Training Rewards.... - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 02:53 PM
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Kristi, you found what motivated your dog. That is the sign of a good handler.

Vala loves anything that she can bite, carry and tug. She is also quite food motivated almost too much since she was wicked on my fingers as a young dog. Donovan and Deja prefer a ball over any type of tug and they are both VERY VERY food motivated. Deja also about pops out of her skin for praise (actually Donovan too, but not like Deja). Different dogs, different types of rewards needed. People just need to figure out what motivates their dog and not try to always fit all dogs into one mold.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by szariksdad View Post
So what types of toys are you using beside the ball. When I work with my guy and a toy for say ob it is usually a tug so I get him to play with me and interact with me and not look at others. I have had to work rally hard with this part for my male since he is so naturally suspicious. During a trial you can not use a tug or food but a few vocal praises of good dog. If your boy is more motivated to work with you then you can use that in training by playing with him as a reward.
I've tried various types of tugs - from ropes, to rubber pulls to canvas chew toys. I did some experimentation last night during training, and it appears that a light hearted wrestling match between he and I does the trick. Praise is always appreciated by him, but I'm wanting to give him something more - my reasoning is to get his level of excitement up *way high* You'll read later in this post as to why.

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Something to remember is there are dogs that work tremendously well for praise and parise is a reward as are the pets and the kisses. Right now this may be what you have to use until he is better trained and is less distracted.
PERFECT! Thanks so much for this. I agree this seems to be working.

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When a dog is hungry it eats. Natural Selection has guaranteed that all animals have food drive. If your dog has temperament traits that stop him from being able to eat, he does not have the temperament for schutzhund.
With all due respect, I completely disagree with this statement. A lack of food drive is not inherent to having a lack of temperment for schutzhund. Phury is a bit of a unique case in that he's a breeder "confiscate" due to terrible handling and training by someone that wasn't the breeder or myself. I'll spare the details of his story simply because I don't believe in slamming people in a public setting.

Additionally, Phury has EPI. This is a dog that will go one full week with out eating a single piece of food because of the pain and discomfort that the EPI causes him - when untreated.....(trust me, I know on this because this is how I found his EPI; clearly he's getting all the enzymes that he needs and eating is no longer an issue; however, he still does not have the food drive that other dogs do.)

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I would focus less on WHAT reward he wants and focus more on YOU being the reward. Ideally the dog will feel happy and rewarded whether you have prime rib, dry kibble, a ball, or a stick as the reward.

Whatever you do, the reward should be doing/playing it with YOU.
Again, super advice! Wrestling seems to do the trick. Due to his previous training mishaps and issues - I really wanted to make this super fun and special for him....and I think that I've found it. Of course, on the field, we won't be able to do it - - but I'm sure that once he and I are done, we can have a great wrestle match once we get home
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 03:25 PM
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I am little confused are you saying that you only train at home and not with a club. For on training day I can do either a tug or wrestling match. However on trial day there can be no toys or play while trialing on the field after I finish I can head to the car and play with the dog there. As far as amping drive work at home with him on the flirt pole and even playing tug with the toy there and the slowly introduce distractions including take him outside.

Last edited by szariksdad; 08-03-2011 at 03:25 PM. Reason: clean up
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I am little confused are you saying that you only train at home and not with a club. For on training day I can do either a tug or wrestling match. However on trial day there can be no toys or play while trialing on the field after I finish I can head to the car and play with the dog there. As far as amping drive work at home with him on the flirt pole and even playing tug with the toy there and the slowly introduce distractions including take him outside.
Oh darn...sorry - I see how you got confused, my miscommunication.... :-)

Just to clairify...Yes, we are training with a club. But I also practice with him each night for about 30 or so minutes in various areas (lenght of time depends upon heat, time of day, and how well he and I are doing). Some times at home in the front or back yard, and other times in a park that is near my home.

Last night was when I discovered the wrestling match and how much he enjoyed it...we were located in the front yard when I figured that one out. In the past whether we are training with the club or practicing on our own I was using praise and nose kisses. He loves them, but he just wasn't getting as excited as I would have liked.

