Creating Puppy Play Drive

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by hannahb_patch_faith, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. hannahb_patch_faith Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    I have a 15 week old Border Collie Puppy called Mylo.

    I am keen for him to work for both food and toys for when he is older and can progress his training into some sports.

    How do i create his drive for a tug toy?

    Many thanks,

    Hannah and Mylo:)
    MaryK likes this.

  2. MissyBC Experienced Member

    Hi there. First of all, welcome to DTA and congrats on your puppy!

    Do you have a clicker? If not, it's worth getting one, or use "Yes!" in an excited tone of voice, for correct responses to your cues/commands.

    I'm not saying, you have to get a clicker, but if you do - the clicker won't mean anything to your puppy in the beginning. You need to charge it... so pair it with treats. Click/Treat Click/Treat for a while until in response to the clicker, he looks at you as if to say: "Hey Mom... Where's my treat?"

    My Missy wouldn't work for treats in the beginning... instead she much preferred toys over treats. I guess all Border Collies are different!

    For getting him to like the tug toy - here's my suggestion - make the tug toy exciting! Slither it across the floor like a snake... any interest he has for the tug toy itself, click or say "yes!" and reward with a treat.

    I'm sure someone else will come along and give you more suggestions.

    Any questions... just jump right in and ask away! The people on here are so helpful and friendly.

    Have fun!
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    MaryK likes this.
  4. MaryK Honored Member

    Hi and Welcome!:) Miss and Dogster have answered your query really well. I too strongly advise getting a clicker, they're cheap as chips, and work like a charm!
    Dogster likes this.
  5. hannahb_patch_faith Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your advice Missy i shall try that with him as i do clicker training with him and he is very reaponsive to the clicker and i have already got a few basics trained. Dogster thank you for that video i like her way of training, i shall try that with mylo.
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  6. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I'm glad I could be of some help. Mylo is adorable!! Post more pics, please. We LOVE to see pics! :D
    MaryK likes this.
  7. hannahb_patch_faith Well-Known Member

    Missy I have posted some pics in the puppy section he really is a character, love him to bits!
    MaryK likes this.
  8. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I saw them after I posted that. :) I'm sure he's quite a character, Missy was too as a pup. She settled down when she got a bit older (she's two now) and I can wait to run her until 2:00 p.m. (like today... oops!) It was raining so I was waiting for it to stop before I took her to the park.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. Leaf Hunter Active Member

    I just acted like a bratty puppy. When my dog was sitting there playing with a brand new toy, I'd walk up and say "give me that!" and tug it, but not actually take it away. If a toy wasn't interesting then I'd pretend to kill it by bringing it up near my mouth, and pretending to bite and shake it. Then I'd run away from my dog, toss the toy, and kick it. It didn't take very long until she wanted to steal the toy away from me. When she did that, I'd laugh then hop around, then take it back from her.

    After I did that with one toy, it became easier to do that with other toys. I did learn just through play that some toys aren't as nice on her mouth. Like ropes, I have to be careful. They can't be to thick or to hard, otherwise she can't grip it right.

    Eventually I bought a kong tug toy. The kind that has a rope on one end and a soft pillow looking thing on the other. But I kept it in the car and saved it for when we went to the park.I introduced it the same way as the other toys, by dragging it on the floor and running away with it.

    Once she tugged it, I'd start praising her, but I'd also be watching her energy levels. If she got to crazy I'd pull the tug toy next to my knee and freeze. After a few seconds she's stop and look at me like "what's going on? why did you stop?" then I'd praise and go back to tugging.

    After about 10-20 tugs and freezes, I introduced the "Tug" and "Drop" cues. And I'd do this a lot. Pretty soon the tug toy was only a game of tug and drop. Later it became a game of tug, drop, catch, tug, drop, catch, etc. Now I can use the toy as a reward for any command. Like sit, down, wait, etc. However that tug toy is still only a park toy and stays in the car. I have other tug toys for the house.

    A friend of mine has a dog that loves squeaky toys. My dog doesn't care much for these, but her dog goes crazy for the squeaky. So she ended up buying a Kong squeaky ball. At home she can put treats in it, but at the park she just throws it.
    MaryK likes this.

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