View Full Version : Only for treats

02-14-2005, 09:48 PM
Hi all,

Lucky is superbly trained and he can fly through our backyard agility obstacles. However, I really want to enroll him in our local shelter's agility course. The problem? Lucky will ONLY work for treats. Unless the command is "Leave it" (that's my Alpha command), he will not perform without a treat. Now, to enroll in the agility course, the dog needs to know intermediate obedience. Lucky does, but, like I said, he'll only perform for treats. Do you think there's any hope? Should I attend obedience tune-ups for awhile and *then* start agility or what?

Thanks for any advice!

P.S. Lucky is my little (actually- HUMONGOUS) Pekingese.

02-15-2005, 12:57 AM
A lot of dogs I've met in Agility prefer to work for treats... Gonzo will do it either way, but will do it much better if he gets a reward too :p! Try to slowly swap treat rewards for BIG praise rewards.. Pet him, baby him, and play with his favorite toy, make a big deal out of how good he did. You might be able to start by giving him smaller pieces of treats, then give him a treat every other time he performs an obstacle, then once every three times, and keep going like that. If you can wean him off of treats all the time, continue to reward him with a treat if he does well or just randomly, to keep him on his toes!

staying refreshed in Obedience is always awesome for Agility classes, but if you'd rather not spend the time/money on another Obedience class and he has a solid recall, stay and wait, he should be fine ;)! Most dogs start out having to be bribed into doing agility, but they have so much fun doing it that treats become unnecessary! I also know tons of people in Flyball (especially with little dogs, for some reason) who still always reward their dogs with a food treat after each heat.

:D LOL, imagining that adorable Peke boy of yours racing through an agility course! Lucky is the cutest!! good luck, you guys!

02-16-2005, 01:39 AM

LOL! Once I bring out the treats, I have no other means of bribery. If I pet him, he backs up and sniffs my hands and ignores the toy. I tried using his favorite toy and he walked away:p :D What a dork...I'll try treating him every other time. I think I'll use that for basic ob. and eventually, he'll get the idea in time for agility. His stay is greyt! I can leave the room and come back and he'll still be in the Down position, a bit annoyed, but still there.;) His recall isn't too good. I was hoping to go to Drop-In ob. classes to work on it because I'm not sure how I can strengthen his recall. The Drop-in classes are 5$ for 45 minutes. LOL- now *that's* a good deal!

Can brachycephalic Toy dogs compete in flyball? Lucky is a natural hurdler and he LURVES tennis balls. The only problem is his muzzle...-er- I mean the *abscene* of one. LMAO.

Hehe, I think Lucky's part Tibbie so his build isn't as bulky as a purebred Peke's. Still...I don't think I've ever heard of a Peke doing agility. This'll be fun to watch!

02-17-2005, 01:50 PM
yep, I've seen almost every breed in agility! I actually don't know if I've ever seen a peke... I have seen Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Tibbies, and they all did really well :) I'd just try to take it slow with him at first. LOL.. he seemed really active when I met him, I bet he'll kick butt in agility ^_^

wow, you're soo lucky you get to do drop-in obedience! that would probably be perfect. ;) keep us updated!

02-17-2005, 02:03 PM
the trick with training especially agility is to phase the treats out, I know at the classes that I help at we don't mind if the students use treats every now and then to get their dog on the obsatcles and such but we prefer that they phase it out eventually.

02-17-2005, 03:32 PM
I have been doing agility with Molly 7yr old Beagle for about 5 years now. Beagles are very food motivated which sometimes works to my advantage. To compete in agility you cannot use treats at all in the ring. What I suggest is slowly phasing out the treats while doing obstacles. To do this you have to start small, if he completes two obstacles have a party and give a treat. Then one obstacle have a party get a treat, next time it is 5 obstacles, keep him guessing, so he will never know if after this obstacle he will get a treat. Eventually you should be able to work up to an entire course with no treat. If he stops working for you don't give in and give him a treat (he has you trained to do this) game over for about 5 minutes and try again. It should not take him long to figure out that you are in control of the treats and the game and what you say goes(you are Alpha dog). What I also do with Molly is at the end of the run she gets a "jackpot" which is several small cookies that I feed to her right after our run praising her as she is eating them. I be sure to show her the "jackpot" before we head out in the ring and when we are finished she is excited and heads right for the treat. I hope this helps. The key here is patience and consistancy.

02-17-2005, 10:42 PM
Wow, really? To be honest, I think flyball would be a better sport for Lucky because it's a combination of two things he's a natural at and loves. He absolutely adores tennis balls and hurdles himself. I'm just afraid, the ball will hit him because that muzzle is pretty small.:p

I'm still trying to phase out the treats. So far, he can do a routine without me treating him, so I think we can do it. The routine consists of Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Pretty Sit, Turn, and Walk (on hindlegs). Until then, we'll be attending the basic ob. drop-ins :)

02-18-2005, 01:51 AM
yeah, I actually prefer Flyball too! agility is awesome, but I dunno... Flyball is a lot more tight-knit, and you get close to everyone on the team and its just crazy fun. There is also so much less training involved (as long as Lucky doesn't have chasing issues, like some one I know :rolleyes:). Teams would be fighting over Lucky, because everyone is looking for a good height dog ^_~! you could always do both, LOL. I probably will end up doing both..

here's some Flyball links, though you probably have already seen these sites. there are SO many awesome teams and clubs in the bay area, I wish I lived there :p

flyball.org (http://www.flyball.org)

flyball dogs < -- my favorite (http://www.flyballdogs.com)

Gold Rush, such an awesome team from East bay! they're all super cool! (http://www.goldrushflyball.com/)

02-18-2005, 05:51 PM
I had to use treats at first to for them both to get used to the equipment. Eventually I weaned them off the treats and they find agility itself a treat to do!

02-18-2005, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the links! I didn't check them out yet because they're in another window right now (eh, I'll do it later). I just need a super quick answer, what about the size of the ball? In order to catch the ball and NOT dislocate his jaw, Lucky needs a smaller than average tennis ball LOL!!! It sounds like he'll be pretty good at it. We just need to pick up some speed :D! I bet the Papillons'd be whizzing by while Lucky takes his grand ol' time. I'll definitely look into this.

02-24-2005, 03:53 PM
:) yes, they provide mini-tennis balls for the smaller dogs. the box loader just puts a mini ball in when its their turn to run.. it would be kinda mean not to, lol!