I am trying to help someone train a Shih Tzu puppy long distance that has almost no drive at all. She isnít food or toy motivated, but I saw a video of her following the owner, with a lot of praise. I was told that extreme praise is not a good idea, and that praise as a reward should be calm and positive but not squealy and over the top because the dog will eventually stop responding. I suggested they only train with food when the puppy is hungry. I also said to try a flirt pole, but wasnít able to explain how to use it in a way they understood.. Iím not close enough for hands on training. How can a dog not be motivated by anything? They want to train her but donít know how or where and I have no experience with tiny dogs. Can anyone help?
You know I'm not a trainer, but if the pup is willingly following the owner because the pup loves their happy squealy praise, why not expand on that, and try teaching,the sit, etc with it. Or pair it with a treat. Work with what the pup does respond to until it doesn't.
It also sounds like the owner may need to get past their own preconceived ideas of what will and won't work for their pup so they are hesitant to try. Maybe reassure them that trying new ways is fun and any interaction is what the pup wants anyways. And even if they goof up with the method, it's an adventure of discovery between them and their pup.
I had more fun and laughs with my boy trying to get the timing right with a clicker. Someone else would have gotten frustrated, I just found it funny watching my guys expression. Gave it up cause it didn't work for us but it wasn't a negative experience.
Just something I thought of that may help.