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TLDR: treats don't work, strong environmental focus, play is inconsistent motivator, starting over training from scratch.

I've had boots for about 9 months now. I got her as a puppy who had been more or less locked in a horse trailer for 6 months. She's a very sweet and somewhat worried McNab (very similar to BC). I have lists of things I need to work on, but lately I've realized I need to rebuild the foundation of my training (cause it isn't working well).

My problem in working with a lot of the training methods the people suggest is that they simply don't apply. Boots is incredibly environmentally focused, so outside treats are pretty much a waste of time. She likes to play, but is still more interested in what's going on around her on average even in a familiar setting (like the quiet park we play at).

So far I've been working on developing focus outside the only way I know how. When we walk I pause until she looks at me or I ask for 'touch'. It's working but slowly. My new plan is to work on expanding the context of where play happens. I figure this will have a two fold benefit: I'm hoping it will develop play as a stronger motivator for training, and I'm hoping it will make her more secure in general. I'm also going back to the basic work of getting her to give me her attention when I call her name.

Does anyone have any tips to make things go faster?
 

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What exactly are you trying to teach her? Basic obedience skills? Is she reactive? It might help us give you some better advice if you have some specific things you would like to work on.

First thing I would make sure to do is reward attention to you inside your home, in the least distracting environment. Play a little game where you sit on the couch and watch television, say her name (or a "look at me" cue), and when she so much as looks at you toss her a treat. Any behavior that you like, reward it. It helps build your bond and ingrain the idea that all good things come from you.

What kind of treats are you using? Obviously, as you have seen, working in a highly distracting environment easily puts her over threshold. You may need to up the value of your treats. Think cheese, lunch meat, yummy "human food" type things. Only use those in the highly distracting environments. You may need to stop going to the highly distracting environment for a while, too, so you can work on the basics. I think you may be expecting your dog to perform in those highly distracting environments too soon. It's not that the methods don't work, you just need to scale back a bit and work on your skills where she can succeed before upping the criteria.

It's also important to practice your skills in non-distracting environments, like your living room, your yard, places that are familiar and "old news" before you take it into high distraction environments. If she can handle it, you may even take her to a busier area and just let her watch, not expect anything from her. Sometimes it helps them to just learn the way of the world and not be expected to pay attention to their handler, at least for a bit, but reward her if she chooses to check in with you.

If you're up to it, an obedience class may be a good thing for her. There are lots of distractions in safe, controlled environments there, so they learn to work around strangers and dogs. It really is kind of terrible the first few classes, especially if you have a noisy pup, but it makes a world of difference once they figure out that its the same dogs, same people, same thing, and paying attention to you amongst all that is the most rewarding thing.

I wouldn't force play as a motivator. It's up to the dog what motivates them, not you. If she is motivated by play and finds that to be the greatest reward ever, then go for it, but if she finds food more motivating than play in most environments, go with that.

The "touch" game may work, but I feel like there's some more useful, practical ways to achieve the same thing. Have you taught a "look at me" cue? All the dog has to do is give you eye contact, then gets a treat. It's one of the first skills taught in our obedience classes. Often, the "look" cue is given, and then another cue such as "heel" or "sit" is given, such as when you're passing a person or another distraction on a walk. I've found it indispensable, especially when we face distractions. It gets his attention off the thing, so then we can carry on. Also, make sure to reward your dog for simply checking in. Say the dog is wandering at the end of their leash, sniffing, then comes over to you and looks up at you. Mark and reward. It's simple, but it teaches the dog that paying attention to you all on their own is rewarding.
 

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Try 'be a tree'. Not the loose leash walking method. Really be a tree. Stand somewhere boring with dog on the leash and wait for her to look at you. Mark and treat. Rinse and repeat for several minutes and gradually take it to more distracting places. My daughter learned this one in obedience class.

I did a version of this with Bucky. If he was super excited I'd stop and wait. One time he had to stop and stare at a person gardening across the street 6 times over a distance of maybe 50 feet.

Remember she's very young. Bucky is now 4 years old and still needs this sometimes. Most of the time he looks like a more or less normal dog on walks now that he's seen it all thousands of times. Not a well trained dog although I've been working on this for 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What exactly are you trying to teach her? Basic obedience skills? Is she reactive? It might help us give you some better advice if you have some specific things you would like to work on.

