How to turn her ball drive into the reward in training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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How to turn her ball drive into the reward in training?

Hello again

Fanta just loves playing with her ball. Whether its chasing it or just chewing on it as if it was a piece of Bubbalicious.
I watched some Michael Ellis videos and just love "his way" of doing things, but it starts out with food training and I am afraid this ship has sailed for us. meaning she will work for treats but nothing focuses her on me like that orange ball (or a stick for that matter). When we're playing fetch she will keep eye contact with me (for what seems like forever) waiting for me to throw. Her out is not as reliable still (she gets very fired up as you can imagine) but with two balls to "trade" its managable and getting better and better. She will do all her basic commands just hoping I will finally throw the darn ball, but is there another way for me to use that ball as a reward other than just throwing it?
I thought about putting one of those balls on the string and tug with her a bit, but then that might mess her up when releasing other balls. She likes to play tug and actually outs very nicely but there is just something about that ball.
What would you recommed?

MIKE

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for looking

MIKE

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 11:39 AM
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Hope you get some good posts. I need to know the same thing. I am trying to transfer my dog's drive from a big Jolly ball to a small ball on a string as a reward. He is too intent on getting a treat when I use food and is not as obedient. I am trying to get more focus on me. He is only 7 1/2 mos old and I have been told that the focus will come eventually.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 11:46 AM
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I don't have a good recommendation for the ball. But if you are not getting the desired focus level with food rewards, I think you need to scale back your approach. When a dog is not focused, he is usually in a situation where distractions are greater than his training level allows. Move back inside with no toys to distract and work on extending the focus there, when comfortable add distractions like toys. Once duration and compliance is satisfactory, move outside to a quiet back yard. Then a street, etc. I know it sounds like starting over, but sometimes a little reinforcement and praise and treats for great success are enough to get the dog back on track.

chris and clark (whelped 07/18/2008)
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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so the fact that I have the intense focus with the ball is no good? I could have hundred people and cats running by and she will stay locked in on me.
thats the reason i want to utilize it in training.

MIKE

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 01:02 PM
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No, I'm sorry, i might have mis-spoke. Its great that you have focus when with the ball. I mentioned above, no recommendations for the ball, I'd also like to hear from others on how to turn that into additional training. I was only referring to the food based focus. My dog was great with the tug outside but I had a similar experiance with food as you. I could have steak out there and it wasn't the same. I started from scratch working in the house with just food no toys and worked my way up. Its been going much better.

chris and clark (whelped 07/18/2008)
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 01:07 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by tugging might "mess her up when releasing the other ball".

One way to teach the "out" is to get two identical balls on a string. Watch how Julie Blanding does it with Fred at 3:01 in the video.

The Ellis tug DVD has a nice long section on teaching the dog to release the toy (without trading for another toy).
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 01:08 PM
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Put the ball on a rope and teach her to out when you command. The ball going dead next to your leg helps.
When she does out, reward her immediately with the ball again and a short tug game, command out and then do a short obedience session. Reward often with the ball(tug, and don't throw)
Many times the tug game is more fun than chasing down the ball because it involves the handler.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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got ya, crisp
yeah, at home she will work for food a lot better than outside. it just isnt more important for her than squirrels running around. ball is another story.

Jason: now that I think about it I dont know why I was thinking that. I have to work on her "outing" the ball more and it should be fine.
I guess my worry was that if I was using the ball to fetch and then same ball to tug on a string it could somehow mess up the out while fetching. LOL

I want to use those orange rubber Chuck-it balls for both fetching and tugging (putting a string through it myself). these by far are her favorite. or should I just buy a ball that comes with a string already? any recommendations on that?

Jane: she outs when tugging very nicely. its when chasing that ball she is so fired up that it takes her few circles around me to out it and sit.

MIKE

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Last edited by smyke; 09-02-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 01:17 PM
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Have you tried the gappay or frabo ball on a string?http://www.hallmarkk9.com/Balls_on_Rope.aspx
Most dogs really like them and they are pretty sturdy(go large) I don't think the chuck-its are strong enough for tugging.

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