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Hard mouth, who's had success fixing it?


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And how'd you do it?

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I have had only one dog that was what I call hard mouthed. That is, she chewed the birds while retrieving. I convinced her with shocks from the e-collar each time she bit down. That might have backfir

I have never fix HM but I have covered it up. The best way to "fix" HM is not to breed to it. Never had any issues with our own Field Bred Springer breeding but sure saw a issues and mouth problems wi

While the hairbrush/pine cone thing sounds worth an attempt or two, I'd like to circle back around to the "HOLD" command.    Mr. Jim is suggesting to use the ecollar while issuing a known co

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stephen brown

Couldn't. Move on from Labs to ESS and solved that problem. To be honest the Labs where never, truly hard mouth. No pheasant cam back alive and all had 4 canine punctures in the breast, but no broken bones.

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Mike da Carpenter

Years ago, I wrapped a training dummy in a hollowed out mallard duck “hide” and wrapped that in chicken wire.  The Lab learned really quick.  It did take a couple sessions to reinforce it though.

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I have had only one dog that was what I call hard mouthed. That is, she chewed the birds while retrieving. I convinced her with shocks from the e-collar each time she bit down. That might have backfired with a different dog.

 

I do not begrudge a toothmark in the breast from the dog. In their mind they are playing for keeps. They worked hard to produce a bird and they don't want it escaping. 

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Force Fetch. I did some light FF training for my first Springer. She ran down a winged grouse someone else had shot when she was 6-7 months old. It had gangrene in a wing bone and beat and pecked her about the head upon retrieve. Never did another bird arrive after without being crunched. Unless it was stone dead and not moving at all. It helped but didn’t use it. FF gives you more control over how the dog handles the bird. I’m by no means a dog trainer at all, JMO. 
 

Good question, but If this Topic turns into the usual overly sensitive breed blind exercise in mocking and judgement that they usually do concerning Wes it will go POOF.

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1 minute ago, Brad Eden said:

Force Fetch. I did some light FF training for my first Springer. She ran down a winged grouse someone else had shot when she was 6-7 months old. It had gangrene in a wing bone and beat and pecked her about the head upon retrieve. Never did another bird arrive after without being crunched. Unless it was stone dead and not moving at all. It helped but didn’t use it. FF gives you more control over how the dog handles the bird. I’m by no means a dog trainer at all, JMO. 
 

God question, If this Topic turns into the usual overly sensitive breed blind exercise in mocking and judgement that they usually do concerning Wes it will go POOF.

I think force fetch is more to instill a reliable retrieve, for dogs who may refuse to do it if they don't feel like it.   I'm not having a problem with with the dog going out and getting a dead bird and bringing it back.   He loves it and hasn't said no thanks yet.  I just don't want it to look like it went through a wood chipper by the time it gets to me.  I've heard of some dogs getting the bird and then sit there and gnaw on it.  He doesn't do that either.   He just has a knack for chewing while in-transit.   

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27 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

I think force fetch is more to instill a reliable retrieve, for dogs who may refuse to do it if they don't feel like it.   I'm not having a problem with with the dog going out and getting a dead bird and bringing it back.   He loves it and hasn't said no thanks yet.  I just don't want it to look like it went through a wood chipper by the time it gets to me.  I've heard of some dogs getting the bird and then sit there and gnaw on it.  He doesn't do that either.   He just has a knack for chewing while in-transit.   

 

I've seen FF used to soften a mouth up on a lab, for sure. I don't think I want to FF my dogs, though. 

 

One of my setters will give particularly feisty pheasants a chomp or three, seemingly under the guise of "adjusting her grip" on the way back. This is new this season, of course last season she retrieved just until I saw her drop it, and was on to the next one. I don't know what made her start retrieving to hand this season (which began with a shocking cross-river-and-back retrieve), but two steps forward, one step back. All that is to say, you're not alone and I'm following for a non-FF resolution to a minor problem. 

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58 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

I think force fetch is more to instill a reliable retrieve, for dogs who may refuse to do it if they don't feel like it.   I'm not having a problem with with the dog going out and getting a dead bird and bringing it back.   He loves it and hasn't said no thanks yet.  I just don't want it to look like it went through a wood chipper by the time it gets to me.  I've heard of some dogs getting the bird and then sit there and gnaw on it.  He doesn't do that either.   He just has a knack for chewing while in-transit.   


Jessi was a reliable retriever on birds. But she chomped them. I did the light FF to gain more control and try and mitigate the chomping when she was coming in with bird. It did help. 

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Ken, what brad told you is the best way IMO

 

FF is probably the best way I know of maybe the only way 

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You can also try just teaching “hold” and you can do it while watching tv 

 

just stick a dummy in his mouth and teach hold and every time he starts moving it around in his mouth tap the bottom jaw and command “hold” 

 

after you teach “hold” you want to instill a firm immediate fast recall 

 

then you command “hold” and “here” and nick him if he starts mouthing or lollygaging on his retrieve 

 

it’s pretty much just a segment of FF

 

Ill email you a lite version of FF that I was given to me if you want

 

PM me your email address in case I don’t still have it

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A little more info please, is the dog chomping it all the way back to you, is it just when they get close enough to deliver, chomping down when you go to take it?

How old?

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1 hour ago, 406dn said:

In their mind they are playing for keeps.

Precisely, they are a predator with prey in their mouth at that moment.  I don't blame them.  

As for stopping it, I'm of no help. Ive heard of some cruel but effective ways that I wouldn't do personally.  

 

I swear Ive seen my dogs eyes roll back in his head out of ecstasy that first chomp of a wounded bird... who am I to take that away?  

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Ive been told by a very reputable breeder that it is genetic and therefore they use that as a box to check when they use a dog to continue their lines.

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I force fetch all of my dogs. I don't do FF for retrieving. But good mouth manners is a nice side affect. FF for my intentions is about developing a more intimate relationship with the dog. There is a lot of hand on in process of removing resistance, prior to moving into using the dowel and increasing the levels of pressure. When done correctly it shows the dog how to correctly hold and takes anxiety, prey drive, stubbornness, or any of the many other reasons a dog chomps on a bird. Timid, or soft dogs also benefit from FF. The process emboldens them as they learn how to control their comfort by actions that remove pressure.

 

I am by no means a FF guru. I follow a mix/mash of a couple of programs that have similar stages/steps. I think that if the average guy new how much they could gain with FF. In the easiest. cheapest, and least amount of effort expended, more folks would do it. The only recommendation I would offer other then to do FF would be not to rush to get to the next step, the dog will tell you.

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7 hours ago, Jim Vander said:

A little more info please, is the dog chomping it all the way back to you, is it just when they get close enough to deliver, chomping down when you go to take it?

How old?

He chews on it when he first grabs it, sometimes I have to command fetch again and give him a nick to get him to come, and he chomps the whole way back and then it takes a little convincing to get him to understand the bird is mine.   
he’s two and a half.  And he’s only had a handful of retrieves.   So I’m trying to come up with a plan of attack before a real habit is established.  

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