| Gun dogs that retrieve
are a blessing and rank a genuine conservationist, making sportsmen
out of shooters by keeping them honest. Recovered game birds
must be counted in the bag limit. Lost birds not only are wasted
but few hunters include unrecovered game as part of their legal
However there are dogs clever and proficient at salvaging shot
game who inflict dam
| age on the birds they retrieve.
In combination with the shot charge, canine dentures can render
game unfit for the table. When a gun dog brings back a bird that's
been mangled so badly it's not worth cleaning and cooking that
dog is charged with being "hard mouthed".
This vise is shrugged off or ignored by some. But to others it
ranks right along with gun shyness as the worst fault a hunting
dog can have. In both cases, because of the difficulty effecting
a "cure" (and that uncertain chances of success using
any number of "medicines") the best advice that can
be given a hunter is to start over with another pup; or ship
| Mighty Molars off to a
pro and hope his corrective method clicked.
There are good hunting dogs worth a try at working out this problem
and there are hunters who have to, or would rather, do it themselves.
The "technique" I've used for years is elemental and
cheap. I guarantee it will not work with every dog. But, in my
experience, even forced-training to retrieve (the "guarantee"
against hard mouth) isn't 100%. So what I'm suggesting probably
will work as well as anything for the hunter/trainer who wants
to eat what is dog has fetched.
For the impatient in a "quick fix" would-be-trainers
I'll tip you off to the tool that will help you get the job done
right now. Then you can get started without being kept in suspense.
For those curious about the background some insights into a seat-of-you-pants,
old fashion way of preventing or curing a bad fault, some explanations
Get a scrub brush
Well over half-a-century ago when I started doing this, you could
find a scrub-brush (and a washboard) in almost any household.
Today you may have to shop around to find a hardware store that
carries them. And a generation or two of hunters may not even
know what one is.
A scrub brush is a hand tool once employed by stooping laundresses
and on their knees