Expert Puppy Training

Optimal Toy Motivation for Successful Training


Motivation but not frenzy!!

There is a lot of talk in the dog world about motivation, rewards and drive in training dogs. All these things are essential to success and will assist in the training when used correctly. Most importantly training must be fun for both the dog and trainer.

Using toys and games to reward desired responses by the dog are powerful aids and incentives.

Working a breeds like Malinois are relatively easy to motivate to a toy,the skill and challenge is to ensure they don’t end up going OTT!!

As part of my training programme I think it is massively important to develop a dogs motivation to a toy. To do this I build the dogs desire to want the toy which is achieved with exciting short play sessions. It is important when doing this that I monitor the dogs behaviour. My aim is to have a highly motivated dog who will want to do anything for his toy but still be able to think. Sounds easy but in reality it isn’t. There is a very fine line between  a dog being sufficiently motivated to enable learning to take place at the optimal rate and a dog being over excited and unable to think!

I see lots of people who make the mistake of over exciting their dog sending it wild  and into a state of frenzy.

Think about it:

If your dog is really excited and fixated on something are they able to concentrate on learning something new? Could you?

To make sure you don’t end up making this error, take time to get to know your dog so you can recognise the signs which indicate she is becoming over excited.

Although all dogs are different, things to look for include: squeaking, yapping, jumping round, excessive panting,  attempts to snatch the toy and being unable to break  attention from the toy.

In the film I show you the exercises I regularly practice with Kali, which enable me to make sure she remains calm and clear thinking during training.

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Sue Williams

Sue has vast experience gained from working with both dogs and other animals over the last 20 years.

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