Thursday, February 26, 2009

Show and tell in our class tonight!

I am teaching the class in Acton today because my super wonderful instructor has deserted us tonight, LOL!!!
I want to try to do a lesson on reward placement and give everyone some ideas about how to reward a dog that is not necessarily into toys-away from the handler. Having had a dog that I really needed that with-Chloe-so I could reward her for speed and for leaving me-I know that when I was showing these things I really found it helpful, so I hope everyone tonight will enjoy being able to see how to use these things and to play with them a little.

REMEMBER with using food toys when you reward the dog with the food make sure they are getting the food from the toy to add value. Like if you are using a water bottle with food in it, open the bottle-shake out a few pieces into your hand and make sure the dogs nose is touching the bottle when he gets the treat. Let your dog grab the treats out of the pouch so they associate the pouch with the yummy things they get. Food is great to teach a certain position but toys are GREAT to teach a dog to go ahead or to teach them to go to a certain position and to build speed, so using toys with the food can get a food motivated dog excited about some toys.

So I got some apple juice bottles-they are small, have wide mouths, are clear-so I filled them up with some great treats and am going to let everyone take one of these home to play with and use in tonight's lesson. Using water bottles or plastic bottles is GREAT-if you are ever where you need one and forgot to bring yours-you can always find a water bottle to empty and use if you have trained your dog to know how to play with that.

There are the little screw/tool holder things that I get at Home Depot, about $2, you put your treats inside and then when the dog goes to the tube you can run to it and squeeze the top and there is a slit that opens up. I have seen some big dogs that really chew on them make the plastic loosen up so that the top flies off when you throw it, put a little duct tape under where the cap goes and that solves that problem.

I have some tubes that look like toothpaste tubes-you can fill them with canned dog food, meat baby food, liverworst that is put in the blender or chopper and you can mix just a tad bit of the liverworst with canned dog food or what can use some fish that you blend up, be creative. The trick to this is make sure your mixture is all the same consistency so you don't get lumps squirting out. You can buy these tubes in camping supply stores for about $3/a piece.

For dogs with soft mouths I put one of those little stuffed toys that have replaceable squeakers, here I put a frog. Take the squeaker out and you can put in some soft food, chicken, turkey, ham, cut up roll over, what ever. Let the dog go to the toy, then open it with big fan fare and let them stick their little nose in and then pull it away from them when they have had just a piece or two-LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE AND CHASING AFTER IT!!!

I found some little travel size, tiny plastic containers, 2/99c, put in peanut butter or meat baby foot, or try some veggie baby food-anyway, run to the container with your dog open the lid and let them get a lick or two. You can just use a baby food jar BUT then you can not throw it, so I like the little container or even a tupperware container much better.

a TENNIS BALL-yep, you read right. Take a tennis ball and make a big slit in the top, like an X and then when the dog goes to the ball you squeeze it and you can have treats fall out of the ball-the dog is rewarded by the tennis ball.
There are a lot of treat bags-some that cinch up can be closed and you can use the top part as like a target tray, or you can just throw the bag. The dog can get it and bring it back or better to the bag and open it up and let the dog get a little bite.

There are a lot of tuggie treat and tug bags. Fill them with treats-when you let the dog get them sort of keep your hands on the bottom and let them dive in to build drive instead of taking something out or shoving it at them. hold on tight and just let them get a bite and then pull it away leaving the dog want to chase it.
The TUG TRAINER is sold at Clean Run and some other places, I posted a video earlier of how well that worked with my non tugger. Start using it with a really soft treat that is mushy-store the tugger in a poop bag between uses because it is VERY MESSY-but it works great. The tug and treats come in some sorter things, some fur covered ones, ones with braided fleece handles, just think about what your dog likes and choose one that has something he may really like.

Toys!!! I put a toy that usually uses plastic bottles, instead of plastic bottles put in food. I have a tugger with an elastic handle and fur on the pouch that is a favorite.

I also couldn't find my Frisbee that has a pouch you can fill with treats for those dogs that like Frisbees.

When in doubt-use your bait bag, close it up and throw it.

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