Walking away from food for TDI test - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Walking away from food for TDI test

We are in GCG class and are set to take the CGC and TDI test on December 4th. There are 2 areas where Mandalay needs to improve:

She needs to learn that not all dogs are to play. If we are on a walk and we pass another dog, she is fine. Will look, maybe wag her tail, but does not whine, pull or try to get to the dog. But if we stop next to another dog, she makes it known by whining and stomping her feet that she REALLY wants to play. This I can work on in class and I am confident we can get past this without a problem.

The leaving of food as we walk by thing, though (required for TDI, not CGC). This is another story. She will "leave it" to food. I make her wait for her breakfast, dinner, all food that is not given to her directly from our hand actually. We put it down and she has to wait and she does. She will stare at us with big eyes just waiting. But she has a problem leaving the food behind. Since she will leave the food that she knows she is going to get, I did not think she'd have too big of a problem leaving all food. Wrong. Walking away from food is hard for her I am finding out. I took some steak on our walk, tossed it on the ground, told her to leave it, then tried to walk away. She pulled and tried to get it and was verbally upset.

Ideas on how to teach her that it is ok to walk away from food? The only thing I can come up with is to coax her away with other food or to maybe start to put her food down as well as "better" food on a paper plate and only allowing her to have one or the other (my choice) at mealtime.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 08:48 AM
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Re: Walking away from food for TDI test

I would think you would build like you would with any distraction. Start lower value and build...but what you have should always be the best.

A couple ideas...

If you put a piece of steak down, you should have another piece on you. I would stand there and wait her out. The minute she turns her head, click and reward with the steak you have. And then build it until she is walking away voluntarily to you to get the better or just as good reward.

We've recently started a game called marking, where I'll throw out a piece of food, ask my dog to look at it and mark where it is, and when he sits calmly, I release him, but I throw another piece of food across his nose for him to get instead of the one on the ground. This teaches him to not get all amped for the visible reward and be patient because I will provide the reward. Maybe you could modify this for your purposes?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 10:53 AM
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Re: Walking away from food for TDI test

The good news is that the TDI tester will very likely not be using anything as remotely appetizing as a yummy steak during the test. The first time I tested, with Abby, they used Milkbones, and the second time I tested, with Ronja, they used hot dogs. Both were foods easy to walk away from, as they don't rate anywhere high on my girls' yummy scales.

What has always worked for us has been to keep the dog focused on ME rather than letting them look or stare at the food. You are allowed to talk throughout the test, and using your happy voice to keep your dog's focus is usually a great way to go - during visits, too, if there's a super distracting situation (like another dog running at you, the facility's cat, someone's lunch, etc.).

Using a reward that is > than anything that's on the ground will get her to look at you even more, too. I used a Kong with Ronja when we practiced, because Kong > food for her, and I would reward her with it throughout practice, such as after passing food on the ground. I used treats with Abby - she's partial to very fishy smelling things.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 10:55 AM
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Re: Walking away from food for TDI test

What about a firm correction along with the "leave it" command if she doesn't obey the leave it ? And then lots of praise and/or a different food reward?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: Walking away from food for TDI test

Quote:
Originally Posted By: JKlatsky


If you put a piece of steak down, you should have another piece on you. I would stand there and wait her out. The minute she turns her head, click and reward with the steak you have. And then build it until she is walking away voluntarily to you to get the better or just as good reward.
This works. With or without the clicker. And use it with the Leave It command. You won't have to do alot of correction, if any, since they'll get the idea really quickly.

It's very similar advice to what Lauri gave me when I asked. I would change it so the treat in your hand is of higher value than what is on the floor. If it's a hot dog on the floor, have chicken in your hand. If it's a milk bone on the floor, have a hot dog in your hand.

And...I never allow Jax to pick up something on the ground. If anyone wants to give her a treat she first has to do something for it and then it has to come from their hand so she knows treats always come from the hand.




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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 11:33 AM
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Re: Walking away from food for TDI test

Emily check out the video I posted on the teaching your dog not to take things out of your hands thread. The advanced steps later in the video are exactly what you need.

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