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Hard mouth, who's had success fixing it?


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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 with dogs coming to classes or in for training.  HM is really a symptom of some imbalance in the dogs personality or psyche. 

FF is probable the most tried and true method of solving issues of chomping, chewing or crushing. 

 

Hal

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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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17 hours ago, bobman said:

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

Bob, he knows hold, but I haven't tried nicking him when he chews and I haven't made him hold for a long time.   You guys are probably right, force fetch may be the thing to do.    I'll PM you.  

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12 hours ago, MAArcher said:

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.  

This is a tough one. I have never had a real chomper, but have had a cpl who froze on birds on delivery. I don't disagree with those who have suggested force fetching its just  I dont have a lot of experience forcing an older dog thats sort of outside the puppy forcing window and the 2 I did the results were less than great as their mouth habits were pretty well ingrained. Likewise I have not done any mouth work with non retriever breeds other than improving my setters hold and delivery which was happily easy. SO with those provisos said  I did try and help a guy in our training group whose dog was tough on birds though maybe not as tough as what you describe. The approach we used was one I saw Stacie West apply at a training weekend at his place. Stacie used indirect pressure, where an unrelated command to fetch was used  and collar pressure was applied. He is used mix of sit and here with more here than sit on the return. Essentially what we did was when we saw dog mouthing  would command here "nick" here. Often  dog would drop the bird and thats fine we would just repeat the mark. If he is doing this at your side or when delivering a bird you can apply indirect pressure with sit "nick" sit. These nicks need to be significant but not brutal.  Over time it did seem to lessen the severity though I would not say it was cured. Obviously the dog needs to be collar conditioned for this to work.

I dont know if anyone in your area is putting on a Pat Burns clinic, but I have a lot of respect for him and I know he has had clinics with some NAVHDA clubs and they have been well received. A pro of his experience has seen all of it before and might have better ideas. Im sure there are bird dog trainers who are similar I just don't know them. Best of luck it wont be quick or easy but I bet you can improve things. 

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shoot-straight

I read that the german breeds along with their fur drive can have hard mouths when I was in my dog search. My pudlepointer is rough when he first picks up the bird. He chomps to makes sure its dead. Its instinct I beleieve and it will be hard to overcome. I will try however. 

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35 minutes ago, Jim Vander said:

This is a tough one. I have never had a real chomper, but have had a cpl who froze on birds on delivery. I don't disagree with those who have suggested force fetching its just  I dont have a lot of experience forcing an older dog thats sort of outside the puppy forcing window and the 2 I did the results were less than great as their mouth habits were pretty well ingrained. Likewise I have not done any mouth work with non retriever breeds other than improving my setters hold and delivery which was happily easy. SO with those provisos said  I did try and help a guy in our training group whose dog was tough on birds though maybe not as tough as what you describe. The approach we used was one I saw Stacie West apply at a training weekend at his place. Stacie used indirect pressure, where an unrelated command to fetch was used  and collar pressure was applied. He is used mix of sit and here with more here than sit on the return. Essentially what we did was when we saw dog mouthing  would command here "nick" here. Often  dog would drop the bird and thats fine we would just repeat the mark. If he is doing this at your side or when delivering a bird you can apply indirect pressure with sit "nick" sit. These nicks need to be significant but not brutal.  Over time it did seem to lessen the severity though I would not say it was cured. Obviously the dog needs to be collar conditioned for this to work.

I dont know if anyone in your area is putting on a Pat Burns clinic, but I have a lot of respect for him and I know he has had clinics with some NAVHDA clubs and they have been well received. A pro of his experience has seen all of it before and might have better ideas. Im sure there are bird dog trainers who are similar I just don't know them. Best of luck it wont be quick or easy but I bet you can improve things. 

MAARCHER, might want to reread Mr. Vander's post a few times.

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36 minutes ago, ryanr said:

MAARCHER, might want to reread Mr. Vander's post a few times.

Probably more than a few, these things are darn hard to explain. 

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Pinecones.  I have fixed HM in a couple of my dogs (Labs and Pointers), by throwing pine cones every afternoon until my arm wears out. Sometimes I have to change pinecones after the dog wears one down.  It works and can't harm the dog, I don't think...SelbyLowndes

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stephen brown
7 hours ago, Hal Standish said:

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 with dogs coming to classes or in for training.  HM is really a symptom of some imbalance in the dogs personality or psyche. 

FF is probable the most tried and true method of solving issues of chomping, chewing or crushing. 

