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Guest badderh

Lunges For His Toys And Accidently Bites Me On A Regular Basis.

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Guest badderh

So my boy Rocky get wayyyy too excited about his toys. He is in my opinion the most active greyhound I have ever met, and seems to have endless amount of energy. We work really hard with him to use all of his energy up, but when it comes to his toys, its like any spare energy he has comes flooding out like crazy. We love that he is so playful but one thing that has always been a concern of ours is how he always tries to take his toys away from us. In the process of him trying to take the toy away from us he will commonly accidently grab your foot, or your forearm, or your hand.... basically whatever is close to the toy, there is a chance he might accidently grab that instead of the toy. He's never broken skin or anything severe just enough to make you release a really loud "OUCH!". The worst it has gotten is he left a dime sized bruise on my hand because he was trying to take a toy from me.

 

We have gotten him to the point where he realizes immediately when he's done it, that he has done bad and he will slink away to his bed in shame. We've been working with him on the command of "Take it nicely" and he knows it very well.

 

Our problem has come into play with him implementing the "take it nicely" concept when a toy is in a person's hand or anywhere near a person in general.

In the rush of happiness, excitement, and energy that he has over his toys he seems to forget everything that we have taught him about it being bad to just lunge for his toys and also seem to forget that he needs to take toys nicely.

 

I've probably been working with him on this for about a month now and I feel like I'm missing a step somewhere on getting this to click with him... or maybe he just needs more time for it to sink in?

Any suggestions you have on how to get rid of this bad habit would be wonderful! Or if you have a suggestion on what I could add to help him understand better that would be great as well!

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How old is he? My Bandita has been this way since she came home but she was just 2 when we adopted her and she's been here a year. I've developed the habit of throwing the toy the minute I pick it up, she loves the chase and I get fewer bruises. Some dogs just love to play with toys and are totally crazy about it. I prefer not to play tug of war with mine so it's better for me to just toss it and let her go get it. I'm not sure how you would stop your boy from taking the toy away unless it were to offer him something else, like a treat or something like that but the minute he's eating the treat, if you're holding the toy he's going to go after it because he thinks you want to play.

 

I have taught Bandita that when it's time to pick up the toys and put them away that jumping at me to get them is a no no and I correct her and she's learned not to jump up and try to get the toy but that just left the toy box open and she grabs one out of it and runs. The girl just loves toys and honestly I love that she plays with them like a mad woman!


Judy, mom to Do Bee, Bandita, Angel and Gizmo

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey

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Why aren't you giving it to him if you know he's happy and exhuberant about playing?

 

I can sort of relate. Brooke used to chomp down when she was taking a treat and i quickly taught her to take it nicely but just having a small edge visible and when she takes it nicely she gets the treat with lots of praise.

 

Perhas you can work with him by turning your back on him and when he settles down, turn around and give him the toy. Again, I much prefer to see our greys play with them so i never hold onto them for any length of time, unless one needs to be repaired.


Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest badderh

He will be 3 at the end of this month. We also got him when he was 2 and we've had him for a year now. I do love that he plays, definitely makes going to the park a blast. I just get very concerned when he does this around other people and around children. He's never hurt anyone else except me or my boyfriend but its always in the back of my head that someone will get him going too much and that it will accidently happen.



Why aren't you giving it to him if you know he's happy and exhuberant about playing?

 

I can sort of relate. Brooke used to chomp down when she was taking a treat and i quickly taught her to take it nicely but just having a small edge visible and when she takes it nicely she gets the treat with lots of praise.

 

Perhas you can work with him by turning your back on him and when he settles down, turn around and give him the toy. Again, I much prefer to see our greys play with them so i never hold onto them for any length of time, unless one needs to be repaired.

 

I give him the toy but he will commonly try to take it from me in excitement before I have the chance to toss it and give it back to him. He loves playing fetch and what not so in order to throw it I have to pick it up. My main concern is with him possibly doing this around other people and or children when they are around.

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I give him the toy but he will commonly try to take it from me in excitement before I have the chance to toss it and give it back to him. He loves playing fetch and what not so in order to throw it I have to pick it up. My main concern is with him possibly doing this around other people and or children when they are around.

