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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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hunting dog "soft mouth" training?

i've heard from several different people since getting my dog (german short-haired pointer) that i shouldn't give him any toys that he can gnaw on because he'll develop a "hard mouth" for retrievals and f*ck up the birds. he's keep indoors around furniture and he'll chew on just about anything without toys around so i've been letting him have pretty much any toy out there that keeps him entertained.

i've perused some dog training forums and hunting forums and the general consensus online seems to be that it doesn't matter if they get toys or not, as long as you don't train them to bite down hard on anything, tug of war with toys, not letting them play bite with people, etc. i've been careful to not let him play bite or gnaw on my hands or clothing but he does shake the shit out of his soft toys.

this past weekend he was kept up north with jordans brother whose dad has had several hunting dogs over the years and let me know that i "definitely need to start training him not to shake because what he's currently doing is already creating "too hard of a mouth""

i have a training dummy bird that has injectable scents with a hard wooden head on a rope to smack him if he shakes it. i tried a couple blind retrievals (indoors) after injecting the dummy bird and he just licked it like he does my hands then picked it up without taking a second bite and would carry it over to me. each time i checked the rubberized body for tooth indentations and there was nothing.

here's a video i shot of one of them. i'm still working on the basics with him and he normally does a better job staying, but i noticed he started getting pretty worked up being around the scented dummy bird.


any tips or advice on the matter?

edited to add: video is still being edited for stability so playback might be a bit slow
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 12:20 PM
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Looks like you are doing great with him! Beautiful dog and well mannered. I would say keep on with what your doing, You don't want to confuse him by changing anything.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 03:05 PM
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the key with your dog is knowing who to ask. it's like anything else. a lot of people think they know shit. not many actually do.

as a GSP owner, i'd say you're worrying way too much about what one random guy thinks.

how are you finding the time to work the dog out? that's a part-time job by itself!

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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the key with your dog is knowing who to ask. it's like anything else. a lot of people think they know shit. not many actually do.

as a GSP owner, i'd say you're worrying way too much about what one random guy thinks.

how are you finding the time to work the dog out? that's a part-time job by itself!
no idea how i'm finding the time, but i'm making it happen i have 10 hour days of classes plus 2 hour practices after that. i usually am able to run him at about 11pm and sometimes early morning if i can get up early enough then work on training with him during my study breaks. i need to get some videos up like jared did of his dogs since he inspired me
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 05:04 PM
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Good looking dog. Nice box head on him. The sooner you can get him around dogs (in a hunting scenario) that know what they are doing the better he will be.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lobsterhound View Post
Good looking dog. Nice box head on him. The sooner you can get him around dogs (in a hunting scenario) that know what they are doing the better he will be.
yeah i plan on it this next year when it gets warm out, i just need to find people with dogs that are local (in state).
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 05:57 PM
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The only dogs with genetically soft mouths are retrievers, and even then, depending on what they do they can still develop a strong jaw. Like rocalotopus and lobsterhound have said solo and pack training is the biggest asset. And of course consistency and not trying to make him learn too much too fast!
Best of luck he is a good looking boy!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rorytsm View Post
yeah i plan on it this next year when it gets warm out, i just need to find people with dogs that are local (in state).
I want to see the video of you talking to him like the Gay Australian I bet that confused the Fack out of him

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 12:29 AM
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Wow, beautiful pointer, looks like he is listening real well!

My mom has a German Short Hair, and has had her since I was still living there, she is an absolute sweetheart, best dog we've ever had!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 02:30 AM
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I teach my dogs using water balloons, it works a treat.
I've never had a problem with them swallowing the broken balloons either.
You'll go through alot of them, and it's funny to watch their reaction when they break.


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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 03:09 AM
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What color are the pads on the bottom of his paw? Pink or black?

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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What color are the pads on the bottom of his paw? Pink or black?

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black, why do you ask?
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 07:27 AM
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How old is the pup?! I think your next step is to get him trained on following the scent to the fake bird. I would leave him inside, inject the bird and put some scent on the outside. Drag it across the yard skipping every few feet so the dog is forced to use his nose to smell and follow the scent. You increase the distance of each time you touch the scented bird to the trail you create. The dog should start learning right away to nose down and locate the scent. That's really your next step.

I would also get the dog used to gun fire RIGHT away. It would be tragic to put in this time, effort and $$ into a dog who ends up being gun shy.

Where'd you get the scent and the fake bird? My dog isn't worth training to retrieve as he's way more into herding, which does me no good at all. :laugh But I would like to work with him more teaching him to use his nose more.

My only experience was with springer spaniels. And a true hunter keeps the dog outside in a kennel so it's nose doesn't get disoriented by the smells of being indoors, human food, etc. But then the dogs aren't really a loving pet at that point. You clearly have a great pet here and are off to such a strong start with training. He looks VERY obedient!!
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 07:34 AM
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Seriously..not one person suggested Jordan would be a better trainer for "soft mouth" yet?!?!

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefSmokeDawg View Post
How old is the pup?! I think your next step is to get him trained on following the scent to the fake bird. I would leave him inside, inject the bird and put some scent on the outside. Drag it across the yard skipping every few feet so the dog is forced to use his nose to smell and follow the scent. You increase the distance of each time you touch the scented bird to the trail you create. The dog should start learning right away to nose down and locate the scent. That's really your next step.

