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Old 02-28-2013, 07:24 AM
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Default Not very food motivated

Anyone else have a dog that isn't super food motivated? Hudson will eat his food and take treats (usually) but generally believes there is too much going on to worry about food. We did a puppy kindergarten class and a basic, beginner obedience class but we are taking a break because it feels like a battle the entire class to get him to focus on me. We also got to listen to 12 weeks of, "Well you aren't using a high enough value treat. We use Natural Balance, here try it" though Ben was pretty amused when they try to give him treats and he turns his nose up at it.

I've tried:
hot dogs
cheese
dehydrated liver
freeze dried liver
various rolls of dog food (Ya know, the ones that kind of look like sausage
left over venison sausage
bits of left over meat (pork, beef, chicken)
cat treats (blue buffalo salmon & tuna)
various bil-jac treats (liver, peanut butter, a banana something or another)

I'm not sure he is super toy/tug motivated either. I just want some way to make training FUN for him. He will do it for a little bit, but then gets bored and walks off to terrorize the cat.
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:44 AM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Have you tried withholding breakfast and working for lunch? It's not ideal as a puppy but an old go-to.

I like to make treats fun. It seems odd but a couple things can help. When you feed grab a hand full and get on the floor. Shake and pounce your closed fist until he shows some interest. When he's engaged show him the food, give him one kibble, and then start chase again. It's important you're having a praise party when he wins, think OMG new title praise. :P

Another is throwing a party, toss treats on the floor and race around like an idiot picking them up. When he beats you to any. you want him to, party! Praise verbally and then start over by racing him again and again. This works very well if you have another dog who is food motivated but not food aggressive to help you play, it instantly builds healthy monkey see, monkey do.

Some dogs need to be taught food isn't boring. Some dogs are just not foodies. It's hard to gauge from the post but start playing and see where it goes. It took a ton of games and 2 years of maturity to get backup to work for food and he still thinks its kind of boring but I tapped into his possession and that helped a bit for sure.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:46 AM
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I would say, especially at home, shorter sessions. Start with only 15 treats so he doesn't have time to get bored. Also, start training where there aren't any distractions, like in a bathroom.

Maybe if you took some video of your training session we could help more. I know Frodo gets frustrated and leaves if I am not givin him enough reinforcement. I will video Megan next time she works with Siri, her ROR is crazy high and Siri loves working with her!
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:59 AM
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Milo's not very food motivated or tug motivated, but I just use a Cuz (he likes the squeakiness).

When we were doing more serious training, I withheld squeaky toys at home and the cuz was only a training toy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:05 PM
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Raegan Raegan is offline
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Denise Fenzi talked about Lyra's lack of food drive on her blog. Would have been last year, and spread out across a couple posts.

You can also Premack eating! Want to go say hi to those people? Eat this.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:07 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raegan View Post
Denise Fenzi talked about Lyra's lack of food drive on her blog. Would have been last year, and spread out across a couple posts.

You can also Premack eating! Want to go say hi to those people? Eat this.
Great point!!
I have a friend who Premacked her dog to eat food so he could have his tug.
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Ado's Gimme Victory RL1* "Siri"
1.5 year old Jack Russell Terrier
Gimme Drugs Not Hugs "Frodo"
8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi


*All Siri's rally/obedience titles are to be considered handled by Megan,
because ain't nobody (read: me) got time or skills fo' dat.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:34 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Keegan's not super food motivated either.

What we've done is on class days he gets smaller meals. Then I use a large variety of treats during class. Last week I had in my treat bag:

Hotdogs
Mozzarella cheese
Pet Botanics roll
snausages
pupperoni
sliced turkey
sliced ham
bologna
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
Mini Zuke's Biscuits
some random kibble free sample, can't recall what it was
Old turkey burgers I found in the back of my freezer

(Training Day = Clean Out the Fridge/Freezer/Pantry Day )

On top of that I had a toy we used a few times, a bully stick, and I used a lot of petting and praise as rewards; twice I also used getting to go outside (and mark EVERYTHING!) as a reward too. All this in a one-hour agility class. We only went through about 1.5-2 cups of treats, but the idea is that he doesn't know what is coming next: which treat OR which other reward. I think THAT kept him interested more than the rewards themselves.

(Still, by the end of class I was really starting to loose him. I really think one-hour agility classes are too long for him, 45 minutes is probably better for his attention span.)

Anyway, my point is: Make sure you do have good treats, and a large variety. But also make sure you're doing a good variety of other reinforcement too. At home when we train I actually only use treats occasionally, surely less than half the time.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:11 AM
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Thanks guys, definitely some things to think about & look into.

I have tried giving him less food on class days, but since he is in a crate all day and a growing puppy, I didn't want to remove all food. That didn't seem to help.

I have used a bully stick once (working on loose leash walking because treats were NOT cutting it) and that seemed to hold his attention at least long enough to get to one end of the room and back.

LizzyBeth, your treat bag sounds like mine. I usually have a ton of different things (cheese, dehydrated liver, left over meats, peanut butter flavored treats, sausage, pet botantical or authority food roll, etc)


I definitely will try to use food more as play and see if that'll help.
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Hudson,
Male black & white English Shepherd
August 27th 2012


Blog - http://thedogreviews.blogspot.com/
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:50 AM
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Premacking eating is one of those things that just bewilders me, still!

Can you premack resources for him? Like access to sniffing things?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerLover View Post
Premacking eating is one of those things that just bewilders me, still!

Can you premack resources for him? Like access to sniffing things?
Yup, if the cat walks by (since he seems to like tormenting the cat ) ask him for something and if he does it, he gets to go bother the cat! Make sure he's on leash though so he can't just go bother the cat without doing what you asked.
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Ado's Gimme Victory RL1* "Siri"
1.5 year old Jack Russell Terrier
Gimme Drugs Not Hugs "Frodo"
8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi


*All Siri's rally/obedience titles are to be considered handled by Megan,
because ain't nobody (read: me) got time or skills fo' dat.
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