Examples of exaggerated animation of the towel as a reward object. If the dog is not enticed or excited about playing with the towel, they will likely ignore it. You must bring it to life and remember "The bunny never jumps in the dog's mouth". DO NOT practice play with the towel--this is just a demonstration of how to animate a toy and how to get the dog engaged during the TSA/ACS Hunt Test.
Another great way to play with an older dog while building reward object engagement!
Here are a couple of ways to get dogs engaged while in the kennel. One exercise uses flushing traps from -https://www.gundogsupply.com/dogtrapl... These are pricey toys, but they will pay for themselves if you raise multiple dogs or maybe you have a hunting dog friend that would let you borrow them.
Next, just raising desire of dogs by using a ball on a lite line from out side the kennel.
A short video on how to build my favorite toy for building desire and possession of a play object. There are many ways to do this, but this is my preference.
1. Moving in too close because you feel you can control the toy easier that way
2. Hitting the dog in the face
3. The dog biting the rope because the toy has gone too far (could be painful for the dog)
4. Not taking a little time to practice without your dog
5. Unreasonable expectations (especially true for dogs new to this and puppies)
6. Too big a stick, too heavy a rope, or too heavy a toy, which will all impact the speed and animation of the reward object
There are many different ways to create a high level of reward object possession. This is one way to build the level of possession required by most purchasing agencies. The teaser pole works well because it allows you to create interest in an animated object while it is away from you. Having a line allows you to redouble the dog's desire to hold on to their toy. With practice you can have the dog miss the toy then reward them at the peak of their desire.
Possession from play comes from high arousal, anticipation, and then the "win" of the object.
The pup should always win.
The bunny never jumps in the dog's mouth.
Anticipation is as desirable as is the reward itself.
Challenge the dog to go longer and be resilient to distraction while engaged in toy play.
Keep in mind an adult dog searching hundreds or thousands of blank targets in order to find their reward!
These dogs were recorded a few days before being assessed for procurement by the federal government. All three were accepted as dual-purpose training candidates by the standards published in the contractual statement of work.
Does your dog exhibit this level of possession?
Malinois pups development