A few things I would recommend. First, regarding your comment above, in order to play fetch he needs to come and sit (or lie down if that's easier for him) in front of you in order to have the toy thrown. If he doesn't already know either of those things, you'll need to teach it to him. You'll also want to teach a "give" cue if he doesn't already know that so he'll willingly drop the toy for you when he brings it back. If you need tips on how to teach either of those, let me know. Then fetch will proceed with you asking him to sit or down, when he does, say "Yes!" or "Good boy!" (some marker that you can use repeatedly to indicate he's done what you asked, or you can use a clicker) and immediately toss the toy. You may initially want to start with the toy sitting out of his reach but immediately accessible to you so he finds it easier to sit when asked. He runs and gets the toy, brings it back, you say "give" and have him drop it in your hand. He gets the verbal marker (yes or good boy), then is asked to sit again. Verbal marker, toss toy again, repeat ad nauseum. ;)

 

Then for times when you're not playing fetch necessarily but want to just pick up a toy and toss it to him, two things:

 

First, teach him a "take it" cue. He is only allowed to take the toy from your hand after he's been given that cue, which should eliminate him grabbing it before you're ready. You might start with treats for this exercise if he is less excitable about food. Put a treat in your hand and hold it out. Any time he tries to take it, close your fist around it (no verbal correction here, just close your fist). When he catches on and starts giving you his attention rather than trying to take it, say "take it" and hold it out to him and let him eat it. Move to more rewarding food treats, then to doing this with toys.

 

Second, any time he takes a toy from you and his teeth make contact with you, even if it doesn't hurt, you say "Ouch!" and end play immediately. No scolding or correction, just an ouch to let him know he made contact and put the toy away. I would practice this off and on, and would put his other toys away when you do so that he can't just go get another toy when you take the one he's trying to get away. The point being, the thing that motivates him most is that toy. If he learns that making contact with you results in the toy going away, he'll learn quickly he better not make contact. No fudging on this - even the gentlest contact ends play. One final note - I really mean no scolding. In fact, to keep it relatively up beat, I would probably do something like shrug my shoulders and say "Too bad" as I put the toy away. Then go on about your business.

 

The latter exercise should allow you to make some progress pretty immediately, but I think the other exercises are important for him learning self-control and in general a more positive way of teaching him what you do want, rather than only pointing out what he's doing wrong. He will eventually start to do that stuff automatically (like sitting to have a toy thrown), which is what you really want if you're going to have guests, especially children interacting with him. Until he does, I absolutely would not let kids (and I would strongly consider not having other adults) play with him with toys for the time being. Aside from the risk of someone accidentally getting hurt, you want to be consistent with training and if a guest of yours rewards him even when he makes contact by throwing the toy, they'll be setting back your training.

 

Hope that helps! Report back on your progress. :)

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Can you try to train him when picking up a toy is playtime and when you or anyone else is just picking stuff up? A keyword like "Playtime!" and picking up toys and tossing them and being all exciting for him and then a keyword for when you're done ("all done") and you turn off your interaction with him may help. Then have an alternate term that you use very deliberately when training him that you aren't playing? For example, reach for the toy when he is super calm and if he watches you or is merely thinking about getting up and getting excited tell him the keyword ("nope" or some such) and leaving it alone and being very calm and not responding to his attempts to play. Reward him with something that isn't playing with the toy you just did not decide to play with. If you want to reward by playing, tell him "Good boy!" and "Playtime!" and find a different toy, or if you want to not have play his only reward you can wear a package of really good treats all the time and give him those when he behaves calmly when there is the possibility of his going bonkers because he thinks you might want to play and yet you don't. Progressing may be very slow to the point where you can give the "not playing now" command and pick up the toy and put it gently down and not have him get all excited and bitey. If he lunges when you aren't telling him it is playtime, you take yourself completely out of the playing field by making yourself absent (or turning you back and ignoring him and all attempts to get you to interact with him). Eventually, you may be able to get him to only respond to the trigger word to indicate you want to play, which would make having others near his toys significantly safer.

 

Good luck! I'm glad he's a playful one, and hope you can tame his enthusiasm a little!

 


 


I give him the toy but he will commonly try to take it from me in excitement before I have the chance to toss it and give it back to him. He loves playing fetch and what not so in order to throw it I have to pick it up. My main concern is with him possibly doing this around other people and or children when they are around.

