Discdog Bite for Wait

Quiet and Loud

When targets are still and close to our body they are Quiet and when they are moved they become Loud.

Oops, Try Again

When the dog flies at the target as it’s presented for eye contact, simply remove all possibility of getting it, pause… and reset and try again. If a No Reward Marker is part of your training, this would be a good time for that.

Brace if Necessary

If the dog is really pressuring the handler, make the targets quiet in one hand and brace with the other in front of the body and discs.

Bite Cue as Release and Reinforcer

The cued Bite functions as the release from the Wait and also reinforces the Waiting behavior. The dog learns to Wait until the Bite Cue is given. “Why wouldn’t I wait. Waiting is how I make the Bite happen!”

Wait to Name That Cue

Resist the urge to name the cue until the behavior is solid. If you are willing to bet $100 that your dog will perform the Wait behavior, right now, this instant, then you can Cue it. Just use a pause of the body combined with a pause in the game and release with a cued Bite.

If the Wait is cued too early and the dog doesn’t wait 30% of the time, then Wait doesn’t mean what you think it means. Make sure that the behavior is likely to be 100% successful before putting a cue on it.

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  1. Darwin’s second video. Worked on drop and wait. Looking at the video, I think I’m naming the drop and wait cues too soon. Darwin didn’t want to play with my “like” toys and only showed interest in the toys we used…. so basically I ended up using a single toy for the training attempt.

    Bruno tug video also worked on wait and was trying drop while engaged in tug. I’m not sure why I decided to work on that in training… but it made sense at the time. I’ll let him win more the next couple of sessions.

    Lots to remember, lots to learn.


    1. You are tugging too long. The Tug, especially with a dog that is alright in the Drive department is a quick resistance and let the dog win. Too much time tugging makes the game slow and draws too much attention to the possession of the toy.

      You are working the Give, with both Bruno and Darwin. I would consider a Give a much higher criteria than Drop. We use the Drop (releasing the toy while not sharing it with the handler).

      We condition the Bite and Drop to set the pace of the game at a million Bites per minute, then we spring the give on them and depend on the previous Rate of Reinforcement to help make the decision to Give timely.

      So ask for the Bite, resist for 1 second let him win. Wait for the Drop (defined by teeth coming off the toy) mark the Drop and reinforce with another Bite. Get 10 of these, real fast, then hold on loosely and ask for the Give.


      @1:50 you kind of made him take that toy. 2nd chance, 3rd chance… lame…

      If he doesn’t go for it, take it away from him – spin around with the toys out or activate the toy real sharply as you take it away from him, Tease him a bit. This will ask Bruno to redouble his efforts and not miss next time.

      Giving him second and 3rd opportunities devalues the toy and the act of biting.


      @2:08, you let him win and he leaves. You immediately start coaxing him in. Hush up! 🙂

      Wait for the Drop, teeth coming off the target and mark and reinforce with a fast moving Bite Cue.

      When he left you you started negotiating – drawing attention for the holding of the toy and giving him control over the situation with the bad behavior. You are reinforcing the no-drop, no retrieve.

      You want to prove that a good behavior, Dropping or coming towards you with the toy is what gets your attention and keeps the game moving.

      A few seconds out there with you not doing or saying anything combined with the marking of the Drop or something else desireable will help prove that.

      If it doesn’t work out in a timely fashion, you’ll walk up and take the toy, slowly and lamely, or you can walk in and pull him towards you as you do here @ 2:15.

      After he drops the other target, tug your way to it and pick it up. Don’t get stuck with one target if you can avoid it.

      The Drop @2:30 maybe should have been reinforced quicker. When we are learning, the time between Drop and the next Bite Cue should be pretty minimal. As the dog gets better, we can space it out a bit, but initially we’ll want to pair them as best we can.

      And notice that it is the next Bite Cue. It will sound like,”Drop… Yes!BITE!”

      The space you have inserted in here is totally OK, but early on in learning it the Drop and Bite Cue should need to be closer together.

      Looking at it @2:50 – what is reinforced? Looks to me as if it might be the Wait.

      Wrapping It Up

      More Dropping, less Giving. Prompt Bite Cue on the Drop.

      Wait for the Drop when he’s won.

  2. He Can’t Drop if He doesn’t Win

    Let him win! Of course you will probably need 2 of the exact same kind of toys, but letting him win will allow you to work the Drop and the Retrieve. You were working Give here.

    Opportunity for the Cookie and Rewarding with Chase

    He doesn’t earn the Tug, he earns the opportunity to Tug. If he drops it during the tug, take it away from him and make him chase it, don’t give it back. This will make the Bite more valuable and more exciting.

    Of course he has to have the ability to get it, but if he drops it, you cannot go and make it a Gimme for him to succeed.

    When you set the eye contact @ 1:30, leave the toy out in plain site. The idea here is that releasing the toy earns the toy. When he does give eye contact, Mark it! He’ll jump all over the toy because it is a cookie.

    Working the Give

    @1:50-2:01 – You can grab his collar so that when he pulls, he’s pulling on your collar.

    Also your body position is putting not so subtle pressure on him. Leaning forward like that over a toy is essentially a challenge and he’s happy to rise up to it. Your head nod on the Drop cue is too much pressure which is why he bows out there on occasion.

    Don’t offer the other toy unless you are absolutely sure he’ll drop for the next one, and then you can only do that a few times or you will have trouble with a single toy.

    Two Toys

    You really need two toys here, Sheridan so you can let Darwin win and reinforce with another toy for the Drop. The single toy is giving the dog too much control over the game.

    In addition to giving the dog too much control, you are missing out on the Bite, Drop, Yes! Reward Loop. Your game is slow and is about possession and control more than it is about shaping behavior. This resembles Tug of War, and that is not going to help you move to more active games. Essentially the game is all about the Tug, and the other stuff is falling by the wayside.

    Now of course, having him tug is AWESOME, but too much of this kind of game and you will find it hard to get him to do other things with the game.

    The rate of reinforcement for Biting and Dropping is not high enough. Right now the reinforcement for the Bite is the Tug. By not having the Drop, by not letting Darwin win, you are not able to reinforce the drop with the Bite.

    Bite for Wait

    @2:50 you used the Bite to reinforce the Wait. Good job. Once you start getting some more situations where you Reinforce with the Bite, Rewarding with Action, the game should have a more well rounded game and it will be easier to reinforce behaviors.

    Capture the Retrieve

    A regrab as you were leaving the training area at the end of the video would have been awesome.

    Don’t be afraid to capture those behaviors.

    Wrapping Things Up

    Well, you’ve made a tugger out of him, Sheridan. Great Job!

    You’ll want to let him win more so you can build a fast game of Bite-Drop-Bite-Drop – you’ll set the rate of reinforcement at 60 Cookies Per Minute and then when you give him that lame tug while waiting for the Give, he’ll be able to contrast that with the experience of the rapid fire Biting and Dropping.

    Right now the Rate of Reinforcement is kind of low, it’s too low to provide a stark contrast.

    Great job!

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