does not release bird at all, even with repeated attempts to remove bird, reheel, etc.

    Lisa
    "Go sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here." - Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets

    http://www.chessieinfo.net

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lynn Hanigan's Avatar
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    Personally I believe most mouth problems can be attributed to a improperly done or incompletely done force fetch program. I agree that many dogs are genetically given to stick and others to crunch but the object of training is to alter the dogs natural behavior.
    Very few trainers truly understand that not only does the dog need to know he must fetch, but he also needs to know he must deliver. Delivery includes opening your mouth and backing away from the bird.
    Dogs frequently start to stick as soon as the e-collar is introduced to force fetch. This is the trainer’s best opportunity to teach the dog that he must also release on command.
    When you properly achieve both you have a balanced FF program and mouth problems just don’t happen.
    Regards
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