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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our pup is 8 weeks old and he has already learned sit and down using the clicker/lure method. This seems really great, but he barely has any interest in treats. It takes a lot for me to get him interested in any kind of luring. He eats really well, seems to love his kibble, and get's really excited around feeding time. So I obviously try to train him before eating, but all he seems to want is his food bowl.

So far I have tried: Zukes Mini Naturals, Wellness Puppy Treats, Blue Buffalo Chicken, String Cheese, Peanut Butter, and his Kibble.

I have yet to try hot dogs, and I saw someone mention Natural Balance Rolls before. I know every dog is different, but does anyone have any suggestions for high motivation treats?

Thanks!
 

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Why not just train him using the kibble in his food bowl? Hand feed all his meals and make him do a little bit of sit, down, look, etc. every time for his food. Or just have him chase you around for his food. Pups love stuff like that.
 

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I'm with Jason, use meal time as training time since he seems to like his food well enough.

My dogs are food crazy, but from my experience in classes, a homemade liver treat is the best. My trainers make these and my dogs follow them around when they aren't supposed to. LOL!

I use chicken livers, oatmeal and garlic powder. I grind up dry oatmeal in my coffee bean grinder to make an oat flour. You can buy oat flour in a healthfood store if you don't have a grinder. Put the chicken livers in a blender and pulverize them. Mix equal parts of the oat flour and chicken livers. Add just a touch of garlic powder - be careful - a little goes a long way. Then spread out on a sheet and put in the oven at about 300 and cook until it's soft. You only need to use a small piece, about the size of a pencil eraser. Never saw a dog turn one of these down.
 

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Lots of people in our obedience class use the Natural Balance for training treats, I use diced cooked chicken and I only give it to Stosh when we're training. He's not a big eater so finding treats he liked was hard too but since he loves the chicken I reserve it strictly for training treats.
 

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When training if a young puppy isn't food motivated, then train before meals when pup is hungry and as said before use his food/mealtime as training time.
Because he is so young, I wouldn't want to be mixing up all those treats, upsetting his digestive system.

I think you've tried pretty high value treats already, the natural balance is one of the best IMO. easy to chew up and the dogs love it-easy on the system, too.
 

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When training if a young puppy isn't food motivated, then train before meals when pup is hungry and as said before use his food/mealtime as training time.
Because he is so young, I wouldn't want to be mixing up all those treats, upsetting his digestive system.

I think you've tried pretty high value treats already, the natural balance is one of the best IMO. easy to chew up and the dogs love it-easy on the system, too.
Great suggestions on the food.

But what you may also look at is how you are training. If it's 'hard' at all to the puppy and they are confused.........they lose interest in the game and will wander off for something more rewarding.

With tiny puppies those treats need to be coming FAST and frequent. So your puppy is right right right right right right right right and that's all in a 10 sec period of time and earned 10 different treats.

If 'the game' isn't clear to a puppy, and they get a bit frustrated cause mom HAS the treats but won't give'm up frequently enough, then that tiny puppy brain will just shut off and leave the building!

Starting at 1:38 in this video you can see her training and how frequently the treats come out (with every step). AND SHE BREAKS UP THE TREATS with tons of play/breaks/part of the learning game.


This is a good one cause you can hear the clicker and see how the puppy really starts getting more excited and figuring it out.


This is another great PUPPY clicker training video. Rather than teaching them 'obedience' it's better to teach them something that we can shut up :) and let them figure out BUT that can earn them tons of rewards. Look how they have to lure the puppy and set it up to SUCCEED! This boxwork is ideal.


The first part has a puppy midway in training, but at about a minute she back tracks on the EARLY trianing without the verbals. Be ON THE GROUND with the puppy! And try not to talk!

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the tips! I tried hot dogs and he likes those. I also hand fed him his meal for training and it works great!

Maggie thanks for the video's... Treating more often when they are little is definitely the way to go :)

Thanks again!
 

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Thanks for all the tips! I tried hot dogs and he likes those. I also hand fed him his meal for training and it works great!

Maggie thanks for the video's... Treating more often when they are little is definitely the way to go :)

Thanks again!
Good luck!!

Remember with our puppies, all the initial training should be way more about the pups attitude and willingness to interact and stay with us.... then if they are doing the behaviors we want anywhere near 'perfect'. How we can figure out to set them up to succeed quick to earn the click treat is our REAL GOAL. How can they do right over and over well and fast, get the click, get the treat and do it again and again so they WANT to keep learning with us.

Keeping a tug toy near and playing also is a huge help for short exciting breaks that (to the puppy) are actually a PART of learning new fun things with us! Who wouldn't want to learn when it's so easy, so fun, and it involves so many TREATS!!!! :wild: :wild: :wild: :wild:
 

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My dogs are food crazy, but from my experience in classes, a homemade liver treat is the best. My trainers make these and my dogs follow them around when they aren't supposed to. LOL!
Fanta isnt very food motivated either but liver works wonders. its amazing.

I took the easy way out and just cooked a bunch of beef liver and then choped it up and dried it in the oven.
 
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