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My Lab/Pit Mix is 1 yr old and he doesn't really care for treats.

I wanna start training him but he doesn't really work for treats ... I haven't really tried alot. I tried Organic Dog Biscuits, Pupperoni treats, and Hot Dog.
He'll work for the treat at first but then when its given to him he takes then drops and then leaves it. and then he won't work for it anymore.

Beside buying every single dog treat at the dog store and seeing which one he likes. do you guys have any suggestions on what kind of high quality treats I can try ?
 

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I bought him about 5 or 6 different kinds of toys ... he won't touch'em I haven't tried a tug toy but I doubt he'll try it he won't bite anything
 

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How long have you had him?

Try training him when he's hungry, as in, before dinner, as he will be more avid to work for food being hungry and all, or a walk before dinner.

You can try cheese, a lot of dogs like natural balance treats, although they are pricy!
 

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Try treats that have a very strong smell. Dogs tend to be more attracted to those. Cheese, cut up hot dogs, Natural Balance rolls and Grizzly Nutreats are some good stinky ones.
 

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And if he still turns up his nose at all of those.... go for the #1....SPAM.
 

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SPAM! OMD I've never thought of that..lol.

Hotdogs sliced up, sprinkled with garlic powder (not garlic salt) and then nuked for 30-45 seconds ups the yum factor a lot too.

How long have you had your boy? Some dogs, if not settled in yet, won't take food due to stress. Or, it could be that you being too close to him (in his space) makes him a bit uncomfortable and unable to eat it. Try tossing the treat in front of him from a distance, not looking at him, and see if he'll take it. If he does, then you'll know that "social pressure" and proximity can cause him stress.

We had a puppy in our class that wouldn't take even really yummy treats. His owner was really tall and "firm' in his mannerisms. Every time he bent over the (small westie) puppy to work on his sit or down the pup would shuffle back a few inches, turn his head and not take the treat. I asked the man to turn to the side and crouch down to do the work and the pup responded much better. He simply found his owner too intimidating at well over six feet tall. Didn't mean he didnt' like him, just found him too BIG. Dogs are VERY sensitive to our every move and sometimes sitting down on the floor with them or reminding ourselves not to make too much eye contact at first can make the dog more comfortable.
 

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SPAM! OMD I've never thought of that..lol.
Actually, this came out in a famous (or perhaps infamous) taste test done by a gourmet dog food company. They wanted to expand their line to dog treats and brought in 1,500 dogs for the testing. The overwhelming choice by the majority of dogs (much to their chagrin) was SPAM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SPAM! OMD I've never thought of that..lol.

Hotdogs sliced up, sprinkled with garlic powder (not garlic salt) and then nuked for 30-45 seconds ups the yum factor a lot too.

How long have you had your boy? Some dogs, if not settled in yet, won't take food due to stress. Or, it could be that you being too close to him (in his space) makes him a bit uncomfortable and unable to eat it. Try tossing the treat in front of him from a distance, not looking at him, and see if he'll take it. If he does, then you'll know that "social pressure" and proximity can cause him stress.

We had a puppy in our class that wouldn't take even really yummy treats. His owner was really tall and "firm' in his mannerisms. Every time he bent over the (small westie) puppy to work on his sit or down the pup would shuffle back a few inches, turn his head and not take the treat. I asked the man to turn to the side and crouch down to do the work and the pup responded much better. He simply found his owner too intimidating at well over six feet tall. Didn't mean he didnt' like him, just found him too BIG. Dogs are VERY sensitive to our every move and sometimes sitting down on the floor with them or reminding ourselves not to make too much eye contact at first can make the dog more comfortable.
You might be on to something ... I've had him for about a month or so. I am 6'4" 300lbs, and he doesn't eat his food that I give him until after I leave, he does seem to scare easily also ... I'll try lowering myself and nixing the eye contact. see how that goes ... I'll also try spam

somebody also told me to try liver, is that a good treat for dogs ?
 

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Freeze dried liver is a good choice too, lots of flavour in a small amount and doesn't have any additives. It may not be stinky enough for right now. The stinkier the better and go slowly so your guy can learn it is safe to get food from you.

You may also, since you say he seems a bit frightened occasionally, want to look into researching how to change his ideas about the world. www.fearfuldogs.com is a great place to start and also google "calming signals in dogs" for info on some of the body language he may show that will tell you when it's time to take a break with him.

As for your size, always try to remember to think about what the world may look like when you are less than a foot off the ground..even small people can seem big..you must look like a giant in his eyes. If he's had ANY negative experiences with men (or people in general) it will take a while for him to feel really safe with you. Take it slow and don't take it personally...once he KNOWS you are trustworthy he'll be good to go.
 

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I have the same thing with one of my dogs - I can't get him to take cereal unless he sees my other dog eat it. He is a HIGH reward treat dog - he doesn't do anything for cereal, he's above it, lol. But my other one will do anything [except go for a walk] with cereal.

Even with the high reward treats he doesn't like to work for them...
 

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Also try training him before his meals, so he'll be more eager to eat what he's given.
 

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I've seen trainers say find out what motives your dog. Most dogs are motivated by food but some aren't that much. Yours seems to be that kind of dog.
So see if they respond to a certain toy or if he will do required action just by praise then great!

Re food - do you free fed? For training it's better if you don't.
And remember to reduce the food at meal times when giving treats. And as others have said do it when he is hungry. And don't give them the treat every time they do it, let them track the treat and give it to them every 4-5th time, apparently that works better.

As I have said this is just what I have read and heard.
 

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If you are going to use treats in your training, then make sure it's something good for him. Sometimes, in one training session, you can feed upwards of 10 small treats. That's a lot of spam, hot dogs and cheerios...none of which is really quality treat for your dog. If you are only giving him one or two, then that's different.

I boil cow's liver (it stinks pretty bad...so it's tops in the stinky dept LOL) then when it cools, I cut it into small bite sized treats about the size of a small dice and I freeze them in ziploc bags. I put the amount I need for a training session in a baggie and take them out as I need them.

They are stinky and liver, which most dogs do like and is good for your dog too.

But, some dogs are not food motivated and a tennis ball or tug works better.
 

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In the "feed him when he's hungry" department, when I'm doing training classes I skip breakfast so that he's really ready to go. It doesn't hurt a dog to miss one meal like that, but it does make them eager for treats!
 

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Shane, having any luck yet?? I am curious whether changing your body language has made a difference.

And yes, as mentioned above, being careful how much you feed of things is important. My treat rewards are as small as the nail on my pinky finger, not a whole biscuit. If weight is a concern, you need to balance out the calories by reducing meals somewhat and saving the really "junky" stuff for the harder/higher distraction training. I can use pieces of kibble indoors but for recall training off prey it's gotta be darn good stuff for rewards!
 

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Agree with Cracker and her advice to watch your body language as well as your dog's body language. When my dog is anxious, he refuses treats but, when he is relaxed and eager, he will do anything for a microscopic bite of anything that I hold in my hand.

Your dog is new to you. It took months for our dog to relax around us and we are all small people ;) I was afraid that our dog would react to our plumber who is a massively huge man. But, when I opened the door, this man talked in the funniest squeaky baby talk to my dog and crouched down sideways to him and let Cherokee do the approaching. Cherokee loved him immediately!!
 
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