My 8 month old female Lab, Charley, has come along very nicely (thanks in part to the great advice I got from contributors on her reluctance to swim a few months ago). I'm now pheasant hunting with her and she is also doing well. She hunts close, flushes, marks and retrieves to heel. The problem is that she's so excited that she won't release the pheasant (particularly a cripple) until I nick her once or twice with the collar and then when I pick up the bird she dives back in after it, until I put it in my vest.
In the yard, she is good about dropping dummies once at heal, but in the field with an actual warm bird, she just is a bit nutty to keep the bird in her mouth. I'm reluctant to hammer her with the collar. Anybody have some advice on the best way to handle this?