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Reward options?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by adamantis, Apr 2, 2017.


  1. adamantis

    adamantis PetForums Member

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    Posting here instead of Working Dogs for traffic etc...

    I have a trainee Mantrailing dog. At the moment, his find reward is a tasty box of baked liver&heart (which he adores and doesn't get at any other time) - he gets this once he indicates correctly. Then once his harness is removed I have started giving him primula (the squeezy cheese stuff - he licks the end of the tube whilst I praise him).

    I'm looking for a 'new' reward - more interactive? I don't want to remove the liver/heart, but once the initial "OMG we found them!!!" is over, I would like to introduce something play-like... He is insanely food driven, but will play when in the right mindset - but play is always a tuggy game. Is there a way of combining tuggy and food? This sounds crazy (I don't even know how it would work!), but something like a bite tug that I could maybe smear squeezy cheese or peanut butter on to start with to start the habit?

    Looking for suggestions here - what we do at the moment works, I just feel like he's being short-changed! (possibly because we work with a lot of Mali-types who work for a game of tug and that interaction at the end?)

    Should I build up the reward? The cheese is a newish thing, and he really seems to appreciate it, but I would love to have the full on "Party Time!!!" end of search game...

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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  3. leashedForLife

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    how about Super-Tug? --- easily taught & it can be as wild as U want to make it. :)
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    I'd teach a default drop immediately - just go deadweight & hang yer arm off the dog's jaw, eventually the dog stops trying to re-engage U & gives up, dropping the object. PRAISE warmly & sincerely, & *instantly!* offer the tuggee again for a new game! - Yay! :D
    After this happens a bunch of times, the dog will figure out that the faster s/he drops the tuggee, the faster the game resumes & the more-intense it becomes.
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  4. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    I am curious to know why you believe that a tuggy will be more reinforcing and/or rewarding than the food?

    What purpose does it serve to compare your dog with others?

    Is his tracking/trailing less intense or accurate?

    Have you considered that the way you deliver the food could be "improved"?

    The dog can still find a box with food in, but you can increase the interaction by keeping the bulk of the food on you and feeding it piece by piece to the dog so that the experience lasts longer?

    You can of course train a dog to play tuggy by training it to tug for food until the tug can become as reinforcing as the food.

    Be careful what you wish for, I have trained very successful tracking dogs using both food and toys and I have also trained dogs to tug for food as well as having toy obsessed dogs.
     
    Cleo38 likes this.
  5. adamantis

    adamantis PetForums Member

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    Thank you for being the voice of reason (as always!)

    I think it's probably more about me (and me being repeatedly told off for not rewarding him with play/extending the rewarding phase - although this always seems to come from people with handler orientated breeds).

    To be fair, he will work for a paper bag that was once in close proximity to a cheap biscuit, I'm not sure he cares sometimes!

    He also doesn't seem to respond differently whether I reward the find, or the misper rewards - the cheese is an attempt at extending the reward from the initial find moment, and also means that I always give some reward even if the misper has the box.

    I think part of it may be the knowledge that, on a live search, I am going to have to keep him busy and out of the way whilst my support deals with the misper - and there's only so much liver you can shovel down one hound (not that he believes that...)

    I think it might be worth seeing whether play is something he -wants- as a reward maybe. But if it's not what he wants, then I wouldn't try to force it :/

    (I think I'm rambling more now than I was in the original post where I'd had a bottle of red!)
     
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