Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

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Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby DonnaP » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:02 pm

We just added a hunting/trained female to our little family on Dec 30 (2 weeks ago) - in terms of training she would be considered an INTERMEDIATE dog. She was trained at Wildwinds Kennel in ME, but Jim told the breeder she would never become a field champion so the breeder decided to sell her. We went to the breeder who has 2 puppies for sale (she is 10 months, and a 9 month old male) - she was by far better trained and just what my husband was looking for (although the young male and George really bonded and I really loved him) ANYWAY

Prior to coming to us she was basically a kennel dog/puppy - they were allowed in the house on occasion and occassionally allowed to sleep in the house (don't feel bad for her - the kennel was attached to the house) BUT the dogs didn't have any toys. She came to us and she is now in toy heaven (George loves his stuffed toys :P ). Her back teeth were a mess (from not being given any thing to chew like a bone, etc) - so I have started to give her a kong (not really stuffed but a couple of treats in it) that she loves to bounce and roll, and bully sticks and retriever rolls to keep her busy. During the day when I am at work she has a nylabone the play with in her kennel if she gets bored

I am wondering if there is a reason a "real" hunting dog isn't given chew toys - does it make them tend to clamp down on the bird? We throw a retrieving dummy - both a pheasant and the canvas bumpers) and she brings them immediately and is not clamping down on them that I notice.

We are looking forward to quail and pheasant hunting with her - our first day out hubby shot 4 quail which we had for New Years Eve dinner......
Proud mom of George (adopted thru ABR in April 2003) and Bentley (adopted thru New England English Springer Rescue in March 1999, RIP 7-23-2009 - my forever boyfriend and protector who started it all)
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby janet909 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:27 pm

We hunt with both our Britts and are now working with our newest one. While Moby occasionally gets interested in a toy, it's hit and miss. Wesley is another story. Chew toys, bones, sticks....you name it, he chews it.....to completion. It doesn't seem to affect his field mouth. Wes actually retrieves the pheasants to us and they are not chomped on. I don't think I would worry too much about it. I think Wesley NEEDS to chew things. He was tied up and bored as a puppy and the stimulation seems to keep him calm and happy !!!
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby DonnaP » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:49 am

Janet - that is EXACTLY what I was hoping to hear :P ........I was told I couldn't do the same playing games and give her toys like I do with George, who loves stuffed animals and chew toys - it was hard to not let her enjoy them while George was (consequently all the toys, etc went into storage and George was a mope :cry: ). So when hubby was away I gave them the kongs and chews and hide it all on weekends when he is home.

He is taking her hunting today at a hunting preserve - lets see how she does!
Proud mom of George (adopted thru ABR in April 2003) and Bentley (adopted thru New England English Springer Rescue in March 1999, RIP 7-23-2009 - my forever boyfriend and protector who started it all)
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby janet909 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:56 am

I'll be anxiously awaiting to hear how she does !!!! I know there are folks who think and treat hunting dogs differently than house dogs but we treat ours like our children :roll: :roll: :roll: They are spoiled, get TONS of toys and chewies and sleep in bed with us.....we're adjusting to THREE britts in bed these days. Thank goodness we have a king size. Anyway, they are just as tough and focused in the field than ever. They know "hunting" vs. other activities and shift gears accordingly.
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby DonnaP » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:17 am

I laughed at your bed statement - my brittany (and my springer before him) shared my/our bed - in fact we joked that pretty soon we would need a king size bed because the 2 guys took up so much room :lol: (actually they wanted to snuggle me). When Bentley passed it was very lonely with just George. We have had Tempest now for 2 weeks - my husband has it in his brain that Tempest can not come on the bed with us (or climb in my lap like George does on occasion) because she is a hunting dog. Of course, when he is back in MD during the week both dogs are happily cuddling with Mom - and I am happy they are there in bed with me!

I made the big mistake of allowing her to ride in the car on the backseat and not in her crate (HORRORS :roll: ) when I picked him up at the airport last night. Too bad so sad......he took the crate out of the car last weekend so what did he expect :wink:
Proud mom of George (adopted thru ABR in April 2003) and Bentley (adopted thru New England English Springer Rescue in March 1999, RIP 7-23-2009 - my forever boyfriend and protector who started it all)
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby MaggieRocks » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:16 pm

Our Maggie is the just about the best hunting dog we've seen. More often than not, DH can take her into a field in the afternoon (seeing a few hunters and dogs leaving empty handed) and Maggie will find a bird they all missed! DH REALLY loves it when she shows up a GSP!

Maggie has never slept a night outside in her entire life. She sleeps in bed with us (as does Emma) and she LOVES her chews! We give her either rawhide or a bully stick to chew on almost every evening. It's her routine, and she really looks forward to it each day.

I read an article a few months ago, either in Gun Dog Magazine, or The Pointer Journal (I forget which) that said most hunters say that dogs that are kept indoors with the family are actually BETTER hunters than those that are kenneled. I think the reason being that these dogs have more of a connection to their owners.

The only thing I've ever heard about toys/chews and a soft mouth is not to play tug of war games. That is one thing that we rarely do with Maggie, although once in awhile, I catch DH and Maggie in a good game of tug of war! :)
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Re: Will Giving a Trained Dog Chew Treats Ruin Her "Soft" Mouth?

Postby Jacksbuddy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:51 am

MaggieRocks wrote:

I read an article a few months ago, either in Gun Dog Magazine, or The Pointer Journal (I forget which) that said most hunters say that dogs that are kept indoors with the family are actually BETTER hunters than those that are kenneled. I think the reason being that these dogs have more of a connection to their owners.




I couldn't agree more, when I was young the dogs where kept outside in a kennel. My dogs get raw marrow bones as part as their regular diet, Jack still seems to enjoy retrieving winged birds and gently setting them at my feet so they can get up and run away. I think he gets a kick out of me yelling at him to go get the bird again.
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"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
- Edward Hoagland
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