• Michael D’Abruzzo

    October 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

    If you want to use the ball to relieve her restless spirit, I would suggest keeping them up (as you are doing). The dogs will become more excited when they get the chance to play. Also, keep in mind that some dogs really just prefer different toys. Some like tugs more and some like balls.

    As far as transferring to using the ball as a reward – I wouldn’t worry too much about that, but instead use what is convenient at the time. For, instance you do not want to throw a ball in your house late at night if you give a command. Sometimes it will be easier to give a treat, sometimes affection. Gage what you think is going to motivate the dog most at the time and is most appropriate for the situation, you don’t have to stick to one reinforcer.

    It is good that you are starting to use an intermittent schedule with the treats for commands the dog knows well. Remember, to still praise every time so that your dog knows she still did well. Intermittent schedules are better once the dog knows the exercises (more resistant to extinction if you don’t have the ability to treat every time).