Chewing On Training Birds

I would quit using birds and wings (and canvas bumpers) in training for the time being, use something less rewarding like plastic bumpers.

I know the popular answer will be Force Fetch. I would be more likely to try and get a more business like recall to eliminate the opportunity to chew. If that doesn't work, do some research on teaching hold, this is usually done as a precursor to FF. Once you get a nice delivery with plastic bumpers, start phasing in frozen ducks, then thawed ducks, followed by frozen pheasants, and lastly thawed pheasants.
 
Yeah just don’t let him have it in his mouth for long. Retrieve and then get it back. Mine loves to eat the wings when training too. Hasn’t been a problem with an actual rooster
 
My year old Black Lab is Chewing on the birds and wings I throw to him to retrieve. Any suggestions?

A bumper covered in zip ties cut with sharp ends, with a gap right in the middle the width of his mouth. Couple times bringing that back and he will learn to not chew. Drive to retrieve has to be high though. Thats the old school way (actually it was wooden dowels with nails but....)

I use the word "hold" as a comand to stop chewing, but you can use "easy". You can start with just a normal bumper and the dog walking at heel, when he chews you grab the muzzle and make him clamp down on the bumper while saying "hold" or "easy". If it is collar conditioned, a vibration when you say that command until it holds firm again if it is being stubborn.. i would not nick him with stim with anything in the mouth but you should know if your dog can handle that. When it learns to not chew bumpers, move on to heeling with wings/birds. Usually the dog chews feathers because its just so darn fun to have a bird in mouth... Just needs some direction is all. We do it at heel so you can quickly reach the mouth and the dog understands what you want him to do.

Or you could fully force fetch, but it isnt required for upland labs and its a tad bit late now.
 
Not a whole lot, He moves it around in his mouth to get a better hold though.
Watch some videos on hold, and try to apply this to the dog at heal. Distance erodes control so start with him at heal and work up to short retrieves. IE put the bumper in his mouth and back up 3 - 4 steps and call him to you. keep adding distance as long as the hold is solid
 
One tip , if you have your dog in the house in non training situations. Try this ; start one or two minutes at a time say hold and hand the bird, while the dog sits next to you. Watch tv if you want. . Short duration at first handing the frozen bird or bumper. One night do 2-3 reps with frozen bird , next night bumpers. If he drops tell him hold , til you decide its time for drop in your hand. Gradually increase the length of hold . When done doing that , a couple of ya-ya throws 10 feet away, and make him come heel and drop the bird in your hand.Should keep his excitement high and no time for chewing!
 
One tip , if you have your dog in the house in non training situations. Try this ; start one or two minutes at a time say hold and hand the bird, while the dog sits next to you. Watch tv if you want. . Short duration at first handing the frozen bird or bumper. One night do 2-3 reps with frozen bird , next night bumpers. If he drops tell him hold , til you decide its time for drop in your hand. Gradually increase the length of hold . When done doing that , a couple of ya-ya throws 10 feet away, and make him come heel and drop the bird in your hand.Should keep his excitement high and no time for chewing!
I'll try that see if it works. One of the problems is finding birds where I live.
 
A bumper covered in zip ties cut with sharp ends, with a gap right in the middle the width of his mouth. Couple times bringing that back and he will learn to not chew. Drive to retrieve has to be high though. Thats the old school way (actually it was wooden dowels with nails but....)

I use the word "hold" as a comand to stop chewing, but you can use "easy". You can start with just a normal bumper and the dog walking at heel, when he chews you grab the muzzle and make him clamp down on the bumper while saying "hold" or "easy". If it is collar conditioned, a vibration when you say that command until it holds firm again if it is being stubborn.. i would not nick him with stim with anything in the mouth but you should know if your dog can handle that. When it learns to not chew bumpers, move on to heeling with wings/birds. Usually the dog chews feathers because its just so darn fun to have a bird in mouth... Just needs some direction is all. We do it at heel so you can quickly reach the mouth and the dog understands what you want him to do.

Or you could fully force fetch, but it isnt required for upland labs and its a tad bit late now.
Keoutdoors how is is too late to fb ?
 
Keoutdoors how is is too late to fb ?
FF you mean? Really want to do it at 7ish months, but it depends on the dogs mentality and where it is within training as well. Theres a fine point in the dogs mental development where it will take this training as part of still pleasing the master and have fun. When the dog is too old you will just break down the dog, get the dog pissed at you, and possibly ruin its drive to please. You are essentially being a giant a-hole to your dog throughout the processes, and adult dogs typically do not do well with it. This is full force fetch though, like I suggested he could do a modified hold training and be just fine at almost any life stage.

Upland dogs do not need to be force fetched IMO, unless you need it as part of obedience and to clean up some other various issues within retrieving. Recall, retrieving, hold, heel, go hunting. Force fetching is for waterfowl and trials, but it wont hurt an upland dog in any capacity if done correctly. My dog is FF trained, i did it at 7.5mo.
 
FF you mean? Really want to do it at 7ish months, but it depends on the dogs mentality and where it is within training as well. Theres a fine point in the dogs mental development where it will take this training as part of still pleasing the master and have fun. When the dog is too old you will just break down the dog, get the dog pissed at you, and possibly ruin its drive to please. You are essentially being a giant a-hole to your dog throughout the processes, and adult dogs typically do not do well with it. This is full force fetch though, like I suggested he could do a modified hold training and be just fine at almost any life stage.

Upland dogs do not need to be force fetched IMO, unless you need it as part of obedience and to clean up some other various issues within retrieving. Recall, retrieving, hold, heel, go hunting. Force fetching is for waterfowl and trials, but it wont hurt an upland dog in any capacity if done correctly. My dog is FF trained, i did it at 7.5mo.
I do not agree at all. Force Fetch when done fairly can be done at any age, old dogs love learning new tricks. The old methods of bottle caps or pliers shouldn't be done at any age, and I don't know any competent trainers that still employ these methods
 
I start teaching hold with my hand in the dogs mouth.
The trick is to teach the dog that as soon as he stops movement it triggers the release of the hand from the mouth.
I will typically do this about 15 training sessions (twice a day for a week).

Most new trainers are either too slow...say drop and release the instant movement stops, not fighting the dog for perfection.
Most new trainers do not repeat the teaching with enough training sessions such that the dog can not fail the concept.
And most new trainers are not calm and assertive, teaching hold, building on success. . .
what is more common is an excited (sometimes angry) trainer fighting the dog to try to hold which can be counter-productive.

Hold builds with tiny increments of success ...the first few sessions may be a split second, then next few session 3 seconds, etc.
slowly building up to minutes of a soft hold with no mouthing of the hand.
 
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