Grouse season is just five weeks away. Sadie is 26 months old. She is progressing fine with her training, but I cannot change her "hard mouth" and bite. She is so agressive at things she wants to pick up, it appears a lost cause for now. She pretty much destroys any bird she picks up before I can do anything about it. Anyone have any suggestions?
Agree with Pixie Bee. Force Fetch (FF) starts with a trained hold. I had the same issue with Sadie on Dummies, and birds early on (she would munch, shake, and tear-into them during play-retrieves). I went through a full set of canvas dummies before I started FF - more as an effort to get her to retrieve the birds, and not leave them in the field. As a consequence of the Hold Training early in the process, I have not had to buy any further dummies - even my canvas ones have lasted almost a year now. I have read about frozen birds, nails in frozen birds, spiked harnesses on birds and dummies, but the Hold training worked for me as part of an overall FF process.
Be aware, though, FF can take months to complete, so you may not get as far as you want in the 5-weeks you have. It can be a rough process too. Sadie stopped retrieving dummies all together as we were within the training. Patience and persistence are key - once you start, expect to see it all the way through.