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So my trainer a while back gave me a little tip on a toy and alex just loves it. Yall might know it as either a flagpole, or a teaser pole. She chases an item around in the circle and it gets her drive up. For the past couple months that is all that alex has been wanting to play with. She still LOVES frizbees but she loves her cat-toy even more. Well i was sitting in class bored out of my mind a couple weeks back and it dawned on me how i could use this stupid toy to a training advantage.

What i do is i will have her chase it around with her leash on of course and say down. She really didnt get it at first but with leash corrections and repitition she has been learning instant downs from this. I have also taught her leave it with it. I will dangle it around her and tell her leave it and she has been leaving it a lone, and getting it when i say "go get it".

If anyone else uses this method or something like it when alex is running around chasing it is there a set way on the commands like, "DOWN" leave it, or just down and the dog is automatically to understand to leave the item alone.

Dont get me wrong, im not trying to teach my dog how to attack on command, but her main focus is this cat toy and if she can learn to not go after this when i say then she will probably not go after anything else.

This was actually tested the other day when the UPS man pulled up. He pulled into the driveway and alex kind of blurp barked and started to greet the visitor in a normal GSD way, i told her down and leave it and she just sit there. I put her in a down stay and she let me get the package and the ups man drove off and we went back to playing. So whatever i am doing it is doing some good, because 2-3 weeks ago the UPS man would have got a pretty big scare. ive figured her out she is all bark and no bite but i dont want to take chances.

Question is, is this a good method or is there anyway i can help hone this up and make it more interesting. She is getting pretty good at it with the insta-downs and leave its.

-wes
 

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There are different ways to teach and train. The fun is finding the method that works best for you and your dog. I'd say in this instance you have hit upon it and would not change or look for an alternative.

Keep building on what you've done! Eventually you will want to fade the pole out of the picture on these commands. But I'd bet you will find other commands and tricks you can teach using this toy. I sounds like you two are doing great in this instance.
 

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I think what you're doing is just a version of reward training. Instead of using food, you're using a toy. That's great!

I use tennis balls
Taedyn absolutely ADORES playing catch and will do anything for it. I frequently combine our play sessions with training sessions then.
 
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