First thing I would make sure to do is reward attention to you inside your home, in the least distracting environment. Play a little game where you sit on the couch and watch television, say her name (or a "look at me" cue), and when she so much as looks at you toss her a treat. Any behavior that you like, reward it. It helps build your bond and ingrain the idea that all good things come from you.

What kind of treats are you using? Obviously, as you have seen, working in a highly distracting environment easily puts her over threshold. You may need to up the value of your treats. Think cheese, lunch meat, yummy "human food" type things. Only use those in the highly distracting environments. You may need to stop going to the highly distracting environment for a while, too, so you can work on the basics. I think you may be expecting your dog to perform in those highly distracting environments too soon. It's not that the methods don't work, you just need to scale back a bit and work on your skills where she can succeed before upping the criteria.

It's also important to practice your skills in non-distracting environments, like your living room, your yard, places that are familiar and "old news" before you take it into high distraction environments. If she can handle it, you may even take her to a busier area and just let her watch, not expect anything from her. Sometimes it helps them to just learn the way of the world and not be expected to pay attention to their handler, at least for a bit, but reward her if she chooses to check in with you.

If you're up to it, an obedience class may be a good thing for her. There are lots of distractions in safe, controlled environments there, so they learn to work around strangers and dogs. It really is kind of terrible the first few classes, especially if you have a noisy pup, but it makes a world of difference once they figure out that its the same dogs, same people, same thing, and paying attention to you amongst all that is the most rewarding thing.

I wouldn't force play as a motivator. It's up to the dog what motivates them, not you. If she is motivated by play and finds that to be the greatest reward ever, then go for it, but if she finds food more motivating than play in most environments, go with that.

The "touch" game may work, but I feel like there's some more useful, practical ways to achieve the same thing. Have you taught a "look at me" cue? All the dog has to do is give you eye contact, then gets a treat. It's one of the first skills taught in our obedience classes. Often, the "look" cue is given, and then another cue such as "heel" or "sit" is given, such as when you're passing a person or another distraction on a walk. I've found it indispensable, especially when we face distractions. It gets his attention off the thing, so then we can carry on. Also, make sure to reward your dog for simply checking in. Say the dog is wandering at the end of their leash, sniffing, then comes over to you and looks up at you. Mark and reward. It's simple, but it teaches the dog that paying attention to you all on their own is rewarding.
She's a rescue. She has reactivity issues. I walk her on my land and at a local quite dog park mostly. I occasionally drive to town to walk/socialize.

This isn't my first dog. I've done classes and personal trainers. And, I have been working on this and researching it actively for most of 9 months. If you can find a suggestion in a few minutes of internet searching, I've tried it or at least read it. At this point, I'm relaying the foundation for training. I'm focusing on attention, motivation, and behavior/impulse-control then I'll go back to commands. My weakest link right now is motivation.

My current method of developing attention and impulse control is working, but it's slow because I don't have strong motivators to work with.

Let me describe walking my dog. We go out the gate she starts out right for the oaks to see if the squirrels are there. As we go down from the developed parts of the property, I can tell what type of a walk this is going to be. If her nose is hard to the ground and she's pulling, it's going to be a long walk. It means I will probably have to stop 3 or 4 times in the next 50yrds and have her either 'look at me' or 'touch' until she calms down enough to stop pulling as her baseline walk. On a good day she won't try to pull unless she actually sees the squirrel/deer or has a very fresh trail. On the walk, I stop as often as she pulls and occasionally at random (if she's having a good day). She pays no direct attention to me except when I'm stopped waiting for her. She will not respond to any commands unless we're stopped and I have her attention.

My current method is working. 'Touch' is actually easier than 'look at me' because it doesn't really require much attention. And I can get a 'touch' when she's near or slightly over threshold.Over the months that I've been doing this she has improved significantly, and I've shifted mostly to 'look at me.' Unfortunately significantly doesn't mean I get her attention when ever I want it. It just means I can walk her with a flat collar most of the time and it now usually takes between 5 and 20 seconds to give me her attention down from nearly a minute. but, it doesn't give me a strong motivator and it's really slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Try 'be a tree'. Not the loose leash walking method. Really be a tree. Stand somewhere boring with dog on the leash and wait for her to look at you. Mark and treat. Rinse and repeat for several minutes and gradually take it to more distracting places. My daughter learned this one in obedience class.

