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Old 10-04-2011, 10:00 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Default Teaching a dog to play with toys

Okay this is kind of unusual, but I'd like to encourage Mia to play with toys other than her kong squeaker balls. I think I inadvertently created a dog that vastly prefers kong squeaker balls to other toys. She's kind of a snob that way.

Now she will play with stuffies occasionally and she really likes the whole flirt pole concept. Other than that though... if I throw something she will chase then realize it's not a kong ball and go get her kong ball instead.

The big one I'd like to build is tug drive. Never been a strong point for Mia and I admittedly did not ever work on it as a pup. It was there, just not brought out because we both like ball better.

Ideas?
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:31 AM
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She's clicker trained yes? Teach holding an object. Click, treat. After she gets the concept you should be able to build it into a reliable retrieve for anything.

If you really want to build tug drive, try getting her started on rags, then move her to a soft tug. Papillons usually don't develop into super strong grip dogs like a BC or GSD would but you can usually build them up into a puppy tug for a bigger breed.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:40 AM
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Kim was anti-tug for a while...took a clicker, lots of encouragement, and a tennis ball on a fleece rope to talk her into it. Course her issue was mostly that if I touched the thing in her mouth she instantly dropped it. So we worked on tugging to a specific cue and posture so she knew it was "okay" to, in her mind, act in a very rude way.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:01 AM
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This is Auggie's fave tug toy in the world. It might be cheating since it has the squeaker ball attached... but this is honestly the only toy he is nuts for tugging. He will tug other toys, but he LOVES this one. Though admittedly I also only get this toy out at special times, so it's a very high value toy. He only ever sees it when we are doing agility training. So that may also have something to do with why it's so high value to him/why everything else is just a so-so tug.
You might be able to use it to build her tug drive and then start transferring it to other tugs once she has the idea if you want. I haven't transferred the excitement of this particular tug to another because I specifically wanted an "agility training tug," so I've just left it with this toy being the super awesome one.

The bad thing is that the rope isn't all that durable. It works for us since we only use it for agility training and only sometimes, I don't always bring it out, so the amount of abuse it gets is somewhat limited. I think I first bought it a year and a half or so ago and it's definitely falling apart. Not "replacement is necessary" falling apart yet but it's getting close for sure.

There are other tennis ball on a rope toys, like Shai said, so you might be able to try one of those that would probably be more durable. I just happened to pick this one up because Auggie has a squeaker ball obsession too so it seemed easiest.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:58 AM
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Mine's just homemade, as is Mira's new favorite, the Holee Roller tug toy I made last week.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:43 PM
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If she's into the flirt pole you can use this to help build her tug drive and progress to using a tug toy. If she's used to having a ball/toy thrown away from her she may not engage in drive closer to you because reward history tells her she gets drive satisfaction away from you (when you throw the ball). Using a FP can help with this

If you REALLY want to build her tug drive I'd stop letting her have any other toy for the time being. Go out and engage her with the tug toy or flirt pole, if she doesn't want to play, tough - walk back inside and let her learn it's the FP/tug or nothing.

A video of how you use the tug toy and FP could help as well as there are a lot of things handlers do when playing tug that turns their dog off tugging.

A rolled leather rag can make a good tug toy and can be used on the FP too.
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