In dog training, toys can have a great educational impact if used correctly and trained your acting talents. Envy is not a purely human quality, but is innate in all socially living creatures. And it is very pronounced in dogs, because “possession” creates privileges, which in turn increase the validity among their own kind. Chasing prey from a superior is literally an “uplifting” feeling among dogs.
So it is only natural if your dog only finds his toy interesting until it really belongs to him alone. Then he either eats it (if that is possible) or he leaves it. So if, for example, you throw your dog a ball and then no longer take care of him, the ball game quickly becomes boring for him and, in the worst case, he soon only reacts with a tired look. The ball, on the other hand, which you keep “snatching” it back to, he’ll prefer to chase.
But if the ball is yours, if you defend it and want to keep it, then suddenly it becomes the only target, desirable prey, something that really interests you. And in order to get hold of this – and only this – ball, a dog is ready to fulfill your wishes, fully on you (or your ball). to concentrate. So an ideal educational tool if you get it started right. Find an object that is comfortable to hold and easy to throw. Ball, rope, ring, bag …
And first of all you love this toy, you play with it, enjoy it, throw it and catch it. Whenever your dog is watching you. But you don’t give it up. Let him get nervous and play his tricks, spin the thing, sit on it, show him. Then express a simple wish, such as a seat. And then throw away your toys as a reward. If he catches it, try to take it away from him. Let him enjoy a few minutes before you take the prey back. Because from now on you will only use this toy if you are giving “lessons”. Your dog will notice and understand this quickly. And if he is allowed to shake, tear, bag and fling the “thing” he is so keen on from time to time to his heart’s content, you will soon have an eager student. You can even use your toy in emergencies to lure them to your side when danger is imminent.
When choosing the toy, make sure that it is made of non-toxic material (including the inside), that no sharp corners can damage the sensitive dog’s mouth and that the consistency corresponds to the strength of the bit. The toy must be large enough that the dog cannot swallow it and small enough that it can be picked up and dragged with ease. It must not be too heavy, otherwise there is a risk of injury when caught. And it has to withstand the strong dog’s teeth so that they don’t swallow pieces. Specially treated hard rubber parts (as below), which are available in a large selection in pet shops and at dog shows, including buoyant rings for “water rats”, are very suitable. (Text: Ursula Birr)
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