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Training a dog who isn't overly motivated by food?

(18 Posts)
squarepineapple Mon 22-Feb-16 12:27:54

Hi All!

We have just adopted a 7 month old pup from a friend of a colleague who has to leave the country (we are in Shanghai). He is doing great and seems to be settling well in our home.

I haven't found a treat he likes enough to use as a training tool yet.... should I just boil up some chicken? Does anyone have any suggestions? I have tried a variety of shop bought treats (although the selection here is limited).

What is the alternative? I wanted to try clicker training with him but obviously I need a clear reward.

Thanks in advance.

BrumpyGollocks Mon 22-Feb-16 12:32:21

Congratulations on your new pup !

Any pics??
My 2 are not interested in shop bought treats but go crazy for a sliver of cheese or a bit of cold sausage,you could try cutting up into little cubes for training.
They also like a raw carrot when I'm peeling the veg.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 22-Feb-16 12:35:19

Treats wise: Cold cooked meat, cheese cubes, hot dog sausages, dehydrated liver or I make liver cake. My dogs would kill for bits of dehydrated fish like salmon skin or dried sprats.

AJ279 Mon 22-Feb-16 12:36:53

Our dogs the same- not interested in food at all. Trainer advised to just use anything that will work, for us it's her ball. Could you try toys?

BrumpyGollocks Mon 22-Feb-16 12:37:35

Just another thought if the food doesn't work how about a squeaky ball?
That's what we used to distract our young lab when he "forgot" his training briefly during his teenage stage.

PollyCazaletWannabe Mon 22-Feb-16 12:42:55

Derailing the thread but OMG I am excited to find another MNer in Shanghai! I posted a thread the other day but no-one replied. I'd love a chat over PM if you're interested.

Re the dog, maybe try using a squeaky toy instead of food?

squarepineapple Mon 22-Feb-16 13:00:18

Thanks for the replies! I will definitely try some of your ideas. They sell really rank hot dog sausages here (which my daughter loves!) so I might try those first. Cheese is stupidly expensive so I might try that last! smile

I will look into the use of a squeaky toy instead though as he does love his toys. How do you do that in practice? Do you give him the command and then throw the ball? Hand it to him? How do you keep it fairly quick?

marmaladegranny Mon 22-Feb-16 13:06:32

My trainer suggested put the toy on a piece of rope, cord etc in the initial training so you can reward him with a short play but keep control of the toy.

Another meat worth trying is tinned garlic spam! I cut a tin into tiny cubes and keep it in the freezer - whether it's available in Shanghai ??? All the dogs I know can't resist it.

Excitedforxmas Mon 22-Feb-16 13:08:28

Rope toy or tuggy cord, squeaky ball that you only use on your terms. He only gets to play with it as a reward

ricketytickety Mon 22-Feb-16 13:10:39

Throwing the ball is fine - up in the air so he can catch it. You can also use the toy to get him over jumps by throwing it over first, get him to wait then give him his release word ('go' or something like that) so he can then run and get it. Tennis ball or a ball with a funny tail on - don't necessarily need to squeak - or tuggy toy. You can have lots of different toys. If he does something well, you can play tug with him after too.

DartmoorDoughnut Mon 22-Feb-16 13:13:56

Hot dogs or tuna bread is a fav with my two - can give you the recipe of you want but don't know how expensive tinned tuna is out there!

Failing that a squeaky toy or ball?

squarepineapple Wed 24-Feb-16 07:59:07

I haven't had to buy any tuna here yet so haven't looked at the price but I think its ok!

Thanks again for the suggestions!

lighteningirl Wed 24-Feb-16 08:13:07

I rarely treat treat train I rewarding fuss and praise has worked with all my dogs

lighteningirl Wed 24-Feb-16 08:13:27

Reward with stupid spellcheck

sparechange Wed 24-Feb-16 08:17:50

Does the dog like attention and praise?

I had a terrier who wasn't remotely food motivated (I tried everything!) but adored fuss and cuddles. The best thing we could reward her with was a big hug and squeaky-voice praise.

SistersOfPercy Thu 25-Feb-16 23:50:05

Is he castrated? I had a food refuser who was a nightmare to train and distract. I tried every type of smelly treat going including the worst smelling hot dogs in the world.

3 months after his castration he'll hoover up anything in sight.

insan1tyscartching Sun 28-Feb-16 09:51:10

Eric's treat is ham because he loves it even though he's not really into food.When he was a pup though and before ham became his vice he used to have one of the dc's caps that he used to covet. No idea why,but he couldn't do enough to get the cap hmm The cap is long gone,he eventually destroyed it,but he still recalls to "hat!"

LilaTheTiger Sun 28-Feb-16 10:43:14

Liver! Mines not really food bothered but will do anything for liver. I just chucked in in the oven til cooked.

Other than that, what does he like? Balls, chews, or loads of fuss?

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