Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday training - playing

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.

1 comment:

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Jackson,

Hey - you must get a photo of you doing the "high five" and post it up!! I love doing high fives - in fact, I love doing anything with my paws...hee! hee!

Oh! And I LOVE tugging too! With both humans AND dogs! :-) You know - maybe your human can try different types of things for you to tug on? For example, I am a bit of a wimp and I don't actually like putting my mouth on "hard" things so I don't like a lot of the tug toys in the toy shops that they make for "tough, big dogs"...they hurt my mouth! But I will tug really happily with my stuffed toys or a soft towel or something. Oh! Another thing my human does which always drives me crazy and makes me really excited is to drag a long cloth behind her (eg. old bedsheet) and run around with it - I just chase it like crazy and because I can't catch it immediately, that makes me even more excited...then when I do catch it, she pulls - so I pull back - then she pulls harder - then I pull harder - and all the time, she is making these squealing noises...well, that is one of my all-time favourite games. Maybe your human can try something similar with you, to help you enjoy tugging more? I think the thing snaking around and moving away fast triggers our prey drive and makes us excited about grabbing it! Then we will tug naturally.

I do think games are really important during training - it helps to keep us motivated and alert and keeps everything positive and fun!

Do you like to catch? That's the other game that my human plays with me - although, again, I only like to catch soft things like my stuffed toys - but she teaches me to back up and then she throws the toy (or a treat!) for me to catch and if I get it, she whoops and jumps around and I just love it!

Honey the Great Dane