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Old 06-24-2014, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Yes! Engaging toy drive for OB

Hello Everyone,

Linus is growing up fast. Here he is a couple of weeks ago (12 weeks old).

I have mostly been training him with food and praise. And I have been focusing on engagement, having fun while training, and manners rather than make him do a long list of different tricks.

Linus can be pretty drivey and just loves his toys. I have been playing tug with him--gently as he is just a pup with baby teeth (he always tugs harder than I do and I always let him win the tug toy). I throw in some Sits while tugging and he responds well.

But he wasn't Outing the toy unless I gave him food. As you can imagine, this really kills the flow of a training session and reduces his drive.

Last night he made a huge leap forward. He finally got it that if he gives me the toy he gets it right back again. I was doing my usual thing of tug, tug, tug, Sit!, Out! with food then back to tug. Something clicked in his head. I could see it happening. I told him to sit, which he does, but he also immediately drops the toy (no Out command). Yay!!! Big party time. He got his tug toy back immediately and we had an extra special play session.

At the end all I had to do was stop moving--he was responding to that with a Sit, immediate Out and back to tugging. His drive was really high and he (and I) were having even more fun than usual. Afterwards, he crashed hard and slept for a hour.

I am just so happy he made this connection. I feel like I now have toys in my bag of training methods.

We start formal training this weekend at his breeder's place (Haus Juris). Maybe its just me but formal training feels like a test. But we are ready and looking forward to it. I have been training with distractions the last couple of weeks but having his old litter mates in the same class will surely be super distracting so I am a little nervous he will be showing his Wild Hoon side during class.
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Linus van Pelt Haus Juris. My Sweet Babboo, born March 17, 2014.

Madeline Ronan Heart (Maddie) Dec 1997 -- November 22, 2013 Rescue GSD, Sable
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