Training with Ball reward advice please. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Training with Ball reward advice please.

Hello all.

My female is a Very Ball Reactive. Both in just 'having' the ball as well as 'chasing' the ball.

I have been working her with the "fetch" as a reward. We do what ever I command and when done correctly I praise and then toss the ball for a round of 'fetch'.

She is not interested in treats of any kind nor too enthusiastic about praise or touching/petting. But the ball is her bestest treat on the planet.

So with any training you eventually can command with out immediate treat/toy reward or with solely a praise reward.
My female is not interested in any of that. How can I reward her with out playing 'fetch'?

And are there resources for 'toy' rewards built with/around the ball?

I did a basic on line search and have hunted through the pages here but have not run across a huge amount of ball training specifics. Granted I am not the best at searching the forums.

Any advise is appreciated.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 06:22 PM
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Start by not giving her the ball every time she complies......slowly and surely you can wean her off it if you choose.

While she is so thrilled with the ball as a reward....use the ball as a reward as you teach her to focus on you.....

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 07:12 PM
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would she reward with tug instead? Maybe try a ball and rope tug.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 07:17 PM
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I agree with the ball on rope...that way the reward is interacting with you, not sending her away for the reward. And it is less time consuming to drop the ball in position while still holding the string or grabbing it for a bit of tug.
When you send the dog out to fetch, the lesson(reason for the reward) may not sink in either.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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I have noticed that she IS more interested in getting the ball instead of what I am asking her to do.

Like my command is secondary in getting the ball.

She plays tug like a crocodile trying to tear off an arm. I really don't want to transfer to a tug for reward.

How thick of a string do you put on the ball?

Or are you all talking about the balls with the ropes that have a hand hold on one side for me?


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 08:05 PM
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A ball with a rope/loop works fine. I have several, planet dog, Chuck it with a strap, and a couple from elite k9. Mine prefer the planet dog/Orbee one, it's a bit softer, came with the rope tied in a loop about 8" or so.
here's their fav. http://www.planetdog.com/orbee-tuff-...ball-with-rope

Last edited by Nigel; 03-01-2015 at 08:08 PM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I worked with her a bit tonight and instead of tossing the ball way out i just lobbed it to her for her reward. it seemed to keep her focus closer to me. I will try to roped ball and we will start over with the basics.

Thank you everyone.

and hey you can all flood the page with video's if you happen across them.

Thanks again.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 09:34 PM
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 11:32 PM
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Where do you carry the ball? I put it under my arm. The dog has to give me some good behavior (heel or sit or platz or whatever). To reward with the ball for a heel, i simply drop the ball. With the release/reward word (vs praise word).
Another thing - use two balls.
Teach focus.
Teach the dog to hold focus away from the ball as you move it around (ball on a rope always) and reward when she hold the focus. (Praise for any focus, reward for more sustained focus that you build)
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Before the advice here i held the ball in my hand, or left it on the opposite end of the obstacle.

We are working much better with my positioning the ball to help her move the right way. And not lobbing the ball out-"fetch" for a reward. Just letting her have it to chomp on as reward is helping too.

I have been searching for a roped ball I feel comfortable with.


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