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Thread: Hard Mouth thoughts

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    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.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmw View Post
    Over the years I have trained and trialled a lot of GSPs both on wild quail and pigeons for simulated duck hunting. The most common point I have found for crunching is on the pick up or immediately afterwards which I believe is the main problem here? These dogs are usually hard driving. My thought is that one has to slow the dog on the pick up to ensure it thinks about what it is doing. Have done this by stopping the dog as it gets to the bird (sit) then give the fetch command. If this does not work go out and give the ear pinch with the fetch command (assuming the dog as been thoroughly FFd) . You can then heel the dog with you whilst holding the bird or leave it on a sit stay and recall. Using various distances, etc with perserverence this can be effective. An alternative which if it works is easier: instead of sitting the dog beside the bird - give it a nick just as it is going to pick the bird up. This in my experience slows the dog right down and sometimes blink but with a hard going dog it is easy then to give the fetch command and the dog will pick up the bird.

    Good luck!
    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.

    All in all, I think it's managable at this point. Thanks to all!
    Laurie Thompson
    BriarField Kennels, Dunlap TN

    Miss Mabel Marshdog CGC, TDI certified, canine blood donor (Lab, retired)
    Kerrybrooks That's A Fact Jack JH, RN (Lab)
    Int'l Ch Snips Tennessee Jed SH, NAVHDA NA pz 1(GSP)
    CH Briarfields Autumn Connection JH, NAVHDA NA Ps 2(GSP)

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