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Discussion Starter #1
Teagan is a smarty pants.

She is currently my obedience star (well, working on it when other dogs are around, particularly her two nemesis neighbourhood dogs
, though she's getting pretty good w/other random dogs). I keep telling Luc he's got to step up his game....


Anyways, we do obed. training 3X/day, and she learns new stuff regularly, or we work on making known things harder (longer downs, more distraction, that kind of thing).

But she still doesn't seem as occupied as she could be. Her picking up what the FR dogs were doing retrieving the dropped socks and then doing it herself with no teaching the next morning really brought that home for me. As did her annoying 'look! I learned how to undo the seatbelt!' trick....sheesh.

I am planning to start tracking w/the dogs when the snow is gone. As I'm a newbie to it, everything I've read makes me think I will give the dogs a better foundation if I start teaching it when they don't simply have to follow my tracks though the snow.

Obedience obviously isn't keeping her occupied as much as it could be.

Luc, goes running w/me, gets lots of exercise. Luc also doesn't have anywhere near the kind of drives Teagan does, and while I love him, he's nowhere near as intelligent as she is. Teagan problem solves, schemes, and gets into everything. Luc accepts things as they appear. Teagan, due to her hip dysplasia/bone chip in left hip, can't run. I do take her swimming in a dog pool, and she gets walks of around 5-7k/day, but she doesn't get as much exercise as Luc does. I play with her steadily while I'm at home (she just loves chasing her toys).

One thing I've thought, is it is time to step up some of her behavioural (aka don't kill the small animals) work. I've been working really hard on her dog aggression and we are seeing some returns, though in some ways she's completely unflexible, so far at least.

Can anyone think of any good jobs a dog who is physically challenged could do around the house?
 

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If shes good at playing Hide and seek, try hiding her favorite toys, or a kong with pb somewhere and tell her "search" or "find it". Bear will play this game for hours if i kept going. I put him in a down stay, run through the house in all the rooms (to confuse him, because ive noticed he'll just track my scent into the room where ive hidden the object). I show him to object first so he knows what he's looking for, then once i've hidden it and come back into the kitchen (where he is in a downstay) hes so wriled up almost like hes shaking waiting for a release command to go find his toy. Mya on the other hand could care less. Ive tried to get her to play along, but she either doesnt have a clue, or just isnt interested in finding her toys. If i say "find it" to mya, she will bring me whatever toy is closest to her on the floor. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
that's a good idea. two bedrooms are off-limits (i even had to put child safety knobs on them) to keep the small animals safe when teagan is not in her crate, but i'd still have enough space to play that.

she does like playing, and that would be more problem-solving than just having her chase her toys (i stopped tugging w/her as she's pretty confident and she's got the carie on one of her lower canines). i want to have her problem solve more.
 

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Jarn,

Have you clicker trained her at all? I'm thinking some free shaping exercises would be awesome for her! You can then transfer that to all kinds of things. 101 things with a box is a great place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i haven't. i use marker training, but i mark w/words normally.

i've always thought....a click? really?

i just googled '101 things w/a box' and it looks like fun. yesterday would've been recycling!
thanks for the suggestion!
 

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One of the things my Heeler("Wrangler") does is "find the clicker". I am constantly looseing the remote control for the TV. It is his job to find it for me. Obviously this would only be a good task for a dog that is NOT a chewer. He also fetches my slippers on command, and will pick up ANYTHING that I have dropped. (Within his power obviously. I don't ask him to pick up anything what he is physically not able to pick up, or anything that could harm him ) Including but not limited to: Pens, keys, papers, and my pocket knife (only when closed obviously.)

He will also deliver things to someone else. Papers, the remote, and small tools like screwdrivers and wrenches.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i'm sorry to say, teagan is a chewer. she chewed my glasses into oblivion a few weeks ago, and destroys supposedly tough toys with ease. despite her tooth issue (it's not bad, but i want to be careful of it).

....which is a shame. b/c it'd be awesome to have her fetching things on command for me!
 

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My GSD is whip-smart and has to be constantly occupied. So I'm always working on ways to keep his brain busy.

We play "find it" a lot. He loves it.

Speaking of boxes, we play a sort of "find it" with a box. Does Teagan have names for all of her toys? Train her with that. Every toy (ok, he has a lot) has a name. Even the yellow good Cuz vs the orange evil Cuz. When you play Find it, then she can search for the one specific toy. But also, I'll toss all of his toys in a Rubbermaid bin and tell him to get the one specific toy. He loves it. I use a bin that's pretty tall (about chest high), and no tipping it over! Digging around in toys, can't tip over the chest? So mostly he has to use his brain with just his nose to push the toys around. It keeps him occupied for quite a while, as he has to discriminate between all the smells. It's pretty dark once he gets to the bottom of the bin, so he's using a different skill set.

Since he's not holding on to the toys with his paws, he can't chew them. And since there's a goal (and he's fiercely competitive), he's not inclined to because he wants to win the game by finding the right toy.

Sometimes, he'll walk up to me with a whole different toy, with a look on his face like "hey! I found Dolphin! I forgot I had him!" and I'll tell him "Uh! You were looking for Bird!" Oh yeah! He gets all excited and goes back to the bin...


It's pretty cute. And it keeps him busy, using his brain, and happy!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
my mom works w/somebody who suggested i teach teagan to move all her toys around. similar to what you're suggesting.

the thing is, i play very carefully w/toys with her as she can be possessive and aggressive about high-value toys (the bite in the second week i had her was from me picking up a cuz off the floor next to her - she's improved a lot, but when i've tried to give her more freedom w/toys in line w/her improvement, she tends to start showing possession/aggression again). i've set it up so that they are MY toys, and I decide to play with them, with her, and I control all aspects of that including when we stop and when the toys go away.

i would worry that giving her more freedom around toys could allow her to become more possessive/aggressive. some toys are so high-value that they've basically been retired from playing with
.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks maedchen, it looks interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
oh good!

you know of course, for whatever reason, completely uncharacteristically, teagan slept the entire evening yesterday. we didn't even do normal play. and i'd been looking forward to playing hide and seek with her.

she seems bright and energetic today though, which is good. luc was really gassy on wednesday, so i got all nervous last night, but i think she was just having a sleepy day.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9MomThanks Maedchen!

I hope you receive a commission for these referrals!
Shoot!!

Now, Everyone hold your orders, until I work out a deal with this guy.

Just kidding
 

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I like to play find it with Vegas too. He really seems to enjoy it. I have to work a lil harder with Nevada, though. He's super smart, but he has zero ball drive and shows no interest whatsoever with toys. So, I have to get pretty creative to come up with games that we can play together.
 
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