There’s Something About HedgehogPublished November 27, 2007
Have I mentioned my magical, addictive dog toy yet?
I’ve got this little rubber hedgehog that drives dogs mental. Seriously. I swear it’s laced with a controlled substance, because every dog engages in a sort of manic, over-the-top play with it. They squeak it, they toss it, they pounce on it. My new client Milly fell prey to it over the weekend:
Although she had fun training, she enjoyed the hedgehog almost as much as the treats!
Even though I use treats for my basic training program, I’m a big fan of using a special toy like my magical hedgehog as a reward for a job well done every now and then.
How do you do it?
Use the toy to engage your dog in play when you would normally give him a treat. For example, ask you dog to sit then throw the toy for him as his reward. Ask him to do a challenging down-stay (have him hold it while you step outside to get the mail), and then reward him by engaging in a quick game of tug. My dog Zeke is such a fanatical fetcher and tugger that he’ll go through his entire catalog of tricks just to get a chance to play with a toy. Any toy, he’s not picky.
Milly is now under the hedgehog’s spell, which means that I can use it in any number of training scenarios.
She’s got some issues meeting other dogs while on leash walks, so it’ll be fun to see if the hedgehog can trump her desire to kick butt.
Does your dog have a favorite toy? Or is he a “toy slut” like my Zeke?
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