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Discussion Starter #1
Quick recap for the newbies:

My trainer has decided that Kaiser loves me, but doesn't respect me, and that he has become situationally (made up word?) smart. As far as the latter goes, he has grown accustomed to our morning training routine and performs very well because 1. he gets his breakfast this way, and 2. because we do it every. single. morning. in the same place (the parking lot). When we then go to the training center, Kaiser is bombarded by 1. dogs, 2. people, 3. smells, 4. a grassy surface (that pretty much contains all things named above, ie, all things more exciting than me).

I have taken Kaiser to other locations to practice, and in those areas he also performs poorly...except for the dog park. The dog park is on sand, and Kaiser knows that if he doesn't perform then I don't use the chuck it. My trainer doesn't want me to use the dog park anymore (which is a separate issue, because that is the only fenced in area where I can really exercise Kaiser and Dakota), but I tried to explain to her that its worked thus far with practicing obedience because Kaiser LOVES to run after that ball, and he will do what I ask him to, and he will do it well.

So we have two places where Kaiser will perform, the parking lot outside of my apartment, and the dog park. Three, if you include working inside the apartment.

The trainer said I needed to stop using food as a reward and move to a toy, since Kaiser responds better this way (after she saw me teasing him with a stuffy someone left behind). She wants me to use a ball, which Kaiser could absolutely care less about unless its associated with the chuck it. She said that I needed to take ALL of his toys away at home and basically bore him to tears so that when I take him to train, the ball becomes exciting.

Well, Kaiser is the type of dog who will give you the middle finger if he doesn't feel like doing what you ask of him. I don't want to have to bribe him with a toy (the ball) so when he doesn't perform he gets put back up in the truck.

I asked the trainer if I could use a frisbee. She said yes. After she watched us however she said I needed to find something else (ie, ball) because she didn't like how he was performing (he was so excited, he was jumping up while heeling and then basically shut down when he didn't get the reward...which he's never done with the frisbee before).

Ok, so theres that darn ball again. I should probably clarify that she wants me to use the ball on a string to help build his drive. Well...how do you build the drive of a dog who isn't excited about chasing the ball on a string to begin with? Heck, he'd rather have the string.

So after ALL this rambling, I'm coming to you all for help. Kaiser seems to love stuffies, but the trainer said no (at least for now). Kaiser loves squeakies, but the trainer said thats one more "thing" you have to remove when you take away the reward (1. being the object, 2. being the sound). In a perfect world, a squeaking soft frisbee that would stand up to tugging would exist. But, It doesn't. The closest thing I found was a jute frisbee that was thin enough to roll up to hide during training...no squeaker though.

The trainer has now suggested a jute roll/tug with a single handle. Two of them, actually, for drive building.

Before I go spending more money, can you think of anything that might be better? I'm considering everything and anything new right now. I've just seen how Kaiser works on a ball (chuck it notwithstanding) and its a headache. And no, I'm not going to carry the chuck it around with me because its basically impossible to hide.

So, ideas? I've considered bite rags, the jute rolls, the aforementioned frisbee...

I just need something that Kaiser goes bonkers for.
 

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I would get a couple of toys, a ball on string and teach Kaiser to target the ball, not the string(they learn quickly) and a two handle french linen(synthetic) tug. Use them for training only.
My dog also loves the chuckit, but I don't use the launcher, just the ball. I change up my toys often so they stay high value and interchange food rewards with toys often as well.
Synthetic Tug 12"-Elite K-9

Medium for the ball, large is really large!
Elite Working Balls: Polce K9, Military K9 and Schutzhund Working Dog equipment
 

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I took my girl into PetSmart with me. We wandered up and down the toy aisle a few times before she chose her own toy.
 

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Present the ball by holding the string right next to the ball.(when Beau was younger we put the planet dog diamond plate ball on a string as it was softer for teething pain)

I also found this kind of tug was good for starters as a regular tug.

Leerburg | 15" Nylon Tubular Tug

Soft enough for a puppy, easy to make go "dead" for the out, easy to tuck in pant waist or under arm. I switched to that because the ball was harder for me to get back. Still is sometimes.

