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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It's so bizarre...I swear she thinks that a string on her tennis ball is an insult. I've tried the teeniest string I can find and jam it through...and when I use it the first time she looks so insulted about it. Haha. It's quite amusing. But frustrating. She still likes it, but not nearly enough as a nekked tennis ball. But I am determined to find one she loves just as much!

ETA: Do you have pictures of said floating ball on a rope? I'm curious to see it! And my hubby and I go to Europe a lot (he's from there). Next time I go if I find one, I'll smuggle some back here! :)
 

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I agree probably stick with what motivates the dog - if the reward system ain't broke don't fix that.

I think training him to take it politely is not a bad thing though and I got some pointer on that after I accidentaly got nailed.

Mine doesnt really seem to care what toy I use is as long as he can tug on it or chase it - I just really like THIS toy because it floats and that is a plus for water work and he has never pulled the rope through unlike he has on the kongs. Darned things have a few years on them and are only now starting to wear apart. plus it will fit in a tennis ball holder

Ropeball Floater Large by Happy Pet Products Ltd - Amazing Animal Accessories - Online UK Pet Shop
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I agree probably stick with what motivates the dog - if the reward system ain't broke don't fix that.

I think training him to take it politely is not a bad thing though and I got some pointer on that after I accidentaly got nailed.

Mine doesnt really seem to care what toy I use is as long as he can tug on it or chase it - I just really like THIS toy because it floats and that is a plus for water work and he has never pulled the rope through unlike he has on the kongs. Darned things have a few years on them and are only now starting to wear apart. plus it will fit in a tennis ball holder

Ropeball Floater Large by Happy Pet Products Ltd - Amazing Animal Accessories - Online UK Pet Shop
Oooh, I like it!!
 

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My "homework" is to pick what I want Elsa to do for an indication of a find. I have decided I don't want her to do the body slam. I'm thinking a bark? She hardly ever barks, so I would be able to pick up on it.

What does everyone else use?
My dog does a body slam and I DON'T recommend it. He is an amazing dog and I've gotten a huge number of compliments on him - except the indication. He jumps up to face level and hurls his WHOLE body at me in excitement - 60 lbs. Luckily, Mason is very conscientious and NEVER hits me coming down a hill or from behind, he prefers to come straight in front of me on a flat surface to bump me. However, if he can't get flat then he'll do less of a hit - which for testing purposes looks sloppier even though I KNOW he's indicating. I had to teach him to hit me from behind for testing, but he won't do it in real scenarios. I suggest the bringsel - unless your dog is a natural barker - I've seen training mess the dog up trying to force a bark. The nose to hip sounds very viable too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Training The Indicator

We had team practice again today and I talked to the training coordinator a little bit more about the pros and cons of various indicators and I came home to play around with a few things.

The first thing that I decided to try was pawing at my thigh. I thought this would be a good medium between the body slam and a passive indicator. Here's 5 minutes after our first attempt (šapa means "paw" in Bosnian/Croatian where my husband is from).


I didn't think about filming the training until after we had done it a couple times. But for anyone interested in SAR and doing something similar, here's what I did:
I put a "target" (white paper plate folded up) on my thigh and held food there with a closed fist. I held it there while she nudged my thigh with her nose, and rewarded when she got antsy and put her paw on me. Did it a couple more times until she was slapping the target with her paw. Then I incorporated the word šapa. Then removed the target and kept my hand in place and moved her away from me to do the command. Right now that's the spot we're at.
 
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