Testing me or trying a new game? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Testing me or trying a new game?

The other day Deja didn't come back with her toy after I threw it for her but just stood there at a distance, toy in her mouth and watching me. The first time of refusal I called her back with the command "Bring!"(as a reminder) that I taught her form day 1. The second time she found the toy and watched me I knew she had found a new game that I wanted to nip in the bud so I didn't say anything, not even the reminder as we had played this game for three years. So I went inside and left her alone outside with her toy. Half a minute later (they don't watch the clock) I went back out side and she came without me having to call her, body and ears low and quietly released the toy, which I put away without "discussing the issue any further".
Half an hour later I was super curious to see if she had learned her lesson and voila, great returns and she hasn't pulled this trick again.
Other test: she brings me her empty bowl after she is done eating and waits until I take it from her, after which she gets a treat. Then lately, she had become sloppy and dumped the bowl at my feet on the floor so I told her "Bring" after which she did it well. The next time she dropped the bowl (and I was prepared this time), I picked it up without saying anything, put it away and no treats for sloppy performance, no discussing it. Again, she hasn't dropped the bowl since.
This shows that only one negative can teach them fine but you have to do it before it has become a new habit.
A fellow trainer once said, "If you reward 'sloppy', you get (from the dog) 'sloppy'!"
Yeah, I outsmarted my smartie!! I love this stuff.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 01:22 AM
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It's amazing how powerful a "non-reaction" can be for training - as in seeing poor/defiant behaviour, not engaging it, and then waiting for the appropriate behaviour after some time has settled. Good thinking and way to nip it in the bud.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 02:31 AM
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Well done for spotting it and not creating a new game
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 08:22 AM
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I deal with stuff like that differently. If I create a bring it back command that is enforced through a correction if need be. If I ask for it it is not optional. If I do see that the dog wants to play keep away I will indulge that too. We can be playing fetch and all of a sudden I stop calling for it and just run at them to take it and they run off with it growling at me daring me to try to get it. Sometimes you can wear a dog out just by letting him hold it run circles around you and occasionally pretending to take it to keep the dog going. If the dog enjoys keep away more than fetch games then I'll even spend more time playing that game. If it is about exercising and entertaining the dog or rewarding the dog I'll do the game the dog enjoys not necessarily the one I do.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
I deal with stuff like that differently. If I create a bring it back command that is enforced through a correction if need be. If I ask for it it is not optional. If I do see that the dog wants to play keep away I will indulge that too. We can be playing fetch and all of a sudden I stop calling for it and just run at them to take it and they run off with it growling at me daring me to try to get it. Sometimes you can wear a dog out just by letting him hold it run circles around you and occasionally pretending to take it to keep the dog going. If the dog enjoys keep away more than fetch games then I'll even spend more time playing that game. If it is about exercising and entertaining the dog or rewarding the dog I'll do the game the dog enjoys not necessarily the one I do.
Sounds more fun for the dog than for me right now as I am battling a sciatic nerve issue I think playing keep away with her would be fun but then she would get the cue to do it. Good idea anyways. I did something similar before the injury by tapping her side while bending over sideways like dogs do who want to engage in play and we both enjoyed that. Darn sciatica; ruins a lot of fun
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:15 AM
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I really liked this as I recently gave my boy the silent treatment. It worked great basically left him with his jaw dropped and a what just happened look. Thanks for the chuckle.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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I really liked this as I recently gave my boy the silent treatment. It worked great basically left him with his jaw dropped and a what just happened look. Thanks for the chuckle.
That is exactly how she looked. Kinda like, "What the **** is happening right now?" It feels so good to outsmart a GSD.
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