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What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

I always suggest using a toy that will bring the correct amount of drive for that particular task. Some dogs will do great using a ball with a rope for obedience or drug work. You may find that a dog that loves a tug will perform better if his reward involves a better "fight". I let the dog tell me what particular toys bring out the drives I am looking for. Don't just give him a Kong because you like a Kong. Make sure he likes the Kong. Remember, his reward is his "pay". Find his $100 bill!!!
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Everyone seems to focus on the kongs and balls on ropes. My question is for those that do is this how you start puppies? Or what is the *age* of the puppies (or dogs) that are on ball/king for primary reward?
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Good analogy Jim.

I always wondered about the hierarchy of what makes one reward better for a particular dog than another. Say a Kong on a rope vs a Ball on a similar rope. They are both similar and you can work them the same way, either by throwing as a jackpot or using interactively. My dogs enjoy getting paid with either, so I don't see much of a preference. But I've seen other dogs truly just focused to the point of OCD for a ball or a frisbee that it actually can interfere with training progression. So that isn't good either.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Platts View Post
Everyone seems to focus on the kongs and balls on ropes. My question is for those that do is this how you start puppies? Or what is the *age* of the puppies (or dogs) that are on ball/king for primary reward?
I think mostly people focus on kongs or balls on a rope because pretty well every Petsmart/PetCo/MomandPop pet store has these for the most part in stock. These stores won't have leather, jute or french linen tugs bite wedges et al, so if your dog wants these and your toy gets forgotten somewhere you are SOL until you order online.

My current male was 6-7-8 months after the teething was done when I really started to create the excitement around a toy. Not always a ball/kong on a rope either. As this was the time we were engaging in more serious (but still fun) bite work training, and were laying foundation for recalls and outs at this time. I don't know if the protocol for a PSD or search dog is, but that was the foundation I was doing for Ringsport.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

if you occasionally give the toy to the dog and let them possess it by chewing on it or guarding it, i think it will usually make it a higher value reward...if it is used as a reward too.

i don't do that since i often have to work with dogs that have gotten too possessive ... to the point of being a problem //lol//


i've said it a few times in the past but will repeat it again if there are any new readers following this thread:
- i'm pretty much a food/tug guy
- i use tugs i can stuff, so i can make it as hard (blast hose) or as soft (hard felt) as i want depending on the dog
.... balls have always had drawbacks for me
- hard to place when tossed
- hard to keep interactive (i ALWAYS want some interaction when rewarding)
- hard to present as a target
.... so for me balls will mostly be a retrieve item for dogs that place a high value on retrieving

with that said i will NEVER use a toy for a dog i am starting out with. for me it has been more indicative of basic prey drive rather than motivation to learn and work
- i want to see how far the dog will get with simple verbal and physical praise
- and that will also tell me how well they can be handled

for food, i only use dried raw chicken or raw beef (no additives). my dehydrator gets a LOT of use and the treats last a long time in any season
- i use em for all dogs at all levels at various times. i don't "start with treats and graduate to toys" like others might; but that's just me

overuse of a high value reward may look good for awhile, but i think it is a loser in the long run when it comes to balancing drive and control
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

forgot to mention (again) that i also stuff a (cylindrical) kong or two in a tug for a nice hard, nearly indestructible, interactive grip toy

...apologies if i sound like a broken record
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Any kind of tug works well for him. The ball on a rope is good for me because I can throw and/or tug or do both. Generally if he finds the target source I throw the ball and he brings it back to me and starts a tug session - maybe with some throws. If he just works hard and finds nothing we end up with just throwing it.

I do tend to use food for obedience and a toy at the end of the session.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Have any of you seen any working dogs that prefer food over a toy? I haven't seen one yet. As a secondary reward sure but I still have seen food work that well for a jackpot reward.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

I've seen alot of these in SAR but I think your question is geared more to the sport ring type working dog or maybe the more mouth-y breeds (mals, DS, GSDs, etc)
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Not really Sarah. I've seen hunting labs that are more motivated for a toy than food. Everybody assumes that labs are the more food driven but then can be equally toy driven too IMO. So yeah if you've seen and have examples of dogs being more food driven I'd love to hear about them. Don't need to be pointy eared or not. Just examples of a work dog being more driven for a particular reward with descriptions and or examples.
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