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I have a 2 1/2 yr. old BLF that developed a hardmouth during late summer 2004 after she caught some training birds. Due to the close proximity to the hunting seasons I just put up with some pierced birds and force fetched her last spring.
I purchased the Tri-tronics videos and followed them. She stopped squeezing objects and held them well: bumpers;frozen birds; freshly killed birds. When it comes to hunting situations she squeezes the hell out of birds and her teeth pierce the meat.
What do I do???
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How did you correct the problem during training? If it was a nick on the collar or whatever it was, I would do that.
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Under what circumstances is your dog crushing birds? You say when you are out hunting but is it on every bird? Crippled birds? Did you use birds when running marks with her or did you just use them when doing FF?
If it is on every bird that she retrieves then remind her as soon as she picks up the bird to hold. If she knows what hold means then MAYBE she will put the connection together that even in the field she needs to hold them properly. If you collar fetched her after you did the initial FF with an ear pinch, you can give her a fetch-nick-fetch the sencond you see her starting to crunch a bird. This will make her responsible for what her mouth is doing.
If it is on cripples than I think it is a natural thing for a dog to do, they don't want the bird to get away from them. In this case you might want to try and get her on as many live birds as possible in the yard, then when she picks them up be right there and tell her to hold, renforcing with a chunk under the chin if she starts to crunch the bird.
I am sure someone else will have a different idea but that is my suggestion.
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