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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please move if in the wrong place.

I did The Play With Your Food Challenge last year, and found the advice/video's knowledge gained invaluable. A real, literally, game changer, with my play-reluctant dog.

Some background, Sonic is an ex-free range pet from the Dominican Republic. He came to me without knowledge or desire to play with humans. I had to teach him 'from scratch' how to play with a toy and it's been an on-going journey of trial and error. I have never received instruction on how to 'play with a dog' from local pet dog trainers, or even agility (although any dog I've had, including, ironically, Sonic, tugs like a demon in agilty, so probably no instruction was seen as necessary there). The short of it is, a free professional quality online class is a big deal to me.

So the next challenge, April 9th, is formally called the Engagement Challenge, informally, The Tug Challenge, for helping folks increase the FUN their dogs have with them and vice versa.

I also would love to hear/have other people share their 'free' online resources on the same subject.

My proudest moments with my dog are not seeing him heel/sit/down on cue but seeing him pounce on his frisbee, give it a shake and push back at me for a game of tug.

Play is a wonderful way to better the relationship of dog & owner, but when it doesn't come naturally (either or both to either party) a little help can go a long way.

Anyway, anyone who wants to up their game:
Engagement Challenge | The Collared Scholar

would love to know if anyone else here is doing the challenge, and share video's and if you are 'pet owner' don't be intimidated by all the die-hard dog sport people, fun is for everybody.

And even if your not doing the challenge, sharing tips on engagement, teaching play, rules for tug, teaching fetch, playing with your, etc. please do.

Should be a fun discussion...and I'd love to see your video's, especially if it something your shaped, struggled with or worked for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Nobody? I'd still love a (virtual) training buddy or two.

In the meantime, I found this:
Making the Most of Motivation

Some dogs need a very animated handler; some dogs need a calmer handler, and when you get frenzied with excitement, it overloads them or makes them anxious. Some dogs you can ‘spar’ with out there; other dogs find this too overwhelming and disconcerting to have their handler getting so physical with them, particularly if the body language is aggressive rather than playful.

Something I need, in particular, to keep in mind for my own dog. I'm always up in the 'high excitement' range, which is great for those moments when Sonic is feeling confident and game, but probably pretty off-putting in situations when he's feeling a bit timid and anxious. Learning to tone it down and match his energy, to speak in soft whispers & simply drop the toy and softly walk away, is something I'm working on right now.


 
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I signed up. The bummer is that this would help Chisum the most and I don't have him living with me right now, so committing to daily training is pretty much impossible at the moment. But hopefully I can partake a bit and get some basics for this summer when we'll have more time together.
 

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I like the Collared Scholar quite a bit! We did the engagement challenge last year!

The biggest problem I see in my training classes with tug is people shoving the toy into their dog's face, a bunny does not go TO the the dog. :p

I've also notice a big difference between the actual toys my dogs like. Levi much prefers having some distance between him and I, so I think he has some pressure sensitivities in play - which is funny because he always wants to be on or near you, so something about play must make him a little uncertain. So we use longer rope toys, or bungees. He also is a bit of a thrasher, so we are working on that.

If you let go of a toy while playing with Heidi, she will immediately jump into you and ask for more play. Which is also funny because she would rather not be super close to people all the time. She is also a great tugger, good weight shift backwards, no real thrashing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I signed up. The bummer is that this would help Chisum the most and I don't have him living with me right now, so committing to daily training is pretty much impossible at the moment. But hopefully I can partake a bit and get some basics for this summer when we'll have more time together.
Watch the video's and take notes even if you can't 'play'. They are free for a limited time (I think 2 weeks).

I missed The Fitness Challenge, because a) I don't stretch & my dog pogo's before every walk and the 1st video was about warm-ups, not happening.
b) I got the flu bad & just didn't feel like doing anything.
Now the video's are gone and it looks like I missed some nice trick instruction (weaving backward through the legs). So, I really wish I'd taken my own advice.

I need 'free' right now. I used to have less time & more money, now I have more time & not much money.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like the Collared Scholar quite a bit! We did the engagement challenge last year!

The biggest problem I see in my training classes with tug is people shoving the toy into their dog's face, a bunny does not go TO the the dog. :p

I've also notice a big difference between the actual toys my dogs like. Levi much prefers having some distance between him and I, so I think he has some pressure sensitivities in play - which is funny because he always wants to be on or near you, so something about play must make him a little uncertain. So we use longer rope toys, or bungees. He also is a bit of a thrasher, so we are working on that.

If you let go of a toy while playing with Heidi, she will immediately jump into you and ask for more play. Which is also funny because she would rather not be super close to people all the time. She is also a great tugger, good weight shift backwards, no real thrashing.
Yeah, I'm the one in bold, maybe not literally, but I get way invested in the game.

I thinks learning to see what the dog likes and observe is step one, modifying ones own behaviour, hmmm, I'm still working that one out...

good to hear I'm in some fabulous company for the tug challenge though.

Hoping to get some non-sporty people into this too. Even if you never ever compete or even formally teach your dog to do anything, mutual play/games is a great way to spend time with a dog.
 

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I signed up, though I probably won't be available much the first day. I'll just have to figure out a way to make up later. It's a week long of free stuff apparently.

I'm always trying to get my dog to play with me. He usually only will if there's no other dogs around. And he won't play with new dogs. And I never see his best buddies anymore, some have moved, one got banned, and a couple got aggressive with growing up it seems so don't go anymore. Not aggressive with him but towards other dogs, small dogs, fluffy dogs, resource guarding balls, all kinds of stuff.
I eventually taught him to play fetch, that and watching other dogs. But it has to be a squeaky or soft chewy rubber ball. And it either has to be another dogs ball to be stolen (not good!) Or I have to run around like an idiot squeaking it madly and hiding it telling him to catch it or it's getting away. Even then and using treats to bring it back I get maybe five to ten throws tops before he loses interest.
He likes tug and loves find it. But he's good at finding and stealing things in general so I probably shouldn't encourage that. More than once he's gone up to someone at the dog park and literally stolen treats out of their pocket meant for their dog. He once even managed to open a bag and steal a treat in a pocket with one move.
He's also good at escaping and opening gates and doors, not to be encouraged!
But he sees me as food provider and cuddler, not fun to play with.
My last dog didn't like other dogs and lived for playing fetch with me. Always had to have a stash of at least ten tennis balls in the car at all times. Huge difference. Can't figure this one out for play motivation. It's like he doesn't know humans can be played with. And I have a bad knee so I can't run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I signed up, though I probably won't be available much the first day. I'll just have to figure out a way to make up later. It's a week long of free stuff apparently.

I'm always trying to get my dog to play with me. He usually only will if there's no other dogs around.
No worries, this is perfectly normal. I'm practicing outside of a dog park just to work on the distraction element.

Glad you signed up--it should be tons of fun. The intro video is already up.

If you don't have time to do the things, watch the video's and take notes.

And have fun, both of you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I could definitely learn a thing or two from this, count me in!
I think you stole my frisbee...

is that the tug and treat flyer? (with treat pouch inside)


welcome aboard, and get ready for fun.
 

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I tried last summer and Delilah humored me but sheÂ’s way more into chasing games like tennis balls and flirt poles than tug games. It took a lot to keep her engaged.

She plays that way with other dogs too- lots of running and chasing but does not like wrestling or using her mouth at all.
 
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