Dog Agility – Training your Dog with a Toy

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,641
    Karen VanHoy, owner and trainer at Paws @ Play, shows you how to train your dog with a toy.

    Karen Van Hoy: Hi! My name is Karen Van Hoy, and I'm Captain of the Santa Barbara Flyers. This is dog agility. I'm going to show you how you can get a little play drive out of your dog, if they're not quite as excited as this.

    There are two things that you can use here. If your dog likes a toy and a tug, I would not prefer a ball, because you can't get on to the end of it. You could put a ball on a rope and tug with that, but you want a plain tug toy, or this will turn into a tug toy.

    If you have a food-motivated dog, and that's all that you have, this is a simple homemade little bag. It's got a Velcro zip top to this. She knows exactly what that means. I open it, she gets to get in there and she's found a gold mine.

    Now, what I can do is I'm going to start with this, because most probably dogs are going to want to have that little food drive. So what I'm going to do is try to get her mouth on it, which she says, I know what's in there.

    Now, your dog, you might need to be play with them, get them little enticed. Yeah! Good girl! Okay. So now what I want to do, even if your dog doesn't pick it up and bring it back to you, but the minute they touch this, you have to make a big deal out of it. So I'm going to throw it. Ready! Yeah! Good girl, good girl!

    I open the bag. I don't dispense the food to her. She gets to get as much as she wants. You get to let her in there as long as you want, if she was really successful at the exercise.

    Right now I'm just treating her with -- Oh! Yes, she says, I want to play, I want to play. Okay, ready, ready. So let's say, your dog, all he did was go over and touch it with his nose. You go and pick it up. Oh! What a good boy, what a good boy!

    Eventually, he's going to come back and put his mouth on it and give it back to you. So she's already got that lovely, little play drive as you can tell. Ready, okay, get it. Yeah! Good girl! She brings it back, and I try to get a little bit of tug game engaged with her.

    After that, she knows that she gets to get in here, look at her, she say, oh! There are lots of various treats in here. I've put anywhere from string cheese to turkey dogs to just plain kibble. Mix it up, let them have fun. If we ate the same thing all the time, we would be bored too. Oh! Good girl!

    So in the next segment, we're going to start our dogs how to start weaving.