Bird eating lab

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Bird eating lab

Postby Stanwood » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:42 pm

Our 8 month old Lab has recently killed a small turkey and has caught and eaten a robin.

1. How do we discourage this tendency to kill our domestic birds?
2. Will this habit transfer over to the field with ducks?
3. If so what steps do we take now to correct the problem?

Thanks for any advice.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:52 pm

Stanwood, You have a problem and you need to stop it. I don't have a good answer for it, but i know that some of the other guys will. But this will transfer over to the field. This is something that he is doing to please himself. Not to please you. And his goal should be to retrieve things and retrieve them to you.

I think from the sound of it your main problem comes down to obediance. If your dog goes off and chases a turkey or a robin, and you tell him "NO", or "HERE" and the dog isn't listening. Then you have to go back to the obediance. Lack of obediance is the problem for just about everything in a dogs life. And its not the dogs faults. It is the trainers fault for not showing the dog that he has boundaries in his life and that "YOU" expect him to live within those bounderies.


My grandad raises chickens and whenever one of his dogs would kill a chicken, he would beat the snot out of it and tie the chicken to the dogs colar for at least a day. I do not recommend doing the first part of this. Dogs don't learn a thing from an ass kicking. And i really don't know if the dead chicken on the colar thing works.
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Postby canadagoose » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:25 pm

I've come home a couple times to find dead things in the backyard with my lab. Once it was a song bird, the other time it was a headless squirrel. I'm planning on trying her in the field this year and hopefully she'll do okay. She's returns balls and a Dokken mallard trainer without problems.

How important is it for me to try her on actual dead birds before trying her out in the field? I've been figuring that if she won't return them this season, I'm not worse off than last season when I had to go get them myself anyway.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:35 am

I dont have a good answer......

But I know that one of my labs (that recently passed away), had the tendancey to want to jump fences and find "lil bunny rabbits" that my neihbor had.

I kept him on a chain unless I was right with him.... couldnt allow that to continue...

Best of luck. Keep us posted :thumbsup:

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Postby shrpshtr » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:20 am

stan,

it sounds like your dog has a lot of free time. is he left in the yard or get out for extended periods of time? i am not sure i agree with ACE about this being an obedience issue. if it is something the dog is doing when your out with him, ACE is right. if it's during his free time, i don't see how he would know any better. it's a natural thing for a dog to want to chase something down and catch it and/or eat it. remember, they have a lot of instincts and this was how they got food before they were ever domesticated. it's not necessarily a bad thing though. if you have ever worked a dog in the field for doves/ducks/geese you'll see this same instinctive behavior on a cripple.

now the big question is, will it translate to the field? yes it will. you have to be careful here not to allow the dog to get away with consuming, or trying to consume anything he retrieves unless YOU give it to him. (i know some people who will throw their retrievers a dove after a good days hunt.) the way to do this is keep a sharp eye on him at all times while retrieving. if you notice him start chewing as he is retrieving you have a problem. keep in mind though, there is a difference in chewing and adjusting his hold. inspection of the bird will quickly indicate what he is doing. this can be referred to as hard mouth to. you don't want to let him sink his teeth in the bird at all. one way to prevent this is attach a wing to a sharp large pinecone let him retrieve that. also, you can use chestnut balls (spiny shell) with scent on them. anything that will prick his tongue and the roof of his mouth if he bites down. never let him chew on anything he retrieves for you. if he likes chew toys, get him a seperate one and don't ever work him with it.

you may want to limit his free time if this is a huge concern.
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Postby duckbuster » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:04 am

i have one suggestion to fix it some ppl on here might not like it but it will work and if u dont over do it, it wont harm him. put ur shock collar on him and sit out side and monitor him when u see him starting to harras birds and stuff. give him a lil nick. u might have to do this for about 3-4 days. just dont over do the nick tho.
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Postby Greg Wile » Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:21 am

I had my lab try to eat a Teal that I shot and she had retreived , she had it almost swalloed when I caught her, I grabed her by the throught and choked the bird out of her and then scolded her and tied her up for the rest of the hunt letting the other dog with us do all the retreiveing. She has never tried it again but I make sure that she knows the birds she retreives are mine when she is through with the retreive.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:53 pm

I agree with shrp. When i mentioned o.b. i meant in your presence. When you mentioned chasing squirels, which is much like chasing birds, I never let my pup chase things when he was little. We have 3 cats, and he was never able to chase them. One reason that he was never able to chase squirels is because he can drag my 110 pound wife down the road after one. So by not chasing squirels, when he is with me. He has never chased squirels. He lays in the front yard every night and watches squirels run up and down the tree, and he doesn't know that i am looking. The only thing that i have had problems with is when he comes upon a jack rabbit when upland hunting. He always goes after it until he either listens to "NO" or then i hit him with a little nic from the E colar.
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Postby canadagoose » Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:12 pm

Yeah, rabbits seem to be a pretty tempting target. She let out after one of those one day when we were running, but I figured I'd let her blow off some steam since it's a trail with water on both sides and there really wasn't anywhere she could go to get into trouble. The rabbit lost her pretty quickly, I'm guessing by going down a hole.
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Postby Evil_McNasty » Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:02 am

If she is out of the yard, then get an invisible (electric) fence to keep her in. If she's chasing while staying in the yard (and you are gone) then what else does she have to entertain herself with? You need to fool her into thinking you are gone. Then sit and watch her from a window, pop her with a dog training collar when she does it. You could even set up a scenario to tempt her, and shock her if she starts to eat the bait.

If she does it when you are around it's definitely an obediance thing, and you could still use an electric training collar.
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thanks

Postby Stanwood » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:14 pm

Thanks for the info guys. I have been training him with wings and he is
doing well. He does not chew the wing or anything like it.

Stanwood :smile:
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Postby duckcrazy » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:44 pm

I have had 4 labs and none have chewed our eaten anything. If if i catch them trying . I start working on that problem right away.
Dont let them chase after any criters eather because that startes bad habites.
I had a dog get hit by a car because of that. :thumbsdown:

Shroshtr, is right about using pine cones for fetching. It keeps the dog from gettin a hard mouth.
If you try using a live pigon and the dog wants to kill it . You can make a little vest for the bird out of clouth and put thumb tacks in it to cure the problem.

When you use the vested bird make sure its alive. Pull the wing fathers off and toss it in the yard and let the dog get it.
Only do this if you have tryed it and the dog has killed the pigon.

Allways use a long check cord when you start working with live birds.
That way you make sure the dog brings the bird back to you. :thumbsup:
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Postby h2ofwlr » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:30 pm

Keep the dog under control. Meaning in a pen, tied to arope, or chained or whatever. A loose dog is not good at all under any circumstances if he wonders. Beside it may be the difference if it is hit by a car or other unpleasant event. Dogs need to be under control at all times especially if not trained well (stays put for an hour or more when you say stay-regardless of the camotion going on) IMO.

If unchecked, it'll transfer likely to hardmouth. If the dog gets hardmouth I have the perfect tool. Get a piece of solid tree branch about 1.5" diameter and saw down to 8 to 10" length. Drill 1/8" dia holes through it about every so often in all angles. Hammer through 3" spikes so they stick out 1.5" in all directions. Wrap a cord around it so it is easier to throw the dummy. Next wrap old rags around it between the spikes until about 1/4" to 1/2" of rags are above the nails tips. When a dog picks it up softly and retrieves it, there is no problem. But if he bites down hard-the spikes will stick him and he'll soon learn if he bites hard he gets an ouee, so then it'll just bite softly in the future.
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