Monday, June 29, 2009

Has she killed a bunny?!?

In my continuing quest to motivate Ziggy, I might have done a little online shopping....

Ok, so I may have gone a little crazy with the furry toys – but I’m trying to get Ziggy to play more, and the time he’s most enthusiastic is when he’s chasing squirrels, so I went shopping for (lots of) furry toys.  Here’s the breakdown:

 Furry Squeaker
This was donated by our German Shepherd friend Chance.  It’s too little for her, and Ziggy LOVES it.  It’s a bit small for him, too, so play is closely supervised.  I carry it around in my pocket – or under my arm – when I’m training, and periodically throw it for Z if he’s focusing really well.  Mom drops furry things – how fun is that?!

Furry Bag
This has a Velcro top, and contains low-cal dog treats or dry kibble.  I’m trying to teach Ziggy to pick up the bag and bring it to me – then I’ll open the bag and let him snack on the treats inside.  He now understands that he’s supposed to put it in his mouth, but the retrieve & hold part is still a bit lost on him.
 I’m doing this because I want him to learn to drive to an inanimate object.  This will help with our jump training by allowing him to focus on the jumps (running towards the bag lying on the ground) and not my position.  To give credit where credit is due, I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from Susan Salo’s jumping video. 
It will also enable me to keep things interesting by throwing something “exciting” that he really, really wants.  With Maggie, I shove this in my pocket and occasionally throw it when she’s going over the broad jump.  This really increases her drive over the jump -- flying furry thing full of treats – yippee!!  So far with Z, I’ll throw it as he’s coming out of the tunnel, etc. to help him drive.

Furry Tug, flat fox toy & bright fleece tug
Right now these are a bit of a “bust.”  Ziggy’s not so interested.  Well, you win some, you lose some.  And who knows, maybe one day he’ll want to tug…

Any suggestions on other “can’t resist” training toys?


  1. Oh you have just as big of toy addiction as I do!!!

    Have you tried a frisbee with him? Two of my three (Zoey and Riley) love frisbees. Riley likes to tug on them and Zoey likes to chase them. Also, what about a laser light? Zoey would chase one of those for hours if I let her. The boys aren't interested in it, but then neither of them have the best eyesite at this point either. So it may be they just can't see it.

    Quite a few flyball people use the laser lights as rewards. I'll keep thinking about my plethora of toys and give you suggestions if I think of any 'winners'.

  2. I have a loop of braided fleece with a tennis ball on the end. It's long enough to drag or bounce/drag, and with the tennis ball has the weight to be thrown. It also is a great tug toy. Chase will do anything to have that toy -- so, he only gets it when we're training.

  3. Laser light is HUGE with Scout. When she was a teenager and very bored with conformation, we started using it. Just showing the thing to her lights her up like a Christmas tree. Spencer just looks at you like "big deal, red light coming from that thing in your hand."


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