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Old 03-31-2014, 07:58 AM
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Has anyone else had a dog that finds this game/method extremely extremely aversive?

I've had a lot of luck using it with Mia but trying to do so with Summer shuts her down totally. I put the treat in my hand and then she tries to get it. I close my hand and she backs up. After 2 or 3 times, she backs very far away from me and will NOT take the treat. Even with an 'ok' or release word. She will not go near it. If it's on the ground- same thing. Will not touch it. Will not go near it. Does not want to play anymore.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:23 AM
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I can imagine that if you implement it in an obediencey way then it could be aversive to some dogs. Unfortunately I see the vast majority of owners set their dogs up to fail, especially when first introducing the game. I used to see clients glower at their dogs, hover over the morsel of food, poised and ready to spring into action at the slightest movement of their dog towards the treat. Instead of, you know, making it a fun game with plenty of praise and reinforcement.

If the hand close is too punishing for her, set the treat on the floor, or set her up a distance from it and work fun obedience and tricks and reward like crazy. Also, if she's not taking the food on the floor or from your hand, that's fine. Reward from the other hand with a new (better) piece of food.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:57 AM
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I introduced it the same way we did with Mia. We've actually done this in class with Summer and she shuts down there too.

I did basically this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

sitting and holding the food, letting her mug it then opening my hand and closing when she went back to it. After a couple hand closings she shuts down.

She will work with food around from a distance without a problem so that method works but the whole hand opening and closing thing seems very punishing for her. I was really curious if that is just a Summer thing or if that happens with other dogs too.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:08 AM
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The introduction of the game can be a bit stressful for sensitive butterfly types. So, in short, no it's not just Summer, but most dogs are resilient enough to push through the stress while playing.
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