Familiar toy for detection work?
Would it be better to use a familiar toy that Lisl already is crazy about for detection work, or introduce a new toy to use and keep her real play toys separate?
A Kong would be ideal to use because of it being hollow, but I do not know if using one of these for working and playing will be detrimental to her leaning to detect.
I already use it for other training tasks but they do not involve detection work.
My K9 had one specific toy for her reward on a find. She was rewarded with it, and we played together for no longer than 1 minute, then it got put away.
For a Detection dog, the toy has to be the ultimate goal - I did a good job and got my toy - if I want to see it again I have to work for it.
I think what you use depends on if the dog needs or even cares about a special toy. With enough drive it really doesn't matter. I use whatever is convenient but the dog only gets to really REALLY really tug when he makes a find. I mean tug with me, tug with anyone within range, etc.
I vary it up for the rewards. Some are short. Some are up to 3-5 minutes.
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