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I'm not a vet, and I exercise my young dogs more than a lot of people do.  So I would say that 30 min of fetch IN A DAY is not excessive.  But 30 minutes of CONTINUOUS fetch probably is not advisable. Five minutes of fetch followed by ten minutes of walking, and the five more minutes of fetch then more walking, then maybe a couple more minutes of fetch would probably be better.  There are a lot more twisting and high impact stops and turns in a round of fetch than we realize. Short bursts of intense activity and longer rounds of low impact activity will give you the benefits of exercise with much less stress on young joints

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5 hours ago, Hooper2 said:

I'm not a vet, and I exercise my young dogs more than a lot of people do.  So I would say that 30 min of fetch IN A DAY is not excessive.  But 30 minutes of CONTINUOUS fetch probably is not advisable. Five minutes of fetch followed by ten minutes of walking, and the five more minutes of fetch then more walking, then maybe a couple more minutes of fetch would probably be better.  There are a lot more twisting and high impact stops and turns in a round of fetch than we realize. Short bursts of intense activity and longer rounds of low impact activity will give you the benefits of exercise with much less stress on young joints

Yes, this.


Even with my FIVE YEAR OLD,  our games of fetch are on and off, and honestly mostly training with fetch as a reward.  Do some heeling, BALL BRING IT BACK.  Stay.  Release. MORE FETCH.  Do a trick or three. MORE FETCH.   Etc. 

 

Not just... chasing the ball until they drop.


Some disc games look vaguely like 'go till you drop' for a whole 60 seconds at a time ;p  but  my dogs are all fully grown adults.

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35 minutes ago, CptJack said:

Do some heeling, BALL BRING IT BACK.  Stay.  Release. MORE FETCH.  Do a trick or three. MORE FETCH.   Etc. 

This is exactly what our fetch sessions look like :)

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Are there some moments where you can up the treat currency? For example: we've started using steak (in tiny pieces) to do things like cross busy streets. If Tama can't pay attention then I know sometimes even the best of treats won't work (been there, for sure) - but in moments where you can get that attention! Steak. (If you feel like you need a higher currency treat, that is. Otherwise I'd save it for when it's really going to be necessary.)

That sense of "whyyyy is it like thiiiis!" sounds very familiar. We have also gone in and out of very good periods and really, really frustrating periods. I once read someone's comment on a post, a while back, that said something like: all the training in the world doesn't make them older, which only comes with time. Sounds like you're training a ton (yay!) but also, I think it can be comforting to remember that time will also help.

 

 

 

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Thanks guys! Upping treat currency is a great idea - we may upgrade to hot dogs for very special occasions :)

An update - I think we're actually making progress.... he's starting to look at me more and more outside. I've begun using a clicker and take it with me every single time we go out, and click and treat every single time he looks at me. We're working on a few steps of "heel" at a time, with the release "ok go sniff!!" and every time he gets distracted I try to redirect his attention back to me. It's incredible to be making little bits of progress and seeing him improve... I'll be keeping you all updated! Thank you so much again for your advice and if you have more then keep it coming!  

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Another way to up the treat currency is to switch out high value treats every once in a while. Even steak can become ho-hum after a while.

A trainer I used to work with would always switch things up and manage to one up us every week. One week she'd have a treat bag full of thawed frozen meatballs and would have all the dogs' attention. The next week we'd all gone out and gotten meatballs, but she'd stopped at McDonald's and bought a few orders of Chicken McNuggets. All of a sudden the meatballs were pretty meh and she had every dog's undivided attention again. Another week it was a can of spray cheese. Rinse and repeat. There are lots and lots of things you can do to up your treat game. Be creative and don't let anything lose its value before trying something new and exciting.

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10 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Another way to up the treat currency is to switch out high value treats every once in a while. Even steak can become ho-hum after a while.

A trainer I used to work with would always switch things up and manage to one up us every week. One week she'd have a treat bag full of thawed frozen meatballs and would have all the dogs' attention. The next week we'd all gone out and gotten meatballs, but she'd stopped at McDonald's and bought a few orders of Chicken McNuggets. All of a sudden the meatballs were pretty meh and she had every dog's undivided attention again. Another week it was a can of spray cheese. Rinse and repeat. There are lots and lots of things you can do to up your treat game. Be creative and don't let anything lose its value before trying something new and exciting.

 

This.


