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What are some things I can use to make myself more interesting to Bella? She's food motivated, but not that food motivated. She's toy motivated, but not that toy motivated. Lately we've had to resort to putting her on on a tie-out when we let her outside because she just doesn't want to come inside anymore. (She doesn't have a reliable recall, obviously.) Running around the backyard and playing in the grass are her favorite activities. Or maybe being inside the house is her least favorite thing! I'm just finding it impossible to make her think of me as the coolest thing in her life. She'd much rather run around outside by herself or check out new people and smells while we're on a walk. Is there some magical item that no dog can resist??
 

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Control ALL her toys, she can only have them, when you are playing with her!!! Also feed her from your hand, never from the bowl. Make her look to you for food, and toys, and everything that is fun!
 

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Bremner53 said:
Control ALL her toys, she can only have them, when you are playing with her!!! Also feed her from your hand, never from the bowl. Make her look to you for food, and toys, and everything that is fun!
Good ideas.

How often do you feed her? I'd wait until she's REALLY hungry and start doing some obedience work with her. Say something like, BELLA COME! and give her a treat when she comes. Keep doing that over and over for about 10 minutes, and sound REALLY excited when she does it right. Just keep doing this over and over and she'll start to realize that COME = TREAT = GOOD. Obviously you'll take the treat part out after a while. :wink:
 

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Thanks for the ideas, ladies! Bella eats twice a day...at about 7:00am and 5:30pm. I think I'm going to start hand-feeding her and making her "work" for each handful of food. Hopefully it will make feeding time a bonding time between us.
 

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Leeann.Bella.Remy said:
Thanks for the ideas, ladies! Bella eats twice a day...at about 7:00am and 5:30pm. I think I'm going to start hand-feeding her and making her "work" for each handful of food. Hopefully it will make feeding time a bonding time between us.
That's a great idea! The pack leaders scent is always on the food that the pack eats. Perhaps find a toy that Bella would really enjoy, they have doggy bubbles, chuck-it, and maybe even bobbing for a treats in a baby pool. Try and make your tone really exciting and let Bella know that your having as much fun as her!
 

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Re: How do I make Bella see me as the best thing in her life

Leeann.Bella.Remy said:
Running around the backyard and playing in the grass are her favorite activities.
Same with Stymie, I'm starting to think although he looks like Remy he's really Bella's sister. I end up going outside and playing in the grass with him. We play "I'm gonna get that ball" this is his favorite game. We also practice some very basic obedience with the ball, like "stay" & "leave" and when he does I say in a very excited voice "oh what a good boy" and pet him on the belly. Mind you I do this like 50X, I'm sure my neighbors think I'm nuts. The indoor activity is find a toy that she really likes (Stymie's is the Official Air Kong Squeaker Football, we're on our fourth now). I know I'm not supposed to but I do leave all his other toys for him to play with when he wants, but not the football. I put this one away when we are done and he knows it is special. As for the recall, we have finally nailed it. Don't ask my why but he LOVES Milk Bones and gets one EVERY time he comes in. All I have to do is say "inside" & he comes flying. Find something that she really likes, carrots, cookies, whatever and give her one every time (I make him do either a sit and stay or down if he's not too crazy before he gets his treat though).
 

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Bella really reminds me of Roxy. I just found that a ball on a string makes her pay more attention to me .....She's not allowed it all the time, just for training and a quick play in the garden, then it is put out of her way. I use it to get her to come in at night. Another thing you might want to try is a clicker.

She's holding her ball proudly in my banner..... after a training seesion in the garden, she is allowed to play with it , then it's put back in it's box.
 

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Bremner53 said:
Control ALL her toys, she can only have them, when you are playing with her!!! Also feed her from your hand, never from the bowl. Make her look to you for food, and toys, and everything that is fun!
Lisa, is that you? LOL
 

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You have gotten some good advice.

Both my dogs like the ball on a string like K9 Toolbox sells. They are quite durable. Nothing like you will find in the pet stores.

One other thing to keep in mind regarding the play.... When you are throwing the ball/toy during training always make sure your dog returns to YOU with the ball every time yo throw it. You want to teach the dog that all fun comes through you. I throw the ball, they chase it and return it, then we play a little tug with the ball, I out them off of it and the game starts over. I don't allow them to run around aimlessly when we are having ball time and I always end the play session BEFORE the dog starts losing interest in the ball. I want to keep their drive for that ball HIGH. The last thing you want to do is bore them by playing with a toy for too long.

