Training a disinterested dog

(7 Posts)
phoolani Fri 25-Mar-16 22:32:13

How do you train - and particularly recall train - a dog who has zero interest in food generally and zero interest in toys or attention when out on walks?? I've tried everything to interest him - bacon, chicken, balls, sticks, being generally interesting, long lead training, jumping around like a loon with chunks of cheese hanging off me, feeding all his food to him by hand in the garden - but he just has no interest in any of it. I let him off lead right from the time he was able to go for walks and he was going great (looked for me constantly, came on call consistently) until a few weeks ago when he just decided he wouldn't bother taking any notice of me at all and we had a couple of incidents when he would have been out of the park like a shot had the gate been open. I've had to resort to walking him on the lead all the time and it's making me sad, but I've got no confidence in being able to get him back safely if I let him off. He's 6 months old.

mummyflood Sat 26-Mar-16 09:24:26

Sorry no advice to give, but I can sympathise as our retriever (ha!!) was exactly like this. Watching with interest, as we now have a cocker spaniel who so far seems a lot more trainable, has retrieved more times in 4 weeks than retriever did in 11 years. The recall is the one I am most concerned about - he will definitely need plenty of off-lead as he gets older, so I am hoping we can establish a perfect recall and hope others will be along soon with some top tips!

Out of interest, what breed do you have? smile

Springermum1350 Sat 26-Mar-16 09:37:07

You will find they hit the teenage years and they get deaf ears. Mine did. Perfect recall and then nothing.

I am sure that is what it is. I would wait to see if others say the same but I think they will.

I put mine back on the lead and doubled my recall training. That's the advice I was given when this happened at that age.

They really do transform into real teenagers. I can't get my actual teenage son to listen to anything hmm

JohnCusacksWife Sat 26-Mar-16 10:37:25

What is he interested in when he's out on walks? Something must be reinforcing his behaviour. Perhaps you need to go right back to basics and work on recall in the house, then in the garden and then outside somewhere with few distractions before gradually working up to working somewhere with more distractions.

pigsDOfly Sat 26-Mar-16 12:13:27

Long lead on all the time when out during the teenage stage - you can leave it trailing in the park if dog isn't a bolter. It could take some time, mine was on one for eight months until I trusted her to come back. My trainer (classes) said it could take over a year until some dogs can leave the long lead behind. I also found a really high value treat for her - dried chicken liver.

Agree with pps, just go back to the beginning and keep on plugging away at it. If you work at it, most dogs will get it eventually. Keep trying to find things to motivate your dog. Mine was pretty uninterested until I found the liver treats. She's five years old soon and she still gets a couple when she goes back on the lead and recall is brilliant.

phoolani Sun 27-Mar-16 09:11:56

Thanks everyone. He's a terrier x. Oddly, springermum, that's exactly what happened and I did think, 'it's like he's just turned into a teenager'!

phoolani Sun 27-Mar-16 09:14:02

Johncusack, he's interested in other dogs mainly. Otherwise he just trots around being not obviously interested in anything in particular. Could you give me an example of what the reinforcing behaviour might be?

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