engagement and retrieving - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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engagement and retrieving

I've discovered that Kaiser goes bonkers for a frisbee. He will chase balls too, but for whatever reason the frisbee trumps all. At any rate, at the local dog park I can usually find two of either of these toys. I've tried throwing one and then while he makes his way back in my general direction I will throw the second (he will drop what he has to chase the "new" toy).

Now, my trainer has noted that I should NEVER remove a toy from Kaiser's mouth, but instead replace it with something else (preferably a duplicate of whatever he has). In other words, I should tease him with a second toy to get him to drop the first, then reward him with the second toy. She said this is the foundation for teaching "OUT" which we will use in schutzhund. I do this during training but during our play sessions I admit I've gotten a little lazy and started doing the routine I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I pretty much use the play/retrieve sessions to get some of his excess energy out, as opposed to doing any formal training.

I know...EVERY opportunity is a training opportunity. Well, unfortunately, now I have a puppy who will not bring me what he has retrieved. Instead, he will generally go take it to Dakota to try to get her to play with him, or he will run off in some other direction to lay down and chew it.

I've considered working with treats (even though they aren't allowed in the dog park, there are never any other dogs there when I go) and having him return to a sit in front of me and then offer a treat for the toy. Do you have any other suggestions?

Also, Kaiser is much more fixated on the toy (especially the frisbee) as opposed to me. I want to figure out how to re-engage him with ME and show him that I am the most exciting thing there is. Right now, that frisbee (or the ball) is the only thing he will focus on. I will sometimes hide it behind my back, waiting for him to give me eye contact...but that is slow going. Ideas?

Kaiser ~ Jan 25, 2012 (GSD)
Dakota ~ Oct 2005 (GSD/Collie)
Mya ~ Dec 2013 (GSD)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:28 AM
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Formal out is not important at this age but what is important is that he desire to come back and engage *with you*, not just possess the toy and run off. I had this problem with Nikon and thought I'd never get him past it, but now I have a dog that will run at me and SLAM his paws up into my chest literally shoving the end of his toy in my face or hands because he wants to play with me and not just run off. It was frustrating for a while but I kept him on a long line and would just reel him back in and then try to engage him with the second toy. I did not use the two-toy method to teach him to out/drop and he's never ever had an outing problem in Schutzhund.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:33 AM
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I used a similar method as Lies, although my dog will never want to slam back into me because he's got a few issues, lol. Aiden definitely does not have the strongest desire to engage with me, but he never runs away from me either. He has confidence issues in general, so I would throw the tug/ball/whatever and run with him to get it, then run backwards SUPER excited to get him to come with me. Depending on how comfortable he is feeling, I will engage is some more tug with him, or just sit there and pet him. It allows him to feel comfortable and keep the reward for coming back to me. The more often that I did that, the more comfortable he gets with the game and I can engage in play more often.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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I've tried the running toward and then away, acting all silly and excited about the toy I had. It works on occasion, but Kaiser has decided that its easier to just go elsewhere as opposed to having to give up his toy to me, even if i have a second one to throw at a moment's notice. I don't have a long line, but I will look into one (seeing as how Ill need one for tracking anyway)

Kaiser ~ Jan 25, 2012 (GSD)
Dakota ~ Oct 2005 (GSD/Collie)
Mya ~ Dec 2013 (GSD)
JOIN MYA AS A SDiT...We would love your support!...at:
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