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Improving toy drive

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by Julianna, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Julianna

    Julianna Forums Novice

    Jan 26, 2017
    I can make a barely educated guess on how to improve toy drive, but if it is possible, I would love to read some inspirational stories from people who have some more experience than me!

    I have noticed that Joy is more motivated and attentive if I make a game out of trying to win the treat rather than just easily giving it to her in exchange for just one performed behavior. I have come to realize that she is a proud dog who loves to work! She is a pretty laid back in general but if she wants something then she can be pretty intense!

    Last night when I did some training with her, I would drop a treat in her treat ball and shake it around to mark the good behavior. She always had that intense, serious look when pushing that ball around so I think the challenge is fun for her. I have fed her meals with the ball sometimes but I haven't thought of actually using it as a higher level training tool!

    So with that experience in mind, I can appreciate the value of using toys to motivate. I have noticed that many serious working and sport dogs have high toy drive especially with tug toys and balls.

    Joy already likes playing tug and she will retrieve if bribed with some food first so I'm off to a good start at least. I'm going to have to find a way of making tug more rewarding. First I'll try to use the treat ball to reward a game of tug and I'll see how it goes from there.

    Well that is enough about us. I'll just drop a few questions here to prompt some discussion, hopefully. No need to answer them really but use them to inspire your response if you wish.
    What do you do with your sheltie? What is their 'job'?
    How motivated is your sheltie?
    What does your sheltie love to do?
    How did you shape your shelties desire to work?
    Any creative ideas?
    How did you motivate your sheltie to love fetching or playing tug?
  2. 2GoodDogs

    2GoodDogs Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    My first sheltie, Bobby, was too polite to tug. I found a nifty mesh tug trainer toy, put a hot dog in it and he learned by chomping on the mesh, he was being rewarded for being (in his mind) naughty. Worked great and he became quite a good tugger on regular and fleecy tugs.

    To increase chase, those flirt poles with a fluffy bit (like a squirrel tail) will get some lower drive dogs interested. Be sure when teasing and building toy drive to have the toy go away (instead of toward) the dog. Always have the object run away, like a prey animal would...

    I compete in the upper levels of obedience, do beginning agility for fun and fitness, and lots of "engagement" activity with my dogs. and about 4-6 herding clinics a year. My shelties go to the park for daily Frisbee and ball retrieve romps.

    Shh. don't tell my dogs its work, to them it is fun to be with me and they love earning praise, treats, toys. I build engagement with me by being more interesting than the environment around them.
  3. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    Cleo2014 likes this.

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