Rewarding Using Variation - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Rewarding Using Variation

This is something that I think will be a lot of fun, seeing that most German Shepherds like so many different types of toys.

One of the styles that I brought over from marine mammal training was incorporating a lot of variation when rewarding the animal. What is great about this is that it makes training more interesting for the animal because he never knows what he is going to get. And when you are training a dog like a GSD, it makes it even more fun because they often like so many different toys.

Joel Silverman

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 08:07 PM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

I always switch out on what treats I use for rewards, think that helps keep the interest going.

And then there's the big jackpot of the motivating toy!!!






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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 09:19 PM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

I too, switch out Ivy's rewards. One time it is a chicken treat for example and then the next time the rewrd is her cuz etc. Like MRL said it keeps them interested and eager to please they never know what reward they are going to recieve.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 08:48 AM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

Yup, sometimes it's a treat or piece of food, other times it's tugging with a toy. My favorite is when a good belly rub is reward enough

~Sarah~

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

Isn't that great? And the greatest part is to see their expression wondering what the reward will be.....a treat.. what type of treat?.... a toy.. what type of toy? I love that picture, by the way!!!

I was in Austria doing a TV series called Kommissar Rex in 1994-1996, and we had 4 GSD's we got from Germany.. great dogs. It was my only real experience training them extensively, and to this day, one of the smartest and most enjoyable breeds to train. It comes from their appreciation for so many types of treats, so many different types of toys, and of course, just that good ol' tactile reward.

Joel Silverman

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-26-2008, 07:34 PM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

Apollo and Zeus are quite different when it comes to rewards. Apollo has a good bit of drive for being a German Showline, for food and toys. He will accept almost anything as a reward, whether it's food, toys, or affection. His favorite reward would have to be a tie between food, (any kind, the boys loves everything!) and his squeaky toys! He loves to squeak them.

Zeus has drive as well, but since he's a bit hard headed, you have to have a treat or a toy, affection isn't good enough for him. He loves food as well, but not as much as Apollo. Zeus' favorite reward hands down though is his tug toy. After doing a command well, I will let him tug on it, praise him, and I will tell him to "Drop It" and we do another command.

Zeus "Zeusy" - GSD 2 year old DOB 3-19-08
Baby - Cat 5 years old
Rhett - Cat 4 years old

Max, Champ, and Apollo waiting at the bridge.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

How about being consistent and inconsistent when you bring your dogs out for a training session? Do you always do the same sequence and behaviors in the same order with your dogs, or do you change things up?

Joel Silverman

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

It depends, if I got them to successfully to do a behavior, then I change it up. If they got confused, then I do the behavior over and over and reward them when I break it down and they get the individual parts correct. Then I start to make it a little more difficult.

Zeus "Zeusy" - GSD 2 year old DOB 3-19-08
Baby - Cat 5 years old
Rhett - Cat 4 years old

Max, Champ, and Apollo waiting at the bridge.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

It depends on what I'm working on..

If I'm getting ready to trial my bitch then yes, I will pattern train.. That way there's no second guessing on the dogs part.. (or at least you hope so that day)

If I'm just out playing around, the exercises, commands will get mixed up.. So the dog really has to think and think quickly!!

Leesa~

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2, OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT)... Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH (HOT)
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rewarding Using Variation

This is such a great learning thing for me, you guys. As an animal trainer for movies and commercials, and even though I have my show on Animal Planet, I tell people that I am very open minded and always learning. I really like to hear all the things that you guys do. It is all so new and fresh. That is why I joint these forums..


Joel Silverman

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