Using thawed birds ,mouthing the bird.
Yesterday I started getting the doodle to retreive thawed birds. Yikes, the excitment level ramped. He took "force fetch" really well after altering some of the method, he's such a softy. He did not need a lot of pressure to firmly, quietly hold a dowel, bumper, or frozen birds. He did not roll them. After force fetch, on the rare occasion he dropped, like coming out of the water one quick "fetch", maybe with a quick vibrate or low stim. on the collar he picked them up, and held until I say drop.
Yesterday, I had him fetch the thawed pigeon from my hand, walk with it, if he gnashed it I told him to hold, he stops and holds it but then goes back to mouthing it. I'm sure the feathers feel differently than when its frozen. I also have some larger chuckars to use too. He does not like to give the thawed birds up as easily so we worked on "drop" too.
This is the opposite issue I have with my 8 yr old Lab who'll hold a bird firmly and quiet but will roll bumpers which I ignore at this point.
So far with the doodle, I'm just doing, fetch, hold walk around, sit and drop on a long line until he starts holding the bird better. I've never done this with a full size dog. I always trained puppies to fetch pigeons because they were too small to fetch big ducks. What do you think? Maybe use the larger birds first?