|Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:46am PST |
|I had the exact opposite problem with an OB instructor. I had to practically move a mountain to be allowed to reward my dog with tug/toy because she was not at all responding to food as a reward. It was very frustrating for me, but I did respect the instructor and forged ahead. It paid off because we both learned a lot by the end, and so did my dog. I understood their point: that it might be distracting for other dogs. I had to figure out how to deliver the reward without disturbing others, or mark and deliver the reward as soon as I could.
I agree, use whatever works best for your individual dog in that specific circumstance, anytime that you can. If your dog doesn't respond well to tug, try suggesting to the instructor a reward that works for your dog, but is still do-able in that setting. In my case, once I got the instructor to listen and was able to demonstrate my idea, we were fine after that. If they're unwilling to listen to you or don't want to work with you...how much of your business do you want to give them longterm, anyway?
I know that tug doesn't always create a hard mouth, at least it doesn't for the hunting Std. poodles, could be a breed thing, I'm not sure. They love to tug in agility, but classically have very soft mouths, and they'll retrieve well all day long.
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