Phasing Out The Tug - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Phasing Out The Tug

First, things are going great! The IPO club is like an hour and half away from me, and technically I can only go every other Saturday since I have my kids every other weekend. But, I've been having so much fun that I grab my oldest daughter, bring her with, and shell out for a sitter for my boys. Won't be able to do that long term financially, but the fundamentals are at that stage where they are coming together so well I hate to miss.

I definitely started on the back foot with this dog. I have never done any sport (always had trained dogs in the manners and listening department, but never the sport stuff). Valor was 9 months old when we started and had some typical for his lines suspicion. He will always have that in him, but it is very controlled now and his confidence is going up so nicely with age (he is almost a year) and training. We have learned everything out of order really..but it is coming together now.

My club has trials coming up. We are not old enough for BH yet, but I will be going to watch and learn.

He has the on leash BH pattern down. We haven't tried off leash yet, but I am pretty optimistic. His long down is GREAT. Sit and down in motion, good. Fuss is good, his ass end no longer kicks out like a race car drafting lol That was stuff I had to fix with my body language. And I had to lose the sunglasses even though I HATE squinting. It was contributing to forging.

So when i say he has the BH pattern down, I mean he knows it, but we are still using tug reward. Mostly just drop and possession at this point(not me playing hard with him). We can go all the way down field in both longer paced fuss segments, but he does still get jackpot rewards. Any advice on good ways/times to phase out the tug? Actually any advice on timing rewards and phasing out would be welcome.

He has to at least October maybe November before we get to try for BH. In the meantime in addition to what we have to do for BH we are practicing protection and this week we will start him on tracking.

He does great on bite work. We are just starting blinds and long bites. He is completely neutral to gunfire.

Oh another question- what does it mean when the dog wants to go at the helper even after the sleeve is off? Like, he "wins" the sleeve and then outs nicely for me. After he outs he wants to go at the helper before I kick it back to helper and before he puts the sleeve back on and before the helper (IDK the right terminology) postures? There was some discussion over that and would love other independent opinions/experiences with that.

Thanks all! Just got learned up on some new to me video editing software, but I only have cell phone video to work with. Going to bring the big cameras next weekend and set them up, and see if I can make cool videos
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Valor 6/3/17
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 05:33 PM
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Do you want to phase it out as in remove it from sight or not have it on you to reward at all?

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well, his BH is still 5or 6 months away. So I was thinking out of view, followed by not on my person. That was basically my question, what is the preferred timeline for phasing out of sight thewn off your body?

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 10:41 AM
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You can stop luring with food or toy as soon as possible. It starts becoming a random reward system. At first you would pop out the reward fairly quickly. Then at certain times (like during the gun fire or during the group). Then the toy becomes hidden for far longer stretches and the rewards become much more random, but the toy is never totally removed from training. If done correctly, the drive will increase in anticipation of the toy being popped out. On trial day the toy just isn't there, but the dog won't know that and will expect it and build and build throughout the routine.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Makes total sense, thanks

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:30 PM
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Don't rush to fade out the tug Comet. You don't want to create a clear distinction between "Yes, I have the tug now" and " I don't have it now" You want him to think it may appear there where you have him targeting if he really, really works and believes.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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So, like a jackpot basically. You never know when you may get it? And then just work in longer times between reward?

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:43 PM
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Yeah, basically. I think there always has to be a level of them heeling because they like doing it with you, but its the anticipation of the toy appearing there that keeps the intensity and focus up.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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That makes sense, thanks all. The more I think about it, I even see established PD dogs get their rewards for finding things or getting the bad guy. So pretty much just jackpot, alternate sudden reward in motion, reward when he sits properly when I stop..he never knows when it is coming, but it should always come when he is either in good motion or good position (when he sits when I stop walking, etc) And I am also thinking not to reward when I return to him after the down and sit in motion, but wait until he moves with me again?

Here is an example of us training BH pattern. Two things I noticed when I watched this ( I think videoing yourself is a very valuable thing)..I need to keep more slack in the lead, and my original sit position was not great.


There are a few videos on my channel, wanted to warn you about the one that says Stuart's weekend. My BF HAD to chop wood for the firepit despite the Guiness. Now has about a 1/4 inch less on the top of his finger. I did a humorous story board with pics from the day and the last pic is of his finger with a gel ball on it after the injury. I did sound effects and all lol Anyway, did not want to sniper anyone with a bloody finger pic.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 10:25 AM
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Do you say "fuss" as you start to move or "fuss" and then move? You move and then he moves which is why I am asking. His starts are lagging. He should be anticipating your step forward (start with your left when heeling).



Doesn't hurt to reward him when he is in the sit position instead of heeling first before rewarding and don't always do the full 15 paces before going back to reward . You may do both already. The goal of the in-motions is both accuracy and speed.
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Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT



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