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Eating the Retrieve

I own a lab that is about 2 1/2 years old . I have had him hunting since about 6 months of age. He flushes pretty well, but my problem is, after the bird is shot and on the ground my dog will find the bird and instead of retrieving he will try to eat the bird. Now when it comes to playing fetch with the ball or dummy he retrieves excellent. This is very frustrating, any advise or ideas would be appreciated.

Eating a bird is primitive behavior. It goes back to the wolf inside your dog. It is the hardest thing to correct. I do not know if your dog is force fetched or broke to an electric collar. I do know that if you have hunted this dog the last few years, your problem is now a habit. My advice is to find a reputable professional dog trainer in your area and have your dog evaluated.

Jan Burkholder
Stonewall Kennels

For more information on eating the retrieve and force fetching, try:
What is the "Forced Retrieve"? - BIll Corcoran
Game crunching after bird attack - Bill Corcoran
Occasional bird eating - Joe Riches

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