I'm sure this issue has been tackled here before, I just don't know the right terms to search.
Anyway, I have a 4 month old lab pup that I'm bird training myself via Smartwork program. I haven't done much with bumpers with her yet, as I am still mostly working her with paint rollers and the "cigar-sized" canvas bumbers for puppies. The problem is, even with the paint rollers and the small canvas puppy bumpers, she still insists on carrying them by thier ends (like a cigar). I got out a duck dummy, and the first few times she carried it propperly, but eventually resorted to carrying it by its head when we promptly put it away. She also doesn't carry real birds (frozen or thawed) as she should, usually trying to carry them by the wing or by feathers pinched in her teath.
I've tried casual correction when she brings them back, keeping it as passive as possible without spoiling the fun, but she simply doesn't get the idea. Finally, I tried duct-taping the ends and wrapping them with thin metal wire, but even that doesn't bother her enough to get her to grasp in the center.
My questions are as follows:
1.) She'll be ready for force fetch training in a couple of months, if this habbit continues in the meantime, will it make it harder to overcome in the force fetch training?
2.) Any ideas besides wrapping them with wire that might get her to grasp the center of the bumper/roller?
3.) If I can't get her to quit, should I hold off on fetching with these types of objects and maybe just use tennis balls or something else that won't engrain the bad habbit?