Can you teach an old dog new tricks? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

So, I know the answer to this is yes...the question is how. LOL I have posted on here about how we are thinking about adding another dog to our family and while I'm trying to create a list of pros and cons for adoption vs buying a puppy (for my husband), I figured I would work on training skills with my GSD mix. I have no idea what she is mixed with, but she's small (only around 40 lbs or so) and between 7-9 years old.

The problem is that she doesn't seem interested in anything...she doesn't fetch, play tug-o-war, or any games that you associate with dogs. We have had her almost 2 years and she just started chewing on rawhides about 6 months ago, but she doesn't really seem to care about them unless she's in the mood.

She gets excited about going outside and getting affection from us, and then she lays down and goes to sleep. She does go hiking and camping with us, she knows how to sit, and how to stay and come. We have tried soaking toys in beef broth, filing kongs with peanut butter, etc., but she has no interest in fetching. She won't even run after them, she just looks at you like "what did you do that for?"

How do I get her interested, or is it possible that whatever she's mixed with is over taking the shepherd in her and she's just content doing nothing?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 08:26 AM
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is she food motivated at all? not just like regular dog treats, something like freeze dried liver, or tripe or something GOOOOOD.

if still no, you said she likes affection. affection can be the reward also, it doesn't have to be a treat, or a toy.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 08:35 AM
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Good question on the food and also agree - affection can be the reward.

I would not give rawhides - they can get all gummed up in the gut and cause obstructions.

I had a GSD-Chow mix who thought chasing a ball was the most ridiculous thing ever - you could see his face - it was very much "what kind of idiot chases a ball?" but he did like Frisbee, though thrown carefully because you can wrench an ACL playing with those.

Anyway - some dogs don't ever want to play ball, some dogs don't know how to play with toys because they never had them and don't understand how to play - lots of times if they see another dog doing it, they can pick up on it, or if you play with the toy first, they "get" it. Cuz brand toys seem to bring out the play in a dog that is new to toys. They are also pretty good at getting them fired up for obedience fun.

IF she does respond to high value foods - then a clicker might be something you could use with her.

Does she like to get on things? Climb over or through? A little light agility might be fun for her.

She sounds like a very nice girl who may have learned that being quiet, polite and well behaved was the way to get through life or she might just be quiet and well behaved!

Cuz/JW Pet toys - you just have to make sure to get big enough that they can't get it caught in their throat/mouth but small enough that they can actually squeak them - the squeakers are really loud and awesome:

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 09:05 AM
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I would try playing hide-n-seak. reward her with a treat when she finds you . see if she gets excited trying to find you. At least it's an easy place to start.
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