Dog has no motivation - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Dog has no motivation

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?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:53 PM
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Train it to do what?Little lap dog puppies are easier to work with if you get down on the floor with them.They can follow your hands and read your facial expressions more easily.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Iím not sure. Maybe sit, walk on a leash, lie down, place. Itís a very tiny one, not going to be over 10 lbs.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 11:06 PM
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As a breed although they are bright, affectionate and energetic they are also stubborn. I suspect praise would go a long way, further then food or toys. A flirt pole may get you a response but they were first and foremost a companion dog. Simply a companion. It took ages to teach the one I know to play anything resembling fetch, they are decidedly lacking in anything that resembles prey drive and don't seem to have much desire to do anything except follow their humans around. And while I've seen a few do agility they are prone to spinal issues I believe. Super high value treats might get you further. Stinky cheese or liver, I don't know, Shadow has a thing for canned ham(yuck) and for some stupid reason LOVES Ritz crackers, lol. Tell your friend to experiment and find something the dog will do back flips to get at. Or go buy the most expensive toy they can find and give the dog the box it came in, Lol.
Seriously though, most that I have met like food so I suspect it is just finding the right treat. They seem to do great with clicker type training and are usually pretty motivated to please. Marking behaviors works well, they are very intelligent little things. They just lack the need to do stuff for you, I suspect they feel their presence is enough of a reward for us.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 11:17 PM
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Hubby's little dog loves bananasSqueaky toys too.
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Devo Yorkie Mix at the bridge
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 12:16 AM
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Return the little dog and get a German Shepherd. Just kidding, but I had to say that. Putting myself in time out now. LOL!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 12:50 AM
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Use what works.... a reward is a reward, not a bribe. If you create a strong enough reinforcement history, then the dog is working for the POTENTIAL of a reward but at the point the behavior is created. Squealy voice can (and should) be phased out or varied, just as food and toys can.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:29 AM
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Everyone has something they love food, praise or toys. In many years I have not owned a dog without a spark- although sparks do vary. Whatever lights the flame and can change as the pup grows. Puppies attention spans vary and are not completely developed so important to keep in mind. Most important all engagement has to be fun. My chihuahua loves cheese. He will do anything for it. My daughter has a small agility set up she does with our chihuahua he is like a mini bull at full steam through the course. His motto is anything the shepherds can do he can do better-lol!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
Return the little dog and get a German Shepherd. Just kidding, but I had to say that. Putting myself in time out now. LOL!
I would but itís not my dog. They have allergies and they want a quiet lap dog. She is everything they want.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fodder View Post
Use what works.... a reward is a reward, not a bribe. If you create a strong enough reinforcement history, then the dog is working for the POTENTIAL of a reward but at the point the behavior is created. Squealy voice can (and should) be phased out or varied, just as food and toys can.
How do I explain that very simply with examples to someone who has only owned one previous rescued dog that arrived trained? I showed them videos and they said that would never work for their dog.
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