Instructor: Shade Whitesel
Do you have a dog that chases the ball, yet won’t bring it back? Plays keep away with toys? Tugs but won’t let go? Bites you instead of the tug? Obsesses over toys, yet won’t listen to a single thing you say? Is your dog so high in drive for toys that he can’t think? Or do you just want to channel that prey drive right from the beginning and add the attitude your dog has for tugging or chasing toys to the obedience ring?
If so, this class is for you! Join Shade Whitesel as we explore how to play games that channel that prey drive. Playing with toys with OUR rules creates a dog that plays with us instead of against us!
This class is most appropriate for dogs that are attracted to toys but need fine tuning in how to play with them. We include ways to build drive for toys but generally dogs with little or no interest in chasing and biting toys will have limited success in this class. The tug part of this class can be quite physical on the handler, so wear gloves and expect to gain some bicep muscles!
Here a video showing a little of what we work on:
Next session starts: April 1, 2018Registration starts: March 22, 2018Registration ends: April 15, 2018
Registration will begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Silver level for this class is offered as "Working Silver". In addition to asking GENERAL clarification questions about the class lecture materials, silver students will now have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review. You may submit two questions. Each question MUST have a one minute video attached so the instructor can actually answer a question that they can see. The question must relate to a topic in the class and the video must be a demo of the question. Please see the discussion forum for a detailed explanation - feel free to sign up at bronze, read the explanation, and then come back here to upgrade to silver if that interests you, and if space is available.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
2 ball game step 1: luring
2 ball game step 2: un lured, dog's choice
2 ball game step 3: adding behaviors
1 ball game
tug step 1: drive building
tug step 2: presentation, more details
tug step 3: out
tug step 4: moving out
toys in outside environments
using toys for competition behaviors
using toys for reactivity
toys, balls and variety of tugs, treats. Depending on your dog's preferences, you may start with soft fuzzy type toys to build drive and then end up with really hard type toys to encourage dropping and letting go. Flirt poles and toys on ropes can also be great in the beginning stages.
Discussion 5: Listening to your dog's opinion
Listening to your dog: dropping, outing and returning with the toy
When you are adding behavior (or agility skills or anything!) to your toy games, observe your dog. If the dog is unsure about the criteria of the skills, or you are working through something hard, often times the weakest part of your game skills will start to suffer. This is your dog's "tell" and often signifies that he needs a higher rate of reinforcement within the game. For instance, if your dog dislikes dropping the ball and the out is weak, the dog will start to hold the ball longer and stop outing as fast. Some dogs will always drop the ball at your feet, but will start to arc on their returns or circle you before dropping. Most of this is normal as you work through shaping skills with toy play, but if it goes on too long and for more than one session, you need to adjust your training plan accordantly. Arousal often masks lumping and bad training, and our dogs are generous. I'd like to know how my dog "feels" about the training session before his obedience skills start to suffer. Keeping a close eye on the game skills often gives you a heads up before the other behavior skills start to suffer from your training mistakes.
Here is Ones and I working on a very difficult retrieve skill. In this video, this is one of the first times I have combined hold with moving into front. I am not rewarding him enough and he tells me that. Here's part of that training session, warts and all!
If I were to ask him to heel (something we are good at and he finds relatively easy) he would drop the ball right away. I listened to him and the next couple sessions when we worked on the hold, I gave him about 3 ball throws in between each holding attempt. It worked! Here he is about a week later doing a new skill, generalizing different objects.
This works the same way if you are playing tug and asking for hard skills from the dog. Normally in the tug game, the dog stops outing when asked, or stops bringing the toy back for more tugging, or refuses to drop the toy at your feet.
I find it very useful to have an "ask" between me and my dog. For Ones and I, it is deliver to hand or dropping the toy at my feet. Deliver to hand is always voluntary on his part, I never take the ball or cooerce him verbally. If I stick out my hand to ask for the toy, and he stands there wagging his tail and NOT dropping it carefully into my hand, I know that I have overstepped on my "buy in" from my learner dog and need to reward much more frequently. Likely, he needs 10 toy catches instead of 1, or more intent tugging instead of half tugging as my mind is elseware...
Evaluate your dog’s performance and game skills when it comes time to add in some behaviors. Does everything stay the same? Do certain behaviors deteriorate?
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
This course has been the key to improving so much about my relationship with my dog! Over the past few months, I finally started suspecting that my dog's so called "possession issues" could be a result of how I played with her. The six-week course format gave us time to develop our play skills all the while getting Shade's regular feedback and advice as we worked through the course information. I love how each of us worked at our own pace, and how Shade directed us to focus on the most important aspects according to our individual needs. So, apart from us now having a good play foundation that we can build on, Shade's comments and advice helped me to better read and respond to my dog's body language during play, and allowed me to develop a clear play framework so she could feel comfortable and have fun with me. I also learned so much from my fellow students as they worked through their own challenges. I now see that how we play is absolutely key to meeting my training goals and having the best possible relationship with my dog. I'm well on my way to both, and Dama and I cannot thank you enough Shade! I look forward to more courses. Diane L & Dama
Prior to the course, my highly possessive German Shepherd wouldn't out or outed very slowly with dirty biting. By the end of the course, I no longer even thought about outing; Bosco's outs are consistently clean and fast on command. I highly recommend Shade Whitesel's toy class if you are interested in learning to develop conflict free toy interaction skills with your dog. Martin T.
I thoroughly enjoyed this class! I had a very focused young dog, i.e. all the toys are MINE, but now I have a dog that will work for me to get the toys, will switch from toy to toy, and is much less likely to bowl me over in search of toys. The feeling of being in sync with your dog is priceless and this class helped us tremendously tThis was an amazing class that was fun and relationship building in one package. I highly recommend it! Ginger Mo reach a place of understanding and cooperation. Love it! Nell Wirtes
Yes! I am thrilled at the progress of my young girl!!! We are working together instead of her seeking her own rewards with the toys.
Shade gave incredibly fast feedback on my videos. More importantly, her feedback was always quantifiable and actionable so that I could apply it.
At first I wasn't sure as I'd never heard of Shade, but I'm SO HAPPY that I took this class! It's already fixed all the problems I was having in playing with my Dutch Shepherd. He's now a tugging fool and no longer running off with the toy!
I loved this class. Our play style improved and I felt our progress with using toys while working
This was an amazing class that was fun and relationship building in one package. I highly recommend it! Ginger M