I cut tennis balls out for awhile when we first started training. We were working on grip and not chewing. The tennis ball had started a habit of chewing and wanting to hold everything in the front of his mouth (where the tennis ball comfortably goes). His grip is great now, nice and deep, and no chewing on the puppy sleeve. I could probably get the tennis balls back out, just haven't thought to.
I haven't done it for food. I haven't had any need to, but if the dog's food drive wasn't there I would consider skipping the morning meal the day of, or the night before and then just feed it on the track or during obedience.
Dogs in general are driven by the survival instincts, food, play/prey, sex, etc...it makes sense that the surefire way to up the drive for any of these things is to deprive them of it. No food=increased their want/drive for food (or to perform for it, ie hunting), locked in a crate, isolated=increased desire(drive) for play/pack interaction, don't let them breed a female in heat==well, you can imagine that picture lol. That's what makes all these things happen in nature.
Burt Bellon talks about this. He uses an eagle or hawk as an example. Bird wakes up, get hunger pains, the hunger pains up it's hunting drive, bird starts looking around and hunts---gets the reward of eating. If they didn't have the hunger pains, wouldn't have the drive to hunt, wouldn't eat, and would die.
It's all up to the handler, what they think their dog needs, and what type of dog it is (what it brings to the table genetically) and what it's history is.
Last edited by DaniFani; 05-25-2013 at 04:47 PM.
Reason: Grammar ;-)