Building Drive In An Agility Dog?

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by Miller and Brittany, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Miller and Brittany Active Member

    I was wondering if anybody has any ideas on how to build drive for toys. My dog is a 16 month old havanese and we just started agility two months ago. He will work for food but not for toys. Does anybody have any ideas on how to increase drive to work for the toy? Thanks
    MaryK and Tâmara Vaz like this.

  2. Dogster Honored Member

    Hmm... I don't know if it will work for your dog, but it always helps for my dog to (if it's a squeaky toy) drag it across the ground and not let her get it (to get her interested):) If he has a favourite toy (that he is interested in most of the time) you could save it just for agility, like a *special* toy.:D You could also play tug with him more often so he'll learn to love tugging, which may make him intersted in the toy. I find that dogs LOVE squeaky toys, and ones that look like animals or rodents (it may be just hunting dogs, dunno.:confused:)
    MaryK and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  3. 648117 Honored Member

    You can use food at agility. Holly is extremely food motivated and we have been doing agility for a number of months using just food.
    Holly will tug at home and I've got a special tug toy that is only brought out for 5 mins or less per day so she really really wants it. She hangs on to that toy really well and has a lot of drive for it. But she still will not tug at all outside of our property no matter what I do. I've tried dragging it across the ground, waving it in her face, running away with it and every other thing I could think of and have been trying for a long time now. She will sometimes grab at the tug once, but that is it.
    Holly might tug in class one day, but at the moment I just use food.
    So don't stress to much if your dog isn't interested in tugging, you can still do agility perfectly fine.
    MaryK, Dogster and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  4. madeleine Experienced Member

    I also use food fory agility dog to motivate her. She likes it better than toys.
    She is more concetrated when we train with food, and she prevormes the exersice better.
    MaryK and Tâmara Vaz like this.
  5. SD&B Experienced Member

    It is nice to have both food and toys for agility. (Food for thought, toys for drive) I read an article in Clean Run magazine about how to train a dog for toy drive who doesn't have it naturally. It's a lot of work and takes a lot of patience.

    They used clicker training. They also used a non-toy item, such as a glove, to keep the owner from getting over excited about the toy and pushing too hard. First, you begin by c/t for showing interest, then touching, then mouthing or picking up, pulling just a little, pulling a lot, etc.... over many sessions. I wish I had the whole article to share. It was very detailed and provided a schedule. Anyway, you could try a similar approach. Approach tugging as a trick and use clicker training. Just as with any other clicker training, the idea was to take baby steps.

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