You will get the most from your dog if you make work fun by reinforcing your Karelian's natural energy and enthusiasm. An energetic handler with an enthusiastic voice and simple toys can have many hours of pleasure with their Karelian of any age. To our dogs, "work" is "play." Playing "get the toy" with our dogs is not only a lot of fun, it helps prepare the dogs for later search work.
Toys as rewards
By carefully observing how your dog reacts to certain toys (if you choose, as we have done, not to reward with food) or other treats, you can find something that motivates your dog's level of excitement.
That toy can then be reserved as a reward after successfully completing a complex task, such as finding a victim at the end of a run away exercise in preparation for K9 search and rescue training.
Toys just for fun
If your dog needs a toy for entertainment, we have two favorites: real animal antlers and two- to three-inch long cuts of marrow bones (from the grocery store), both of which have the added benefit of cleaning the dog's teeth as they chew.
Below, sometimes a toy is just a toy.