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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
I've noticed that my and Kias' relationship is not what it could be. It's good, but from what I've seen it could be so much better.
I've looked online for tips. Everyone is just saying to "play, engage, make life interesting..." blah, blah blah. I'm doing all that! But it just doesn't seem to be the relationship it should be.

Now, I'm not going like "deep" here or anything; I'm looking for a good, happy relationship. What are some other tips for making this happen? More quality me and dog time? More play? NILF includes love?

Please let me know any thoughts or comments you have!
 

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What specifically makes you think your relationship is lacking?

Also, I've had puppies where honestly sometimes I'm just doing the work and then one day I realize the magic has just happened. So sometimes I think you just gotta persevere
 

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Not real sure what you are expecting. More biddability? Or do you want your dog to show you affection all the time?
For building the relationship, I would look up Suzanne Clothier for a seminar that may be local to you. She also has webinars now and then. Suzanne Clothier | Relationship Centered Dog Training by Suzanne Clothier
I second this. Suzanne Clothier is a great person to listen to for your relationship with your dog. She even has some free stuff on YouTube.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, thanks! I will look into that website. I guess I'm looking for more will to please and interact on his handler rather than "yeah whatever" until he finds something more interesting. I just feel that he could care less about who works with him. I guess he's just a puppy though.

@Thecowboysgirl Probably you're right. I just need to continue.
 

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Our older dog is very aloof. She doesn't really show all that much affection, at least not in a human way. She loves to be near us and wants to sleep in our room, so I guess that's just her way. It can be a little frustrating at times!
 

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I think what you are looking for is in the genetics. Biddability, pack drive and a desire to please. I'm not sure those are in his genetics so you just keep working at it to get as much as you can.

I had this conversation in my head driving home tonight about my two dogs and why I'm not having as much fun training her as I did him. And it goes back to the genetics. He would never stop on me. He lives to work with me. She will take her ball and go to the house when she decides she's done.
 

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For a special treat we take our dogs out for ice cream...

...but mostly they like to ride in the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I guess it depends on the dog. Like you said @buddyr93 It is a little frustrating, but it'll work itself out as he gets older. Okay, well I'll keep working at it. Thanks everybody!

Any suggestions for interactive things to do or games to play? Right now we're stuck to keep away, tug of war, rope and ball games, and an occasional chase game and that's pretty much it. Any other ideas for fun games to play?
 

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For the ball games, you might want to try adding 'wait', 'get it' and 'drop.'

My pup seems to thrive on overcoming his internal desire to just play like a wild man and work with me.

On the other hand, growing up I had a dog with whom I bonded by taking her on long (hour +) off-leash walk in the woods across from my house. During the walks, I would just catch glimpses of her every once in a while. She had a radius in which she liked to roam.

Interestingly, she all ways stuck to the quadrant 90 degrees in front of the direction I was walking. If I changed directions, a few seconds to a few minutes later I would see her head pop up, or hear the rustle of branches, somewhere in front of me.

I was always fascinated by how she would do her own thing but paid close enough attention to me that she changed directions when I did.
 

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Have you tried crate games? You can take that same game and apply it to anything to teach them to run to something. It's how I teach the send out. They love this game.
 

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So I guess it depends on the dog. Like you said @buddyr93 It is a little frustrating, but it'll work itself out as he gets older. Okay, well I'll keep working at it. Thanks everybody!

Any suggestions for interactive things to do or games to play? Right now we're stuck to keep away, tug of war, rope and ball games, and an occasional chase game and that's pretty much it. Any other ideas for fun games to play?
I think your instincts are talking to you with your other recent post. My daughter has some difficulty bonding through OB due to being a tiny person. She does a lot of ‘find it’ games with our 6 month old. They love it. So every empty milk carton, which are a lot in our house, she hides them around the house and yard. It’s great fun.
Tracking is a great activity, my dog and I spend a lot of time tracking deer, dogs and fox in our woods aside from competition work. They love it.
How often do you ‘work’ your dog in official training sessions?
Genetics are huge with these dogs. Think about what your dog was bred to do and try to do that with them.
 

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One of the things that I have found helps make that connection is training. Not just the training in and of itself, but when you start getting a playful excitement for praise instead of food for "doing it right". I find that once they crave that attention the training takes off too.
I don't just cut off food rewards, just move into an informal rotation. One day- food rewards, one day- toy rewards, another day- physical praise and excitement.
 

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It might not work itself out as he gets older. Each dog is an individual and some love to engage with their handler, some don't and there is everything in between. There is a level of handler skill to elicit engagement, but like most things with dogs, genetics are a primary factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For the ball games, you might want to try adding 'wait', 'get it' and 'drop.'

