My partner and I adopted a 2-3 year old GSD (Luna) last week. This is my first dog ever, and his first big dog. I have a cat who is more important to me than most people, so I'm borderline paranoid about making sure we properly train Luna to be sure she's safe around the cat.
We had our first private training session today and it left me feeling pretty uncomfortable. The results we got were good, but the methods relied pretty heavily on sharp leash corrections (with a choke collar) and few rewards besides praise. I'm a smallish female so I'm not confident in my ability to jerk my dog around, and even if I could, I don't feel comfortable with that approach.
I've spent the afternoon reading through training theories (corrections are bad! corrections are good!) and it seems like there's a lot of merit to a balanced approach - some leash corrections but also a lot of positive reinforcement with treats, toys, and attention.
The problem is, as a shelter dog, Luna hasn't yet come out of her shell and is pretty easily distracted. She doesn't make great eye contact, gets bored with treats, and unfortunately doesn't seem to know how to play with toys!
I really want to make training a fun experience for her, but it's hard to know how to reward her when she doesn't care about the rewards. Is there a way I can get her more interested in these treats so we can have a gentler, more positive training experience?