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onthefly

Hard Mouth

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Just curious about opinions. I have an 8 mo old lab with a very hard mouth with live birds only. He clamps down and wants to eat them. Wondering what y'all think causes this. I know a lot of commitment/consistency on force fetch will cure this.

He did chase clipped wing pigeons at 5-6 wks. Breeder put one out when I went to pick him. Probably not the best idea at that age...

Just curious if its something I caused or something that just happens genetically for whatever reason. Theories?

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My lab had a hard mouth but as you mentioned it was fixed with force fetching. The trainer at Dokkens told me this is often an issue with pups that have had squeak toys. They are trying to get the bird to make the noise the toys do. Another common reason is from playing "tug of war". The dog thinks its a game and can't tell the difference between birds and toys ropes etc. can't say this is why your dog does it but it is a theory.

After I had this discussion with the trainer I got rid of all the squeak toys and do not play tug of war. I also do not let my dog play fetch with those tennis ball throwers or anything. Retrieving for my dog is a job not a game. We have fun lots of other ways and she gets to satisfy her desire to retrieve during regular training sessions. She gets to satisfy her chewing desire on antlers and a daily dental raw hide.

I am not suggesting that everybody should handle it the way I do. It's just how I do it.

Good luck with the pup!

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That makes some sense. He did have a squeak toy for a few weeks when I first got him, then I pitched it. No tug o war, as far as I know. But who knows what happens when I'm not home! He's with a pro now because my work schedule isn't allowing me to stay consistent enough with FF to make progress. He's said he has only seen a handful of dogs with the problem to this level and he's been a pro for 15 years.

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