Can I teach my adult pup to have toy drive? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Can I teach my adult pup to have toy drive?

Zeeva is 4. She'll play tug for about 10 minutes and give up. She'll play fetch about 10-15 times then stop bringing the toy back. She only plays fetch in the yard and in the house. Not in an area with low distraction such as a park. She will play with some of her toys on her own for about 5 minutes.

Can I teach her to have toy drive? If yes, how?

Or is that something they learn as a puppy and is difficult to teach them later on?

The reason I ask is because I'd like to lure her in the pool with a toy. She'll come in with a lot of coaxing and treats. She'll do about 5-10 laps (2 ways) intermittently with a lot of coaxing. She won't fetch anything in the pool. I really would like to have her enjoy swimming so I can get her weight controlled.

Suggestions as far as the toy drive and the enticing to swim?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 05:45 PM
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If she's not crazy about the toy at this point...you won't get her to the level you need to get her into the pool.

Put it simply...her want to stay dry, will always be more than her want to get the toy.

You can develop it a little more...give her more and more success with the tug. Never take it away. Always let her win. Don't tug for too long without giving her the success.

It's not really something that's taught, its natural. It's developed, but it has to be there. Crazy ball drive is a natural thing...the dogs that will fall off cliffs for balls are naturally like that, it's not taught.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 05:57 PM
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^ yep

You can build drive and value for the toy, to some extent, but if you have a dog who's not tremendously interested in the toy to begin with, it'll never be as strong as if you were working with a dog who had a genetic predisposition to love toys.

I won't say that you'll never be able to get Zeeva to love toys enough to jump into a pool for them, because I don't know you and I've never met your dog and I don't know where the ceiling might be for you guys.

But I will say that it might be pretty hard. Neither of my dogs has very high toy drive and if I threw a toy into water expecting them to go for it, they'd just give me a look like "that was dumb, what did you do that for?"

If you're having success with luring her to swim around a little, it might be more fruitful to just keep building on that small success rather than trying to switch gears completely. Adding duration onto a behavior that you can already get is probably going to prove easier than convincing her to work for a motivator that she doesn't value at all in those circumstances.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 09:17 PM
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Drive is genetic.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 10:12 PM
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I mostly agree that drive is genetic....but it is interesting to see the fascination and fixation some of my GSDs have placed on certain items over the years. Frisbees, balls, sticks etc. generate X amount of passion whereas the impact sprinkler generates 10X the passion and desire in the dogs. Perhaps, certain items ( toys ) more stimulate a particular drive to a higher degree....????


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2014, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
Zeeva is 4. She'll play tug for about 10 minutes and give up. She'll play fetch about 10-15 times then stop bringing the toy back. She only plays fetch in the yard and in the house. Not in an area with low distraction such as a park. She will play with some of her toys on her own for about 5 minutes.

Can I teach her to have toy drive? If yes, how?

Or is that something they learn as a puppy and is difficult to teach them later on?

The reason I ask is because I'd like to lure her in the pool with a toy. She'll come in with a lot of coaxing and treats. She'll do about 5-10 laps (2 ways) intermittently with a lot of coaxing. She won't fetch anything in the pool. I really would like to have her enjoy swimming so I can get her weight controlled.

Suggestions as far as the toy drive and the enticing to swim?
Can you frustrate her, get her spun up by keeping something away from her? Any reaction from her if you tease and kinda squeal in a high pitched voice?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Strom View Post
Can you frustrate her, get her spun up by keeping something away from her? Any reaction from her if you tease and kinda squeal in a high pitched voice?
Sure I can get her frustrated. But martemchik suggested I let her win at tug? Isn't that and what you're suggesting completely different?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 12:53 AM
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Letting her win by letting her have the tug and frustrating her by "not letting her get it" are part of the same equation. A predator will try to catch/kill prey but will only be successful in say 3 out of 10 attempts. The 7 attempts where the predator tries to catch/kill prey but is not successful is the "drive builder" or frustration.

So make it hard for her, move tug fast let her try to catch but make her miss. This will be the drive builder! If she wants it hard enough, she will get faster and strike more accurately. When you see this change you let her bite by letting her catch it and let it go, meaning letting her win. But very important to not let her catch it 10 out of 10 sessions as she has no reason to sharpen her skills (she knows she will get it regardless).

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 08:43 AM
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Sure I can get her frustrated. But martemchik suggested I let her win at tug? Isn't that and what you're suggesting completely different?
Faisal's talking about what I mean. Just letting her win the tug doesn't mean any more then leaving it laying in the back yard where she can get it when she wants. Its the amount of effort she'll put into trying to get it. You want it to always be her maximum.
The swimming, I'd think along the lines of building as much excitement as you can in general and try to just make the swimming part of that excitement instead of any real structured, calm luring.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2014, 11:03 AM
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Ohhh I think we need to combine the drives of our dogs.. lol. Titan is the "jump off a cliff for a ball" drive... lol. I have tried to calm that drive a little, but it never works.

I like the idea of teasing her, essentially, with the toy and getting her amped about it.. then tug for a sec and let her have it! What kind of tug do you have, does she respond more with a different type of toy?

Titan's normal everyday toy is a tennis ball.. he's already nutso with that, but if I bring out a kickball.. he loses his dang mind... so he does have preferences, and she probably does too? have you experiemented with others?

v/r,

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