I did a version of this with Bucky. If he was super excited I'd stop and wait. One time he had to stop and stare at a person gardening across the street 6 times over a distance of maybe 50 feet.

Remember she's very young. Bucky is now 4 years old and still needs this sometimes. Most of the time he looks like a more or less normal dog on walks now that he's seen it all thousands of times. Not a well trained dog although I've been working on this for 2 years.
I agree that method does work. I've been working with it. I glad to hear it does eventually get you some where.
 

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There are a few ideas behind expanding play to drive motivation:

Boots had almost no people/dog contact for the first 6 months of her life. She had to be taught how to play, so it seems likely she would also need to be taught to play in new contexts.

My hope is that expanding play will reduce her environmental focus offering me a more consistent, stronger motivator.

Interpreting (perhaps loosely) the standard reactivity training, play should create a positive disrupter (if Boots is far enough below threshold) for anxious environments/situations, and hopefully reduce her anxiety and perhaps allow her to generalize that the world is safe.

She will have more fun, and bond more strongly.

Any thoughts?

I would also love to hear about the little things that people do to develop impulse control. I'm already doing the sit at the door, look at me, and pausing on walks until she's calm.
 

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There are a few ideas behind expanding play to drive motivation:

Boots had almost no people/dog contact for the first 6 months of her life. She had to be taught how to play, so it seems likely she would also need to be taught to play in new contexts.

My hope is that expanding play will reduce her environmental focus offering me a more consistent, stronger motivator.

Interpreting (perhaps loosely) the standard reactivity training, play should create a positive disrupter (if Boots is far enough below threshold) for anxious environments/situations, and hopefully reduce her anxiety and perhaps allow her to generalize that the world is safe.

She will have more fun, and bond more strongly.

Any thoughts?

I would also love to hear about the little things that people do to develop impulse control. I'm already doing the sit at the door, look at me, and pausing on walks until she's calm.
If you can develop stronger playskills, then yes - you'll absolutely be able to use it to shift her focus. Might also want to try to increase her food drive via playing with the food, too - because food is danged useful in training, though of course not entirely necessary.

Impulse control wise... you'll have more options once you have a greater desire to play, in waiting to leave the ball or grab the tug, outting them when asked, tossing them around and releasing to them, and so on. But right now I'd honestly just work on drive building. You're right in saying you need motivators - and strong ones - to get much of anywhere.
 

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Let her get hungry. Only time she eats is when she earns it.

Do you have a room or garage where you can play the name game? you toss food across the floor so she can chase it (and do not toss it in the air.. but across the floor so she sees it and chases it), as she gets to it you say her name and she comes back to you for the next bit of food and then you rinse and repeat. BE EXCITING. Do not do this outside where she must hunt for the food in the grass! the object is to say go, have her chase the food and then learn that when she hears her name, to get back to you quickly. Next you can say her name and toss the food between your legs as she gets almost to you so she has no concern about coming to you fast. You do this in the least distracting place you can find (usually in the house or basement or garage).

A hungry dog is far more cooperative than a well fed dog when using food for training. A dog can skip a couple of meals and be fine.. and most figure out very fast that if they want to eat the food all comes from you and only comes to them if they are engaged. It might be worth a try (if you have not tried this already).
 

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She's a rescue. She has reactivity issues. I walk her on my land and at a local quite dog park mostly. I occasionally drive to town to walk/socialize.

This isn't my first dog. I've done classes and personal trainers. And, I have been working on this and researching it actively for most of 9 months. If you can find a suggestion in a few minutes of internet searching, I've tried it or at least read it. At this point, I'm relaying the foundation for training. I'm focusing on attention, motivation, and behavior/impulse-control then I'll go back to commands. My weakest link right now is motivation.

My current method of developing attention and impulse control is working, but it's slow because I don't have strong motivators to work with.

Let me describe walking my dog. We go out the gate she starts out right for the oaks to see if the squirrels are there. As we go down from the developed parts of the property, I can tell what type of a walk this is going to be. If her nose is hard to the ground and she's pulling, it's going to be a long walk. It means I will probably have to stop 3 or 4 times in the next 50yrds and have her either 'look at me' or 'touch' until she calms down enough to stop pulling as her baseline walk. On a good day she won't try to pull unless she actually sees the squirrel/deer or has a very fresh trail. On the walk, I stop as often as she pulls and occasionally at random (if she's having a good day). She pays no direct attention to me except when I'm stopped waiting for her. She will not respond to any commands unless we're stopped and I have her attention.

