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.