German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,988 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When Indra was a little pup I conditioned her on treats and I mainly used cheese. It worked well to get her to focus but they older she was they more anything else was interesting and she just didn't focus as much as she used to. I tried to find explanations for her behavior. Either she smelled something or she focused more on the other dogs than on me and it was hard to work in a group with five other dogs that were always more interesting than me.

So a couple of days ago I bought new toys. A kong on the string, a ball for Zenzy and another rope to play tug-o-war.

The minute I pulled out the kong to play with her, she obsessed over it. Oh MY GOD! She's obsessing over it more than Zenzy is obsessed over her ball and that means something.

So I put it to the test. Took the Clicker, her favorite treats and the Kong as a reward.

She didn't even care about the treats, all she wanted to have was the Kong. Today I conditioned her on the Kong. It took about five minutes and she knew exactly what was going on and than I tried to heel with her.

She was jumping up and tried getting the kong first, circled around me and I had to find the perfect spot. Some put the ball or kong above the chest, others hold it in the armpit, so I tried the armpit and it took me about 10 minutes to get her to heel.
I broke it down into babysteps, since she's so crazy about the kong and jumped up all the time, I stopped, made her sit and than heeled. If she heeled just two steps and looked at me, she got rewarded. We've done it over and over and over again and after the tenth time she realized that it is easier to heel nicely.

She's not even 6 months old yet (still a couple of more days) and I had to re-condition her on the Kong and it worked wonders. She heels. She learned in a couple of minutes how rewarding it is to heel.

I don't get it. I really don't get it. It's crazy that it can be that easy once you figured out what they want. I originally got the Kong for Yukon.

Now I have one dog that is conditioned on the ball, another one that is conditioned on the kong and the third one is conditioned on cheese.

What are you using to train the dogs in obedience? Are the conditioned on food? Do you partially use food and something else to reward them?

Or is it just a kong or a ball?

Another thing I wonder about, how old were the dogs when you started to condition them? Or did you first start out with food and than changed to a toy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
I'm glad to see that Ava isn't the only one with no focus. She's 5 months old and I cannot for the life of me get her to pay attention to me. If I get her to sit and try to look at me...it lasts about a half of a second before she hears something or see something and poof she's doing something else.

I have tried food. I have some really good treats that she likes. But she doesnt like them enough to pay attention to me.

I've been at a complete loss as to what it will take for her. I've taken her to petsmart several times and have showed her tons and tons of different toys and shewill have nothing to do with them.

I would prefer to use a toy to condition her rather than food. Eventually, maybe, I will find what works.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,988 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I figured that it is the age too. They are going through the stage where everything else is more interesting and where they want to see of how far they can go.

She has focus at home. Oh boy, can she focus when she wants her food in the morning and in the evening. But at the dog club? Focusing? While there are so much more interesting things to do, like playing with other puppies, and OOooh all these smells. Oh are they good. Why focusing on working when there is so much else to do. :wild:


I hope you can find the right toy for Ava and hopefully that stage won't last very long for you either. It's really frustrating, isn't it? :hugs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,004 Posts
With most working line dogs, eventually the prey drive (toy) will outgrow the food drive. Although it's a good idea to try to keep the food drive as high as possible. It may never be able to compete with toy again but a strong food drive is still nice to have with Indra for tracking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,206 Posts
Now and then we have to switch up the toy reward.
Karlo was/is still food driven I use to use tug along with food, but that got boring so we switched to ball on string. He is into it, but for the last couple of days I've been using a cuz, and wow! He is so focused. I'm sure this may too fade, and food is always going to be used, as we can vary different types of food so easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I love it- with puppies you can generally entice them to let go of a tug with food reward. Like Jason said, this goes away as they get older. WHEN depends on the dog. I have an 11 week old (non-GSD) that is already finding the toy more attractive than the food.

I continue teaching with food, I just may need to do it somewhere with no distractions, like my kitchen. To teach, I want a bit lower drive so they can think and reason without the crazy prey drive getting in the way...then later on I switch...

Sounds like she is doing well, and you now have a new arsenal in your bag of tricks to use to train! :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,988 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I love it- with puppies you can generally entice them to let go of a tug with food reward. Like Jason said, this goes away as they get older. WHEN depends on the dog. I have an 11 week old (non-GSD) that is already finding the toy more attractive than the food.

I continue teaching with food, I just may need to do it somewhere with no distractions, like my kitchen. To teach, I want a bit lower drive so they can think and reason without the crazy prey drive getting in the way...then later on I switch...

Sounds like she is doing well, and you now have a new arsenal in your bag of tricks to use to train! :)
Yeah, it's amazing. I am using the food when I am working on focus in the apartment. I guess I can keep it high if I take a handfull of her food (in the morning) and do some focus work before I feed her.

We just got back from the army community center and I went over to the px. I had the kong with me and she heeled nicely. Lots of distractions, noises and people but she focused on the me and I rewarded her.

But of course she had to sit down in the middle of the road and poop and I had no bags with me.:wild::help:

Some people looked funny and I was like "COME ON GIRL, LETS GO TO THE CAR AND GET A BAG!" so everybody could hear it. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,379 Posts
Hondo was well conditioned to cheese and/or hot dogs, but around 6 months or so he lost the drive. He'd go through the motions but it was more like.."whatever". A squeaky toy would brighten him up some but he still acted like he was bored with the whole thing. I found that boilded chicken was the only thing that made him want to work and kept his attention. Now it's more like "give me..give me...give me".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
HAHA I've done the exact same thing "Lets go get the poop bag from the car!!" as loudly as I can.

Sounds like she is growing up as far as using the kong also!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
I mostly use food and praise for Bianca. She likes toys but not enough for them to be a strong reward. I also use things like going to play with another dog or "life rewards" (like Premack stuff.)

When I was clicker training my terrier mix I used toys as well as treats because he had TONS of 'ball drive' and was just crazy about toys.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top