 

 

 

In this situation, could you maybe use the juggling technique? Have two toys, he runs and chases one and brings it back, but you have the other already in your hand and he doesn't get it until he drops the second? This is what I've done with teaching fetch in dogs that are more enthusiastic, so I don't have to resort to keep-away or trying to get to a toy that they're closer to and apt to lunge for.

Edited by Fruitycake

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He just has high drive. He has NOT done a "bad thing" as you put it IMO. For me its sad to hear he is sent "slinking" away in shame for doing what he is hardwired to do. a lot of folks would love to have a dog with such drive-properly channeled it can be great fun for you and the dog. IMO training is the key. He can be trained properly and the "problem" will go away. JMO.

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Guest badderh
He just has high drive. He has NOT done a "bad thing" as you put it IMO. For me its sad to hear he is sent "slinking" away in shame for doing what he is hardwired to do. a lot of folks would love to have a dog with such drive-properly channeled it can be great fun for you and the dog. IMO training is the key. He can be trained properly and the "problem" will go away. JMO.

 

I don't think having your dog bite you is something that you want to happen, nor a good thing. I love my dog and I do love that he has a high prey drive, this makes playing with him fun, but biting us is not acceptable no matter what. I am trying to properly train him on how to properly handle these situations, that is why I posted.

 

Yes, biting someone is "a problem" and could be very bad if it were to happen to another person or a child. We do not "send him slinking away" he does this on his own because he obviously knows that he's hurt us through our loud "ouchs" which were to make him aware of the fact that he was hurting us and some of which are very genuine because he has actually hurt us.

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I haven't read all the replies, but this happened to me once with our first dog. He lunged for a stick he'd been playing with at the same time I went to pick it up. I yelped loudly, like a puppy, and he never did it again.

 

For other times, when a new dog has been a bit over-keen to get something from me he wants (like a dish of milk, as they have for their supper) I use the 'wait' command and won't put it down until they are waiting nicely. If they spilt it, they'd get the dish with whatever was left in it, but honestly, I've never had to do that. If you teach them the 'wait' command before you do anything else, along with 'Uh-Uh' (meaning 'stop what you're doing immediately'), you have an advantage. I use those two commands in situations such as you describe.

 

Puppies take longer to learn to control themselves. I think I'd restrict games to things you can do together without getting your fingers in the line of fire for now. Why not have a stack of toys that you can throw, one at a time. That way, instead of waiting for him to come and grab one, you can toss a second before he gets to you. I bet he'd divert himself and chase that one and leave the toy in your hand alone.


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The plural of anecdote is not data

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Guest badderh
A few things I would recommend. First, regarding your comment above, in order to play fetch he needs to come and sit (or lie down if that's easier for him) in front of you in order to have the toy thrown. If he doesn't already know either of those things, you'll need to teach it to him. You'll also want to teach a "give" cue if he doesn't already know that so he'll willingly drop the toy for you when he brings it back. If you need tips on how to teach either of those, let me know. Then fetch will proceed with you asking him to sit or down, when he does, say "Yes!" or "Good boy!" (some marker that you can use repeatedly to indicate he's done what you asked, or you can use a clicker) and immediately toss the toy. You may initially want to start with the toy sitting out of his reach but immediately accessible to you so he finds it easier to sit when asked. He runs and gets the toy, brings it back, you say "give" and have him drop it in your hand. He gets the verbal marker (yes or good boy), then is asked to sit again. Verbal marker, toss toy again, repeat ad nauseum. ;)

 

Then for times when you're not playing fetch necessarily but want to just pick up a toy and toss it to him, two things:

 

First, teach him a "take it" cue. He is only allowed to take the toy from your hand after he's been given that cue, which should eliminate him grabbing it before you're ready. You might start with treats for this exercise if he is less excitable about food. Put a treat in your hand and hold it out. Any time he tries to take it, close your fist around it (no verbal correction here, just close your fist). When he catches on and starts giving you his attention rather than trying to take it, say "take it" and hold it out to him and let him eat it. Move to more rewarding food treats, then to doing this with toys.

