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I've got a problem and I hope you can all help!

We adopted two dogs just before Christmas - two spaniels of 9 and 4. The 9 year old has fitted in perfectly, is well trained, will sit for treats and when told, will go in her basket when told and so on. She plays ball and has recently discovered sticks for the first time.

However, the younger dog is very problematic. At first it was submissive weeing, which she has now stopped when we changed our entrance routines. Then it was puddles in the night-time, so it was back to the crate at night. Now she still wees indoors, even if she's just been outside. We've done our best to eliminate all the smells but there are days when she is going inside more than outside.

She is also very greedy. She is just about obedient for a treat, but plays deaf and won't come to call. I'm doing about 5 minutes of obedience training with her per day, but she gets very easily bored.

All she seems to think about is food. She constantly hunts out food, whether its in a bin or whether its in the henhouse. She isn't at all interested in any other toy - she won't chase a ball, has no interest in any toys we have (and we have plenty!) and the kong is only of any use until she can't get the food out.

I think she's very bored and highly strung after the move - we walk her twice a day, once for 15 mins and then for between an hour and two hours. But at night, it's like a bored beast has awoken in her. She isn't interested in playing and it's getting ridiculous that she will only be interested if you have food, which is also very distracting for our existing dog and her long term companion. We do much of the obedience training with her alone, because the other two are so obedient it's untrue.

Any ideas at all about what might get her attention that's non-food-related?? Surely there's something that can tire her out!?! I'm shattered from all the walking and I don't know where she's getting all her energy from!! Nerves, I guess!

I never had a dog that was so disinterested in toys - any solutions?

Thanks all for your help - I've done a lot of reading on here so far, but if anyone has any idea where to go with a bored dog who doesn't like toys or chase or playing with you (or even affection!) - I've got two dogs who will do anything you ask, treat or no treat, and one who is so bored she's constantly thinking about food!
 

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Have you ever tried a Flirt Pole? Maybe you could put a treat on the toy on the end to get her more interested in it. I would start hiding treats around the house and have her go search them out, that will tire her out mentally and physically. Forgot to add that you can use her kibble for the treats when you have her search and use her food motivation to you advantage.
 

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I like the idea of hiding things for her to find, but it brings difficulties with the other dogs - they look for them too, plus with her not being properly house-trained yet, we're keeping her between the living room and the kitchen, so we're limited for space inside. No wonder she's bored out of her mind!

I think I'll have to use the outside for hiding treats - plus, I can leave the other two inside so there's no issues with them finding stuff before she does and snaffling it!

I guess I might have a further problem if she sees outside as 'fun' and for everything but eating - she won't want to come back in and she needs to be supervised around the chickens.

I'm just worried if I keep using food treats that she won't learn to play with anything. She already shows no interest in chew toys or so on if they don't have food in.

I keep reminding myself patience is a virtue, but it would really helps to have these great ideas to keep her mind busy! It's hard to do it with the other dogs who are so obedient and so well-behaved though.
 

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Wow - sounds like a challenge. Well done for keeping patient so far! I have just found a book called Brain Games for Dogs by Claire Arrowsmith. I don't know what it's like as I haven't got it yet, but it may be worth a browse.
 

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I think it well might be! I'm back to taking her out every hour for a five-minute walk to stop her weeing inside, but the evenings are very hard! Funnily enough, I was just talking to my grandma who had an American spaniel. He was exactly the same!!
 

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I like the idea of hiding things for her to find, but it brings difficulties with the other dogs - they look for them too, plus with her not being properly house-trained yet, we're keeping her between the living room and the kitchen, so we're limited for space inside. No wonder she's bored out of her mind!

I think I'll have to use the outside for hiding treats - plus, I can leave the other two inside so there's no issues with them finding stuff before she does and snaffling it!

I guess I might have a further problem if she sees outside as 'fun' and for everything but eating - she won't want to come back in and she needs to be supervised around the chickens.

I'm just worried if I keep using food treats that she won't learn to play with anything. She already shows no interest in chew toys or so on if they don't have food in.

I keep reminding myself patience is a virtue, but it would really helps to have these great ideas to keep her mind busy! It's hard to do it with the other dogs who are so obedient and so well-behaved though.
some dogs just are not interested in toys. Maybe clicker training would get her attention. Its fun and mentally stimulating. Since house training is and issue I would start with this.
 

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Have you talked to your vet about the issues your having with her? Also one thing to think about is that you might have a dog that just doesn't like toys unless there is food involved and there is nothing wrong with that. I had a dog like that and he was the best dog I've ever had. I would still get a flirt pole and attach some food/ treats to it and use that to help tire her out and do the hiding of the food in the yard since you can't do it in the house. I would also get a food puzzle to give her her regular meals in so that she will get some extra mental stimulation. I agree with dawnben about clicker training I think that might work really well for her.
 

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I agree with the food puzzle suggestion and/or toys that dispense treats - simple to replace the 'treat' with kibble. You can fashion quite a few as DIY projects so there isn't the cost involved in purchasing a bunch of new stuff only to find out she doesn't like them.
 
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