Object or Handler Driven? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Object or Handler Driven?

What do you prefer? A dog that is motivated by the object(toy, etc) or a dog that only finds the object interesting when you are playing with it?

To clarify a little, some dogs will play with toys endlessly by themselves and others are only excited if it is a game with you.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:29 PM
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I like a balance...I do keep higher value toys from the dog so when I train they are more exciting. I don't want a dog so obsessed with a toy that it is the sole focus when trying to train.

Yet a tug game is only good if there are two players...and most dogs that are easier to work/train, love to tug. So it isn't as much about the object, but about the interaction.
I'd rather have the dog want to tug with whatever, than possess a toy for its own entertainment.
Fetch isn't really part of the reward when I train, I try to interact with the dog when rewarding.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:37 PM
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Engagement with a clear understanding of the reward system.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 07:00 PM
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I like tug as well. One of my dogs was Kong addicted so I got a Kong on a leather strap we could use as a tug. At the end of a training session, I'd release the dog and throw the Kong for him. Dual purpose toy.

I also totally agree about keeping the high value toys away from the dog and only present them at training. I want the dog to be extra excited about those toys.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdluvr View Post
What do you prefer? A dog that is motivated by the object(toy, etc) or a dog that only finds the object interesting when you are playing with it?

To clarify a little, some dogs will play with toys endlessly by themselves and others are only excited if it is a game with you.

I have one of each. If all you want is a pet to play with, primarily toy driven is fine. It won't matter.

If you want a dog to do sport with, the dog has to want to interact with you.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 07:45 PM
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I want dogs that will engage with me whether driven by toys, the fight or food. For most people toys are easier, but as long as the rest is there for the work, I don't care and I can work with the dog.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 08:01 PM
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I prefer toy motivated, I don't like a dog that is pesky. I like them with me when I do things such as yard work, but I would rather be left to get the job done.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:06 PM
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I have found my toy motivated dogs to be the most annoying unless any object that could possibly be used as a toy is removed. LOL
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 07:30 AM
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I found it interesting with my dog that initially a retrieve was a task to be completed but it has now progressed to the level where it is a reward in itself. I get him to heel off-lead and he now engages well with me knowing that I have a ball in my hand. At the end of the heeling exercise I then throw him the ball to fetch as a reward.
I also keep the high value toys away from him but he is a naughty little bugger and I have caught him on a few occasions opening up the box where I keep all of his toys to help himself to them.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdluvr View Post
What do you prefer? A dog that is motivated by the object(toy, etc) or a dog that only finds the object interesting when you are playing with it?

To clarify a little, some dogs will play with toys endlessly by themselves and others are only excited if it is a game with you.
I prefer the latter. For the SAR work I do, the reward is not the toy, it's the interaction.

That said, it is nice when a dog can entertain themselves at home.
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