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Hello! This is my first time posting in the forums, I am from Indonesia where getting help for dog training and general questions about it is very difficult, many people here hate dogs and are generally afraid of larger breeds. I am having difficulties trying to figure out what is the best method to train my dog. He is a very curious dog that likes to smell everything and he is nearing 2 years now and has been having general problems with obedience and focusing since a very young age.

I am very aware that I am possibly not training him in the best way, he has very low interest to food in general and in my attempt to get "high value" treats, it always results in him either not interested in it, or having allergic reactions to different treats (beef,pork,etc, its very hard to pinpoint which is the treat that he is actually okay with..)

He's also veryyy reactive to cats and other dogs, I also have to mention we have over 2 million stray cats here due to people not neutering their cats so there is like 5-6 stray cats wherever I go.

BUT when I catch him in the occasional good mood, I am able to get him to do so much. I guess my question is what would be the best approach to training him when he is not reacting to food and other praises? I take him out for many walks but his energy never seems to run out and I am running out of ideas :( I tried squeaky toys, ones that he could chew on, but he gets bored of toys very easily too. I am worried if I am pampering him too much and he doesn't seem to respect me?

Any suggestions on where to start would be very appreciated! I'm just so overwhelmed and I don't know where to begin... Thanks in advance for anyone who has any inputs!
 

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I don't know where to start either so I am pointing you to the Leerburg.com videos and studying the threads on various subject on this forum.
 

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Hello fellow Indonesian. I'm Indonesian too, I left the country on my late teens. I completely and utterly understand how the culture is on dogs.

Answering your question straight on 'my question is what would be the best approach to training him when he is not reacting to food and other praises?'

To my understanding, you've been giving your dog 'Free stuff' without him having to work HARD on it. With dry biscuits/treats, sometimes they are not interested if they don't have to work for it. If you give it to him freely, chances are he wouldn't be bothered with it. It becomes something that he's accustomed to rather than something he has to work for.

I always have my dog work for dry treats. For example when I give him commands and he follows: treats. If he complies, 'treats.'

Moreover, my dog in particular, loves soft training treats. They are more appetising for him and he's hooked on them. So you can try and find soft training treats and see if he's more interested in it.

With praising, make it like a party when he does something right. Be ridiculous. Show him how HAPPY you are when he complies.

Now with cats... I had 4 dogs (different times) when I was in Indonesia. My father despises cats. All of our dogs happened to dislike cats. So instead of trying to control how our dogs react to cats, we as a family just sort of celebrate the fact that our home was cat-free, haha.

If you really need your dog to stop reacting to cats, all I can suggest to you is to practice the 'look at me' and 'leave it' command as well as hard leash correction.

That's all I can suggest on the cats issues, members here who have experience with cats might be able to elaborate further.
 

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Also, it's HARD to find legitimate dog trainer in Indonesia. My advice is be active yourself and read and watch a lot of resources on the net.
 

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If you're dog isn't food-motivated, you can try to reward him with a toy he loves. Does he have a favorite ball or tug?
 

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It is up to the handler to make the reward interesting. And to have the dog, as others have said, work for the reward. Heck, have him work for just about everything. Sit before you are served dinner, sit before I open the door to let you out, maybe sit and then down before I give you dinner tomorrow, etc. And although you may not be doing this, dogs who do not follow commands do not get share the bed with the human privileges. Along those lines, he may need more time "put up." That is, he may be taking you for granted. Make him work for your attention. He wants a pet (or you want to pet him) he has to do something. He wants anything at all, he has to do something.



Another thing that works when they get to the full of themselves refusing to listen stage --- ignore the dog for a few days. Bill Campbell recommends doing it for a week. I found three days works pretty well. So with this the dog gets food and water, let out to toilet but no other interaction, no talking, no treats, no attention. Nothing.
 

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Do you see any working dogs in your city? German shepherds or Belgian Malinois? Or even Labradors being used for scent detection? At the airports or seaports, or being used to guard banks or hotels. They can be used by government agencies or private security firms. If you see one, ask the handler who does the dog training. They may be able to help you. In all the countries I've traveled to in the last 15 years or so, the use of working dogs has become very widespread.
 
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