My current method is working. 'Touch' is actually easier than 'look at me' because it doesn't really require much attention. And I can get a 'touch' when she's near or slightly over threshold.Over the months that I've been doing this she has improved significantly, and I've shifted mostly to 'look at me.' Unfortunately significantly doesn't mean I get her attention when ever I want it. It just means I can walk her with a flat collar most of the time and it now usually takes between 5 and 20 seconds to give me her attention down from nearly a minute. but, it doesn't give me a strong motivator and it's really slow.
Ah, I see. I dealt with similar issues with my dog. He is also a rescue, probably not well socialized his first months, and was incredibly reactive. He's a Aussie/Collie mutt dog.

First, check out the reactivity sticky on the training forum and read through that to see if you can find any useful information. It has lots of useful information on counter conditioning and general training advice, and you may find something that you haven't already read.

My dog was incredibly food motivated, luckily, so I always brought special treats with me that he only got when triggers were around. He did like to play, but it was nowhere near as motivating for him as food, so I worked with what I had. We did a lot of LAT and counter conditioning type training. We live in town, so meltdowns and full out flailing/barking fits were more frequent than I wanted, but we avoided triggers as much as possible in the early stages of training so we had time to work on individual obedience skills. Once those were strong, we went to busier places, passed dogs and people on the street.

One activity I liked to do was Doggie Zen. It's an impulse control type of activity that helps teach a good "leave it". You can search the entire protocol on this forum. Just type in "Doggie Zen." Wear gloves, lol.

You said she likes squirrels. Have you considered using that as a motivator? They sell all types of different scents in many sporting goods stores or online that are either meant to attract said animal or to train hunting dogs. I know they have plenty of deer scent that is meant to attract deer in most stores, and if a sporting goods store has a hunting dog section they also have scents for game. You can also try online at GunDogSupply.com. Consider buying a squirrel shaped toy, and then spraying it in a squirrel scent. You tie a rope to the toy or attach it to a flirt pole and drag it across the ground for her to chase and build drive for the toy that way. Put the toy up when you aren't playing with it. Carry it with you on your walks, and only bring it out for her to bite when you see triggers or as a reward for attention to you. Make sure to reapply the scent every now and then!

A scented toy might be a little more enticing to her than a plain rope toy. Might work, might not, but it might be worth a try if you're struggling! You could also pair it with yummy treats.
 

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No. I haven't for the simple reason that it has never been explained to me that way. I laughed when I read this article. This is that piece of the puzzle I've been trying to put together in my head for a while now. It gets worse: I have all of Fenzi's books sitting on a shelf and I've been meaning to open them for months. I even brought one of her books with me when I responded to Harvey. I just didn't get around to cracking it open.
 

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Let her get hungry. Only time she eats is when she earns it.

Do you have a room or garage where you can play the name game? you toss food across the floor so she can chase it (and do not toss it in the air.. but across the floor so she sees it and chases it), as she gets to it you say her name and she comes back to you for the next bit of food and then you rinse and repeat. BE EXCITING. Do not do this outside where she must hunt for the food in the grass! the object is to say go, have her chase the food and then learn that when she hears her name, to get back to you quickly. Next you can say her name and toss the food between your legs as she gets almost to you so she has no concern about coming to you fast. You do this in the least distracting place you can find (usually in the house or basement or garage).

A hungry dog is far more cooperative than a well fed dog when using food for training. A dog can skip a couple of meals and be fine.. and most figure out very fast that if they want to eat the food all comes from you and only comes to them if they are engaged. It might be worth a try (if you have not tried this already).
Playing with her food is a great idea. Also playing hunt the food in the grass would eventually make an awesome game for her. She's pretty wired into her nose.
 

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No. I haven't for the simple reason that it has never been explained to me that way. I laughed when I read this article. This is that piece of the puzzle I've been trying to put together in my head for a while now. It gets worse: I have all of Fenzi's books sitting on a shelf and I've been meaning to open them for months. I even brought one of her books with me when I responded to Harvey. I just didn't get around to cracking it open.
I have two of her books (1 & 3) and took her online engagement class. Read the books, read her blog. She even posted that article to her FDSA FB group as "my course/book in a nutshell." Some of it will be basic, but it's good to refresh and get a slightly different take on the fundamentals.
 

