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jackiep

Can we talk about what constitutes a good mouth on a dog?

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Hal Standish

Poor mouth habits is relatively low on the totem pole for a high percentage of hunting pet dog owners. Look at all the threads that come up on various forums concerning retrieving habits, good or bad. The way a dog uses it's mouth to secure and carry game varies, some dog are more a accomplished than others at the the job. Chances are it take a couple of dogs under a person belt in training , maybe more, to really appreciate a quality mouth over the mouth that come short of recognized standards.

Actually the Spaniel world is blessed to a great extent with dogs that have balanced mouths I make that statement having seen and spent time with spaniels on three continentals

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Brad Eden

Is Canine Malocclusion or underbite an issue when it comes to a dogs mouth and bite for retrieving birds? My understanding is this is something that is gauged when a dog is a puppy, and some have an underbite of some degree. Once you know what it is you can see it in a dog where the lower jaw is shorter than the top thus teeth aren't aligned etc.

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Rick Hall
On 10/21/2018 at 5:17 AM, Brad Eden said:

Is Canine Malocclusion or underbite an issue when it comes to a dogs mouth and bite for retrieving birds? My understanding is this is something that is gauged when a dog is a puppy, and some have an underbite of some degree. Once you know what it is you can see it in a dog where the lower jaw is shorter than the top thus teeth aren't aligned etc.

Pretty sure what you're describing is generally referred to as an "over" bite.  Bulldogs would be an example of underbite.  But, yes, I've seen such a bad case of over-bite in a friend's Chesapeake that holding big birds like mallards and, especially, geese  was problematic. 

 

To the general subject of "mouth," I'd think it quite risky to generalize, as similar symptoms may have very different causes.  Worst "alligator" I've ever seen was a Qualified All-Age Lab that I'd bet something quite nice was reacting to the pressure of his training (by a generally successful trial pro), but the odds are strong that you'll also find holes in a bird carried by an otherwise gentle-mouthed dog that encounters surprising or difficult terrain during its retrieval.  Signs of "hard-mouth" might well also be seen in the flesh of game a too "soft-mouthed" dog snaps when it slips.  Or one an excited Pup played with on the way in.  And so on.

 

Best, I'd think, to consider each apparent incidence of "poor" mouth individually.

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Brad Eden

Oops, you are right. I meant overbite.

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Moomps

My ECS has what I would call an Appropriate mouth.  She will hold a live bird that she's dug out a hole during a tournament and bring it back until I take it from her hand and also bring back a dead without wasting too much pressure - also to hand.  She once brought back a very large live squirrel that was really pissed and had it right behind the neck so it couldn't get away.  she complied with my drop command and that thing took off in fine shape.

 

We were remodeling the kitchen a few years ago and it was a mess.   I was in the living room watching TV and my little Marni came out of the kitchen with a light bulb in her mouth.  She brought it over and handed it to me.  Needless to say, I blocked off the kitchen during construction.

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