I have a yellow lab that has a hard mouth problem to the point of locking up and refusing to let go of things in his mouth, and I'm looking for d.i.y. options. This first surfaced last year when he retrieved a duck but then wouldn't let it go. He ended up eating the bird, almost on the spot, and puking it up later. Some of you may remember this dog as the "rescue" from last year with the bad indoor manners. (I suspect that this issues is why the original owner found a new home for this dog.)
I took the dog to Baron out at Wetland Retrievers last year, and he immediately realized that the dog has had this problem for some time, but felt he could train it out of him-with no small effort. Baron has worked with this dog on other issues, one of which being food possessiveness, and, while money spent at Wetland Retrievers is money well spent and I've always been impressed with Baron, with the economy such as it is, there simply is no budget whatsoever for further professional training.
We (my girlfriend and I) have successfully managed this food issue after a 2 week stay at Baron's in December, but the issue is still there. Last week, he broke into the kitchen and clamped down on a loaf of bread, and we couldn't get it away from him. He eventually won out and ate a good portion of the bread. I'm less concerned about his going for the bread than I am in the way in which he locked down on the bread. I foresee another episode of the duck issue from last year in the near future.
I've done some of the ear pinch/force fetch thing as described in 10 Minute Retriever, and my son and I work with him on field work every other day or so, but I suspect that that won't address this issue. What, if anything, can I do to help this dog?