Here is the ball I like to get for my dogs. I use the large sized one for Rosco and either the small or med sized one for Smooch. I can't remember for sure which one I have for her.

http://www.k9toolbox.com/tugstoys/index.html#balls
 

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Lisa said:
You have gotten some good advice.

Both my dogs like the ball on a string like K9 Toolbox sells. They are quite durable. Nothing like you will find in the pet stores.

One other thing to keep in mind regarding the play.... When you are throwing the ball/toy during training always make sure your dog returns to YOU with the ball every time yo throw it. You want to teach the dog that all fun comes through you. I throw the ball, they chase it and return it, then we play a little tug with the ball, I out them off of it and the game starts over. I don't allow them to run around aimlessly when we are having ball time and I always end the play session BEFORE the dog starts losing interest in the ball. I want to keep their drive for that ball HIGH. The last thing you want to do is bore them by playing with a toy for too long.
Cool advice! 1 question, when I walk on with Roxy I never know how and where to hold the ball, at my side, in front of me?
 

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Roxy, I am not sure what you mean. Are you talking a casual walk or a formal heel? I don't use toys during casual walks, just formal training. Can you clairfy please?
 

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Lisa said:
Roxy, I am not sure what you mean. Are you talking a casual walk or a formal heel? I don't use toys during casual walks, just formal training. Can you clairfy please?
Sorry, I meant when I was a dog class. When the trainer asks us to walk on with our dogs at heel/close.
 

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Well I like to train the "focussed" heel, meaning the dog is looking at me rather than just straight ahead so that may make a difference. In the beginning it is fine to hold the ball in front of you for the dog to see it (some people put string around their neck with a clothespin attached to hold the ball there) but eventually you need to put the ball out of site once the dog understands it must look at you. So a pocket would be a good place to put it once the dog has an idea. I guess it kind of depends on what you really want out of your dog.
 

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Lisa said:
Well I like to train the "focussed" heel, meaning the dog is looking at me rather than just straight ahead so that may make a difference. In the beginning it is fine to hold the ball in front of you for the dog to see it (some people put string around their neck with a clothespin attached to hold the ball there) but eventually you need to put the ball out of site once the dog understands it must look at you. So a pocket would be a good place to put it once the dog has an idea. I guess it kind of depends on what you really want out of your dog.
My goal would be for Roxy to walk close at my side during training, looking at me. In one of ur pics u have smooch walking close at ur side trying to bite at the ball, is that how u start out? I'm confused, but I'm sure it will sink in...or my trainer will grab me tomorrow and show me how.
 

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First you have to build drive for the ball. You want to make sure the dog is interested in it. You can do this by tieing her out and not letting her have it, just tease her with it. Once you know she is interested you can bring it out during your heeling. In the beginning you only want to ask for focus for a couple steps then reward. Timing is very important. If she is heeling nicely and looking at you pull out the ball and let her have it. Don't demand too much in the beginning. This might be difficult to do in a class where they have group heeling but you can work on it at home.

Could you tell me what picture of Smooch you were referring to? Maybe post a link? That way I could probably better explain what is going on there. Thanks.
 

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Lisa said:
Could you tell me what picture of Smooch you were referring to? Maybe post a link? That way I could probably better explain what is going on there. Thanks.

This one, be good to hear what you are doing here. :)

 

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We are just playing there. That is a "release" from the training. BTW I always use a release word to let my dogs know that its time for a break in the training. They are never allowed to break a command with out it.

If you need any more advice a better person to ask would probably be Chris Fraize. He is a new member here but judging from the videos I have seen of his dogs posted over the internet he has very good focus on his dogs! Much better than I do. I would ask him for some tips!
 

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This is such an interesting post. I have often gotten upset because my dogs don't look at me as their best friend or someone they want to be with all the time. My oldest Zelda loses interest in anything in the backyard. She wants to run and run and run and run. Did I mention she likes to run. And not come when called. My trainer said that she has been allowed to get away with it for so long that she has established the backyard as "hers". We now can't let her out back without a leash and doing some attentiveness training for 20 mins. So far it hasn't sunk in and she still thinks of the backyard as hers.
 

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One way that I am the coolest thing in her life...a little bit of tug and whirly-bully...(I make that--and me--her reward)

Fwiw, when Vega is outside, so am I, we do "stuff" together; we take her everywhere and anywhere that allows dogs; I take her bicycling, on walks, swimming...
 
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