Dog consuming game on returnDear sirs:
I have a 2 1/2 year old Drahthaar that is starting to develop a bad habit. I forced trained her about a year ago. Lately she has developed a taste for birds. She doesn't tend to eat the entire bird, just parts. Last year she was fine and just started developing this problem over the summer. I try to run her everyday. Sometimes I use live birds to keep her interest in working, not just playing. She does blinds, multiple marks, and searches. The birds come back without a head, or leg, or wing. She always brings it back and delivers to hand. What can be done about this chewing and eating? Should I get her back on the table? Help, please. Thanks.
Now don't take this wrong but you have not finished your force breaking. I would go back to the table. I would definitely make this table training session the most positive session I could to keep the dog's interest up. You see like you I also had a dog that killed birds, munched birds, down-right ran away to hold its own feast.
So what did I do?
I went back to the table. We went back through the fetching exercise until she got bored. When she did get bored I wold find one little bright spot to quit for the time being and I would reward the dog for her successes with a treat. A short time later I would go back and start again. What was I doing? The dog was made to hold a dead pheasant which had lost its head long ago. I wold make the dog sit or stand and hold this bird for up to 30 to 40 minutes. The dog would drop the bird. drool and not want to do this. IF the dog spit the bird I would put it back. This is tedious and boring but I needed to make the dog so comfortable to bring me the bird and knowing she would get rewarded with a treat she stopped munching. When she did well she got praised. When she did poor she got verbally scolded. I did not cuff or beat the dog but lowered my voice in a harsh manner. By talking to her nicely when she did well and rewarding her with a treat and talking to her harshly when she did wrong I got father ahead with this dog then I have ever gotten before. Okay so the dog is doing fine on the table - time to go to the field.
Shoot a gun and toss a dead bird to which is thrown just a short distance so you can watch her all the time. Never let this dog out of your sight at this point for a retrieve. You must catch her in the act of munching the bird then you can correct this immediately. Such as - Stick the bird in the dog's mouth and make her heel all the way back to the truck. Make her sit there while you have a drink of water. IF all goes well then reward the dog. If she spits the bird put it back until you can quit on a high note. Then reward the dog. Expand this to shooting a bird or two. But always watch for the dog to be slow for the retrieve. You must be aware of what the dog is doing the whole time. I she is bringing the bird back with out a wing or leg or head this takes time so don't let her do it. She must scoop the bird and bring it back to ASAP. Reward good work but scold poor.
I hope this helps,
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