Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

How to Play with a Ball on a Rope Toy with Your Dog


well hey there guys today we’re gonna
talk about how to use a ball on a rope toy inside of your training my name is
Meagan Karnes and I’m the founder and head trainer over at The Collared Scholar
dog training and so many of my students have come to me and said you know Meagan
I want to use a ball on a rope toy in my training as a reward for my dog
but I always end up getting myself bit and listen if this describes you you are
definitely not alone a ball on a rope toy is one of the harder toys to get right
especially if you’ve got a high powered dog so what I thought we’d do today is
talk just a little bit about techniques that you can use in order to get your
dog kind of grabbing the correct target and in order to save yourself a little
bit of pain and prevent accidental bites Now the first thing that I want to do is
I want to talk to a choice because if you find that your dog is regularly
missing the toy and we’re getting a limb instead this is actually gonna matter
now my all-time favorite ball on a rope toys are by a company called Star Mark
they’ve got a couple of different options to choose from so this one is
the Dura Foam ball on a rope toy and then this one is the Chew Ball ball on a
rope toy and this chew ball toy I really like for dogs that are just a little bit
reluctant because it’s really kind of squishy and easy to grip so for young
dogs or dogs that are kind of new at this game that aren’t really high
powered this tends to be a big hit now the only problem with this one is that
when it gets kind of slobbery and slimy it gets a little bit slippery so if
you’ve got a reckless dog you don’t want to accidentally kind of get the toy away
from them so this isn’t the best choice so for young dogs or dogs that are a
little bit reluctant this is awesome but for older dogs or dogs that have a
little bit more experience or maybe dogs that are a little bit more high-powered
I would opt for the dura foam ball on a rope toy when I first got this toy I
didn’t think that it seemed all that sturdy but let me tell you this thing
holds up and the awesome thing about it is that the string or the rope is
comfortable to hang on to so that’s a total bonus for me because I’m out here
playing with you know upwards of 10 to 15 dogs every single day so how this
feels in my hand that definitely matters now one of the reasons that I prefer
this toy is because it’s bigger and the ball it’s a little bit lighter weight so
one if you get it away from your dog or you accidentally hit yourself or hit
your dog with it it doesn’t hurt but also if you’re trying to master this
whole targeting thing this toy has more resistance than some of the smaller or
heavier options so that means when you swing it through the air it moves a
little bit more slowly which makes it far easier to control so these are
definitely my picks for ball on a rope toy for my high powered dogs I used the
dura foam ball on a rope toy now one of the biggest mistakes that people make
when they’re playing with this toy is that plainly stated they don’t trust
their dogs so what happens is you know they kind of present the toy to their
dog and the dog starts to come at it with speed and all of a sudden they
think in their head holy cow here he comes he’s gonna miss he is
gonna bite me and in response what they do is they start to protect the toy
inadvertently so they might kind of swing it up in the air
they might kind of flail around with it they might tuck it into their body to
protect it they don’t even realize they’re doing it but they are and what
ends up happening is they actually give the dog a moving target and when you
give a dog a moving target it’s one of the fastest ways to get an
accidental bite so when you’re playing with a ball on a rope toy the first rule
of thumb is you want to give them a stationary target you don’t want to move
this toy you want to keep it still so your dog knows exactly what to grab now
the other thing that you want to pay attention to is where you present the
toy so here what I like to do is I always present the toy kind of off to
the side of my body the closer it is to my body the easier it’ll be for my dog
to take something other than the ball and the less clear the target is so I
always want to make sure that it’s out and away from my body
and the other thing is I wanted to kind of be off to the side because if it’s
off to the side my dog can grab it and keep going if it’s directly in front of
me my dog kind of comes in to take it well they’re gonna hit me on the other
side of it and that’s gonna hurt too so I want to make sure when I’m presenting
the ball on a rope toy that it’s off to the side of my body that it is
stationary and not moving that I am allowing my dog to take it and that I
present it at my dog’s level so if it’s too high up in the air it’s gonna make
it really tricky for my dog to grab correctly so I want to make sure that
I’m always presenting it kind of on my dog’s level now if your dog kind of
struggles with grabbing the ball on a rope toy typically that’s an issue with
your presentation so what I’d recommend doing is putting your dog kind of in a
stationary position in a sit or a down really close to you and then presenting
the toy and allowing your dog to take it so I’m gonna grab shank and I’m gonna
show you exactly what that looks like so here when I’m presenting the toy I’m
just making sure that I’ve done it off to the side of my body that it’s at my
dog’s level so it’s easy for him to grab and then what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna
let go of it as soon as he grabs it so I’m gonna give him a cue that tells him
it’s okay for him to take it and then as soon as he does take it I’m gonna let it
goand then I can practice that a few times to get him used to targeting
that toy Shankygood boy I make sure that I’m always letting the toy go
as soon as he grabs it so then I don’t have to worry about too much shanky
and i’m keeping him nice and close and under control when I’m teaching him
how to take that toy shankynow one of the things that a lot of people say
is hey you know my dog always wants to grab the string and not the toy and this
can be a function of a number of things one it might be that it’s uncomfortable
for them to take the toy so the toy might be too big or too hard for them so
that’s something that you want to take into consideration but it could be a
function of that’s all that they’ve learned perhaps grabbing the string
works for them they win the toy every single time that they do
perhaps as you’re kind of flailing around trying to present the toy you
inadvertently presented the string instead whatever reason if your dog is
used to taking that string even if you’re presenting correctly in this way
all you want to do is just shorten it a little bit and then again keep the dog
under control and release them to take the toy making sure that the target
isn’t moving when you do don’t hold it kind of too close to the toy but shorten
that string up just a little bit tug good and allow the dog to grab it
so you can see in that example I’m not making the target move right it’s
totally stationary that gives my dog something really obvious to grab but
what happens when you want to play games where the toy is supposed to move now in
a lot of dogs sports and a lot of training we like to play what’s called
the near miss game and here what happens is as our dog is kind of launching for
the toy we pull it away at the last second and then our dog gets super
excited and they come back with even more speed and more intensity and then
we might make a miss again we might do this a couple of times before letting
them are in the toy and this can be awesome for building motivation and
building drive but I just told you to keep that target stationary so how the
heck do you play the near miss game well listen you guys if you’re gonna give
your dog any misses of the toy you still got to present a stationary
target and you cannot move the toy until your dog is committed to
taking it so one of the biggest mistakes and one of the reasons that people get
bit when they’re playing this game is that they pull the toy away too soon
when the dog is actively tracking it rather than when the dog is committed to
taking it and so we want to make sure that we’re not making this toy move
until my dog is kind of mid grab and right at the last second that’s when we
want to make the toy move so I’m gonna play that game with shank right now and
I want you to see that this target stays stationary until he’s fully committed to
grabbing it only then will I make him miss so check this out you guys so here
I’m gonna present in the same way off to the side of my body but as soon as he is
committed to taking the toy that’s what I’m gonna make him miss I want to make
sure that I’m not trying to move this toy too soon so check this out you guys
tug notice how it stays still and then when I’m ready for him to take it I just
let it go right I let my dog move right through
grab the toy and I let it go so if you’re gonna teach your dog how to play
with a ball on a rope toy my first recommendation is to keep your dog under
control put your dog in a set stay put your dog in a down stay and start close
to them let the toy go when they grab it and don’t give them a moving target and
then work further and further and further away as you’re successful once
you get really good you can start to play the near-miss game with your dog
giving them a couple of misses before allowing them to earn the toy just make
sure that whenever you do that again you’re giving your dog a stationary
target an obvious target and you’re not moving the toy until your dog is
committed to taking it

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