Flirt pole vs handheld tug - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Flirt pole vs handheld tug

So Teddy basically grew up with his flirt pole and has TONS of drive for it. When we need a super high value reward, that's the toy I use. The handheld tug with a string attached teddy likes at home. He'll work for it at home just fine but with not nearly as much drive as with the flirt pole. The biggest problem we have is he has no interest in it in public while with the flirt pole he could care less about his surroundings. That would work fine if it wasn't so big. It's hard to run agility with plus it's hard to bring to classes and trials. Anyway we can transfer the drive for the flirt pole to the handheld tug? You Schutzhund people always amaze me with how much drive you can get out of a dog for something as simple as a tug so I figured you can help me out
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 05:28 PM
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I think you will find that this situation is why some caution against spending too much time on the flirt pole (basically get what you need then put the tool away)... you bypass drive development and they become obsessed with the flirt pole toy itself and/or the chase.

when you say "grew up with", how long has that been and what's the frequency and style of your sessions? what's on the end of your flirt pole?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 06:43 PM
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Don't know if it will be of any benefit but some people in here...after interrogating them, convinced me that one needs to fade the dog off the reward but still demand the same results...could be through changing the frequency of the reward...or elevating the dog's training to other rewards, which one could have on them all the time....like praise as an example or the key words your dog knows....not available currently for the dog to indulge in but could be...really soon...as in just around the corner.

Then someone mentioned building and utilizing the dog's anticipation and milking that for performance and expectations. That's the stage I am at, still learning but I will say....using a dog's anticipation is a strong tool.....just gotta find a way to incorporate it into your program...easier said than done and now I have brought you right back to where your question began.....


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 06:53 PM
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Then someone mentioned building and utilizing the dog's anticipation and milking that for performance and expectations. That's the stage I am at, still learning but I will say....using a dog's anticipation is a strong tool.....just gotta find a way to incorporate it into your program...easier said than done and now I have brought you right back to where your question began.....


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If you have a link to a thread on this it might help the OP (and me!).

OP, my boy was not into tugging with me, but would go crazy for the pole. Instead of the usual item on the end of the pole, I tied one of my tug toys that I wanted to use during tug. I would let him chase that and eventually took the pole away and he would tug with the tug in my hand. BUT, he was very picky about the tugs and not vigorous. I think with age that has changed tremendously. I would say just in the last 6 months, he has exploded into a tug monster. Very vigorous, head shaking, pulling, full mouth bites. And he isn't picky about which toy he gets. I have flat leather, thin round leather, thick round leather, bite suite material on a bite wedge. He doesn't discriminate anymore. Red line makes a 4" tug that I can stick in my pocket and go on our walks. He likes it enough, but not as much as I would like. In high distractions, he puts teeth to it and spits it out. Working on getting him to be more into it.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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First of all thank you for the quick reply. Yes, I probably should spend more time with the tug instead of the flirt pole. Both are hidden throughout the day until we use them. I train agility with the toys about 4 times a week and then we spend time with just the toy and no training. Most of those sessions are with the flirt pole because we get more drive from it. And what i mean by "grew up with it" was we got him at 6 months old from a breeder. They gave him to us because we had some problems and has begun Schutzhund training. Teddy has a lot of drive but has some insecurity issues that are pretty much solved. They literally gave him to us along with the flirt pole so i'm guessing that was what they used to introduce schutzhund with. And what's at the end of the tug is the same thing at the end of the flirt pole.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 07:28 PM
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Its not really that a flirt pole has anything to do with Schutzhund. Will Teddy tug and out on command from a tug? Will he rebite on the tug?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 07:37 PM
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Flirtpole creates distance and the pup/dog is not as intimidated by the handler when there is that distance. Tug is much more close up, and the dog may feel pressured because of the lack of distance. Some dogs power up with the fight, others may feel inhibited and not want to tug.
Flirt poles are all about prey, where tugging is more about the fight/winning.
I also believe grips are better when you can work with tugging up closer than with a flirtpole, countering is done, but it isn't always those deep crushing bites as a tug may incur.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 08:09 PM
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At some point you are doing something different with the tug vs with the flirt pole. It could be as onyx suggests where it is an issue of body pressure. It could be you are trying to change the type of game you're playing between the flirt pole and the tug and the dog just doesn't enjoy it as much. If it is a body pressure issue it is pretty easy to diagnose. If you are playing with the flirt pole and then you hop the lure of the flirt pole into your hand or even just grab the string near the lure and watch how your dog reacts you will notice the dog either just not care or the dog may get soft mouthed or back off entirely. If he doesn't care it probably isn't a personal space/conflict issue. If you notice the dog get weird then obviously that is your issue.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 08:19 PM
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onynx'girl's post made me kind of laugh as it finally gave me some sense to my ridiculous ways at times ....at least that's what I'm telling myself. Proximity of the handler and dog during engagement was my takeaway....and how the dog might react in agreement with the handler's desire....good or bad. I ...enjoying to fish....figured I could hone my fish-fighting skills with a juvenile GSD on the end of my line. So, I'd rig up a rod and reel with one of pup's toys and give it a launch and start the fun. As long as the pup didn't get wrapped in the fishing line...we sure enjoyed it...and she started at a long distance and followed through right until I was ready to gaff her....but I didn't...I practiced catch and release.

Oh, if TGerman reads this....you might give this a whirl when your shep comes up and tugs on your shirt and tells you to get busy. You can still stay in the fighting chair while your pooch gets to have some fun.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by eddie1976E View Post
If you have a link to a thread on this it might help the OP (and me!).
FWIW.... I sought these particular individuals out and PMed them......I guess once you figure out who makes sense and has the credentials to back it up....you lobby them one on one and trust in your intuition mostly. There are some savvy GSD/dog people in here and if they are willing to share....well....I'm willing to learn.


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