 

Second, any time he takes a toy from you and his teeth make contact with you, even if it doesn't hurt, you say "Ouch!" and end play immediately. No scolding or correction, just an ouch to let him know he made contact and put the toy away. I would practice this off and on, and would put his other toys away when you do so that he can't just go get another toy when you take the one he's trying to get away. The point being, the thing that motivates him most is that toy. If he learns that making contact with you results in the toy going away, he'll learn quickly he better not make contact. No fudging on this - even the gentlest contact ends play. One final note - I really mean no scolding. In fact, to keep it relatively up beat, I would probably do something like shrug my shoulders and say "Too bad" as I put the toy away. Then go on about your business.

 

The latter exercise should allow you to make some progress pretty immediately, but I think the other exercises are important for him learning self-control and in general a more positive way of teaching him what you do want, rather than only pointing out what he's doing wrong. He will eventually start to do that stuff automatically (like sitting to have a toy thrown), which is what you really want if you're going to have guests, especially children interacting with him. Until he does, I absolutely would not let kids (and I would strongly consider not having other adults) play with him with toys for the time being. Aside from the risk of someone accidentally getting hurt, you want to be consistent with training and if a guest of yours rewards him even when he makes contact by throwing the toy, they'll be setting back your training.

 

Hope that helps! Report back on your progress. :)

 

Thank you! This definitely helped :)

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The simple way to make sure other folks don't inadvertently get in on the "fun" is to have them not handle his toys. Work on the training. May I suggest that "take it nicely" is too many words. Try "gentle" instead.


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Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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Guest Giselle

NeylasMom's advice is the ideal way to play fetch with a dog. It takes a bit of work, but they're all simple behaviors that will become hardwired habits if you practice enough. Train those behaviors, practice often, and you'll have a beautiful game of Fetch in about a few weeks.

We do not "send him slinking away" he does this on his own because he obviously knows that he's hurt us through our loud "ouchs" which were to make him aware of the fact that he was hurting us and some of which are very genuine because he has actually hurt us.
As far as science is concerned, dogs do not demonstrate genuine feelings of guilt. Those "slinking away" behaviors do not indicate a dog's knowledge of his wrongdoing. They indicate that the dog is responding with appeasement behaviors to stop the human's yelling/screaming/whatever behaviors that are scaring the dog. There are several studies that refute the idea of genuine canine guilt.

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Here when we play fetch, dog has to drop toy on the ground if s/he wants me to throw it again. If dog is seriously lunging to grab the toy while I am grabbing it, I figure dog is too fired up for that game and we'll play something else for awhile.

 

That said, when I first started playing fetch with Zema, I used two toys exactly alike -- she'd bring back one and drop it but really hover over it; I'd throw the second one, then pick up the first while she was chasing second. Once she got a few ya-ya's out, we could proceed to work on the drop-it-and-then-let-me-get-it procedure. When we had young guests who wanted to play with her, we always went back to the two-toys procedure just in case she forgot herself in her excitement.

 

Whenever they bring back the toy and drop it for me, they get a "Good dog!" and often a teensy treat. At first you feel like an idiot saying "Good dog!" 20 times in quick succession, but they learn pretty quickly to look to you for that approval (rather than fixating on the toy) even when very excited.

 

Have fun!


Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Good advice. Here's my $0.02. Try to make playing with toys into a controlled activity, like fetch. Truman plays fetch with his stuffies. I won't throw the toy again until he drops it and sits. When he first got interested in fetching toys, he wanted to play tug of war and snatch the toy out of my hand. This led to rougher play where my hands would get the brunt of his energy. Then we started working on "drop it," and the game is now much more controlled. "Drop it" and "leave it" are also both really useful commands in general. If a situation comes up when the dog picks up something that is potentially harmful or dangerous, a solid "drop it" is nice to have.

 

The second part to your post sort of confused me though. Is your dog is mouthy with hands (not just while playing with toys)? Is that why you're concerned he may bite another person or child? If so, it's possible that he has an immature bite inhibition. Some dogs, especially younger dogs and puppies will put their mouths on everything, not realizing that it's causing others pain. If you want your dog to understand that it is never acceptable to put his teeth on a human, try the Victoria Stillwell tactic. If he goes to put his teeth on you, let out a loud yelp like a puppy. This is a way dogs communicate to one another that the play is too rough, and they don't like it. If he thinks he's hurting you, he'll be less likely to keep doing it.

