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Old 06-12-2014, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Maintaining drive/motivation

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100% agree. Keeping a dog motivated for 5-7 minutes straight while heeling around without reward is much more difficult than most people can imagine. If it were mindless, I don't think it would take 2 years to train a dog for IPO obedience. Its all about the teamwork. When you're losing points based on absolute precision, there really is nothing "mindless" about it.

I was just asking someone about this a little while ago. How DO yu keep the dog motivated without rewRd?


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Old 06-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was just asking someone about this a little while ago. How DO yu keep the dog motivated without rewRd?


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You have to train for it Conditioning them to work towards the reward and building on the time it takes to be rewarded. All while trying to keep 100% focus on the handler without missing a step in anticipation of getting that reward at some point during that routine. Training the dog to always be on their toes, waiting for it.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You have to train for it Conditioning them to work towards the reward and building on the time it takes to be rewarded. All while trying to keep 100% focus on the handler without missing a step in anticipation of getting that reward at some point during that routine. Training the dog to always be on their toes, waiting for it.

I see, so they do get rewarded once off the field every time? Or that's random as well?



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Old 06-12-2014, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I see, so they do get rewarded once off the field every time? Or that's random as well?



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For me, its always random. I want my dogs to believe that they might get rewarded at any point so that they're attitude stays happy and enthusiastic, rather than bored and just going through the motions.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For me, its always random. I want my dogs to believe that they might get rewarded at any point so that they're attitude stays happy and enthusiastic, rather than bored and just going through the motions.

And that gets worked up from rewarding for every repetition?
So to simplify it, you reward for every sit, then every other sit, then every 10, then every training, every other training and so on?

Lol yeah I can see how this can take years)))))
Def a lot of work


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Old 06-12-2014, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was just asking someone about this a little while ago. How DO yu keep the dog motivated without rewRd?
I think that's one of those questions like "how do you breed a good dog?" that, uh, to put it mildly, does not have a short answer.

I've been working on that question pretty consistently for two years and all's I'm gonna say is: it's complicated. After two years I still know nothing.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think that's one of those questions like "how do you breed a good dog?" that, uh, to put it mildly, does not have a short answer.

I've been working on that question pretty consistently for two years and all's I'm gonna say is: it's complicated. After two years I still know nothing.
Absolutely. And depending on the dog, it can feel entirely impossible lol.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And that gets worked up from rewarding for every repetition?
So to simplify it, you reward for every sit, then every other sit, then every 10, then every training, every other training and so on?

Lol yeah I can see how this can take years)))))
Def a lot of work
Well, dogs should enjoy the work too. A lot of what I do with my dogs is self-rewarding, I never had to reward *every* repetition and then slowly back off or have to leave them guessing when a tangible reward is coming in order for them to perform. Most times I use a "reward" as a way to get the dog pumped up with me initially. For example I tug like crazy with my dog Indy as I'm walking into the building for her turn in flyball, in fact it's more like I'm dragging her into the building via the tug toy. Once we start training, she doesn't necessarily get that tug every time and she doesn't need to. Once I pump her up in drive, she wants to do the training, even if she's sometimes wrong and gets a correction. As we are working, I use the toy to release some of the drive that is capped, or in this scenario release some of the frustration that builds when tapping into a dog's prey drive. In a lot of ways it's more about capping the drive than the doing being perfect. I use marker words and verbal cues she understands to communicate whether the behavior was correct or not, and I use the toy reward to adjust the level of drive or provide an outlet for the pent up frustration. Same for agility or when I'm working on Schutzhund obedience. Agility tends to be extremely rewarding for my dog such that the toy is used more for targeting and controlling the physical position of the dog more than needed as a reward. For example if I'm working on the dog driving out of the weave poles at full speed with his head down, I use a toy and throw it out in front while he's exiting the weaves. Or I might use a target with food on it to help train contacts and lure the head down. My dog would run back and forth over an A-frame 100 times with no reward just because he thinks it's awesome but I'll use a reward to guide his body where I want it to go.

Every dog is different and some are easy or hard to motivate. My first GSD did not care about food or toys. She ate them or played with them, sure, but they didn't motivate her to work any harder or faster. She was primarily motivated by my own attitude which made training physically exhausting. If I ran fast and cheered and jumped up and down, so did she. If I was quiet and calmly handled her through the course from a distance, she was correct but there was no spark. Some dogs need a lot more cheerleading.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Absolutely. And depending on the dog, it can feel entirely impossible lol.
Oh, I know. I know.

But I still try anyway, because this is the dog I've got.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lies, I can believe that a dog will enjoy agility. At least some parts of it and you just need to guide them through it. But since I'm still not too far from a sit lol I will use that as an example)))))

Sitting is not fun for my dog. He will do it but most of the time makes it obvious that he's not enjoying it and I feel like an abuser making him))))) he looks that hesitant.

So yeah, then I watch the videos of people doing sport and see these dogs doing crazy stuff (heeling to me is crazy stuff) and wagging their tail and looking like they're loving it.

So something is not connecting in my mind.
I understand in theory how it works but then I go and try to work with my dog and I'm seeing very diff results. I know it's not him, it's me that sucks. I just don't know how to fix it


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