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Thread: Lab Puppy 'too crazy' over bird wings

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Lab Puppy 'too crazy' over bird wings

    I have a 13 week old lab pup that was introduced to bird wings at only a few weeks of age. It was great to see her excitement over feathers when I picked her up from the breeder and that I could 'check off the box' regarding this step. As she has got older and had some successful training/obiedence sessions I started to reintroduce some wings (letting her follow the scent trail, rubberbanding them on to a small bumper, etc.. She gets so excited that all she wants to do is rip of feathers and try to eat the entire wing, let alone not looking to retrieve. I have had to pull an entire dove wing out of her throat. Just the other night, we went out to a SWA to run around and let her get used to some new scents. She ended up finding a small dead pheasant and went bizerk. She got a wing off and again tried to swallow it. I hate to yell at her when she is doing her job in locating birds and following scent, however, this doesn't seem to be productive from a training standpoint and I am worried she is going to choke herself. I'm thinking I will hold off on the wings until we have formal obedience more refined, although I'm not sure her obsession will disapate and again, I don't want to have to reprimand her after locating a bird.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. This is my first pup and new to the forum...looking to learn.

    Thanks so much.

    Billy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Duckquilizer's Avatar
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    I think you are feeling right...congrats, you have a very birdie pup! If you are planning on force fetching, you will have more tools to deal with and create better habits. I don't think I would allow very many, if at all, bird sessions until then. The fire is lit, just keep it burning...
    Kendall Layne

    HR(2xHRCH) Ashland's Big Black Ruby to Go SH
    Dorie's Lady of the Lake(1K bird club)

    Never play leap frog with a unicorn.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Kendall, appreciate the insight. I certainly plan on force fetching, so hopefully that will help iron out her habits as you note.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dustin D's Avatar
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    Yep this is why FF is a good tool.

    <----------------------------That face in my Avatar is him staring at a Dead Teal in my hand.




    My pup was the same way. He went absolutely BANANA'S on dead pigeons and live birds, the first few times. He would run around me with them and bite down and try to rip and play. He even dropped it a few times and would come back to me and then go back to the bird. DISASTER RIGHT!? No not really, just a young pup freaking out of this new thing that taste and smells pretty good.

    I encouraged him for going pick it up but I also had the check cord on him so I just coaxed him in and removed it from his mouth while telling him to ‘Drop it’. He only got about 5-10 seconds with the birds at first. Any longer and he might have eaten them lol

    Then back to Force Fetch.

    After EarPinch FF was over I forced him on Dead Doves, Dead Pigeons, Live Pigeons, and then Dead Teal from this Teal Season.

    It was ugly at first. I mean he REALLY likes the way they taste in his mouth.

    After about 4-6 sessions of Force fetch with Teal Ducks, and rewarding him with a breaking mark or two for successful FF sessions he figured it out. At first I think they're just so excited about the bird(Prey Drive), they might not trust that you'll give it back to them if they bring it back to you.

    Eventually through proper FF he'll learn it's more about the retrieve back to me(HERE), than the bird in his mouth and that if he does things correctly, he'll continue to be able to go get that bird that he loves so much.


    Just a note. On his first(and Only) Teal hunt this year, two seperate times he bought back Teal that were barely wing broke. Perfect mouth position on the birds, wasn’t crushing them, wasn’t freaking out and delivered them to hand.

    I was quite pleased with his performance. Like usual, we as trainers put way more into it than the dogs do. They’ll come around and surprise you just about every time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Hmm, well...he figured that out pretty easy”.
    Last edited by Dustin D; 10-04-2012 at 10:24 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Never had a dog with too much bird drive.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

    Too many dogs to list (By some Bitch)

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    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

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