Training Challenge I: Building Toy Drive

Sam was my first dog that actually loves toys. Frisbees, balls, stuffed toys… he loves them all (as long as he can see them). Bean, however, is another story. No matter what toy I’ve tried, she’s completely uninterested, even fearful of them. Squeaker toys used to have her bolting from the room, though thankfully with exposure, that’s stopped. However, she won’t touch them.

Yet, she has SO MUCH ENERGY! that I wish she did love toys (especially balls or frisbees!), and I really need a secondary ‘reward’ rather than treats. So I’m taking on a new training challenge with her, in hopes of building some kind of toy drive.

I’ve heard of people having some success with training toy drive by acting like the toy is the coolest thing in the world and refusing to give it to the dog for weeks until they show sufficient interest to bite or otherwise ‘try’ the toy. Bean is so food-driven, though, that I think it would be more appropriate to try a different method.

The method of building frisbee drive:

Feed on the frisbee for a couple of weeks, until the mere presence of the frisbee causes excitement. Throw the frisbee and hope she will chase it to see if it has any food in it + copious amounts of treats and clicks if she does go after it.

I’ve never built toy drive in a dog before, so I’m kind of going off the basic idea that food will equal excitement. I’ve read this method too, but I think I’m going to try feeding in the frisbee first. Hopefully it will work! I’ll keep this blog updated with progress.

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About Mel

Likes: Canada, spelunking, shiny objects, painting her living room a different color every couple of months, animals, dogs, clicker training Dislikes: Canada, styrofoam packing peanuts, snoring, crazy stalkers, failure of google-fu Favorite sports: hockey, marriage, agility, curling, hockey, snooker, hockey Noted for: participation in charities, antique furniture obsession, not-entirely-appropriate sense of humor, obsession with dog training
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