My pup seems to thrive on overcoming his internal desire to just play like a wild man and work with me.

On the other hand, growing up I had a dog with whom I bonded by taking her on long (hour +) off-leash walk in the woods across from my house. During the walks, I would just catch glimpses of her every once in a while. She had a radius in which she liked to roam.

Interestingly, she all ways stuck to the quadrant 90 degrees in front of the direction I was walking. If I changed directions, a few seconds to a few minutes later I would see her head pop up, or hear the rustle of branches, somewhere in front of me.

I was always fascinated by how she would do her own thing but paid close enough attention to me that she changed directions when I did.
That's interesting about your other dog! Sadly we don't have all that trees, but I do love to take a long walk through our yard, which he has fun doing.

I have all that stuff. Drop it, get it, stay; I even have him leave it or come before he can run out to get it!

Have you tried crate games? You can take that same game and apply it to anything to teach them to run to something. It's how I teach the send out. They love this game.
I've seen that trailer for the crate games CD someone made. I can't remember her name. I always have him go get in his crate as part of his dinner "jobs", which he has down pat. I haven't thought of any games to play in the crate yet though


I think your instincts are talking to you with your other recent post. My daughter has some difficulty bonding through OB due to being a tiny person. She does a lot of ‘find it’ games with our 6 month old. They love it. So every empty milk carton, which are a lot in our house, she hides them around the house and yard. It’s great fun.
Tracking is a great activity, my dog and I spend a lot of time tracking deer, dogs and fox in our woods aside from competition work. They love it.
How often do you ‘work’ your dog in official training sessions?
Genetics are huge with these dogs. Think about what your dog was bred to do and try to do that with them.
We live a couple of blocks from town square. No deer sadly, but he would love that. I train with him and have him do stuff for everything pretty much, from going out the door to getting his dinner. Official training sessions are about five minutes long. I associate the dinner work and stuff as part of his training.

He's a DDR/Belgian lines. I just found out from his breeder that his mom was from Belgium.(i contacted her) He loves biting and tug of war most, but since I can't do IPO with him right now or any of that, I was thinking tracking since he has a good nose.

One of the things that I have found helps make that connection is training. Not just the training in and of itself, but when you start getting a playful excitement for praise instead of food for "doing it right". I find that once they crave that attention the training takes off too.
I don't just cut off food rewards, just move into an informal rotation. One day- food rewards, one day- toy rewards, another day- physical praise and excitement.
Good idea! That will make training more interesting.
 

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So I guess it depends on the dog. Like you said @buddyr93 It is a little frustrating, but it'll work itself out as he gets older. Okay, well I'll keep working at it. Thanks everybody!

Any suggestions for interactive things to do or games to play? Right now we're stuck to keep away, tug of war, rope and ball games, and an occasional chase game and that's pretty much it. Any other ideas for fun games to play?
We have a GSD mix (50% GSD). She is almost 10 months old. We have trained her to jump through a hula hoop and over plastic piping that we built into an obstacle with different heights. She does the basic commands along with shake and wave. We also have dog "puzzles" for her we bought on Amazon. I probably run with her 3-4 times a week about 5 miles each time. She is definitely more independent than our other 2 dogs (not GSDs) who do nothing but lick us to death. To be honest, I can count on one hand how many times she has licked us. I am also an affectionate person but understand she is who she is and is such a good dog overall. She lays with us and loves to get up on couches with us.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Maybe more exercise together? He's only walking with me about two miles a day at the very most. We walk more than that, but the other dog we walk with makes him too excited to listen, so we've held off on walking them together too much.
I was also thinking of one of those bob-a-lot things on Amazon.
Agility from homemade stuff?
 

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Maybe more exercise together? He's only walking with me about two miles a day at the very most. We walk more than that, but the other dog we walk with makes him too excited to listen, so we've held off on walking them together too much.
I was also thinking of one of those bob-a-lot things on Amazon.
Agility from homemade stuff?
We make the agility things out of PVC piping. The dog puzzles we order are by West Paw- she hasn't been able to destroy them yet. We do have a KONG core strength ball if your dog likes to chew and/or chase balls. It's held up well.
 

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Agility from homemade stuff?
Yes. This. You can also use natural obstacles like fallen trees (catwalk), large rocks (platform), and stumps (smaller platform). Split-rail fences are great for jumping over.

You could also teach directed crittering if you feel he has a good recall. Squirrels are great because they don't go very far and are guaranteed to go right up a tree. That's a very, very fun job for a dog. So, you have a command to go after the squirrel, praise for treeing the squirrel, and then the recall and praise for both the recall and doing the job correctly.

I think at this point you're generally where you want to do complex training and tasks. More job-like tasks that please both of you.
 
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