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Sisko either likes to try to make a game out of training or doesn't seem interested if I'm trying to train something new. I was able to have him retrieve his leash, but when I went to grab it he wanted to play with it instead?. I would really like to train him to retrieve other items, but I'm not sure how to stop him from playing with them. He also likes to just goof off instead of working on new commands.

I'm hoping to do some sports with him, but I think it's too soon to start and I'm afraid of him wanting to play instead of working on a task.
 

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Part of my training includes playing. I use treats, praise and toys as rewards for training.

When training a retrieve, have a special toy such as a ball that you can toss or a tug toy that you whip out of your shirt as a reward for retrieving what you requested. If he retrieves, then he gets to play as a reward. Training should be fun and not dreary.
 

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How old is he now? Him wanting to play with you is great! The best trainers are those who know how to make training a fun game for a dog. You can learn how to incorporate training into play by taking classes with him. Chances are he's not too young to begin sports, so long as it's an age appropriate class. Misha took an agility foundations class when he was only 5 months, and then we did obedience until he was mostly done growing so we could safely begin obstacles. A good trainer will know how to adjust things so even a young dog can learn safely.
 

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Part of my training includes playing. I use treats, praise and toys as rewards for training.

When training a retrieve, have a special toy such as a ball that you can toss or a tug toy that you whip out of your shirt as a reward for retrieving what you requested. If he retrieves, then he gets to play as a reward. Training should be fun and not dreary.
Thanks, Skylar! I've just been using treats and praise. Do you have any training toy recommendations? I agree ? that training should be fun and not dreary. The only training toy that I have for him is a really long rope toy I use for training longer sits and stays.
 

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How old is he now? Him wanting to play with you is great! The best trainers are those who know how to make training a fun game for a dog. You can learn how to incorporate training into play by taking classes with him. Chances are he's not too young to begin sports, so long as it's an age appropriate class. Misha took an agility foundations class when he was only 5 months, and then we did obedience until he was mostly done growing so we could safely begin obstacles. A good trainer will know how to adjust things so even a young dog can learn safely.
Sisko is 2 now?. Okay, I'm glad to hear this a good thing! Okay, then I need to find a different trainer who does that. Do you have any recommendations? I live in Washington State. Nice?.

Thank you, Raindrops!
 

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You know your dog best. What is Sisko’s favorite game? My dog is not ball crazy so I rarely throw a ball as a reward. She likes squeaky toys and playing tug. You can have more than one toy and more than one type of toy.

What are you training her to retrieve?

Do use a favorite toy for a reward when training retrieve, you want her to lose interest quickly in what she retrieved to focus on the toy. You can also toss food treats to make it more fun - train a command to get a tossed treat so your dog understands the game first. My command is “get it”.
 
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You know your dog best. What is Sisko’s favorite game? My dog is not ball crazy so I rarely throw a ball as a reward. She likes squeaky toys and playing tug. You can have more than one toy and more than one type of toy.

What are you training her to retrieve?

Do use a favorite toy for a reward when training retrieve, you want her to lose interest quickly in what she retrieved to focus on the toy. You can also toss food treats to make it more fun - train a command to get a tossed treat so your dog understands the game first. My command is “get it”.
Sisko's not ball crazy either. I'd say tug is a favorite. Okay. Just the leash for right now, but I'd love to do it with other things too.

Okay, I'll start doing this.
Thank you, Skylar!
 

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Noelle loves to play tug. I use this to my advantage during our training time. We play tug with Mr. Fox the tug toy until I say, "Mine." Then Noelle gives me the tug back. I ask, "How are you going to earn Mr. Fox?" Noelle lines herself up in heel position and stares at me. We heel. We do a few rally signs together. Then, out pops Mr. Fox from my pocket and we play tug for a while. Back and forth, intense work earns equally intense play. Doing this has electrified Noelle's training. Training is dynamic and fun for both of us.

Noelle has no idea what will earn her a tug. She has no idea when the tug will appear. She just knows if she follows my silly directions, eventually, magically, her tug will appear. So, she watches me with the intensity of a thousand suns. It could be a whole two minutes before the tug appears. It could be three seconds later. But, it's coming. Tug is coming and it's so exciting she is vibrating.

Before I tell Noelle, "Mine," I figure out exactly what criteria I am going to be rewarding. Is it perfect eye contact? Is it precision with heeling? Is it a kickback stand? What am I looking for, specifically, that I can click and then reinforce the moment I see it? Once I know that, I watch Noelle for that behavior, mark it, and poof out comes Mr. Fox.

I use treats to train new behavior and to reinforce static behaviors like the signals in Open and Utility. I don't want to reward a stay with wild play, because for me a stay also includes a calm release. Heeling, figure 8's, rally practice, those win Mr. Fox. A fantastic jump with her dumbbell, earns Mr. Fox.

I don't separate play time and training time. They are the same thing. Training earns play. And if Noelle checks out on me and wants to play early, that's on me for waiting too long between bursts of play. I keep our training/play sessions about 10 minutes long. Five minutes of play and five minutes of training, two or three times a day.
 

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Tug play is an excellent way to work on impulse control. Teach Sisko to give the tug over to you. If needed you can incorporate sit or down along with him ceasing the tug. Once he has stayed connected with you for a few seconds resume the tug play.

As for Skylar and Click I use play as a release from work during a long training session or any time I see the dog getting disinterested or stressed. Training is play and play is training.
 
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Noelle loves to play tug. I use this to my advantage during our training time. We play tug with Mr. Fox the tug toy until I say, "Mine." Then Noelle gives me the tug back. I ask, "How are you going to earn Mr. Fox?" Noelle lines herself up in heel position and stares at me. We heel. We do a few rally signs together. Then, out pops Mr. Fox from my pocket and we play tug for a while. Back and forth, intense work earns equally intense play. Doing this has electrified Noelle's training. Training is dynamic and fun for both of us.

Noelle has no idea what will earn her a tug. She has no idea when the tug will appear. She just knows if she follows my silly directions, eventually, magically, her tug will appear. So, she watches me with the intensity of a thousand suns. It could be a whole two minutes before the tug appears. It could be three seconds later. But, it's coming. Tug is coming and it's so exciting she is vibrating.

Before I tell Noelle, "Mine," I figure out exactly what criteria I am going to be rewarding. Is it perfect eye contact? Is it precision with heeling? Is it a kickback stand? What am I looking for, specifically, that I can click and then reinforce the moment I see it? Once I know that, I watch Noelle for that behavior, mark it, and poof out comes Mr. Fox.

I use treats to train new behavior and to reinforce static behaviors like the signals in Open and Utility. I don't want to reward a stay with wild play, because for me a stay also includes a calm release. Heeling, figure 8's, rally practice, those win Mr. Fox. A fantastic jump with her dumbbell, earns Mr. Fox.

I don't separate play time and training time. They are the same thing. Training earns play. And if Noelle checks out on me and wants to play early, that's on me for waiting too long between bursts of play. I keep our training/play sessions about 10 minutes long. Five minutes of play and five minutes of training, two or three times a day.
Thank you, Click-N-Treats! I just tried this when I took Sisko out to go potty with his training rope toy and I think it worked better than treats. I'll make sure that training earns play.
 
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