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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all! I've lurked for a while but never posted. I'm seeking some advice about my 8-year-old dog's training, which has been sporadic at best. She's very smart, a rescue BC mix, and the family dog we've had since I was in 6th grade (I'm now 18). I have a few questions:

I'm really interested in clicker training, is it possible to start at any age? She knows sit, down, come, stay, leave it, drop it, and some cute tricks like roll over, play dead, and sit pretty. However, none of these commands are or ever have been very polished; she does them kind of wildly in anticipation of a treat. Could clicker training help her learn to do these (especially the safety ones like come and drop it) more sharply and reliably?

I also would love some advice on getting her interested in listening when food is NOT involved. She's extremely attentive for food and will do every command she knows before I say a word if there's a treat, but when she gets a command without food she'll wander around and consider it for a while before she actually does it!

I want to spend time working on her training this summer while I'm home from college; I find it fun and she needs the mental exercise. She's definitely got some BC in her although she isn't quite as driven and focused. She isn't very affectionate and while I know she likes her family deep down, she would rather play or hike than cuddle. She's a very well behaved dog, manners-wise, but I want to sharpen up her training for her safety and everyone's happiness, human and canine :)

Sorry this has been such a long post, I only recently became really interested in dog training so I have tons of things I'm wondering about haha. Thanks! :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses! hanksimon, what you said seems to describe our situation pretty well! I think she was so accustomed to being trained by food (it was mostly my dad who trained her as a baby) that she doesn't see any motivation to listen when there's no food involved. I will try implementing your suggestions! She's always been a fast learner, so hopefully we'll see some results sooner than later :)
 
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