I am an experienced dog owner; I have never been without a canine companion by my side. Two weeks ago we recused a sweet puppy (he is approx. 11 months) from the National Mill Dog Rescue. I have never had this type of difficulty training a dog and could use some advice. Itís proven to be a real challenge even though he is very mild-tempered and intelligent.
1. He does not know how to go outside. At all. So far I have seen him pee and poop once outside. I take him out as frequently as I can, but he does not even know how to mark his territory. Since we do not have another dog to show him the way, I have taken him to the dog park a couple times now, hoping his instincts will kick in. He does not show any inclination or interest in marking his territory, even after another dog has freshly marked. He smells and walks off. He uses puppy pads which is a good sign in my opinion, but will hold his urine even on a long walk and wait until we get home to release on the pad.
2. He is not receptive to treats. He shows little interest, even with the real good stuff like fresh bacon! It makes training difficult when you donít have a way to reward his efforts. Iíve been giving him a lot of verbal praise, but Iím not sure if it sticks. Has anyone else ever had to train a dog who is not very food motivated?
Poor pup simply does not know how to be pup yet. A large part of his psychology lies in his past as mill puppy Iím sure, as it is common for dogs in this environment to have had restrictions and lack of socialization. As I mentioned before, he is very smart, and has already shown improvement in other aspects of his training (i.e. timidness, trust). Has anyone else experienced these types of complications in training?
Any advice is welcome. Thank you!