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Hi everyone. I have a 5 year old girl, Bella, who I adopted about a week and a half ago. She is a retired breeder, but I'm not sure she was ever a real pet. She does not seem to know any commands, and when we picked her up, the breeder said she only listens when she wants to. The breeder also said that she cannot be walked on a leash because she pulls too badly, however, my 4 year old can walk her and Bella walks next to her just fine without pulling.
I am not sure if Bella just doesn't want to listen though, or if she never actually learned the commands. I don't care about having a show dog (we just want a family pet) but following basic commands is very important to me. We take our dogs out with us a lot, and they also travel with us. The command that is most important to me at the moment is "come." This is where my questions come in:

1. Is it too soon to be training Bella? I have read about the2 week shut down and have really tried not to overwhelm her. She is adjusting so wonderfully though and has far surpassed my expectations and hopes with how quickly she is integrating into our family. This made me think that maybe we could start working on training.

2. What do you do for a dog that doesn't seem to be motivated by anything? She definitely does not care about toys and she isn't interested in treats either. I've even gotten desperate and used hot dogs. She can take them or leave them. I think, for the time being, that I will be training her myself unless I do the pet smart route (opinions on that?), as we are temporarily in a place where I can't find any trainers due to my husband's job. We will be here another month.


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I would probably teach her the basics myself at this point..(BTW kudos to you for adopting her!)

She probably has never learned any basics or so it sounds.

Try using something REALLY IRRESISTABLE!,,you can try cooked chicken, (cut everything into small bits),,string cheese, italian meatballs you find in the frozen section (nuke them cut them up)...Play around with yummy stuff, dried liver treats..See if you can find somethat that perks her interest.

I would first teach the 'sit', command, always treating for good behaviors, if she lays down on her own, "good down!!" treat her,,treat her for anything she does even without asking, using a 'word' and treat..

"Come" I would use a long line, practice at your home first, backyard whatever..when you see progress, add some distractions and go somewhere and work on it, again on a long line.

I honestly, have never done the 2 wk shutdown, I've never taken in an adult dog ..

I would feed her her meals by hand, (good for bonding)...

Good luck with her:)
 

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I agree you need to find out what motivates her, try different toys and different treats. Train before breakfast and dinner when she's hungry and more biddable for the food, keep training upbeat and fun to keep her attention. :) There are lots of tricks for motivation
 

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It just might take time to warm up to you. I had a dog from a similar situation. It made me sad the first few months how he really didn't bond to me, but after a couple of years he was perfect. Well, perfect enough. I really loved that dog.
 
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