I'll definately try the flirt pole. While training on our own, would you recommend that I minimize all destraction and then slowly reintroduce? Currently there are numerous destractions both with club work and at home - everything from other dogs, to cars driving by....
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 11:24 PM
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You can minimize distractions as you are working to build his drive. some can not be avoided so you might have to put more effort into getting him to work with you. and ignore the distraction.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 11:27 PM
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With all due respect, I completely disagree with this statement. A lack of food drive is not inherent to having a lack of temperment for schutzhund. Phury is a bit of a unique case in that he's a breeder "confiscate" due to terrible handling and training by someone that wasn't the breeder or myself. I'll spare the details of his story simply because I don't believe in slamming people in a public setting.

Additionally, Phury has EPI. This is a dog that will go one full week with out eating a single piece of food because of the pain and discomfort that the EPI causes him - when untreated.....(trust me, I know on this because this is how I found his EPI; clearly he's getting all the enzymes that he needs and eating is no longer an issue; however, he still does not have the food drive that other dogs do.)
Did you really read what I wrote? I'm saying that all dogs have food drive. If they didn't they would be dead. So all living dogs eat. If the hungry dog is so nervous or distracted that he can't eat with a bit of a distraction going on, he also is going to be too nervous or distracted to do the sport.

But then you let go of the full story. The dog has had some screwed up stuff happen to him at an early age. THIS AFFECTS THE DOG'S TEMPERAMENT! So the dog might have a temperament issue. Then you let the other shoe drop and tell us that the dog has a health problem that directly affects the dog's ability to process food. It's like you went to the doctor complaining that your head hurts and after all the test have been run you tell the doctor that you got hit by a car.

Good luck with your training.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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You can minimize distractions as you are working to build his drive. some can not be avoided so you might have to put more effort into getting him to work with you. and ignore the distraction.
Got it. Thanks, I'll give this a shot and see how we do!!! Appreciate the advice.

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Did you really read what I wrote? I'm saying that all dogs have food drive. If they didn't they would be dead. So all living dogs eat. If the hungry dog is so nervous or distracted that he can't eat with a bit of a distraction going on, he also is going to be too nervous or distracted to do the sport.

But then you let go of the full story. The dog has had some screwed up stuff happen to him at an early age. THIS AFFECTS THE DOG'S TEMPERAMENT! So the dog might have a temperament issue. Then you let the other shoe drop and tell us that the dog has a health problem that directly affects the dog's ability to process food. It's like you went to the doctor complaining that your head hurts and after all the test have been run you tell the doctor that you got hit by a car.

Good luck with your training.
Indeed. I did, in fact, read what you wrote. As I said, my diagreement was not out of disrespect. I appreciate your commentary and vote of luck with our training.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:08 AM
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Lisa, thanks, but our old Schutzhund group would get on me, and tell me that it wasn't the proper toy for drive, I disagreed, now I have left that group and plan on starting with another in September! Also, I know using stuff like frisbees is not ideal for KNPV/PSA style, because of something I heard about decoys tossing stuff like that to try to distract the dog!

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:33 AM
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Also, I know using stuff like frisbees is not ideal for KNPV/PSA style, because of something I heard about decoys tossing stuff like that to try to distract the dog!
This is another topic, BUT, if the dog has the right drives/nerves for protection and isn't just looking at the decoy/helper as a big toy then they will still engage when a toy is thrown.

Friend of mine uses a Frisbee with her bitch. That motivates her far more than a ball. She just loves her soft Frisbee.

Lisa Clark

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SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) IPO2 TR3 KKL B/HOT, Jarka (up and coming) BHOT, and gone but not forgotten,
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 04:25 PM
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Nice to know that I am not the only one! LOL I generally use soft frisbees also, cause he will tug with them a little when he brings them back! I personally think, whether it's cheese or a stuffed rabbit, if it gets your dogs going, it's what I would use!

~Kristi in Virginia Beach
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~ Cullen Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Black/Red Male : 12/16/09

~ Panzer Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Sable Female : 11/29/10

~ Gizmo , Amstaff, Brindle/White Female : 5/5/2000
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