 

Hal

Never had an issues with HM in my 4 ESS's. Have had 1 or 2 that could be described as butter mouth ( I think that's the expression).  And if HM or BM are hereditary i'll take BM please. I've heard/read that English trainers/breeders believe HM is hereditary . I'm somewhat inclined to believe American trainers/breeders believe HM is taught/trained and therefore can be untrained.

 

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15 minutes ago, Jim Vander said:

Probably more than a few, these things are darn hard to explain. 

 

What you're suggesting seems straight forward to me unless I'm missing something.  As the dog chomps, district him with a command/nick/command.   If he's chomping while coming back with the bird, use "here" (I use "come") and if he's chomping while at sitting at heel, use "sit".   Is that it?  Sounds like its worth a try.  

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munsterlander

I had one dog that would kill the bird and chomp a few times during the retreive.  She was a good non-FF retriever.  But she ruined the birds for the table.  So I had a pro trainer with decades of FF experience take her.  She was two years old.  He took her through FF training.  She never failed to retrieve the rest of her life, BUT the trainer was not able to cure the hard mouth (at least in the few months he had the dog).  She lived to be 16 and retrieved thousands of birds, all of them dead and crunched.  Very frustrating.  I am not saying it is un-fixable, just my experience.  She was great, and gentle dog in all other ways.  Super frustrating!

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10 minutes ago, SelbyLowndes said:

Pinecones.  I have fixed HM in a couple of my dogs (Labs and Pointers), by throwing pine cones every afternoon until my arm wears out. Sometimes I have to change pinecones after the dog wears one down.  It works and can't harm the dog, I don't think...SelbyLowndes

Seriously?   Did you do this intermittently with bird retrieves?

 

I'm thinking of getting two hair brushes like this:

brush.thumb.jpg.85bb3d5174a706ddbff3a191cf425312.jpg

 

I'd cut off the blue nubs on the bristles to leave a sharper point and cut off the handles.  Then I'd zip tie them together, with a bird wing between them, to make a training bumper.  If the dog bites down to hard he should get jabbed by the bristles.    I've read on line some guys try a variation of this but haven't heard how successful they've been.

 

I'm surprised they don't make a plastic spiked vest you put on training birds.

 

Its a bummer, because I don't mind a dog dispatching live birds.  My last dog would give one chomp to euthanize if necessary then that was it.  

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, MAArcher said:

Seriously?   Did you do this intermittently with bird retrieves?

 

Yes, seriously.  I was never smart enough to bring pinecones on a dove shoot.  The back yard work fixed the problem though.

 

Why on earth would anyone spend money on hairbrushes when you gotta pick up the pinecones anyhow?...SelbyLowndes

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33 minutes ago, MAArcher said:

 

What you're suggesting seems straight forward to me unless I'm missing something.  As the dog chomps, district him with a command/nick/command.   If he's chomping while coming back with the bird, use "here" (I use "come") and if he's chomping while at sitting at heel, use "sit".   Is that it?  Sounds like its worth a try.  

Essentially yes though I think its less distraction that redirecting his attention with a known command reinforced with pressure.  Likely  a distinction without a difference. 

Ive tried barbed wire wrapped dummies and stuff like that. Did not really work for sure they would not chomp the barb wire, but our dogs are smart,  they know the difference between a nice fluffy bird and a stick with barbed wire. 

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molliesmaster

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 command to the dog like "HERE/COME" when the dog is chomping on the return.  But what if we go back a few steps and teach the dog a proper hold on a table.   Let's start first with a hold and a tap of the bottom jaw when the dog begins to chomp or roll a bumper/dowel/bird.  Then we phase in the ecollar stim and phase out the bottom jaw tap.  Once that is proficient on a table, let's put the dog on the ground and walk him at heel while holding the bumper/dowel/bird.  Ecollar would be applied and the hold command given when he starts to roll or chomp the bumper/dowel/bird.    Progress to very simple marks in the back yard, reinforcing the command and I think you might have it whipped.  

 

Teach the dog, then correct the dog. This way you have a baseline that the dog understands what you are asking.  

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1 hour ago, Jim Vander said:

Essentially yes though I think its less distraction that redirecting his attention with a known command reinforced with pressure.  Likely  a distinction without a difference. 

Ive tried barbed wire wrapped dummies and stuff like that. Did not really work for sure they would not chomp the barb wire, but our dogs are smart,  they know the difference between a nice fluffy bird and a stick with barbed wire. 

Yup, I do it with my hard mouthed, reluctant deliverer. And I think you're reinforcing in the dog to "quit effin' around and get your butt back here with the bird NOW." But it also begins on the table teaching a proper hold as Molliesmaster says. Gotta have a few tools.

 

And MAARCHER they actually do make those vests.

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