On Dog Star Daily there is a self-contradicting logic loop generated by two articles, one by an unidentified author, the other by Dr. Roz.
“When puppies reach adolescence, food lures temporarily lose effectiveness. The owner and their food lures now have to compete for the dog’s attention with all the more interesting stimuli in the environment. Indeed it is a rude awakening for many owners to discover that their dogs are much more interested in sniffing another dog’s butt or chasing a squirrel than paying attention to them. Most owners resort to upping the olfactory punch (and price) of their food lures. But this seldom works for long. In fact, you may identify forlorn and exasperated owners of adolescent dogs by smell, since they have finally resorted to using dried fish as a lure.”
“With adolescent dogs we need to temporarily change the type of lure from food to toys. Retrieval toys and tug o’ war toys work the best. Get your dog hooked on fetch or tug and then you may use the toys as lures and rewards to teach him almost anything.”
(2) Dr. Roz
“Throwing balls and Frisbees and playing games which increase the dog’s heart rate can actually make the dog more stressed and have a completely counter affect to that which you’re trying to achieve: a calmer, less “wired” dog. Here’s a test for you if you have an active or hyperactive dog or one from working lineage: for the next 3 days, don’t throw any balls or Frisbees and don’t play any games that will overly increase its heart rate. Play tug, do some training, try some environment enrichment exercises, put them on a long line and just allow them to explore and sniff. If you’re screaming at the screen as you read this: “What?! No balls?!!!!!! My dog LOVES running for a ball!!!!!” ask yourself if they really do or if you love them running for a ball. The production of adrenaline becomes self-rewarding and behavior becomes compulsive and uncontrolled, just as you see in hyperactive children. Just because the dog does run for the ball and readily retrieve it, it doesn’t qualify that it is any good for the dog.”
So what’s an owner to do? a) Recognize that dog behavior isn’t a function of cues and reinforcement and that the fundamental purpose of play isn’t to have fun (it’s about “making prey”). b) Understand that behavior is a function of Drive, the nature of which is to overcome resistance. Canines evolved as hunters of large, dangerous prey. So my advice? Be The Moose and Keep On Pushing!
(Note, because NDT is predicated on the notion of Drive, it has long recognized that over-stimulation is as noxious to Temperament as is something overtly toxic. In other words a positive isn’t necessarily a positive. (One piece of rich chocolate cake = good, four pieces = toxic.) Whereas reward/lure trainers say that the notion of Drive has been discredited and is unnecessary in the face of the modern terminology about “reinforcements.” So then how can there be too much of something (ball) that supposedly reinforces a good behavior? In NDT, overcoming resistance by way of Drive is always gratifying and hence calming, whereas, something out of context with Drive is always enervating. In short, dogs are moose hunters, not mouse hunters.)