 

If the only time he's mouthy is with toys, then it's his job to work on the training. It's also YOUR job to make sure guests in your home don't taunt him with toys. If he's known to get crazy, then the easiest solution is to just put the toys away.


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Alicia, Sterling, & the boys: Truman (AKC Mystery of Andarab), Wolfgang (Blue Alec), and the world's smallest greyhounds, Boogie & the Meez.

Forever missing my one-in-a-million tripawd, Henry (Rico's Dexter) | 12/20/2007 - 10/4/2015. My good boy, until we meet again.

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Just wondering if you've made any progress on this issue? :goodluck


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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest k9soul

I see this is an older thread, but I thought I'd comment on something that has helped me in the past with nippy puppies. I've found it is sometimes effective to teach them bite inhibition by giving a yelp (like another dog might give) when they nip too hard. My lab mix Raven was a very sensitive puppy and the first couple times I gave an exaggerated pained 'yelp' when she nipped too hard she got much more careful. I like the suggestions on using as a training tool to teach him a bit more self control too. Hope you're having some success since the post was made!

Edited by k9soul

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I usually just say GENTLE and mine will very daintly take what ever I am offering. It is hillarious to see our big Catahoula Chico do this, because he is really rambunctious, grabs and destroys toys. But you say gentle he slows down and every so slightly opens his mouth just big enough to take what you are offering.

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Guest june
A few things I would recommend. First, regarding your comment above, in order to play fetch he needs to come and sit (or lie down if that's easier for him) in front of you in order to have the toy thrown. If he doesn't already know either of those things, you'll need to teach it to him. You'll also want to teach a "give" cue if he doesn't already know that so he'll willingly drop the toy for you when he brings it back. If you need tips on how to teach either of those, let me know. Then fetch will proceed with you asking him to sit or down, when he does, say "Yes!" or "Good boy!" (some marker that you can use repeatedly to indicate he's done what you asked, or you can use a clicker) and immediately toss the toy. You may initially want to start with the toy sitting out of his reach but immediately accessible to you so he finds it easier to sit when asked. He runs and gets the toy, brings it back, you say "give" and have him drop it in your hand. He gets the verbal marker (yes or good boy), then is asked to sit again. Verbal marker, toss toy again, repeat ad nauseum. ;)

 

Then for times when you're not playing fetch necessarily but want to just pick up a toy and toss it to him, two things:

 

First, teach him a "take it" cue. He is only allowed to take the toy from your hand after he's been given that cue, which should eliminate him grabbing it before you're ready. You might start with treats for this exercise if he is less excitable about food. Put a treat in your hand and hold it out. Any time he tries to take it, close your fist around it (no verbal correction here, just close your fist). When he catches on and starts giving you his attention rather than trying to take it, say "take it" and hold it out to him and let him eat it. Move to more rewarding food treats, then to doing this with toys.

 

Second, any time he takes a toy from you and his teeth make contact with you, even if it doesn't hurt, you say "Ouch!" and end play immediately. No scolding or correction, just an ouch to let him know he made contact and put the toy away. I would practice this off and on, and would put his other toys away when you do so that he can't just go get another toy when you take the one he's trying to get away. The point being, the thing that motivates him most is that toy. If he learns that making contact with you results in the toy going away, he'll learn quickly he better not make contact. No fudging on this - even the gentlest contact ends play. One final note - I really mean no scolding. In fact, to keep it relatively up beat, I would probably do something like shrug my shoulders and say "Too bad" as I put the toy away. Then go on about your business.

 

The latter exercise should allow you to make some progress pretty immediately, but I think the other exercises are important for him learning self-control and in general a more positive way of teaching him what you do want, rather than only pointing out what he's doing wrong. He will eventually start to do that stuff automatically (like sitting to have a toy thrown), which is what you really want if you're going to have guests, especially children interacting with him. Until he does, I absolutely would not let kids (and I would strongly consider not having other adults) play with him with toys for the time being. Aside from the risk of someone accidentally getting hurt, you want to be consistent with training and if a guest of yours rewards him even when he makes contact by throwing the toy, they'll be setting back your training.

 

Hope that helps! Report back on your progress. :)

This! :nod

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