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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?
Seriously, this particular toy has been indestructible:
West Paw Zogoflex Qwizl Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Puzzle Treat Toy for Dogs
 

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If you think you want to do any tracking competitively then you should wait for Ronny to help you. For Nosework, I would go to Dave Kroyer's site who not only does in person seminars in nosework but also has tutorials on his site. Competitive anything is all about the foundation and pet foundation where you are just playing with your dog can set you up to fix issues the rest of the dog's life.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
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.
Good idea for crittering. Sadly, my little brother has chased pretty much every squirrel out of the yard, so we'll have to search around for one. Right now he is currently learning how to put away his toys. (take them all and drop them in his bin.) That will probably be his first job.

If you think you want to do any tracking competitively then you should wait for Ronny to help you. For Nosework, I would go to Dave Kroyer's site who not only does in person seminars in nosework but also has tutorials on his site. Competitive anything is all about the foundation and pet foundation where you are just playing with your dog can set you up to fix issues the rest of the dog's life.
Thanks. It definitely can. I will wait to start official tracking for professional help. Maybe I'll go for Dave Kroyer. It's sounding like something I'd like to do.
 

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Nosework would be easier to learn for you and possibly have more avenues for trials. You can teach both nosework and tracking. Different context, different commands
 

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I have raised Jupiter from a pup, trained him extensively, and we even share a room together, but I doubt he'll ever be as adoring as my old Golden, Nana, whose life seems to revolve around doing whatever I ask. That's genetics, I guess.

The engagement thing can be rather intimidating. I'm a boring person, but somehow my job is to become interesting to my dog? That's tough! Because I am a boring, even-keeled, calm guy. But I think I have done some things right.

One, I hand fed about 90% of Jupiter's meals the first six months. And that feeding was all training, too. So he was working on sit/down/stand/stay/etc., getting fed from my hand (actually my glove, because he bites when he takes treats) for almost all his food. I have to think that builds some connection.

Not only is he learning that all food and sustenance comes from me, he learns to attend to my voice. He learns that when I talk, he should listen, because he's going to get good food from doing so.

Another thing is that I do reward him when he looks at me on walks. He is so fascinated by the world that he tends to ignore me on the street. So I'd spend most of my attention waiting to "catch" him looking at me. Then "yes!" and treat. I'm currently using food to encourage loose-leash walking and he walks at my side and looks up a lot. This is how I feed him his lunch.

Also, don't just use food, but really splurge on some premium treats. I learned this from Pippa Mattinson. Get some chicken breast, beef, fat, cat food--stinky, high-protein, high-fat stuff, and use that for treats and mix it in with your training stuff/kibble that you hand-feed. He may not be that interested in regular food, but when you mix in The Good Stuff, he might start finding his 'ol owner a lot more fascinating. When am I going to get that beef bit? Maybe I should pay more attention. Wow, she really is cool and interesting. What's her hand doing? What's she looking at?

What's your marker sound like? I use "yes," but my teacher told me I needed to up the intensity. It should be sharp, loud, and high-pitched, not droney and monotonous like my normal voice. I got better at this, but then another dog trainer, who was big on engagement, said I needed to kick it to the next level. He said, "I know you're a chill person, but you need to change if you want your dog to think you're interesting." So we watched another handler, who jumped up with both hands up, almost shrieking like a madwoman, when she said "yes!" I'll probably never get to her level of enthusiasm, but I did improve, and I think it helps.

I feel that these measures have all improved Jupiter's engagement. It's not a 100% thing, but I think they help, and they add up, and even if the outside world is very cool and interesting and new, he still checks in with me quite a bit.
 

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Nosework is great. After you get started with someone who LEGITIMATELY knows what they're doing, you can work on your own a lot. I train by myself and send my videos to more experienced friends for feedback. Every single time, they point out subtle things that I missed, either in my handling or in one of my dogs' behavior.

There's no gigantic start-up cost either - it's an inexpensive sport to train that has endless levels of difficulty.

Denise Fenzi's books are also good for general engagement ideas. You can buy them on Amazon.
 

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All my dogs were very different. Max lives to do things with me he has a high pack drive always very motivated. Out of all the dogs I ever owned I did most with him as he just had that motivating energy. Luna enjoys doing things also Max just a few notches higher up in the pack drive and intensity. Find your dogs strengths and build on that. Nose works is a great classes can be pricey align with clinics as also time consuming if doing long term but you do learn quite hands on. You can always self teach will cut downs cost but you would need to create lots of distractions. The one thing you would want to find out if nose work trials are local to you as they can be limited. Or you can do it just for fun. I have not not noseworks in a while but when I bring my oil kit out he is intensely ready to to go. So many things to do with your dog just find what you both would enjoy.
Noseworkninfo linked below -
 
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