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Training the Unmotivated

2754 Views 18 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  agilityk9trainer
Aayla is starting to reach the point where I am very happy in her training and feel like I can spare some time to work with Kota. I feel like every time I do anything with him I'm ready to blow a fuse. He doesn't like toys, only likes praise on his time, and only likes treats inside the house on his own time. (Unless we are eating at a diner, then he is pestering us for our food, which he may not even eat)

I can't figure out how to get him to do anything except for negative punishment. He knows how to sit, shake and speak. That's it. He has no name recognition, or recall. I make him sit and wait for his food, that only worked because of negative punishment. I withhold his food until he stays out of my space and sits and waits. If he approaches me I remove his bowl. He doesn't get to walk until he does not pull. I've made some progress with his grooming anxiety through conditioning...and so on. That's only with our highest value treat and inside the house only. Even if I take him into our backyard for grooming he won't take anything.

I just want a somewhat recall and to able to handle his reactivity problems. Yet I cannot find a single way to do anything with him. I also would like him to stop pooping and peeing on the concrete part of our patio outside the doggy door, but at least its outside. He has recently decided that the grass is doggy lava. (thanks to the rain). He is diabetic so we can't limit his access to water or keep him crated for long periods of time. (like when we are gone working). He is also teaching Aayla bad habits that I want to stop.

Anyone dealt with dogs like this? He just doesn't care for us or rewards. I hate to think the only things I can do are things that can be dealt with through negative punishment.

It comes to the point that since I can't reward him for anything he takes more man handling. Want him out of the room? Grab his collar and drag him out or push him with your feet. Want him to come to you? Go to him, grab his collar and take him where you want him to go. He is barking outside at the gardeners (that are with the HOA so we can't predict when they are going to be there) I have to catch him and drag him inside. Everything is man handling and I hate it. My BF just yells at him and intimidates him, which does work for some things. I try to get him to stop but its hard when I can't even show him an alternative way to make things work. Everything I have tried does not work.
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For reactivity, have you looked into BAT? I know I suggest it a fair bit but I really do like it. The rewards are functional as opposed to treats/toys/praise and its primary goal is for your dog to feel safe regarding triggers via safely allowing him to gather information on his own and rewarding good choices.

I've also just started reading "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion. My terrier mix isn't quite as stubborn as your Koda but can be a bit stubborn so I figured I check this book out. I literally just started so I can't give any glowing recommendation but it's rated pretty highly so may be worh a look.
My BF likes to take him off leash when we are out in the mtn (finally convinced him to stop doing that), he will walk with us for a while before deciding he is done and just walks off to the car. He doesn't run from us but isn't thrilled about being out. Its like a light switch, he goes to being excited about exploring to wanting to leave in an instant.

Haha, that sounds exactly like my Aussie mix. She didn't used to be that way, but she's 12 now and "over it". She explores happily in our pasture, but when we go to the lake she gets out to go to the bathroom and wants right back in the car. She wouldn't come at all but she looooooves car rides.
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