For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg » Leerburg Q&A » Answered


Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3350 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Playing With Your Dog

Q. When I play with my 6 month old GSD off leash she won't bring the toy back. Should I go to the ecollar for this problem?
My compliments to you both for such an informative website!

I have a 6 month old high prey drive GS female. I've been doing the marker training since she was 9 weeks old with excellent results. I've purchased several videos including the "Tug" and "Retrieve." I've used the food throwing and rewarding inside and outside with great results. She will bring the tug back promptly inside without a leash, outside on a long leash, but when off leash outside she will stop about 3 to 5 feet and play keep away. If I turn away she will follow just out of hands' reach. If no toy is involved I have no problems on her recall. We have started a local Schutzhund club and I plan on competing with her, so I'm staying away from the 2 ball/toy technique. Obviously, I'm going back to the long leash outside.

I should be receiving an E-collar in the next few days. My question is, will it mess up her retrieve for me to nick her when she pulls this stunt? Will it decrease her drives?

A. Since your dog is only 6 months old and you know that she won't bring the tug back off leash, I would simply go back to setting her up for success and use the line on her. Due to her age and level of training, using an ecollar as an aversive for something that she's supposed to enjoy seems like a very bad idea.

Maybe later on, when she's older it would be an option but I think the potential for creating conflict would stop me from using the ecollar in this situation. She simply needs more reps of doing things your way, use the leash.

I'd also stop throwing the toy if she's showing reluctance to bring it back. Tug and let her take it from you and ask her to bring it right back to your hand (on leash) but don't throw it right now. I'd also review the Motivation video, Michael talks about dogs that are possessive.

Cindy Rhodes
  
Recommended Products
The Power of Playing Tug w/ Your Dog
The Power of Playing Tug w/ Your Dog
$65.00
5 Hours, 25 Minutes
This is another DVD that is done with Michael Ellis. It teaches trainers in a step by step manner how to use a toy as a reward in training your dog. It teaches dogs to OUT when asked and to bring the toy back when its released and it is all done with motivational methods.

$65.00
 
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis (2010)
Training the Retrieve with Michael Ellis (2010)
$65.00
3 Hours
This training DVD deals with Michael Ellis's system of training competition dogs to retrieve. This is a motivational method that is really revolutionary. Michael's system is based on marker training (operant conditioning). This training system works for all dog sports. It can even be the foundation for teaching hunting dogs to hold and retrieve.

$65.00
 
Advanced Concepts in Motivation w/ Michael Ellis
Advanced Concepts in Motivation w/ Michael Ellis
$65.00
4 Hours
This is the latest in Leerburgs series of training videos done with Michael Ellis. It is a training video that follows Michaels curriculum for his course on Motivation and Play at his school for dog trainers in California. The work in this DVD (or video on demand) teaches trainers of all breeds (large and small) and trainers from every dog sport (agility, obedience, and protection sports) the advanced concepts of how to motivate their dogs. The goal of this training is to teach dog trainers how to turn a reward into an event for their dog. When trainers can learn these skills they are going to be able to manipulate the motivation and drive of their dogs.

$65.00
 
Puppy Tug Set
Puppy Tug Set
$65.99
This tug set includes the following items: Leather Bite Rag Furry Fleece 1 Handle Tug Small Braided Fleece Tug Rubber Puppy Tug

$77.49 
$65.99
 
1-Handled Synthetic Mini Tug
1-Handled Synthetic Mini Tug
$19.00
Durable tug toy designed for interactive play. Built with new and improved firehose material. Crunching and crackling noises stimulate interest in playing tug with the owner. Colors may vary. This is NOT a chew toy.

$19.00
 
15" Nylon Tubular Tug
15" Nylon Tubular Tug
$14.00
Here are the reasons we love this tug: Your hands don't get bit as much, there is room for two hands and the dogs mouth. There are no handles for the dog to self satisfy into on the OUT training. It's firm but not so hard that it causes teeth problems (like kevlar or fire hose tugs). It's smooth, so it easily slides into and out of your back pocket or training vest. It's only 1 1/2 inches in diameter so it easily goes into pockets. Our DOGS LOVE THEM.

Option 1:
$14.00
 

20% off Select Michael Ellis and Ed Frawley DVDs, streams, and courses good through Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM CT