Developing respect and partnership
Well, I just received a blow to my self esteem... Apparently kaiser loves me, but doesn't respect me.
I basically showed my trainer the difference in his motivation to work between the use of voice commands/ treat rewards (what she wants me to do) and the use of a stuffie/chuckit/frisbee.
In the first scenario, it takes some work and usually corrections to get him focused and into the ob work. With the second, after some teasing, he is rock solid with his ob and seems like he really enjoys the "game". I want that kind of enthusiasm regardless of the reward (even its just a verbal "good boy") but my trainer made no mention of how to get there. She wants to go back to the basics, keeping with food as the reward and using my voice and presence to exude confidence.
Well, i already use my business voiceand move with conviction, so to speak, so there is nothing that can be altered there. Also, even if I skip meals, food is only a reward to him if nothing else exists that is more interesting. Behind closed doors, so to speak, his ob is great. Same with when we are outside with no distractions. Any other time though he is hard to redirect.
She said that it will be hard to get him to a point where he can get is bh or compete in agility, or any dog sport. This, after she said a week ago that I was a good trainer (huge compliment from her) and that kaiser had promise to be a great obedience dog.
So now I'm confused and concerned.
I need help understanding what it is I can do to deepen the bond with kaiser. He doesnt get anything for free, I expect more of him than most people do at home and out and about, and I do my best to promote a polite, well behaved pup.
The only thing I do now that she advises against is having toys available for him at all times and not crating him when he isn't eating or training. Now, I'm not looking to create a highly competative sport dog...so its hard for me to take away things that he has had since he was 8weeks old. I now know i would have raised him differently had i planned on being THAT competitive... But I dont know if its fair to him to change so dramatically in that respect. I dont know. I just feel like there are great sport dogs out there who have a very deep respect for their person without being relegated to a crate without access to toys (unless given to them). Ill add that the toys I was using for rewards during training were never given at any other time.
Help! And thank you if you made it through all my rambling. =)