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We have a little papillon that just turned a year in September. She is so much fun, and she loves to play fetch with the family. She's learning sit, lay down and stay. She is VERY intelligent and loves to please. Our issue is when it comes to treats. I wanted to incorporate treats into our routine so that it might help give her incentive to learn better and harder commands. The probably is, she'll fetch for 10 minutes till we give her a treat, then all she wants to do is look for the treat. Sme with sitting or anything else. As soon as we introduce a treat, she has total 100% focus on the food and that's it. Any suggestions? We used to raise Shelties and I don't remember having this problem with them. But then I had a pomeranian who didn't want anthing to do with treats. I've also had lab crosses who never had this problem either. Please help! Lol
 

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She sounds so cute!
By fetching...do you mean that you have to ask her to fetch something (like paper, socks, shoes, her leash, etc) or does she play fetch because she likes it (with a ball and you throwing)?
If she is playing fetch with you throwing the ball and her bringing it back, naturally? (you said 10 mins straight too?) That is sort of like a treat on it's own. She's doing it because she likes it and enjoys it...not because you are asking her to do so. I think the reason she stops and looks for more treats is because she is doing something that she naturally likes....instead of being asked to do so (what I'm getting from your post) and suddenly you give her something that she likes more than what she is doing on her own, so she's like, "OH! Let's play your game now." If that makes sense?
If she is doing something that she likes naturally...I see no reason to treat her. Most dogs actually are rewarded with games such as fetch (tug-o-war too) after completing a task for a human instead of treats. If you have ever seen police dogs work? They are often rewarded with a favorite tuggie toy or ball that they fetch.
Playing fetch is basically a treat to dogs (if they naturally like it)

I don't reward my borzoi for suddenly bolting off and running when I ask him too because that is basically Chuck-E-Cheese for him and a treat and reward. I'll have him sit nicely, wait until I take the leash off, have him wait some more while looking at me and after he's done all that very behaved and well, I'll reward him with running by releasing him and saying, "GO ON RUN!"
I'll let him chase a lure or play fetch as a treat after he's sat nicely beside me while I talk with someone.

The blockage that you might be having is why most people don't agree with treats...Try starting with affection after she's done a trick (hugs kisses and praise) and see how she does then. Then maybe start bringing treats back later on. Just a few ideas. :) Good luck!
 

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haha Yes yes, I see your point! :) That sounds like her. I think the reason I started with treats has a lot to do with my little pom we had. She started out this same way - chasing balls, playing tug-of-war and those types of things, but then she completely lost interest in any type of play, OR treats, and turned into a VERY timid lap dog. That was fine, we loved to snuggle with her, but she would run and hide for hours when things got a bit out of hand for her. She's long gone now and we miss her, but I definitely want Lusy (our papillon) to stay "family." I have a 2, 6, and 7 year old who all love playing games with her. They are never mean and rough, but definitely full of energy. Eventually I'd like her to fetch on command, such as specific items and things, so I thought if I kept her going with treats NOW, while she's having fun, it might help. haha I might be completely backwards on everything!! I get a kick out of how different personalities are. :) With my shelties and labs, it was always 1-throw the ball, 2-they'd bring back the ball, 3-get a treat. Everything was pretty straight forward. You could keep them busy for an hour with that routine. Lol Little dogs are totally different I'm finding! I miss my big dogs. Our little Lucy seems to be smarter than me... haha
 

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haha Yes yes, I see your point! :) That sounds like her. I think the reason I started with treats has a lot to do with my little pom we had. She started out this same way - chasing balls, playing tug-of-war and those types of things, but then she completely lost interest in any type of play, OR treats, and turned into a VERY timid lap dog. That was fine, we loved to snuggle with her, but she would run and hide for hours when things got a bit out of hand for her. She's long gone now and we miss her, but I definitely want Lusy (our papillon) to stay "family." I have a 2, 6, and 7 year old who all love playing games with her. They are never mean and rough, but definitely full of energy. Eventually I'd like her to fetch on command, such as specific items and things, so I thought if I kept her going with treats NOW, while she's having fun, it might help. haha I might be completely backwards on everything!! I get a kick out of how different personalities are. :) With my shelties and labs, it was always 1-throw the ball, 2-they'd bring back the ball, 3-get a treat. Everything was pretty straight forward. You could keep them busy for an hour with that routine. Lol Little dogs are totally different I'm finding! I miss my big dogs. Our little Lucy seems to be smarter than me... haha
So... why aren't you doing the same routine that you did with your larger dogs with Lucy? If you're giving her a treat after ten minutes, she's likely very confused as to why she's getting the treat and is at a complete loss as to what else to do to continue getting a treat. She needs to be taught how learning with food works in the kind of baby steps that let her be successful.

Start with something very basic, like a sit or a target (nose touches your hand) in the beginning. Work on your timing so that the treat is delivered immediately after the dog successfully makes a step towards or gets the behavior. If you want to do fetch, you can, but lightly toss the ball only a few feet for her, and immediately trade her the ball for a treat. If you can't have timing that's that fast, consider using a marker word in your training. A retrieve to hand is a different game to a dog than fetch, with different rules, however similar they may look. She'll probably still look for the treat, which is fine -- wait until she does anything else, something other than searching for the treat, and reward that. Teach her that the way to get a treat is never to look for one.

Then teach her how to work near food by playing increasingly difficult games of "doggie zen" or "It's yer choice", like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc
 

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I can totally see where you are coming from and I know what you mean by wanting a family dog. I have friends who get dogs for the whole family (especially the kids) so staying playful is definitely a must!
I don't think you are doing it backwards at all, you just need to find something that works for your pap specifically. :)
Something that suites her way of being and her personality. Like you said, they all have different personalities and need their own way of training. :)
good luck! you should post photos of her. ^.^
 

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Crickett - I should have specified! Lol When I started using treats with her, we would do it right after the "fetch" or "sit" or "down" just like I did with the older dogs. The way she's different is that if we happen to play the game without the treat, she's fine, but when we DO use treats, that's all she can think about. Not that we NEED them at the moment, but like I said with our other dog losing interest, I wanted something to keep her WANTING to do it. If that makes sense. Lol I agree that "fetching" the ball and actually putting it in my hand are completely different things. She runs like made to get it, even if it's 20 yards away, but she doesn't always bring it back. She'll touch it, leave it there and come running back to get her treat. Lol I need to get her to understand returning WITH the item, not just touching it. It blows my mind that I've had dogs my entire life, and all of a sudden she makes me feel like I know nothing when it comes to training. hahaha We're actually signed up for an obedience training starting in January and I hope that will help me help her.
 

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I'm pretty sure all paps have some sort of ADHD. lol

Coming from shelties then to papillons, they're just different. They just tend to be a little more amped up (in my experience) and easier to distract. Paps are VERY smart. Very very smart. But they're not as easy in some ways as other breeds. They need some creativity and they will pick up on very tiny inconsistencies. If it works once one way, she'll remember. If she doesn't HAVE to bring it back sometimes to get a treat, she won't.
 

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Can I just say I love this forum?! :) I was taught today how to "properly" use a clicker and got my first one. We came home, and in our first 10 minutes training session, she has mastered Doggy Zen and also to sit, lay down, and the voice command "leave it." I swear this is the smartest little dog! I looked up agility courses with papillons and OMGOODNESS!!! I sooo want to do that now! Lol She definitely loves to please, we just need to keep making it appealing to her. I was also informed that part of our issue may be the fact that she has been a "free feeder." We are going to try tomorrow to have set mealtimes and amounts because I do believe that will help a lot.
 
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