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Thread: Rewarding a Doh with No Food Drive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Sunshine Coast, Qld

    Default Rewarding a Dog with No Food Drive

    DOG* not doh LOL
    I've never had this before but Mya is just not food driven. Having always used food as a lure and as a reward I am a bit lost as to how to approach training with her.

    It is early days yet so her appetite may well improve and I am trying different foods to see what she likes. So far her favourite has been pig's ears. I suppose I could try chopping them up into little bits for her.

    Other than that how have other people rewarded their non food driven dogs?
    Last edited by Tkay; 03-02-2010 at 12:02 PM.
    The best things in life, aren't things

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Lala Land!!!


    Hey I will answer that question here if you would like.
    1- a food drive is the easiest drive to build. Simply her food is her treat. For this to work you have to do it every day. DO NOT feed her before lessons. Do your lesson, treating, and then feed her the left overs after the lesson.
    2- When doing recall I use praise. Just make a HUGE deal when she comes back!. Do it on lead to start with though lol

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I use a toy quite successfully during training - for all phases!

    I have one toy that is only ever used for training and nothing else. First I almost tease the dog with the toy, I let them grab it and will tug for a bit, then stop and ask them to release. If they aren't firm on the release I pull the toy in close to me, stop moving it around and rather firmly give the release command. Once the toy is released (I have had dogs where it took 4 or 5 repeats to let go) then I jackpot the praise. Once the dog is excited and ready to play when I pull out the toy I start training.

    I use the same luring method, but you do need to make sure the dog knows not to try to take the toy until given the 'free' word and will let go of the toy when you ask for a release.

    I'll do up some videos with Batty and try to show you that way - he's getting there with it, but he's also a piggie so I have a couple of ways to train him.

    A friend of mine has an absolutely amazing cattle dog cross called Bam. To see this dog work is pure poetry, every command is followed instantly, he will work for others if she's not around - for the basics, like sit, stay, come etc but the second he sees her again everyone else is forgotten. If any dog has a 100% recall it's this one. Doesn't matter if he's mid flight after a ball (he's obsessed) he will spin on a dime and return to her quick as a flash. His heeling is a little crooked, but he has amazing focus. I would love a dog like him! He was trained using food during the teaching phases and toys for proofing.

    His tricks include turning on lights, fetching his collar and lead, fetching the paper or slippers on command, getting the phone when it rings (was funny when he tried to get our corded phone), getting the mobile when it rings or recieves a message, opening doors, cupboards or drawers, cleaning up his toys, put himself to bed (pulling a blanket over himself too), the usual sit, drop, stay, come, heel, wave, beg, hi 5, shake, high 10, spin & twist, flip (he does a backflip landing on all 4's every time) and fetching the remotes for the dvd/tv etc. There's heaps more.

    She has explained to me that she thinks it's because she reinforced with the toys it's created almost a double proof. He'll do anything just for a pat too! I dream of a dog like that but it's taken her nearly 5 years to get him to that level. I'll ask her for more info to send through if you like?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    does she like toys, balls, squeaky toys, smelly sardines? Wear a disposable glove when handling.

    Next door has Siberian Huskies and they have trouble getting them to come back. Their drive is killing things.

    Whenever they are out and I see them I get down on my knees and call them using a really excited voice. Mind you I think they come to me because I not the usual person who ends their fun.

    I practice the call, release, call, release and teach this to my puppy classes.

    I also have a back up word in case of emergencies. Mine is bickies as I always say it when feeding.

    The puppies are coming to pup, pup, puppets as I place the food bowl down.

    Sounds like you've got a challenge but also remember that she needs to build her bond with you and her senses will be in overdrive in the new environment. Sorry I couldn't offer more, but will have a think about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    I would second the toy thing- Ziggy learns very quickly if the reward is thrown toy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Rufus responds to cuddles and encouragement.

  7. #7


    Kaos wont touch food when we are out and about, but loves a pat, or me talking to her at all... and water ! I have used a water pistol with her as a reward LOL
    I am doing Relay For Life in 2011, please contact me to make a donation

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Tkay

    Frosty will not "do anything" for food either though she does understand that there is food in it for her if she plays the obedience game with me. She kind of lost it this morning. We had been on a long walk before we went and another just before class so she was quite happy to lie on her side (dead dog) and go to sleep instead of sit - stay argh. But I guess that is one better than nicking off which is what she'd do last year.

    So up the quality of the food you use for training, and use it for training only. Leslie Nelson of Really Reliable Recall - recommends roast beef - so I got a lump of beef, roasted it, ate some of it and chopped the rest into tiny pieces (same size as happy paws training treats), and freezed them in thin layers between freezer paper so I just grab a handful and stuff them in a snack bag in my bum bag of dog walk things.

    So if she comes when I call - she gets some roast beef. If she "checks in" she gets some roast beef.

    If she doesn't come when I call - I hide. I hide behind a tree or in the bathroom, or behind a door or anywhere she can't see me any more. So suddenly she's thinking it's all good 100m away on the other side of the oval but next time she checks for me - I'm not there (or I'm running away) and she comes like she's been stung.

    I suspect chasing me is her number one drive. It doesn't always translate to letting me put her on lead but we are so much better than we were 4 months ago.

    Note - I don't put her on lead immediately after calling her. That would undo months of careful effort. She HATES being on lead. That's another thing I make her work for - being let off the lead. She must sit still. But I could up the ante so she had to do some other things before I let her off. I also do this before she gets to eat. She has to practice "come" and "wait" and "stay". And we're going to have to practice sit-stay some more. like quite long ones. So that I don't have to deal with her lying down and going to sleep in class. Embarrasing.

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