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Ah, I see. I dealt with similar issues with my dog. He is also a rescue, probably not well socialized his first months, and was incredibly reactive. He's a Aussie/Collie mutt dog.

First, check out the reactivity sticky on the training forum and read through that to see if you can find any useful information. It has lots of useful information on counter conditioning and general training advice, and you may find something that you haven't already read.

My dog was incredibly food motivated, luckily, so I always brought special treats with me that he only got when triggers were around. He did like to play, but it was nowhere near as motivating for him as food, so I worked with what I had. We did a lot of LAT and counter conditioning type training. We live in town, so meltdowns and full out flailing/barking fits were more frequent than I wanted, but we avoided triggers as much as possible in the early stages of training so we had time to work on individual obedience skills. Once those were strong, we went to busier places, passed dogs and people on the street.

One activity I liked to do was Doggie Zen. It's an impulse control type of activity that helps teach a good "leave it". You can search the entire protocol on this forum. Just type in "Doggie Zen." Wear gloves, lol.

You said she likes squirrels. Have you considered using that as a motivator? They sell all types of different scents in many sporting goods stores or online that are either meant to attract said animal or to train hunting dogs. I know they have plenty of deer scent that is meant to attract deer in most stores, and if a sporting goods store has a hunting dog section they also have scents for game. You can also try online at GunDogSupply.com. Consider buying a squirrel shaped toy, and then spraying it in a squirrel scent. You tie a rope to the toy or attach it to a flirt pole and drag it across the ground for her to chase and build drive for the toy that way. Put the toy up when you aren't playing with it. Carry it with you on your walks, and only bring it out for her to bite when you see triggers or as a reward for attention to you. Make sure to reapply the scent every now and then!

A scented toy might be a little more enticing to her than a plain rope toy. Might work, might not, but it might be worth a try if you're struggling! You could also pair it with yummy treats.
The ambushes are definitely one of the reasons I'm am less eager to go to town for training. It frays the nerves too much sometimes. It's definitely rough for both dog and human to do that training sometimes.

I'm going to have to think about this squirrel toy thing. It could be a very interesting lever. Right now she'll pull once and then sit and whine at me a lot until she calms down enough to pay attention to me. I'm wondering if letting her catch the 'squirrel' in a while would reduce the drive to actually chase real squirrels.
 

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Thanks everyone for the input. It's such relief to have some next steps that look promising. It's hard to tell you how much I appreciate the guidance. I've been just up against a wall for months. It's especially frustrating because she has so much obvious potential to be an amazing dog. I'm really looking forward to trying out what all of you have recommended.

On a side note: After 3 days of my attempts at expanding play during walks, I am starting to see a difference!
 

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The ambushes are definitely one of the reasons I'm am less eager to go to town for training. It frays the nerves too much sometimes. It's definitely rough for both dog and human to do that training sometimes.

I'm going to have to think about this squirrel toy thing. It could be a very interesting lever. Right now she'll pull once and then sit and whine at me a lot until she calms down enough to pay attention to me. I'm wondering if letting her catch the 'squirrel' in a while would reduce the drive to actually chase real squirrels.
If it's too stressful to go to town right now, then don't. Your pup will pick up on your stress! If you're lucky enough to have plenty of space on your own property to work on individual skills, stick with that. It's perfectly fine to take a break for bit and just stay in your yard! If you can, you may bribe some of your friends to act as controlled "distractions" on your property to practice.

If she's so into her nose, you may try to teach her a tracking game where she tracks the toy across the property or something, and at the end reward her with awesome treats and playtime with the toy on a flirt pole. Don't forget to teach her fun little games, too! She probably has to learn that training is fun, not something that is always paired with her having to leave the squirrels alone or deal with uncomfortable situations. Have you considered making a little agility course at home? You can get tunnels from Amazon for fairly cheap, and create obstacles. Just a fun little thing the dog can do to earn some treats, and it may turn into a "job" for her. You may also try shaping exercises, which gets the really thinking about how to earn a treat. I taught my dog to put his toys away in a box by shaping, or you can teach her to sit in a box!
 

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Everyone's giving such great advice for the OP!

