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Discussion Starter #1
So I've posted a bit about my 7 month old pup who just loves to mouth her bumpers and I had some questions about FF regarding this issue.

I won't be starting FF or hold for a while until I get her really solid on her obedience.

my question is, should I keep retrieves to a minimum in the time being (only once or twice a week) and soley focus on her OB? Is her mouthing the bumpers only going to be solved during FF? I have her on frozen pigeons and she tries to chew those as well. I'm worried to even get her a live bird but I do want her to be exposed to them. Would it be alright to introduce her to a clip wing and see if she's truely hardmouthed(puncturing skin/killing) or should I avoid live birds to avoid any bad habits that might come up from this?

Using Lardy's program but I couldn't find anything on being overly excited and dropping/chewing/not holding calmly(at all). Any advice helps guys, I don't have access to any clubs at the time being and I have almost no professionals in my area.
 

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If she is chewing frozen pigeons why do you expect a different result with a wing or a live bird? Personally I would stick with bumpers. Are all the adult teeth in? If the dog will sit and heel on lead I would start FF provided all adult teeth are in. Do you have a table to put the dog on? Or some other means (like staking on very short lead) to secure that dog when you begin teaching FF (especially the hold portion).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If she is chewing frozen pigeons why do you expect a different result with a wing or a live bird? Personally I would stick with bumpers. Are all the adult teeth in? If the dog will sit and heel on lead I would start FF provided all adult teeth are in. Do you have a table to put the dog on? Or some other means (like staking on very short lead) to secure that dog when you begin teaching FF (especially the hold portion).
Good point.

she is not solid on the heel and sit, this is why I was going to focus on OB with her in the meantime, and yes all her teeth are in, but I can't seem to get over a problem with her visibly chomping down on the bumper when I'm having her hold a bumper in her mouth.
 

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Take some time to review Lardy's program. I don't recall him using frozen pigeons. I do recall him saying something anout not using old/nasty birds.

Anyway, I took the first dog that I trained (Jack) to a Lardy Basics/Transition workshop. Jack was 9 months old and we were through FF (I thought), simple casting, and collar conditioning. When we did our first field work (ABCD drill) at the workshop, Jack started dropping the birds on return 10 yards from the line, and coming in to get ready for the next retrieve.

We did a yard session after to address the problem - walking fetch with birds. We worked on this issue over the next two days as the workshop progressed.

Mike pointed out two things related to that problem and another I had encountered with Jack.
1. Jack was WILD. If he got past you when coming out of the trailer, it was a 30 minute chase to get him to stop running and get a lead on him.
1A. Mike will collar condition a pup early (before FF) and start formal obedience early (before 6 months old) when the necessary.

2. Jack was mishandling birds as I described.
2A. Mike will suspend retrieving work if the dog is mishandling birds/bumpers.

Mike recommends that you do field work as often as you work on yard drills. But, he will suspend retrieving until
after FF if required.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was using frozen pigeons due to the fact that she did chew on them when she was younger and I didn't want her to try and eat a fresh one. Also for the introduction to the smell and feathers.

i had taken her to who I believed was a good trainer in my area and she was supposed to be introduced to the gun, she wasn't. I'm thinking about getting her out a couple days to work on her with the .22 first before FF and CC. Is this ok? I regret not getting her through this sooner.
 

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I've never introduced a dog to gun fire. If you follow TRT, you'll see that as you progress with running marks (walking singles thrown by a bird boy in the field), you'll go from a "hey-hey" before they throw to slipping in a shot before they throw. Should be done at a distance and will be a non-event.

Edit: and I should add, I've also never had a gun-shy dog.
 

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Regarding the frozen pigeons and fear of what she'll do with a fresh bird...

Have her on a lead and reel her in and take the bird if she tries to chew or eat it. Then put the birds away until you're through FF. The idea of intro to birds is to get her birdy. If she's going after it and trying to eat it, I'd say mission accomplished. Proceed with the program.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ahh alright now I see. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I'll be sure to do this with her, hopefully FF will go well once we begin.
 
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