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Old 05-11-2009, 01:21 PM
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Default Using a toy instead of treats. do you think I should?

Kenya loves food obviously, and everyone in the training class usues treats. I began using treats because kenya in the beginning was very skinny and was ONLY motivated by food, but since shes gotten better her drive for toys has really gone nuts and she has a red Cuz THATS SHES OBSESSED WITH and ive been using it and it seems like she likes it and performs for it just as well as with treats



everyone in the class uses treats, do you think I should bring her toy?
are their any downsides to using toys?
Should I switch back and forth between toys/treats?
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:47 PM
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If toys are rewarding for your dog, then use them! Drug dogs and SAR dogs use toy rewards, as it keeps their waistlines under control.

ETA: Willow, the SAR gsd my friend handles is obsessed with her bad cuz. It's been her training reward for a while. She will do anything to get 30 seconds with it.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:59 PM
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Toys can make great rewards!!

A few things to consider -

For some dogs, toys are higher value than treats and a bigger distraction. This can be useful at times, but it depends on the level of training and the goals.

Toys can be a bit harder to carry and hide.

In a group class situation, a toy might cause too much disturbance for the other dogs - again, that depends on the level.

Toys will interrupt the training, where as a treat can be swallowed on the fly.

I love using toys, but not always. I really like to switch up the rewards so the dog doesn't expect a specific reward and also to avoid satiation (not that that's a risk with my crew).
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:14 PM
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Absolutely use it, but make sure you train her to never take it until asked to and to always release the second she is asked to. Very, very important.

If you are considering competing, be careful because at the last trial I was at, one exhibitor got in trouble (as she should have) for excessively rewarding her dog after her run with a Cuz, just outside of the exit. It was so bad the dog on the line couldn't run because it was so distracted.
Yes, we are suppost to have our dogs proofed against those kinds of distractions but the dog on the line was a novice dog........
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:59 PM
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Our boxer Mark has an orange Bad Cuz and it is his favorite toy. If toys work, they are better than treats since treats will only make your dog obese.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer100 View Post
Our boxer Mark has an orange Bad Cuz and it is his favorite toy. If toys work, they are better than treats since treats will only make your dog obese.
Only if you are stupid. Many many slim and svelte dogs are trained with food. You just make sure you feed less at meal time. Its over all intake that is greater than needed that causes a dog to gain weight.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Only if you are stupid. Many many slim and svelte dogs are trained with food. You just make sure you feed less at meal time. Its over all intake that is greater than needed that causes a dog to gain weight.
Saga is generally trained with treats and most people we see out and about think she is borderline emaciated ( fortunately her vet does not agree with that sentiment). I have just recently found a toy that will motivate her in class, with my instructor's help. We switch between food and toy rewards.

On a sidenote, I have found the best place to hide a toy while in class is in the hood of a hooded sweatshirt.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:38 PM
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I get told all the time when shaved down that I am cruel as I obviously don't feed my dogs.. Both enjoy toys, but I train with treats more than toys. I like both though.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillside View Post
On a sidenote, I have found the best place to hide a toy while in class is in the hood of a hooded sweatshirt.
That would not work with our dog, he would jump on your head to get it out.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Only if you are stupid. Many many slim and svelte dogs are trained with food. You just make sure you feed less at meal time. Its over all intake that is greater than needed that causes a dog to gain weight.
We give our dog treats, but in moderation. If every time you train your dog you give treats, there is a greater chance he/she will get obese. Again, it depends what you use as a treat. Most major brand treats sold at pet stores are not very healthy.
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