So i have a 9 month old half working line GSD. he is wonderful.
1) kong vs tug
he is OBSESSED with playing with the kong. he loves it so much. It is most prized activity in the whole wide world lol.
But I want to develop other methods of reward.
SO we have been playing tug, and he does like it, but its sort of 'uh...that game...okay yea ill play that cos there is no kong'.
and he enjoys it most of the time, but he gets bored after a while with it so I am shortening the tug sessions.
I would like it if he had the same amount of drive for tug as he does for kong.
if we are playing kong, he becomes so concentrated on it he wont even notice the tug. (he doesnt even care about the chickens either)
Should I completely withhold kong for a couple of weeks and just focus on short sessions of tug? or keep kong to a very minimal amount?
2) Kong; retrieve
the main issue that I have with kong play and my desire to widen his foundation, is the retrieve.
once he has the kong, the game is won and he has what he wants. 9/10 he comes back with the kong. but only 2/10 does he come straight back. the rest of the time he makes his move to come back but he will give the ground a smell, he will look about, he wont come back to me with much drive in his retrieve.
So he has a weak retrieve, but its strong enough for us to play and enjoy ourselves lots.
I have Michael Ellis' power of playing tug DVD.
So my remedy for my situations could be this...
1) play tug, in short and frequent sessions.
2) play with two kongs, make the game only about the retrieval and giving the first kong to me, which he is reward with the second kong.
keep both of these games separate (such as the morning session and night sessions).
I will have to be careful not to cheat myself, because the kong game we have develop is REALLY fun, mainly the engagement is amazing. he has just insane focus to work. but I have been unable to reproduce that concentration elsewhere and this is very important at his young age. a problem I have is that I get a little frustrated and I end up wanting to play kong with him rather than focus on his weaker games.