We have since graduated to a piece of hose (which is harder and slipperier)
 

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I also vote tug.
I keep it hidden in my closet, and it only comes out for training. He only gets it as a reward.
Ours is jute, and I have some French linen ones on order.
[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Dean-Tyler-Medium-Bite-Tug/dp/B0057AKYLI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364656202&sr=8-3&keywords=jute+tug[/ame]

By the way, do you leave toys lying around at home for him?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All the toys at home have been removed. He wanders around looking for them, and checks where the basket used to be located, so he definitely realizes something is up.

Thanks for the ideas. We've done drive building, so I know how to present it, but he just shuts down when he doesn't get his way, so he gets put back up. The trainer says he will snap out of it, but it's not fun for him... That's the part I want to change.

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I know how you feel. you pretty much described my Hex exactly.

He seems to be responding best to a french linen tug but I had to do a fair bit of work to make that "exciting".
He's only allowed it when I want to do some training and it's the only thing I allow him to play tug with- and he adores playing tug.
I used to have it in my hands, move it around fast then hide it, not let him see it - anything to make him REALLy want it. Now he gets quite excited when I bring it out. I have a big 12"x2" with 2 handles and a small 10"x1" pocket tug :)

How old is Kaiser now? hex went through a really "bratty" stage at around 10 month where he's pretty much constantly flip me off if he didn't like something. he's now 14month and getting better.
 

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Fiona has a jute tug from ray Allen. It is 12 inches long with a handle. It is only a reward. But if I keep it in my pocket, she is so focused on it that she does not listen to me. She is 10 months, so maybe it is the bratty stage.


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Discussion Starter #9
Kaiser is 14.5 months old. I'm sure some of it is that bratty adolescent stage, at least when he blows off training (and subsequently gets put up). When he's on though, he's on... But for short periods of time. Trying to work up to extended focus but I Gooch it has a lot to do with the fact that his reward isn't super awesome (to him).

Which french linen tugs do you have?

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At Kaisers age, I wouldn't really allow him to 'blow me off'...I'd expect some engagement and change up my training methods to get that. Putting him up teaches him nothing.

There are so many ways to train, use target plates, change up your session(and reward~ toys or food) so the dog won't get bored. I'd always put him up AFTER a training session so he can process what he just learned.

I linked the tugs I have, some call them french linen, some call them synthetic(they are made of bite suit material, not the fire hose or jute)
 

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...... but he just shuts down when he doesn't get his way, so he gets put back up. The trainer says he will snap out of it, but it's not fun for him... That's the part I want to change.

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Sometimes a better way to deal with this is to increase your rate of reinforcement..... meaning ask for little things so that you can reward. You need to gain engagement and rewards are a way to do that.

Example, often a dog will "sit" at home but not away from home. It is not that the dog is being "bad" rather it is such a different environment with so many new stimuli.
So in this case, we might just reward the dog for increments.... move your hand upward as if "luring" for the sit.... then reward. Dog might not do a full "down" but will lower elbows... REWARD. (this is where marker training comes in as a huge benefit).

Set him up for success.... Motto is
Don't Be Stingy (with the rewards)
and Dont Be Greedy (asking for perfection)
 

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Set him up for success.... Motto is
Don't Be Stingy (with the rewards)
and Dont Be Greedy (asking for perfection)
:thumbup:

I have to remind myself of this sometimes when teaching something new, sometimes Delgado graps it in a heartbeat, other times he struggles with understanding what I'm asking.

My rule of thumb if he's struggling is: try it three times one way, if he's still not getting it then try teaching a different way. Consistancy is good for reinforcing the behaviour but if it's not working then it's lost it's benefit and you need to move on
 

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And.....always end the training session on a positive note. Don't ever end it on a failure or frustrated mood.
 

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Example, often a dog will "sit" at home but not away from home. It is not that the dog is being "bad" rather it is such a different environment with so many new stimuli.
So in this case, we might just reward the dog for increments.... move your hand upward as if "luring" for the sit.... then reward. ..... when the dog looks up
Forgot that last part in my previous post.
 
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