And *don't*  discount the  novelty factor being  motivating  in and of itself.   I have  had  other people's dogs going absolutely APE  over plain old  milkbones and that horrible  semi-soft dog food  that  comes  in a box of individual plastic bags.   Both of those are  horribly  unhealthy, but they're shelf-stable and I keep  them in the van for when I run out of, or forget, my more typical ones.   They're completely novel  to other people's dogs and fairly so to mine.  There are  absolutely points when I've  gotten more  enthusiasm for  those than chicken or steak or liver or chicken hearts and gizzards.

 

 

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Two of my dogs have LOVED dried cranberries. WARNING ~ DO NOT GIVE DOGS RAISINS ~ they are poisonous for dogs. Cranberries are a whole different type of fruit, so they're safe. They have sugar added, so be stingy with them.

And if there's a weird thing your dog loves, use that. I've read about dogs who love broccoli, or carrots or the like. Experiment a bit to find out what works best for your dog. For a few dogs, it's tug, or a quick game of fetch, or some activity.

Ruth & Gibbs

 

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>> And if there's a weird thing your dog loves, use that <<

Yes, this!

I had a dog go thru a phase where the best toy I could offer was the cardboard tube from inside a roll of paper towels to tug on, or from inside a roll of toilet paper for him to just rip it up and disintegrate it :P   Also, two of my dogs learned all their fast-difficult weave entries (sorry guys, we do agility :P) using dead moles and voles that they'd caught. (I would manage to get the corpse away from them, then use it as reward to motivate their weaves). Worked *great*, other than, you know, the unreliable availability of dead rodents LOL)

It is, though, important to realize whether you are (at a given moment in time) using the treat as a lure to *manage* distraction, or whether you are using it as a reward to *train attention*. The two are not the same and although each has times when it is appropriate they do lead you down different paths.

-Pat

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I have also had good luck with the Pyramid pan dog treats, because I make them myself and know exactly what goes into them.  Easy-peasy to make. Just Google Pyramid Pan Dog Treats.

You can make chicken and beef and sometimes liver (careful with that as it can give the runs) and salmon or any other kind of meat you want. Can also make with cheese. And you don't have to cut them up into little pieces because they are already small. Mine come out semi-moist, don't stick to my hands or stain my pocket, and last a long time in the freezer and a few days in the fridge. It's a very easy way to vary the treat taste, by making a batch of each kind and having them on hand.

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Ah HA! I forgot about using paper towel rolls for a quick food toy. Drop in some kibble or dry treats, fold over the ends of the cardboard roll a couple times so that the kibble doesn't fall out too quickly. Toss in general direction of dog or hide for the dog to find.

If your dog eats paper, supervise carefully. One of my previous dogs had to be watched like a hawk with this one. The others all ignored the cardboard once they got the goodies out.

I've got several of the dog blankets Costco used to sell. They're awesome, I wish they'd bring them back. Anyway, they measure about 54 x 44 inches and are machine washable. Gibbs gets to work a little for his treats when I roll up scatter some kibble across the 'opened' blanket, then roll it up, or fold it until it doesn't fold anymore. As above, if your dog eats cloth, supervise carefully.

Ruth & Gibbs

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On 9/20/2019 at 3:40 PM, D'Elle said:

...Pyramid pan dog treats...

I was just getting ready to order one of these pans to make dog treats and see that there are some that are rounded holes that would look like a more traditional treat and maybe not leave as many crumbles in my pockets from the points of the pyramids breaking off? And they come with different sized holes for different sized treats. They're more expensive than the pyramid shaped ones but I'm thinking it might be worth the extra cost to be able to make different sized treats.

Choose different color options to see the different sized holes. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07V551K17/ref=twister_B07SGBWCYD?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

So, can anyone tell me how much, it at all, the treats shrink in the process of baking so I can figure out which size I want to order? Thanks.

 

 

 

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In my experience they don't shrink at all. The only thing that is a bit of a hassle in making them is that I have not yet mastered the trick of getting them all to fall out of the pan easily.

I think these rounded ones could be better, as the treats might fall out more easily. And, yes, the points wouldn't be there to break off in bits in your pocket, which they do. Thanks for posting this, as I am going to order one to try it.:)

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Thanks, D'Elle. I'm going to order one too. I'm thinking they'd also be great for making galden (turmeric) paste balls to freeze (no baking), store in a baggie in the freezer and then just pop out as needed. So I may have to order a couple sizes, one for golden paste and another for smaller training treats. ;)

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