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  #1  
Old 08-10-2008, 02:16 AM
Blu Blu is offline
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Default Motivation question

Rebel (Cattle Dog) is unmotivated by anything. Literally. She will work for food but only a few minutes, toys get a longer and better reaction, and being a Cattle Dog she could care less for petting and praising. Even so, she will not work very long before she gets bored and quits (as in walks away...which is annoying/hurtful to the training process and something I've heard of but never had to deal with when training a dog).

So! Any suggestions?
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:29 AM
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How old is she? Depending on her age she could just have a short attention span. Make training FUN not work
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:11 AM
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so, you know how long she will stay interested.

Keep your training sessions a few seconds shorter than that. As the dog learns focus and attention you can build the length of time you work.

Work the dog when she is HUNGRY. Use SPECIAL bait. Use the favorite toy, and keep it put away, and use it ONLY for training. Crate the dog for one hour before you take her out for training.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:28 AM
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I agree with red.

Also, use life rewards. She wants dinner, call her to you and have her lie down first. She wants to go outside, get a sit.

Experiment with different toys and treats.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:55 AM
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I see this in Sophie sometimes. When she is hungry training with an extra yummy treat works best. Her breed is willful and stubborn temperament. So I wait til she really wants something like food or exercise and do it at those times. And she does work for it. Keep changing up the treats too.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:50 AM
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There's a book called When Pigs Fly! Training Success With Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion that was pretty good. Lots of stuff on how to motivate dogs who are unimpressed with usual motivators.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:26 AM
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Make sure, too, that you don't leave your dog's food down all the time. Many people who free-feed their dogs have the same problem, where they're not food motivated, but it's because they have food whenever they want it, so it's not important to them. When you feed your dog meals, put the food down for 15-20 minutes, and if he's not interested in it after that time, pick up whatever's left and don't give him another meal until the next meal time.

Same thing with toys - keep all toys picked up at all times, unless you want to use a toy for training or need to play with a toy with your dog. This will make toys more valuable since he doesn't get them as often.
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