I would also get the dog used to gun fire RIGHT away. It would be tragic to put in this time, effort and $$ into a dog who ends up being gun shy.

Where'd you get the scent and the fake bird? My dog isn't worth training to retrieve as he's way more into herding, which does me no good at all. :laugh But I would like to work with him more teaching him to use his nose more.

My only experience was with springer spaniels. And a true hunter keeps the dog outside in a kennel so it's nose doesn't get disoriented by the smells of being indoors, human food, etc. But then the dogs aren't really a loving pet at that point. You clearly have a great pet here and are off to such a strong start with training. He looks VERY obedient!!
the fake bird is of the doken brand i believe, they make a variety of different birds with different scents and they all come with their own hypodermic needles. remington also makes scents that people say are decent, but a lot of people will just get wings/feathers from fresh birds and just use those. unfortunately my dog points at everything except fowl related scents so i'll have a lot of work ahead of me he retrieves them just fine though

he just turned 5 months old. i've been working on dragging scented things around outside and having him follow the trail since he was about 3 months old on and off, but i'll start making the skipped areas like you suggested since that sounds like a good idea.

Last edited by rorytsm; 11-06-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
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the fake bird is of the doken brand i believe, they make a variety of different birds with different scents and they all come with their own hypodermic needles. remington also makes scents that people say are decent, but a lot of people will just get wings/feathers from fresh birds and just use those. unfortunately my dog points at everything except fowl related scents so i'll have a lot of work ahead of me he retrieves them just fine though

he just turned 5 months old. i've been working on dragging scented things around outside and having him follow the trail since he was about 3 months old on and off, but i'll start making the skipped areas like you suggested since that sounds like a good idea.
Go for it! My dog points at anything that moves or makes a sound. He's a decent pointer, but the worst fetch dog ever. He's really not a game dog. I miss the two springers tho. I could watch em jump at the kennel fence all day. SO HIGH!!

Thanks for the info on the scent bro. I wanna train my dog for wild turkeys. I'll just let him catch em and all. I don't shoot anymore at all. Got way too into these bikes for two expensive hobbies! :laugh

My current dog is a Bull Terrier. He is an excellent herder, he jams his head in every hole he finds and sniffs em all out real good. But he needs a real job. :laugh
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 04:22 PM
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black, why do you ask?
When I acquire a hound that isn't bred out of my pack the first thing I look for is black paws. If they are not black I am not interested. They are stiffer then pink paws and make for a much better hunting dog. Dogs with pink paws have issues with bleeding and tearing very quickly. I immediately sell any pups with pink paws. Its pure chance whether or not they are born with them. I have yet to meet anyone real into hinting dogs that doesnt share the same opinion
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 04:30 PM
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I forgot to mention something Rory that you might want to look into. I send my 6 lead dogs to Montana every year when its not hunting season here. I have a friend out there who runs a guide service. He feed and cares for them in order to hunt with them and in turn it keeps them in shape and sharp for me. All I do is pay to fly them out and back.

Check out some bird dog sites. You might find someone willing to take your dog on for awhile. They will require you to pay feed cost since your wont be hunting yet but it will be well worth it. It takes a lot of work taking a pup into the field with other dogs that are already running.

p.s. > A real good hunting dog is very difficult to get to stay when you tell it too. The best hunting dogs I have ever had were very difficult to keep still. They didnt give a shit what I said they just wanted to hunt. They were energetic and ready to go which is what you want. So dont get to frustrated if he doesnt respond totally to your commands.
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lobsterhound View Post
When I acquire a hound that isn't bred out of my pack the first thing I look for is black paws. If they are not black I am not interested. They are stiffer then pink paws and make for a much better hunting dog. Dogs with pink paws have issues with bleeding and tearing very quickly. I immediately sell any pups with pink paws. Its pure chance whether or not they are born with them. I have yet to meet anyone real into hinting dogs that doesnt share the same opinion
i can't say i've heard that before about the stiffness, but i have noticed it on a couple dogs over the years

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I forgot to mention something Rory that you might want to look into. I send my 6 lead dogs to Montana every year when its not hunting season here. I have a friend out there who runs a guide service. He feed and cares for them in order to hunt with them and in turn it keeps them in shape and sharp for me. All I do is pay to fly them out and back.

Check out some bird dog sites. You might find someone willing to take your dog on for awhile. They will require you to pay feed cost since your wont be hunting yet but it will be well worth it. It takes a lot of work taking a pup into the field with other dogs that are already running.

p.s. > A real good hunting dog is very difficult to get to stay when you tell it too. The best hunting dogs I have ever had were very difficult to keep still. They didnt give a shit what I said they just wanted to hunt. They were energetic and ready to go which is what you want. So dont get to frustrated if he doesnt respond totally to your commands.

definitely something to look into. i was going to try and find some in state people possibly, so we'll see. gotta find the forums first
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 05:19 PM
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definitely something to look into. i was going to try and find some in state people possibly, so we'll see. gotta find the forums first
I only frequent hound hunting forums so I dont know about bird dog forums. If you cannot find one then look for guide services in your area that do bird hunts with dogs. You may be able to work something out with them where you can come along. They will probably let you do it for free if your just trying to train your dog and not hunt. Maybe you can offer to help out with loading gear or something fo rthe chance to go along
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