Training Rewards.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Training Rewards....

Both my male and female are working dogs. I've been having a very hard time finding some kind of training reward for the male. Luckily my female is food driven so she's easy.

I've tried all different types of treats for the male, to no avail. He loves treats at home, but he won't take them out in public. He gets too excited.

I've tried a few different types of toys as well that he will play with for about 5 seconds and leave. At home he's incredibly ball driven, but he won't play with the balls that are attached to rope.

Praise, pets, and nose kisses work - but I can't kiss his nose during a trial (or can I?).

Anyone have any other suggestions that I might try for a reward?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:43 AM
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Shasta is the same way...when she gets excited, it's like she doesn't even notice I'm waving a treat right under her nose. I was thinking that I'm going to try cooked, cubed chicken mixed with bacon in the treat pouch to see if that works.

Shasta - GSD (4/30/10)
Thor - GSD (3/12/12)
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:57 AM
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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.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 11:05 AM
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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.

Also as szarksdad says playing WITH you with a toy and interacting WITH you can be what he needs.

On trial day all you have is praise and a smile.

Lisa Clark

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 11:09 AM
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I have also discovered when I take my dog to a strange place with much activity that her focus will dwindle.
Will start a distance from all the distraction and I watch the dogs behavior to figure out where that distance is and work focus. Then slowly decrease the distance from the distractions
I just sit down or stand and relax so she gets comfortable and the excitement goes down a bit and wait it out. When I start to get the behavior I am looking for I click and reward, everytime I get the behavior I click and reward she then realizes better pay off with her focus on me. Then I slowly increase the duration of the behavior I want, when it occurs click and reward, then I leave on a good note.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 11:12 AM
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I also have had this issue. I went to totally hand feeding my dog his meals. He became a lot more motivated for food, treats. I am just now going back to feeding him his regular meals after about 2 months of hand feeding. He is starting to slack off again on the treats during distraction work, but we are moving toward using a tug as a reward instead of food. Hand feeding regular meals made a world of difference for my dog.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 12:23 AM
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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.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 09:04 AM
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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. You say "he gets excited"....why not try to channel that excitement into having fun with you rather than squashing it? And like Lisa said maybe it's just praise. I have a working line female w/ a nice pedigree and her best reward is playing this silly game where we dance around and I let her jump up and bounce of my chest (luckily she only weighs 50lbs). No joke this is WAY more rewarding to her than treats or toys. She actually loads up in drive waiting for the chance to play our dumb game! It looks silly but the nice thing is that her work is not based on any gimmicks like luring heeling with food or toys.

Whatever you do, the reward should be doing/playing it with YOU.

Last edited by Liesje; 08-03-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 09:19 AM
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if the praise and petting works don't
worry about the treats.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 10:32 AM
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I have tried LOTS of things. Cullen will always work for food/treats, no matter if he has just had a meal or not. We actually used stew meat one time at training when he was younger, in a cooler/ziploc in the car, i would stick the ziplock in my hip pocket and go about training, and he loved it! He loves to play ball and tug at home, but not when training. I got yelled at a lot, but he LOVED the Frisbee, and I could keep a soft frisbee under my shirt and have his complete attention, and at the end of each round of training, whip it out and throw it... works wonders!

~Kristi in Virginia Beach
Mommy to my 8 year old son... and

~ 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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