It was pretty quiet at the club this afternoon, so no distractions. We took the opportunity to practice some of the basics, and to work on our 'high fives.' This is the fun trick we've been working on that involves him raising his right foot and left foot on command. I think he's starting to get it : ) I'm going to try to develop some 'tricks' that we can do for breaks in training. It's kind of a stress reliever and something to get him excited. That, and throwing treats across the ring are about as close as we come to 'playing.' He's never been a toy driven dog, so it's been difficult to get him to play in training. I'm also working on teaching him to tug - something that comes natural to a lot of dogs - but not Jackson! If I throw a toy or a ball, he'll go after it then stand and sniff it, but not pick it up. So, I'm trying to find a way to get him to interact with me and a toy.
Susan Garrett has a page on her blog where she gives some tips on how to create play/tug drive in a dog that does not show an interest in toys. I've been following her steps on creating a motivating toy and it seems to be working - at least in my kitchen. We're to the point where he will take hold of the toy and tug on it with me briefly. I'm going to work a little more on it around the house before we 'take it on the road.' Not sure he'll still be interested if there are distractions around.