I just wanted to add that nervous dogs, especially ones from iffy or unknown backgrounds, benefit a TON from trust in their handler, and there are a bunch of small things that dog owners do every day that I think can erode that trust for sensitive, worried dogs - stuff like fake toy throws, or poor training mechanics (the dog ALWAYS gets a cookie after a click, even if you clicked wrong), giving false choices (i.e., asking if they want to do something and then forcing them to do it anyway when they say "no"), or not letting the dog make any choices at all. Introducing consent-based training, paired with avoiding the things that she was the most worried about (cars and seeing other dogs) has made a huge difference for my worried dog, and we've been able to slowly add back some of the things that worry her.
 

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- because food is danged useful in training, though of course not entirely necessary.
This. Is where I would start.

Toys, play etc can be useful in getting attention, but IMO it's much more difficult to get the enduring calmness that hopefully goes along with the attention. It can be done, but I'd rather try to develop the food drive as a first line of execution, especially in the OP's case.

With a reactive / excitable dog, using toys or play as motivation to pay attention and be calm can be tricky to implement. Each time the dog is rewarded this way, the energy and excitement level goes through the roof, the focus on you disappears for a considerable amount of time, ... the attention eventually returns and baseline calm is restored, ... then with the next reward, excitement goes through the roof again, etc. It's sort of a vicious cycle and can often be counter-productive. In simple terms it's an uphill battle. OTOH using food has the benefit of many more opportunities to reinforce, plus it's also much better at retaining calmness between each reinforcement and keeping adrenaline levels low. Sure you can use toys and play once the dog has a firm grip on what's expected of him, but personally I wouldn't start there. If you're going to rebuild your training, completely from the ground up, to me it makes sense to work on the food drive first and foremost. All dogs eat, and I've never encountered a dog who refuses a tasty piece of meat, provided it's offered in the right environment to begin with.

Without sounding nit-picky I really don't think there are any tips to make things go faster. No matter which direction you approach it from, "it's going to take as long as it takes". It's best to enter into it with that mindset.
 

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This. Is where I would start.

Toys, play etc can be useful in getting attention, but IMO it's much more difficult to get the enduring calmness that hopefully goes along with the attention. It can be done, but I'd rather try to develop the food drive as a first line of execution, especially in the OP's case.

With a reactive / excitable dog, using toys or play as motivation to pay attention and be calm can be tricky to implement. Each time the dog is rewarded this way, the energy and excitement level goes through the roof, the focus on you disappears for a considerable amount of time, ... the attention eventually returns and baseline calm is restored, ... then with the next reward, excitement goes through the roof again, etc. It's sort of a vicious cycle and can often be counter-productive. In simple terms it's an uphill battle. OTOH using food has the benefit of many more opportunities to reinforce, plus it's also much better at retaining calmness between each reinforcement and keeping adrenaline levels low. Sure you can use toys and play once the dog has a firm grip on what's expected of him, but personally I wouldn't start there. If you're going to rebuild your training, completely from the ground up, to me it makes sense to work on the food drive first and foremost. All dogs eat, and I've never encountered a dog who refuses a tasty piece of meat, provided it's offered in the right environment to begin with.

Without sounding nit-picky I really don't think there are any tips to make things go faster. No matter which direction you approach it from, "it's going to take as long as it takes". It's best to enter into it with that mindset.
Yep, all of this.

I will add I have found there are very specific uses for toy play with my fear reactive dog - namely, she uses grabbing a tug and tugging like a wild thing as a pressure release valve in super stressful situations and ends up calmer. It can also be useful as *distraction*, but that's management, not training.

However : a-) A lot of dogs get higher and more energetic/aroused with toy play which is the opposite of what you want and b-) even when the dog ends the play calmer than they started, your ability to clearly communicate the 'yes' for specific things, maintain calm, and work for any length of time is impacted. Food only rewards are fairly easy to work with. TOY only things get hard. If I could only use one for the rest of my life it'd totally be food.

And, yes, it takes as long as it takes. You may also need to realize even if you have a lot of improvement you're never going to get to completely normal. Hard realization but helps in the long run for taking pressure off both you and the dog and eases life a little.
 

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We use food to teach and build "how/what to" and then "want to." We use toys to build drive and speed and make it "want to much faster!"

Toys are not used until the dog really understands what we are asking and wants to do it.

We DO play with toys and toss training in here and there, but most training is food at the start. We also revisit food as a reward from time to time throughout the dog's training.
 
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