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Discussion Starter #22
He has lots of potential to be a great obedience dog (standing on Lily's shoulders, since she is my first working dog). I think he will be a star who may even shine brighter than his big sister. I hope by blogging about working with them others may decide to dip their feet into the performance pool (for any sport).
 

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Catherine,
I am curious how you manage Javvy's tug toy that you use for motivation.

Is his tug toy only available to him for training sessions? Or is it laying around the house and available to him at non-training times? Do you have only 1 special training tug toy, or multiple ones? What were your criteria for choosing the toy(s) you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Good question Axeldog. Both Lily and Javelin have one tug toy that is only used for training. I bought Lily's a number of years ago at a big cluster up in Massachusetts. Our agility trainer and I have commented a number of times that I will be dead in the water if I lose that toy. I made Javelin's tug. It was easy to do. I cut strips of three different color and texture fuzzy fabrics. I took the three strips and knotted them together at one end and started braiding. At the other end I made a loop before I knotted it off.

Lily's is the red, yellow and blue one. It is about 18-20" long. Javelin's is the black, white and brown one. I made it longer, about 3 feet.

When we are training I keep the tug either in a pocket or stuffed into the back of the waistband of my pants. They are not allowed to take it themselves. Lily totally understands that, but Javelin has just gotten to love his enough that he is having a hard time giving it up and wants to take it from me (which is fine since it means he is driving to work, but he does have to learn that he has to stop when I stop). I use the tug toys for all of my training, including obedience. Taking play breaks lets the dog release some stress. Also if the dog doesn't want to play in the ring then it is too stressed out to go back to work, so it is a good barometer of their frame of mind.

jav tug.jpg

lily tug.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I don't dare wash Lily's since it is a very comforting object for her. I should really make one for her too and switch back and forth as a precaution against the day I lose it or it falls apart.

I have plenty of fabric for making them. PM me if you would like me to make one for Axel and we will work out how to get it to you. I make all sorts of training things for folks, but not enough for an Etsy or ebay store. I can make metal and wood utility articles too.
 

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:questionmark:

How long do you allow the dog to tug with you? (time frame for puppy and time frame for adult dogs)

How do you get them to stop because YOU say so?

Love this thread!!!!!!! :love2:
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I tug for a minute or so depending on the dog's level of concern about the work being done, longer if they are a bit stressed and less if the affect they were showing before tug was good. For Lily, she has always been a very enthusiastic tugger. Javelin needed to build for driving for it, so we started with shorter and gentler play.

When you are starting you should make sure you have a leave it already in place and you can use that to end the session. Sometimes when they start to really like it they have a hard time letting go on just a leave it, so I have used a sit or a down order to get them to settle and then take the toy.
 

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Just wanted to throw this out here: K9DIY: Make a hard core, square-braid tug | Team Unruly
I made several of these and they've withstood tugging and chewing by a 150 lb Great Dane. They give just enough to keep my giant puppy from yanking my shoulder out of my socket or pulling me onto my face :) The square braid is durable, and polar fleece washes well too.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Just wanted to throw this out here: K9DIY: Make a hard core, square-braid tug | Team Unruly
I made several of these and they've withstood tugging and chewing by a 150 lb Great Dane. They give just enough to keep my giant puppy from yanking my shoulder out of my socket or pulling me onto my face :) The square braid is durable, and polar fleece washes well too.
I've seen those, but I like mine floppy enough to be able to squeeze into a pocket folded up. For a more powerful dog they are really good.
 

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I've seen those, but I like mine floppy enough to be able to squeeze into a pocket folded up. For a more powerful dog they are really good.
Yea, you definitely couldn't fit this one in a pocket! My regular braided one lasted until Finn was about 60 pounds, which I think was when he was around four months. After spending about $20 on braided ones at the store I just learned to make my own.
 

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We got a cancellation slot this morning. Wow did my boy do me proud in a whole bunch of ways!

The first thing we did was to work on his moving while holding the dumbbell. Deb took him and showed me what to do. I loved seeing him work for someone else as an indication of his trust and comfort in a place that he has only been to about 8 or 10 times. He did a great job with the dumbbell too. I had only been able to get him to go about three or four steps before he dropped it the last time I worked on it. By moving away from him faster that I had done Deb was able to get him to follow her all over the place. I think I was worried about him holding it and didn't want to put too much pressure on the hold, but she showed me that when he is really driving for it he holds it well.

We also worked on heeling and he now can go at least five steps while maintaining his eyes up positions. We worked on his tuck sits and having him wait to be called for recall by having him sit on a low platform and taking an eyes up wait order. He had a flexi leash on him and Deb held him across the chest to keep him from leaving early. I went out just about halfway across the floor and then called him. As I did so Deb let him go and he came like a rocket, but I was running away from him as he left the platform, so he had to catch up to me. We didn't do fronts but instead encouraged him to give hugs for coming fast and treated him while he was up and giving eye contact.

Since it is hot here today, when we got home I took him to the pool to work some more on teaching him how to get in and out and also to cool him off. He is out cold on the couch right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Video link for retrieve work

We have been working on Javelin's drive to retrieve and hold the dumbbell while moving with it. The dumbbell is on a string (light weight nylon). We started by dragging it and having him follow it then pick it up. He got a positive marker for picking it up from a dead (non moving) position. Once he would reliably pick the dumbbell off the floor we started moving with him carrying it. By initially moving quickly and having tension on the line he got motivated to hold the dumbbell. Now that he has some drive for holding onto it I can start to let the tension off the line. Once he will reliably move while holding the dumbbell with slack on the line I will start throwing it and sending him to get it.

Here is a link to our work on this today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_gTc_9BBgM
 

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That is really awesome! It is fun watching on the video!!!

How nice of you to share it with us!!!! :)
OK, now I'm going to go check and see how old Javelin is! Just curious. lol (curious is my middle name.. hahahaha).
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Myleen Javelin turned 14 months old two days ago!
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I have a three word marker system. "Yes" means that was spectacular and here comes a treat. "Good" means that was correct but you and I are going to keep working without the treat coming right now. "Oopsie" or "uh-oh" means that was wrong and we are going to do it again and dream on there certainly won't be a treat. I also try not to give treats when the dog is right the first time after a mistake. Lily used to be wrong on purpose to get the treat the next time. She now knows that there won't be a treat for the first correct event after a mistake and that being wrong to be told to fix it won't get a treat, but instead delays it. She makes sure she is right the first time if she really understands what to do and is under the stress threshold that tells her it isn't safe to do what she is supposed to. She is still learning to do utility exercises with heavy distractions and sometimes gets too worried to work.
 

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I loved watching the video of the dumbbell training process, you are so lucky to have such a nice facility and trainer to work with.

I especially just loved watching Javvy spring, prance and just exude total joy through the training process. Such fun to see him!
 
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