I'm taking this agility class right?
We discussed using "tug" as a motivator vs. food. You can play to reward your dog vs. feeding him... a different motivator to get him pumped up and excited.
That's great. Cept' Toe doesn't tug.
There is a mesh bag you can buy online at http://www.tug_it.com/ to teach your dog how to tug. Put some sort of softer food in the bag with the idea that when the dog bites the bag, the food squishes out the mesh holes, he's rewarded and the lightbulb will go on for the tug game.
The agility instructor tells me to play with Toe every day for 5 minutes. Even if he doesn't play back, be happy and playful and pretend like he is playing back with me. She assures me this will work and Toe will become a dog who loves to tug.
Every day I take my mesh bag of squished hotdogs outside with Toe. I squeeze the bag so the inside of the hotdog is coming out of the mesh. And yes!, it is just as disgusting as it sounds.
Toe stands there... stump slowly wagging... looking at me dubiously like "What in the...." and I proceed to dance around like Muhammad Ali... float like a butterfly...sting like a bee.... waving the mesh bag of smooshed hotdogs in Toe's face.... lightly hitting him with the bag seeing if he'll bite or go after the bag. "get it, get it, get it, get it" I squeal as I dance around my little dog with the bag of hotdogs.
It's not working.
He's beginning to run away from the crazy lady dancing around him, talking in high pitched excited words and hitting him about the mouth, chest, neck and head with a mesh bag full of smooshed hotdogs.