Question from Mike: My Mal has never been a real ball or tug crazy dog. Over the past couple years I've bought lots of different balls and tugs to try and gain his interest. My Mal, at times, when we are training will go crazy for an Orbee ball or tug and other times he would rather go off on his own after I give him the release command and/or try to reward him. This is my first Mal and it seems that they are quite quirky compared to a breed like German Shepherds. I've tried to make an event out of the reward like Michael Ellis preaches but still have had no luck getting past this. I mix my rewards up between a ball and a tug and a food reward. I'm wondering if you have ever come across a dog like this and how you might have to deal with it. To me, it's as if the Mal is either not clicking with me or the reward is not enough. As far as his training, he does Agility very well and other things also, but his obedience could be crisper. I have read many times that some dogs just don't have the drive for toys, tugs and such. Does what I am describing fit any of these categories?
I a having similar problems with my doberman and this conversation between Michael and Ed is very helpful for me. I, like I guess so many people, enjoy listening to the free videos but wish I had the opportunity of attending Michael's school with my dog. But am grateful for the DVDs available and all the advice on this site.
Thanks a million.
Written on January 22, 2013
Very interesting! Reinforcing I have to change toys, although I have to use one kind of toy per session. Right?